November 2014

Five Thoughts on Being Grateful on This Thanksgiving Day

If you have a spare moment and are on your computer and reading your email and checking your facebook, you may have stumbled across this post.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.



Enjoy the two thoughts from the brilliant and delightful G.K. Chesterton on gratitude and one on saying grace




Six Top Mistakes in Difficult Conversations

I am just back from a trip to Chile and Argentina where I had the privilege of working with missional leaders and helping train their teams. I am so very blessed with the heart and dedication of these friends and partners in God's Beautiful Kingdom.

The problem has been a very busy last six weeks (that included a trip to Holland and to France for similar ministry and then a week of being sick with bronchitis) that has made it quite challenging to find time for blogging.

My rhythm is definitely off. But I will put up a few links over the next several days until I am able to get back into a mode of blogging.

Here is a link to The Top Six Mistakes Managers Make When Having Difficult Conversations.

10 Presentation and Communication Tips

This is an updated post with the Link Live and Working. Sorry about that for those of you who tried to access it.

Communicating is harder than ever in our culture.

Communicating the story and Gospel of Christ (that is offensive by the way, when we preach it biblically) needs the greatest resources we can muster as communicators.

It does not matter how powerful and true your ideas are if you are unable to communicate them with clarity, conviction and in a way that mobilizes the listener.

So I am always grateful for the communication insights from Garr Reynold's Presentation Zen. His latest post is:

Make a Daily "Success List"

To Motivate and Encourage Yourself
Here was a great idea I just read that will help personal productivity.

Use a daily list of what you have accomplished, your successes, your results and accomplishments for a few things.

First - some accountability to get results.

Second - to be encouraged by progress made.

Third - to celebrate the things you are doing that are important to you and your mission.

Decision Making

And How to Improve Yours

Here is a nice article with THREE main ideas in it on improving your decision making ability.

ONE: Recognzie your distortion biases.

TWO:  Accept your mistakes (don't rationalize, blameshift, etc.)

THREE:  Learn From Experience.

Check it out.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International


A Swift Sunrise

One of My FAVORITE Scenes in the Lord of the Rings

Here is the link to the clip in the movie. It is during the battle of Gondor. The forces of Mordor are overwhelming the city. Gandalf and Pippen have been in battle, have a brief respite and Pippen makes a comment about not thinking the adventure would end this way.

After you have watched the scene, here is my rendition of images that capture this moving conversation.

End this way.
Return of the King, Gandalf, swift sunrise 01

May Your Day Have Some Eucatastrophe In It

I am a huge fan of Tolkien and Lewis. I think there is great value in leaders reading such authors and allowing their insights to shape our inner life out of which we lead. Tolkien and Lewis both speak from a profound Christian worldview. Here are three images/quotes from Tolkien on which I recently reflected and taught.

The theme of EUCATASTROPHE is a profound one. It is the joyful ending for which we are hardwired as human beings. We love happy endings. We long for them. We miss them. The Gospel story begins in a world of great joy and Original Happiness - the Garden of Eden. The Gospel story ends in a world of great joy and Eternal Happiness - the New Creation. Smack in the middle is another eucatastrophe - incarnation and resurrection. These realities MUST define our inner world out of which we lead. This is the true source of all emotional intelligence - love, joy, peace, hope, gratitude, faith, courage and more.

Leaders Shaping the Future

WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING . . . Into the Future?

John Gardner quote, the future is shaped, emotionally intelligent leaders, vital optimism

The future is shaped my men and women
with a steady, even zestful confidence
that on balance their efforts will not have been in vain.
John Gardner

I used this thought from John Gardner in a recent lesson on the power of hope and vital optimism.  Leaders are those who have the privilege and responsibility of shaping the future, to a greater degree than others.

7 Thoughts on Avoiding Burnout

A Constant Threat for Busy Leaders

I have the privilege of working with some high production leaders. They work long, they work hard and they work smart. They get the job done and they get results. In the end, bearing much fruit that lasts is the mission and the litmus test of great leadership. While I may not be as productive and fruitful as some of the people I admire, I am certainly in their group when it comes to working long and hard and with passion.

Such leaders always face the serious threat of BURNOUT.
The work is never finished.
There is always more to do.
There is always improvement that is needed.
There are always new opportunities.

That is the way of life and leaders are those who accept the challenges and responsibilities that go with it.