Category : Leadership

All, Books, Leadership
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Book Review: Wild At Heart

Every man should read “Wild At Heart” annually.
It teaches men that our heart is not to be tamed, sanitized, or hidden but to be unleashed.
The author says, “Men, be a man. Discover what that is and then let the fullness of who you are be real and authentic.”

This book hit me so many times in so many ways that I was wondering if he actually wrote this book for me.

Not enough books are written about the heart and depths of a man. When someone actually speaks on this topic, the result is the realization of an unquenchable hunger to hear more.

 

This book has recently been updated with even more good content. Here’s the link >>> CLICK HERE

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All, LCL, Leadership
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Consider the Source

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” -Proverbs 4:23

I love the book of proverbs. There are so many great tools that add layers to your life. The above verse is a great one. It’s like a hammer, simply essential. One time early in my ministry, I was struggling with receiving criticism. At the time I was a worship leader and this lady came up to me after church and said I wasn’t very good at leading. She said I sang too low and a higher key would engage more people to sing along. That may not seem like a big deal to you, but at the time it crushed my very fragile ego. Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with constructive criticism. If done the right way, criticism can be one of the biggest growth catalysts of your life.

However, the challenge is to learn how to take the criticism you’re receiving and place it into categories, mainly as ‘constructive’ and as ‘trash’. Early in my life I didn’t know how to do this and, if I’m honest, it’s still sometimes a day by day process.

As I said earlier, I was receiving some criticism and didn’t really know what to do with it. An older, wiser leader gave me a phrase which has been huge in the process of categorizing negative comments. Here it is…

“CONSIDER THE SOURCE”

“Consider the source” has been the key to allowing certain types of comments into my heart and others that do not even make it past my ears.  Here are some questions to ask next time you are being confronted with criticism and how to know what to listen to and what to throw away. In essence, it’s how we can consider the source.

1. Does the person know your heart?

Hurting people hurt people. That needs to be learned early and often. Sometimes people will say negative things simply as a way to cope with their own issues. Their not mad at you really. Their upset with someone else. You simply were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Before you take their words to heart ask if they know you. Do they know who you really are?  Do they love you? What’s the motivation behind their comments? Are they for you or are they simply trying to use you as a punching bag?

2. Are they willing to back up their comment with help to make it better?

Talk it cheap. Is the person daring to give you negative feedback willing to work through the issue with you. There’s a big difference between, “You stink” and “You stink but I want to help you get better.” Both hurt but one of them implies ownership for the words spoken. There’s another blog post coming for the importance of not saying anything you are willing to back up but… that’s later.

3. Do they want the best for you? 

I’ve had people criticize me that knew me. However, their comments weren’t to make me better it was just to inform me of my issue. That’s not a true friend. Just because someone knows you does not mean their out for your best interest. Anyone with an ex-spouse can tell you that. What’s the motivation behind their comment? Are they trying to make you better or simply remind you of their superiority?

 

Criticism isn’t going anywhere and the truth is not all of it is bad. We cannot grow with out being stretched, pulled, and sometimes torn. The trick isn’t to hide from criticism but to figure out what is worthy of your attention and what needs to be thrown into the garbage where it belongs.

So, there’s my three ways of qualifying the words of others. Is there something different you use? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

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All, LCL, Leadership
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Stay Positive: I’m Confident (Wrap Up)

This past Sunday, we finished our latest series entitled “Stay Positive”. In this series we talked about the importance of staying positive in a negative world. Over the first four weeks we talked about Optimism, Gratitude, Encouragement, and a spiritual look at Enthusiasm.

For the last part of this series, we talked about the one closest to my heart, the desire to stay confident.  If we’re honest, we all have things attempt to rob our confidence. For some it’s the fear of the future. They’ve finished college, now what? For others, it’s the expectations of others. How do they measure up in the eyes of others? Still, others have a problem with their body image. If they could lose those last few pounds, gain some muscle (but not too much) be generally look good naked, they would finally be happy. (yeah right) These confidence killers plague all of us.

That’s why we no longer want to live on the unpredictability of self-confidence. We want to live with God-confidence. The three statements to live by are:

God is for me.

God wants to help me.

God is working on me.

These three truths can help you make it in the most stressful, confidence-sapping moments of your life. We do not rest in our own abilities but in the ability that God has in us.

We do not live FOR the approval of God but FROM the approval of God.  Below is the entire message. Let’s grow in our God-confidence together.

