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Choosing A Response

July 11, 2019
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Frustrated woman looking at cell phone, considering how to respond.

I struggle with crafting a good response when my paradigm of the world is challenged. But, how I respond is an important factor when representing the organizations I help lead. The easiest “out” is to be silent and not engage in the conversation, especially publicly in places like social media. 

But staying silent does not help change the world, and it just makes me feel like a coward. 

Whenever I am faced with the temptation to respond harshly to an opposing world view, I like to do what I call a “heart check” of myself. These are the thought strategies I’ve found most helpful:

  • Play the devil’s advocate and seek to understand the other party. If I were in their shoes (had grown up where or when they did) would I see it differently? I remember often being very critical of my parent’s conservative handling of their possessions. But I did not grow up during one of our nation’s worst economic depressions. They did. 
  • Consider the end goal. Is my goal to change the other party’s mind or tear them down and make them look like a fool? When I do the latter I most always end up looking and feeling like the fool myself.
  • If I am honest, am I able to identify any good motives in the other person’s position? Knowing that there are good intentions does not always bring agreement. However, it sure opens the door to understanding and a civil debate of the issues.

If these measures bring no hope of understanding, or making the other person feel understood, then my wisest choice might be to not engage in the discussion. The engagement will possibly just make me angry and bitter, and I don’t want that spilling over into my other relationships. 

“Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”

Proverbs 17:28

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define and measure success

“Crushing It”, How Do You Measure Success?

May 30, 2019
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To “crush it”, is to succeed, maybe succeed big. But, how do you define and measure success?

For some reason I spend allot of time trying to define and measure success. This is what we do as leaders. We want to know if what we do is working and matters.  Gauging success in the form of our bank account or wins on the playing field feels like the most reasonable way to do this. But, I find defining success, particularly when it comes to leading people, very frustrating. It  rarely shows itself in the form I expect, or if I’m real honest, in the form I desire. It’s hardly ever in a form that can easily be measured by worldly standards.

In his book “Crush It”, Gary Vaynerchuk makes the statement, “Legacy always trumps currency” when carrying out a plan. This is a challenging assertion when it comes to gauging the effectiveness of what you are doing. There is immediate and tangible feedback on the spreadsheet if you are “crushing it” financially. But, “crushing it” when it comes to your legacy, well, that seldom shows up until you are gone from this life,or your current position in it.

I Timothy 6-7 says, “We brought nothing into this world, nor can we take (carry) anything out”. This thought of leaving a legacy and not just material things that will rust, decay and slowly fade away, challenges me. Not all, but most material things will soon be of no eternal value to anyone. If you are fortunate enough to leave a hospital, school or church in your wake, that is amazing. However, few of us will ever achieve success of this kind. I do believe though, that each of us,individually or corporately, holds onto something, whether in our hearts or minds, that we can leave behind as a legacy. We just have to find the courage to say it, do it, or write it down, and then share it.

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