Thoughts On Leadership - If You Don't Think You Are A Leader Read Anyway

I just finished reading Todd Gongwer's great book, Lead...for God's Sake!: A Parable for Finding the Heart of Leadership. It really got me thinking about leadership and how there is such a lack of good leaders. Why is that? Too often I believe people think of leadership as managing, controlling or being in charge. Leadership is none of those things as many of us have experienced far too often in life.

There are two keys to leadership that differentiate a person we view as a leader.

First, they focus more on how they can help others than how they can help themselves. Looking at how they can encourage, support and listen to those they come in contact with.

Second, they know that they have to start with leading themselves first. They worry about what they say, how they act, the effort they put in and the attitude they display. There has never been a successful do as I say not as I do leader. If you want to make an impact it is important to recognize the example you are setting fo…

Now What?

Now what?
Two words I ask myself a lot and challenge others with. It is so easy to complain, whine really about how hard things are. Things are hard. Life is hard. All of us face conflicts and struggle with things, but most of the time the things we complain about aren't that big of a deal. Having to get a project done and seemingly not enough time to do it is is hard, but not as hard as not being able to find work to pay rent. 
All of those challenges that you complain about, my question to you is, "Now what?" You know what the problem is, you can complain about it to anyone who will give you the time of day. The question is what are you going to do about it now? What actions are you going to take? What are you going to read or learn to improve your skills? How can you get more training? Who can you ask for advice or feedback on how to resolve your issue? When can you spend some extra time thinking about and solving a problem rather than binge watching your favorite sho…

What Does It Mean To Be A Family?

After watching Clemson win the National Championship I am reminded how much I love Dabo Swinney. Listening to the man speak and reading his quotes you can tell how much he cares for his players and just how unified they are as a team. There is something special and unique about the culture they have, something that very few teams have.

It got me thinking about how some teams are families and what the word family means. I see Clemson football as a family. Often you see a correlation between the degree with which you are family and the level of success you achieve. All teams are not families though. It can be true for more than just sports teams too. You can have companies or organizations that have a culture of a family. You can also have blood relatives but not have a family but have close friends that you think of as a brother or a sister. 

Relatives, co-workers and teammates are people you have a relationship with. But to find success, it is about moving beyond having a relationship …

The One Choice Nobody Can Take From You

I need to reread Viktor Frankl's Man's Search For Meaning as I've been reflecting on some of his quotes around choice and attitude lately. If you aren't familiar with Viktor Frankl he survived years in a Nazi labor camps, including Auschwitz, where his parents, brother and pregnant wife died. Out of a situation that most of us can't even truly grasp, he came out of it to give us words like this.

You think about the things we complain about in our lives, and the things we feel have no control over, they are most often inconsequential. Yet we let these things control our thoughts and feelings.

I realize that some of my core values in my life are based around lessons Viktor Frankl has given.

I can't control what life throws at me, but I can control my attitude and how I react to the situations I'm in.It does no good to worry about things that I can't control.Most things we worry about in life aren't really that big of a deal. I get that things in your l…

Finding Your Purpose

As we get rolling on 2019 the goal setting is well under way, the resolutions are still in tact and the changes that you've promised to yourself many times are renewed telling yourself this time you're really going to do it. For some though, you might be feeling stuck, like you aren't really sure what your goals are for the year. The idea of goal setting and resolutions got me thinking about purpose. Often times we fail because we forget why the goal is important. Two quotes entered my mind around finding our purpose as we start 2019.
We don't get burned out because of what we do. We get burned out because we forget why we do it. Purpose keeps you fresh! - Jon Gordon
We are each created by God with a unique purpose to fulfill in this world. If it feels like you are just going through the motions and it is an unsettling feeling, that is because that is not who you were created to be. We aren't all going to be famous, manage companies, write a best seller or run for …

My One Word For 2019

Rather than setting goals or making New Year's resolutions I pick One Word for the year. Jon Gordon has an article with links to videos and other resources explaining the concept, you can find it here. This will be the fourth time for me, here were my past words:2016 - Move2017 - Fire2018 - Discipline My word for 2019, with a nod to Seth Godin, is Ruckus. It was an easy pick for me, in many ways it has haunted me for most of 2018. I've thought about it a lot and it really fits where I feel like I'm at with my work and life. 
The most important thing about picking a word is what it means for you. On the surface ruckus might be an odd word because when you look it up the definition it is a disturbance or commotion. When you hear Seth Godin talk though he encourages everyone to create a ruckus. Stop doing things the way they have always been done. Start disrupting things in a positive way.
I like this graphic from Leyla Acaroglu's "Disruptive Design" e-book to h…

What To Do In The Down Time

This is my favorite week of work for the year, between Christmas and New Years. I'm not a huge fan of the holidays with all of the traveling and family dynamics, things can get pretty crazy. But at work it is just the opposite, so many people take the week off that I'm free to set my own agenda. Very few meetings are scheduled, if any. Fewer people around mean fewer problems to find and solve. It means four days of getting caught up because not as much new stuff coming in. It means getting to organize and clean up task lists, hopefully crossing a few nagging ones off.

It also is a time where I do more reflecting on strategy. What are the things I'm going to focus on in the new year? What areas do I need to work with in my team this year? What didn't we accomplish that we still need to? What needs to happen to set things up for the greatest chance of success?

Taking time off to refresh and recharge is a good thing, but I want to take time off when I am actually in need o…