 

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All, Books, LCL, Leadership
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Book Review: Unashamed by Lecrae

By far, Lecrae has shattered the box of Christian music forever. His book has challenged expectations again. Who would have thought a christian rapper would ever write a book or that it would be any good? But it was so good. Lecrae’s book, Unashamed, is an honest and sincere look at the author’s life. We travel with him through his massive highs, equally massive lows, and everything in between. What we find is an ordinary man with an extra-ordinary calling on his life and his pursuit of stretching himself to become everything God has created him to be.

Here are a few of my takeaways>>>

>> One aspect that really spoke to me was Lacrae’s honestly about the struggles all Christians face when it comes to ‘earning our faith’. He talked about how we struggle to understand God’s love for us because we struggle to see ourselves the way he does. Lacrae eventually realized God loves Him before he ever makes those right decisions. He’s operated FROM the acceptance of God not FOR the acceptance of God.

>> He talks a lot in the second half of he book about having a Christian World View. I thought I knew what that was but apparently not. His ideas brought fresh insight to an old conversation about who we as believers should be on the world stage. He challenged me to view myself in the same way.

>> Finding his own unique voice in the music industry. Whether you are a music, public speaker, business owner, or a single guy looking for a date; everyone is looking for something to make them stand out. It’s amazing to realize that many of us spend most of our lives trying to ‘fit in’ when we should really be looking to stand out as our own unique self. That’s probably my number one takeaway. The question of “Who am I?” “What makes me unique?” “What is my unique voice in this world?”

I have a personal ranking system with all books I read ranging from 1 (never admit I read this) to 10 (I need to read this again, blog about it, tell the world). This book definitely made it to a 10. It’s filled with great stories, great questions,  and great encouragement. This is the kind of book that I’ll probably end up buying a few extra copies so they can be given away to guests.

You should definitely give it a try.

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All, LCL, Leadership
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T.D. Jakes Speaking on Leadership

This is a amazing video where T.D. Jakes speaks on leadership.
It’s a must watch

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All, LCL, Leadership
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10 leadership tips from Bishop T.D. Jakes

In his newly published book, Instinct, Jakes dedicates a chapter to leading. Here are 10 quotes from the book that highlight his philosophy:

1. “Unfortunately, much of what I see today isn’t about fulfilling one’s true potential as much as it is about appearing to fulfill what other people expect.”

2. “We instinctively know how to lead if we allow ourselves. …When instincts are ignored, leaders become followers, and followers become unemployed.”

3. “Anything that we do for years that doesn’t match the inner imprint of our gifting will eventually become monotonous and routine, ritualistic and frustrating.”

4. “The same proclivities that made me an effective pastor didn’t necessarily produce the skill set required for greater leadership of my business team and personal staff. …I had to learn to distinguish ministry from management and potlucks from portfolios.”

5. “Leadership emerges not only when an individual can capably do what needs doing; the real test is passed when a person can implement what needs to be done through others.”

6. “When you operate independently in the midst of your team, it stunts their growth as well as your own. You don’t want to lead a task, run a business, direct a philanthropy, or guide a church if your stakeholders assume you don’t need their help. If you want to lead by your instincts, then you must create a vision large enough that you cannot achieve it alone. …Start pushing something that you can’t carry and watch how people will come to your aid. But pick up a box you can manage, and people will simply watch you carry the load.”

7. “Don’t allow the criticisms of others or the distractions of the urgent to deter you from your destiny.”

8. “I prefer leaders who have been in the trenches. I tend to prefer people who know what it means to rise through the ranks and see the organization from a variety of angles and positions. Because I am admittedly a pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps person who worked his way up, always crawling before walking, I value people who have enjoyed wide and diverse experiences, people who have failed and learned something from what went wrong, people who shrugged it off and kept going.”

9. “Often our drives and tenacity come from the places that stink in our lives. The sweet smell of success is often preceded by the sour stench of past mistakes.”

10. “Many people seem to have trouble identifying their highest passion and gifting. I often tell them, ‘Your purpose is in your passions—not just what you love but what you passionately hate.’ …If you can’t stand to see bad hairdos, maybe you should consider becoming a stylist.”

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A Letter to RLC, All, LCL, Leadership
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FIVE Journal Starters You Should Try

Everyone has an opinion, just ask them. The problem is not if we have an opinion but what do we do with it. Many people need a place to express themselves so bad they end up on social media saying things that get them and others in trouble.

That’s one of the many things I love about journaling. I have a place to rant, celebrate, and just verbally explode all over a page. The best part is, no one knows about it.

Need a moment to express yourself? Grab your journal and begin writing.

Here are a few statements you can add to get started:

1.”One thing I’m tired of seeing in the world is ___________________.”

2.”If I gave people a secret glimpse into my ___________________, what they’d find inside is ___________________.”

3.”I think people might be inspired by my story about ___________________.”

