May 2016

Four Things to Know About Happiness (From the Christian Worldview)

happiness depends on character which depends on God

The Christian faith, and its ancient interpreters are in agreement about many things.

One, that happiness is what we are meant for. We had original happiness (bliss) in the garden. We will have it one day in the future, either in the New Heavens and New Earth where there are no more tears.

Two, that happiness is not based on what you have around you, but what you have inside you. In other words, it is the interior world of virtue, character and morality that is necessary for true happiness. 

Both-And and First Rate Intelligence

the test of a first rate intelligence is to hold two opposing ideas in mind, F. Scott Fitzgerald

The test of a first rate intelligence is to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. One should . . . be able to see that things are hopeless yet be determined to make them otherwise. F. Scott Fitzgerald

I loved this quote the first time I read it. And the first time I read it was in Jim Collins book, Built to Last, in the chapter on Both/And. The idea of both-and was powerful and it frames the way I approach life, leadership, and the Christian faith.

Jim Collins used it to talk about how businesses can pursue both profits and make quality products, or be environmentally or socially conscious. He used this way of thinking in contrast to the either-or way of thinking. We can make money OR we can make good products. 

Leaders Make the Future

Eight Ideas for Future Leadership

I just finished the fascinating book, Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain Future. Brilliant, bold, wise, stimulating, and a worthwhile map for the skills needed for an uncertain future. Early in the book, Johansen provides eight themes or insights that will be true for future leaders. These are NOT the ten skills, but rather, core themes that will be manifest in those who lead for the future. Here they are.

Get there early. Be among the first to show up. Don't be premature, but hesitation and later adoption is not going to serve leaders for the future. Faith, foresight, risk-taking, curiosity, and the mindset of explorers and adventurers is needed.

Why Smart Leaders Do Dumb Things

dark side of leadershipAnd Why Smart Organizations Do Dumb Things as Well

Many (many) years ago, I was introduced to an idea that continues to be a major theme for me. It was the theme of "dark-side" behaviors, or the dark side of leadership. (Click here for a short review of the book, Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership.) There were two main ideas in this dark side theme.

Your Organization is Perfectly Designed to Get the Results You are Getting

For Good or for Bad!

If you keep on doing what you've always done, you will keep on getting what you've always got.

That is a folksy piece of wisdom... so true. Here is a follow up thought from a sage.

insanity, Eistein


















Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

I know that, you know that... but here is one more thought that helped me understand it in a different way.

Pathways and Permission

Here is a great quote from a friend of mine, who is quite a leader.

The most powerful kind of leadership is to offer people pathways and permissions to do things they want to do but feel unable to do for themselves.  That sort of leadership evokes energies within people that far exceed the powers of coercion. Parker Palmer

For me, this is the kind of leadership mindset that will be most powerful and fruitful in the emerging world. Collaborative, facilitative, developmental, adding value to others, a sort of John the Baptist role of preparing the way for others to advance...

I have been blessed by having others in this role for me. I have been committed to doing this for others as well.

Integrity Matters (Maybe Most of All)

A friend sent me this quote from Warren Buffett the other say. I thought I would pass it on to you.

"If you're looking for a manager, find somebody that's intelligent, energetic and has integrity...if they don't have the last, be sure they don't have the first two. If you have somebody who lacks integrity, you want them to be dumb and lazy."

Integrity matters.
Character counts.
Being morally responsible, emotionally intelligent, relationally healthy - this is important.
Love, humility, honesty, gratitude, patience, generosity, forgiving, courageous - these things matter vitally.

Back to Blogging

This has been one of the busiest seasons of life... a very good season... but so full that I had to cut back on a number of things that were not Mission Critical Work. It turned out that blogging was one of them.

Last week completed our 90-5-U Leadership Learning Community. There were three groups that met every Monday, to walk through the upgraded leadership development process I had designed. My good friend and LCI colleague John Hilliard and I led those learning communities. I spent a lot of my time writing the curriculum and workbooks we used week after week. Even so, I could barely keep up with the pace of learning we had. So blogging went to the back burner.

But what a great time, being with about 45 leaders, week after week. Business leaders, leaders in the church, ministry partners of all kinds... it was a privilege to be in conversation with these people and see the growth and applications they experienced in this journey.