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Keep Calm and Carry On!

As Calm As I Can Be

December 5, 2019
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Where do you need calm instead of chaos? These five tips from a busy executive might be just what you are looking for!

How to stay calm in the midst of chaos? Please note I am preaching to myself, not you!

I also am not professing to have all the answers because chaos can come in so many forms; health issues, including death, relational problems, financial worries, even an over abundance of blessings can set us off balance and feel chaotic. Often, many of these totally unrelated things can converge at the very same time.

First – Stop! Calm Doesn’t Happen in a Race.

I just need to find a place to stop, be still and gain perspective.

Second – Confidence or surrender?

I need to determine what kind of calm I need. Calm that comes from confidence or surrender. These are two very different postures of leadership. Both are equally effective when applied to different circumstances.  

Third- Where am I? 

Chaos can appear at different times in a process. It can be close to the beginning or toward the end of an experience. Knowing if I’m closer to the begining or the end is important! It can help me prevent panic as I contemplate how much energy I will need to finish what I started.

Fourth – How much fuel is in the tank?

Should I stop or should I go? Do I know if I have the capacity to see this through? Where will the energy come from and do I have the needed resources? These are hard questions because we never know for sure what we are capable of in the midst of chaos. I have this innate ability to either overestimate or underestimate my capability. When my confidence, or lack thereof, talks with my experience, what does it tell me?

Fifth – Wisdom to Stay Calm!

This is like a test. The older I get, the better I should be at making wise decisions and remaining calm in the process. My humanness keeps me from passing this test every time. But grace keeps me in the game.Thank goodness for grace! I am thankful I know where grace comes from. Without it I would be a chaotic mess. With it, I am… well, I’m being as calm as I can be!

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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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Rear View Mirror Design

Are You Using Your Rear View Mirror?

May 17, 2019
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Effective leadership requires a 360 degree view. Vision and seeing forward is a integral ingredient of effective leadership. Equally as important is seeing what you are leaving in your wake. I call this self awareness. Are we willing to look in the rear view mirror of life and see how we affect others by our words, attitudes and actions?

For some, self awareness is intuitive and for others, not so much.

Now don’t get me wrong, we all have our blind spots. We all occasionally find ourselves dealing with pride, and selfishness. Sometimes we don’t notice the unhealthy things we are doing that may affect ourselves and others. But this does not have to be the norm.

Just like a good car operator we need to stop and check our mirrors when navigating the relationships in our life. Relational wrecks can be as destructive as the ones in our automobile. They can often be avoided though, by slowing down and checking your mirrors once in awhile to see if you have run someone off the road, or worse yet run them over. The only way to know this is to glance back, while still keeping our eyes on the road.


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