4.”I have SO many great tips on how to___________________.”

5.”For years, I’ve been saying, “I ought to write a book about ___________________.”

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All, LCL, Leadership
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Success versus Legacy

 

Just something to think about…

-Are you striving for promotion or to become a person that’s promotable?
-Are you looking for a quick pay raise or to be the type of person your company cannot afford to lose and rewards you for it?

Success- It’s about me.
Legacy- It’s about those who follow me.

Success- Temporary
Legacy- Eternal

Success- Comes and Goes
Legacy- Is consistent

Success- Cannot be passed down
Legacy- Is always passed down

Success- Is out of your control
Legacy- Is up to you only

Success- You don’t have to have good values to be successful.
Legacy- Your values determine your legacy.

One day, we will all die and our kids will run the world. What they will be is what we’ve taught them? Are you leaving a legacy worth following?

 

 

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All, LCL, Leadership
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Leadership Thoughts of the Week

MINDSET>>>

-I’m unhappy because it/they is/are not good enough

-I cannot fulfill my dream/job because of my/their limitations

OR

-I will make lemonade out of lemons

-I will celebrate where it/they is/are while challenging to move forward

I will see what could be instead of lamenting what is.

 

Some things are TAUGHT but vision, culture, and a Life-Giving mentality are CAUGHT.

 

Borrowed values have no power when the pressures on.

 

You are the chief culture creator.

        -What you do will be repeated.

       -What type of culture are you creating?

 

What type of leader are you>>>
     -Manages by vision and encouragement 

     -Manages by punishment

     -Manages by intimidation

 

At any given time almost ¾ (69%) of the people in any room are wired to resist change. (even if it’s for the best)

 

Leadership is the art of letting people down at a rate they can stand. (The reason is because you are trying to lead them where you want them to go not always where they are naturally inclined to go) -John Maxwell

 

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All, LCL, Leadership
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Leadership Thoughts of the Week

What is your personal growth plan?

 

What small changes (5%) to each area of your life to help you grow and become healthier in every way?
-Relationships
-Walk with God
-Productivity
-Health
-Leadership

 

If you are the smartest person in the room it’s time to change rooms. (Find someone who does what you do better and learn their process.)

 

When you die your life will be summed up into one sentence. Choose now what that sentence will be.

 

How to make stress your friend.

https://t.co/vxhjghyV6S

– What if the stress affects (heart pounding, etc) was actually your body’s way of preparing yourself to tackle something big.

 

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

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All, LCL, Leadership
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Leadership Thoughts of the Week

“I would not fear an army of lions if they were led by a sheep. I would fear an army of sheep if they were led by a lion.” – Alexander the Great

 

I would rather live with scars than regrets.

 

“Don’t pray for promotion. Pray to become promotable.” – Peter Haas

 

Don’t despise the journey. That’s where God creates the character that will sustain   you down the road.

 

“The most important thing you can have is a vision or goal of want to become. You can’t just settle for being ‘better’. Must have a clearly defined goal. Then you know when you are making progress. You know when you are slipping. You stay motivated.” -Arnold Schwarzenegger

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All, Books, LCL, Leadership
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Leadership Thoughts of The Week

I’ve always heard it said that,

“leaders are readers and readers are leaders.”

That statement has a lot of truth to it. However, I’ve learned something very ‘common sense’ lately. It doesn’t matter how much we read if it’s not applied. Mind blowing, right? Well for me, it is. I have a goal over the past few years of reading 50 books a year. While that’s a great goal, if the lessons hidden within each book isn’t applied, the time has been wasted. And, let’s be honest. Most books, no matter how great, can usually be summed up into a handful of bit-sized principles. (some less)

Therefore, I now keep a open app on my iphone and when something hits me, I type it in. Then over the following week, when there’s a free moment, I pull those thoughts out and pour over them. Sometimes they inspire a whole new line of thinking never before imagined. Sometimes they are great reminders of what I’ve already learned. Either way, it’s been helpful.

Therefore, as an act of accountability, I’m going to begin listing some of leadership thoughts that spoke to me over the past week  here. Hope they’re helpful:

A winning behavior will not thrive in a culture that does not support it.

-Your ToDon’t list is just as important as your ToDo list.

-Think steps not programs.

-If your habits don’t reflect your dreams and goals, you can either change your habits or change your dreams and goals.

-Do whatever you can to reinforce someone’s confidence by helping him to achieve small victories. So much of leadership comes down to knowing the people you are leading and providing them with what they need to succeed. It is also about making them confident to take risks and make changes.

-When things aren’t going right, the most important thing you can do is slow down, go deep, and figure out why.

-Leadership is more about trust you have earned than the authority you have been granted.

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