March 2016

To Command Great Things...

Nietzsche quote, to do great things is difficult to command great things is more difficult

To do great things is difficult;  but to command great things is more difficult.  Nietzsche

My morning devotions consist of lectio divina readings, journaling on the texts, praying through them, listening, discerning, and imagining what it is to live into the fuller meaning of these reflections. Right now I am working through Galatians and also additional Scriptures in the workbook I am writing on the Leadership  Way of Christ. I also use a little book that is a collection of quotes on leadership. In that little book, I usually read 4-8 quotes and find a few that inspire reflection.

Burnout is Dangerous Business

burnout is dangerous

Burnout is "very" Dangerous Business!

Right now, about 45 people are going through out 90-5-U Leadership Learning Community. We are working through material on personal productivity. The first section of exercises and reflections is kind of a Life Coaching, "set the framework approach" that will make personal productivity possible. Stress, hardship, being out of balance, being out of shape (unhealthy) - these are some of the things that lead to burnout.

Check out this brief report on workplace stress and burnout.

How about you?
Are you healthy?
Are you dealing with stress?
Is your life reasonably balanced?

Or are you moving into a place of "burnout."

When Leadership Begins

Andy Crouch quote, leadership begins when, flourishing

Leadership does not begin with a title or a position. It begins the moment you are more concerned about others' flourishing than you are about your own.   Andy Crouch

Nothing new, yet one of the old truths that we must remember (be reminded of) over and over.

Leaders exist for the sake of others. Others do not exist for the sake of the leader.

The leader is a servant, a shepherd, a steward and even a sufferer for others.

Jesus was the ultimate example of existing for the flourhsing of others.

It is worth asking - who is flourishing right now because of your leadership? If you don't see much flourishing - maybe you aren't leading!

Jesus and Flourishing

Andy Crouch has a quite nice small book on leadership. While it is not up to par with his two previous (and truly amazing) books. It is "quite nice." There are gems of brilliance in it. The model he presents is solid. It needs more unpacking then he gives it (the book is short). Actually, it seems to me that Andy needed about another year or so to think through and develop these valuable ideas. The book feels like it is not "finished" for the author. Perhaps I feel that way, since it is an area of personal interest and specialty - the nature of power and authority, service and leadership, pride, humility, and more.

Crouch, like many others (and myself included) loves the theme of human flourishing. I really appreciated a few notes Crouch had about Jesus and what flourishing was and wasn't in the life of Christ (see page 29-30).

Calm Down

"In most situations, we don't need to slow down, we need to calm down." Bob Proctor

Hmm. There may be more times than Proctor admits, where slowing down is indeed important. But with that nuance, I think he is on to something. Many times, our need is to "calm down." Often, that calmness is needed when things are happening fast.

Change is taking place.
Conflict is erupting.
Tension is escalating.
Stakes are mounting.
Sides are forming.
Blood pressure is rising.
Retorts are rising. 
Irritation is growing.

And as this happens, the likelihood of wisdom, discernment, justice, prudence, and adding value is fading fast.

Respecting Others

A flippant, frivolous person may ridicule others, may controvert (fall out from them, argue against, and bicker with) them, scorn them; but he who has any respect for himself seems to have renounced the right of thinking meanly of others. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I miss some of the old values. That of charity, respect, dignity, honor... the things Goethe refers to in both the quotes that I share.

I have to admit, I cannot watch the presidential debates. Notice the language Goethe uses (thinking meanly of others). Attacking, vilifying, mocking, slandering, accusing, despising, cursing... rude interruptions, utter disregard for the basic rules of civil discourse... 

Leaders Listen

Whatever you may think of the behemoth Wal-Mart as it exists today, its founder - Sam Walton was quite the brilliant leader. Here is one of the really smart things Walton said and did.

Listen to everyone in your company and figure out ways to get them talking. The folks on the front line - the ones who actually talk to the customers - are the only ones who really know what's going on out there. You'd better find out what they know. Sam Walton

Right on!
Leaders Listen!
They listen all the time.
They pay attention and notice what others say and do.
They seek insights... they go looking for them... they don't wait for them to come calling.