Showing posts from June, 2017

Our Lives Are Passing Us By As We Stare At Our Screens

We live in a busy world, where we are hammered with content, advertisements and messages all day. Social media, TV, podcasts, etc. can have good information and purpose, but too often we use them as a filler that keeps us from our purpose. Don't get me started on the political and social debates that rage online, there is more division in this country than I can certainly remember in my lifetime. We need to learn to shut off the distractions more and spend time bringing good into the world. Learn to sit down and talk to people face-to-face. Learn to have healthy discussions and find common ground with others that aren't like us. As we come into a holiday weekend, spend less time in front of a screen than you typically do, especially if you are with other people.

What We Care About - There Our Focus Shall Be

Recently I have had interesting conversations with two individuals that are in very different career fields. Both conversations centered on their work place and how they feel employees continue to be treated worse. In the first conversation the person has worked for 19 years with the same organization only to continue to see benefits cut and pay increases decrease every year. The owners seem to care about the customers and demanding that their employees serve their customers, yet view their employees as just a cog in the machine. In the second conversation the employee was let go because the company sold off the part of the organization they were with and it was determined they wouldn’t be kept on. They were only with their organization for 2 years, but a colleague was there for 28 years who was also let go. As I get older my eyes are opened up to the realities of the world we live in. We all know that in business there are times that we have to let people go. Companies grow, shrink

Leadership In Nature - The Wolf Pack

There was a viral story that has been making its way around the Internet the last couple of years talking about leadership and wolf pack behavior. Here it is if you haven't seen it: A wolf pack: the first 3 are the old or sick, they give the pace to the entire pack. If it was the other way round, they would be left behind, losing contact with the pack. In case of an ambush they would be sacrificed. Then come 5 strong ones, the front line. In the center are the rest of the pack members, then the 5 strongest following. Last is alone, the alpha. He controls everything from the rear. In that position he can see everything, decide the direction. He sees all of the pack. The pack moves according to the elders pace and help each other, watch each other. I loved the story and thought it was a great analogy to tie to any team. Of course, like many things on the Internet, stories can be embellished. Just a little research from experts in wolf back behavior and the story unravels . If y

Focus On The Things You Can Control

I am watching as my children grow up and finding that one of the hardest things I've had to teach them is how to worry about the things that you can control. They are like most of us in that things others do or say can drive them nuts, including their parents and their sisters. It is a good opportunity to teach them about grace, forgiving someone even though it feels like they don't deserve it, but also to remind them of what they can and can't control. The things that we can control are the things we should be focusing on because the rest will just waste our time and energy, ultimately leaving us feeling more frustrated and angry. It is a good reminder for myself, because if I'm being honest, there are times that I do the same thing. We probably all do because we are only human. This graphic from Jon Gordon is a good reminder of where our focus should be. So much of our lives we can't control, but the parts that we do can make a huge impact. The choices we m

The Power Of Transformation Based Leadership

A video is making the rounds on the Internet that was awesome. Take two minutes and watch what Sam Houston State's baseball coach Matt Deggs had to say about how he was impacted after being fired from his last job. Matt Deggs Post Game Interview I loved hearing the words he said about being unselfish and serving each other. Sacrificing for your teammate. When was the last time you could honestly say you sacrificed something for someone else? There is no greater honor than the sacrifice for a brother. - Matt Deggs The best part was when he talked about moving from transaction based leadership (data, get the job done, wins and loses) to transformation based leadership. When you care more about the people that you are leading than the numbers I truly believe the people will be able to reach a higher level of success and the numbers will take care of themselves. I hope that I am able to have the impact that he is having in people's lives. You can hear what one of his playe

If You Don't Feel The Weight Of Being A Manager You Are Doing It Wrong

A friend recently posted the following quote: A bad manager can take a good staff and destroy it, causing the best employees to flee and the remainder to lose all motivation.  As a manager, words like this scare me. One of my fears is letting down the team that I am supposed to be serving and leading. We have probably all been in a job where the boss is destroying the team; how do I know that I'm not one of those bad managers? How do I know if I'm doing the right things and pushing people to excel and not causing them to be defeated? If you are in a situation where you are responsible for employees do you think of these things too? I will often ask my employees at least once a year, where they see themselves going in their career, what their goals are. Inevitably there are people that say they want to get into management one day. When I ask why the responses vary but for the most part fall somewhere in the area of wanting to be the person in charge, making the decisions. M

Trying To Open The Door The Devil Keeps Slamming Shut

Open doors have been on my mind a lot this year. It started at church when our theme for 2017 is "Year of Open Doors". One of the things I put down for a declaration for 2017 was that God would open doors for me in my work. I have a good job but I still felt like it was not where I was meant to be. I had a picture in my head of where I thought things should go, what the right path was for me. But it felt like every time I thought there was an open door that I should head towards, the door was closed to me. When we find a door closed that we want to go through we often react in a way we shouldn't. We get mad, we ask why the world is against us. It seems like it is the right thing but the devil is trying to stop us. We try to attack the door, kick it in, storm it like a SWAT team. This is the door I'm meant to go through, it has to open! Maybe we need to stop and ask if we really need to be persistent in achieving our goal or do we need to realize that the door is bei

The Origin Of Pyrentos - The Fire Within

A few years ago I went through an exercise to start a company, nothing too exciting, just needed an entity that if I did any independent work I would have an actual organization to send an invoice from. It was also a good learning experience, it is actually a fairly simple and inexpensive process to open a sole proprietorship. The hardest part was picking a name for my company. I've had the opportunity to be involved in naming new products before so I was aware how hard it was going to be. The challenge comes in making sure the name you select isn't taken already. You brainstorm names that try to resonate with your customers and what you want you business to stand for, then you start looking them up only to find that someone else beat you to it. Thanks to some experience looking at Greek in some of my Bible studies I got the idea that maybe I could find some Greek words that fit the essence of what I wanted a business of mine to stand for. I looked at Greek words that I liked

Learning From Our Losses

Challenges get thrown at us in life that we don't always understand. But behind every challenge that we face there is a lesson to be learned. When we feel like we are losing at everything, rather than asking why these things keep happening, ask, "What am I supposed to be learning from this situation?" It is easy to see when we look back how certain hardships can be life forming, turning us into the person we were meant to be. When you are in the midst of a hardship that lesson can be harder to see, but I promise you it is there. God can take any bad situation and turn it into something glorious. Winning feels better but the fact is we learn more from our losses. You often see it in sports, the team that goes on the championship run most likely had a bad loss, a losing streak or a terrible year the previous season, but they learn from it and they build themselves into something even better. Without the loss they would never have figured out how to win.