November 30, 2015

The Terminator

Sitting here in the Knoxville airport this morning I overheard a man behind me talking to his employer about a fellow colleague. He spent 30 minutes ranting about the failures and incompetence of his fellow employee over whom he obviously has direct management. Being a person who loves the art of leadership I listened carefully to what he said and how he said it. 

After a few minutes it was crystal clear to me that he was blaming his failure as a leader on this person under his direct command. Because his neck was on the line, he was covering for a job not well done. In a self-preservation effort he was terminating this individual with his words and actions.

As a high level leader I could easily discern that this man is a low class leader who will not have a bright future in his field. Not one time did he take ownership for his job, role or its outcome. He was the type of individual that believes you climb the ladder of success on the backs of his peers. 

Leadership isn’t using or abusing people to get to the top, it’s teaching people how to use their gifts and talents rightly to fulfill their potential. This is how a real team is built! Unity is so vital to a team’s productivity in every field and teamwork is never achieved when the leader spends his time making excuses at the expense of people. 

REMEMBER, you can never make yourself look good as a leader by making other people look bad! High class leadership deals with problems privately and personally, not publicly. Take the high road of leadership. The attitude of your team is a direct reflection of your leadership. If you don’t like the outcome of a job stop and look in the mirror first. Take ownership! Then spend time with your team and lead them on how to do better. 

November 28, 2015

Opinions

They are like noses, everyone has one! If you try to do anything great in life you will quickly learn that there are many people who will not cheer you on. I wish I could tell you that all of your friends and family would get behind your vision and cheer you on, but that is not the case!

Everyone is going to have an opinion about you and about what you are endeavoring to do. If you aren’t careful you will allow the expectations of others to rule your life. If you are constantly trying to make everyone happy I can promise you that you will end up the most disappointed, miserable person on the planet. 

God created, called and gifted you to be YOU! Don’t be a cheap fake, be an expensive original. You can’t do that if you are constantly chasing people’s opinions. I have a motto that I am learning to live by: Everyone has a right to their opinion and I have every right not to listen to it. 

If what others say about you and your dream doesn’t match what God has put in your heart, let their opinions go in one ear and out the other. Be kind but don’t be swayed. Stay focused on your dream and be authentic. 

Here is a key: It’s ok to listen to people’s opinions and take advice, but you have to be secure in who God called you to be so that when someone has a different opinion you aren’t sidetracked. 

I have learned that trying to please people is a trap that leads to carrying greater burdens that I was never meant to carry. I heard about a grandfather who was making a trip into town with his grandson. Since the boy was young the grandfather put him on the mule to ride as he walked beside him. Someone came by and said, “look at that selfish, spoiled little boy riding while that old man is walking…”

Hearing this the grandfather let the boy walk and he got on the mule to ride. Someone came by and said, “can you believe that strong, full-grown man is riding and making that little boy walk…”

Hearing that the grandfather reached down and grabbed the little boy, lifted him up, and set him upon the mule so both of them could ride. Someone came by and said, “that poor mule, they are making him carry way too much weight…

Finally, both of them got off the mule and by the time they got into town they were both carrying the mule. 

The point is this, when you try to listen to everyone’s opinions and stop being authentic you end up carrying what you were never meant to carry. 

Everyone has an opinion, including God. The real question today is whose opinion holds more weight in your life?