Tuesday, 27 September 2016



Manage the splash:

You always impact those around you. Even if people turn from you, you have impact.
Some leaders tend to lift people toward bright. Some leaders tend to drag people toward dark.

Patterns produce splash – your impact on those around you. Successful leaders monitor and manage the impact of their presence and interactions. Know the effect of your current impact in order to enhance your impact. I recently asked a leader to explore his impact on others.
  1. How are your conversations going? (General question)
  2. What are you trying to accomplish? (Begin with the end in mind)
  3. What are you doing that impacts others? (Internal reflection)
  4. How are people different after you spend time with them? (External reflection)
  5. What would you like to try, or do differently? (Forward-facing curiosity)

Monitor and manage the energy you create:

Have a trusted team member run an energy survey. Ask everyone you regularly interact with to respond to one statement. (No names.)
“On a scale of one to five, my interactions with you tend to increase your energy.” One is low. Five is high. Try to avoid a three. Which way does the needle tip?
Have your survey-master compile the results.
5 questions to explore the results:
  1. What behaviors produce the result on the energy survey?
  2. What should you keep doing? (If the number is high.)
  3. What should you stop doing? (If the number is low.)
  4. How might you improve? (If the number is low.)
  5. What should you do more frequently?
Talk over your observations with trusted allies.

Monday, 12 September 2016

How noisy is it getting in your life?

A great post by dave Craft.  Take the time to think this one though in your own life!

In the Sunday L.A. Times Parade Magazine, I read the following: “The word noise comes from nausea, the Latin word for sickness.”

Wow, did that ever get my brain cranking!  I wonder if too much noise is related to being overly busy, having no margin and not practicing the principle of Sabbath.

It's true for many of us that, literally, there is too much noise in our lives--traffic, planes overhead, TVs, iPods, constant advertisements, music in the neighborhood late at night, voice mails, etc.  But, too  much noise may also be translated into too many commitments, obligations & responsibilities which can also make one sick!

I need to regularly take a long look at my own life realizing how “noisy” it can get if I am not careful to cultivate solitude and silence (which doesn’t come naturally to me & for which I need lots of grace.) Being still and realizing that He is God (Psalm 46:10) seems to me to be a lost art today--at least for many of the people I know and rub shoulders with.

Is it time to get back to “Walden’s Pond” the famous work of Henry David Thoreau, first published in 1854? I don’t know that this is Christian at the core, but it does explore the whole idea of de-cluttering, simplifying life and cutting back on the “noise.”  I began to think (and continue to think) about how much ill health experienced by many (whether it be spiritual, mental or relational) is due to too much noise.
Here are a few questions to ponder:
  1. Is my life so noisy that it is drowning out the voice of God?
  2. Is the noise in my life not allowing time for deeper relationships?
  3. Is the noise in my life keeping me from having time to think and gain perspective on what is going on  in my life as well as with my family, co-workers and friends?
  4. Is the noise in my life making me sick in one way or the other?
Be honest now!
I believe that many of us have a good theology of work, but not a very good theology of rest. Last week someone told me that if he was relaxing or taking a few minutes for himself he felt guilty that he wasn’t being productive. Is legitimate, and essential, rest and quietness being equated with laziness and non-productivity?

In my book, “Leaders Who Last” (page 68) I quote from a Suday newspaper as follows:
 “In the relentless busyness of modern life, we have lost the rhythm between action and rest. There is a universal refrain: I am so busy. As it all piles endlessly upon itself, the whole experience of being alive begins to melt into one enormous obligation. Sabbath time is a revolutionary challenge to the violence of overwork. Many of us, in our desperate drive to be successful and care for our many responsibilities, feel terrible guilt when we take time to rest.” Wayne Muller, “Remember the Sabbath,” The Palm Springs Desert Sun, April 4, 1999

I am afraid things have not improved much since 1999, but have only gotten worse.  The “tech toys” we own now own us and we are working longer and, perhaps, less productively than we ever have.   Additionally, the money going toward medical bills due to too much noise in our lives is definitely on the increase from everything I am reading.
With His Grace, what will you do to cut noise out of your life?

Thursday, 8 September 2016


A great read from Dan Rockwell

An organization’s deadliest enemies are internal. How we treat each other while we face external challenges determines our ability to win.

Internal environments are more important than external issues.

Organizations exist to maximize the power of diversity. We’re better together, only if we honor, develop, and harness difference.

3 ways organizations die from within:

1. Judging others by your uniqueness rather than theirs.

You can’t maximize diversity and expect everyone to be like you. Intolerance produces sideways energy, or worse yet, people pulling against each other. When this happens, competitors win and customers lose. 

2.  Confusion regarding your place and contribution.

You can thrive in nearly any organization if you feel you belong and your contribution matters. (Compensation aside.) This idea speaks to the value and power of leaders.

Have conversations that address questions like:
  1. What value are you bringing?
  2. What makes you feel devalued?
  3. How might we show respect to each other?
  4. How might we lessen pressure to conform? This includes celebrating constructive dissent, eliminating the trappings of power, and adapting when new ideas emerge.
  5. How might individual purpose find expression in organizational goals? (This assumes that leaders are prepared to explore purpose with team members.)
3. Lack of shared accountability.

Problem solving, new initiatives, and project meetings are a delusional waste of time apart from shared accountability.

If we fail it’s not one person’s fault.
  1. How do you declare and define accountabilities?
  2. What happens when someone drops the ball? Is it their fault or our fault?
  3. Where is the “we” when things don’t get done? If success is the result of how we work together, so is failure.
Failing organizations are like a chicken coop. When one chicken has a flaw, the others peck at it.

In an all for one – one for all organization, one person’s failure is everyone’s failure.

Friday, 2 September 2016


A great post by Dan Rockwell for all our younger leaders to consider and use.

It’s growing more common for young people to lead teams that include elders.
Some elders look down on their youngers.
when you feel misunderstood remember to understand others


Entitlement expects respect or opportunity without earning it. Elders may expect respect simply because they’ve been at it longer. Younger may expect opportunity or position simply because they want it.
Both elders and youngers may feel the other doesn’t get it.

Greater challenge:

The greater challenge of working on inter-generational teams lies with the younger. In order to thrive, young leaders must navigate elders who have more experience, power, resources, and prestige.

7 ways young leaders succeed with elders:

1. Show respect, even if you don’t feel respected. It’s self-defeating to expect respect before extending it.
  1. Honor knowledge, even if you feel smarter. Ask questions. Stay curious.
  2. Honor experience, even if you feel it’s no big deal. Invite and listen to stories.
  3. Honor position, even if hierarchy irritates you. Learn how they earned their position.
Connection with elders is forged with respect.
Showing respect is about a humble heart. When you feel misunderstood, remember to understand others.

2. Adopt a learner’s attitude. Older leaders often feel superior because they believe they’re more knowledgeable. You may know more than your elders, but you haven’t experienced more.
Elders feel disrespected when youngers offhandedly reject suggestions.
3. Build a team of elder-advisors. Make it public that you’re listening to mentors. Publicly talk about things you’re learning from elders.

4. Try on suggestions that rub you the wrong way. I’ve found that wisdom often seems wrong when I’m unenlightened. I’m still rejecting ideas that make sense later.

5. Find an elder-advocate who believes and supports you. Some elders value the perspective and talent of young leaders.

6. Focus on adding value more than receiving it. How might you help elders achieve their goals?

7. Work hard.

How might younger leaders succeed with elders?