You Can't Serve And Be Served

It's funny how some people get into leadership positions, management or coaching and they miss the fact that it is no longer about you, it is about the people you lead. I strongly believe that an employee should hope to perform well and do everything they can to make their boss look better. That is about having a persons back though and supporting your team above all else. But too many leaders take advantage of this, or worse, force the people they lead to provide a certain amount of acclaim. They expect the people they manage to do things for them, that their employees should feel privileged to work for them. They not only drop hints that national bosses day or their birthday is coming up they are just shy of demanding that they celebrate it and bring them gifts. You can't begin to serve the people you lead well if you are focused on how others serve you. Leadership isn't about getting all of the attention, it is about helping others reach a higher level of performance th…

What Is Your Attitude About The Problems You Face?

Why is problem such a bad word? Your boss comes to you and says there is a problem and we get worried, fast. Nobody wants a problem, but rather than look at it with dread, look at it as an opportunity to make something better. I recently had an awful day at work. One of those where a problem spiraled into this complex web of scenarios and variables that made your head hurt because you couldn't tell which path you had wandered down. It was a day when I got nothing done that I was planning. A day where I was just talking to different people one after another to identify the current state. I left at the end of the day exhausted and not feeling like I did much of anything.

But I look at it as a great opportunity to figure out how things actually work. The more questions that were asked and the more information we gathered we started to uncover a number of opportunities to improve our business. There were things that were probably happening for years and would have continued on had the …

Building From A Strong Foundation

My current side project is building a shed. It is a simple 10x12 structure that will help clear out some clutter from the basement and garage. I've never built one before so I'm excited to get started, but of course, I have to start with the foundation. Any good construction project begins with a good foundation. It is necessary but tedious and time consuming. There is a desire to get it close enough so I can start on the fun part of building the structure, but the foundation isn't the part of the project to cut corners on. Get the foundation right and the rest of the construction is that much easier, not to mention that it will last longer without any sort of damage. Block by block I level, tamp, place the block, measure, remove the block, adjust, and repeat and repeat and repeat.

A foundation is a good metaphor for other areas of our life. If you are in sports, the foundation comes from the weight room and conditioning to prepare your body to perform at a higher level. F…

Seeing The World Through Rose Colored Glasses

People truly are amazing, there is never any shortage of surprises they can throw at you just when you think you have them all figured out. Unfortunately, we all have our opinions and expectations of people that we rarely allow them to surpass. I call this the rose colored glasses syndrome. When you wear a pair of glasses that are red or rose colored, everything has a rose colored hue to it. No matter what color things actually are, they become more red. When we start formulating opinions about co-workers or our kids, we put on our rose colored glasses. If we think a person is argumentative, everything they say starts to sound like they are trying to pick a fight.

The fact of the matter is people can change. Doesn't always happen, but if there is a recognition and desire to be different, a person can change. A person can study, practice, work hard and transform from who they were to what they are. Do we allow them that right by being open to change ourselves? Are we able to change…

The New Season Is Upon Us - Observations From A Dance Dad

A new dance season is fast approaching for my girls, they had auditions last week and they are anxiously awaiting the announcement of the new teams. It is always a nervous time as they wonder if they are good enough to make the team they want or if they will be on the same team as their friends. A while back I posted about what I hope my girls are learning from dance, but now I'm thinking about what I hope they remember as they learn about their teams and that they keep with them through the ups and downs in the upcoming season. Beyond dance, I believe that all great teams have these same qualities.

You are on the team that you are on for a reason - learn from it. God has something to teach you in every situation. If you made the team you wanted, learn how to be humble and gracious to those that didn't achieve what you did and work every day to justify why you are there. If you didn't make the team you wanted, stay positive and determined to do the best job you can for your…

Honestly, I Can Tell You The Difference Between Average, Good and Great

If you are able to wade through the mudslinging and unruly behavior on Twitter and find the good content you can find a jem like this recent tweet from @coachswhite:
AVERAGE players want to be 'Left Alone'...
GOOD players want to be 'Coached'...
GREAT players want to be 'Told the Truth'...I love the simplicity of this and how it can go beyond sports. You can substitute the any word you want for "players" - employees, managers, coaches, teachers, parents, kids, students.

Whatever role you play, do you want to be told the truth or do you want to be left alone? Do you want to be average or do you want to be great. Some people are happy being left alone and don't care if they are considered average. But you can't be left alone if you want to be great.

Often we say we want the truth, but when we hear it, we dismiss it. Or we defend ourselves and explain why everyone is wrong. Or we respond that people just don't understand us to really know the…

The Ultimate Team Sport

It is an exciting time of year to me, football season is just around the corner. Training camps are getting started in the NFL and college football is going through their media days. The hope of every fan is at its peak as they anticipate what the coming season could mean.

I never played the sport much growing up, but I become a bigger fan every year. I think what I find most interesting is how much of a team sport it is. In basketball the star can go 1-on-1 and take over a game. Baseball is a series of individual match-ups between a hitter and pitcher strung together. There is a team element to all sports, but not like there is in football. Each member of the team on the field needs to be doing their job, all 11 have to be on the same page for the right things to occur. You don't win championships in football unless you are a highly effective team. Having superstars will only get you so far if you can't work together as a team.

It is true in business too. The companies that a…