Are you a champion?

I hear bad advice a lot.  The most common I people tell each other is "You should just do 'insert action'." You don't ask your infant to walk when they can't even crawl.   Why do we ask adults to do things that they haven't demonstrated an ability to do?  Just because you know how to walk doesn't mean the person you're trying help does.  Telling them to walk produces one thing.  Frustration.  You're frustrated with them for not listening.  They're frustrated with themselves for being stuck or … [Read more...]

How much are you like a lab rat?

I had a theory 6-7 years ago. I still do. The theory is that we compulsively text message, instant message and Facebook (FB wasn't around at the time for adults)because they tap into our inner lab rat. These communication tools exploit our inner pleasure/reward system. With each ding, buzz or Like, we get a little burst of dopamine. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter released in response to things like cocaine, crack, sex, deep laughter, etc. Each response we received provides validation. … [Read more...]

Who do you relate to?

The word relationship is built on the root:  relate.  So a relationship is based up how we relate to others. When you build relationships do you relate to the other person or do you relate to yourself while talking to another person? You can't meet someone where they are when you don't relate to them for who they are.   How do expect to sell them, support them, lead them or love them when you aren't even talking to them? Stop talking to yourself.   Build a relationship instead.  It will … [Read more...]

Live for what’s at stake

I love steak.  I wouldn't know I loved it if I hadn't ever smelled or tasted a steak.  I wouldn't love steak because I wouldn't know steak. Jen was telling me about a girl she's friendly with.  The friend comes off as aloof and distant.  Jen's learning that the girl thinks that people won't want to talk to her if she talks.  So she doesn't talk.  People think she's aloof and distant.   They don't talk to her.  She gets what she expects.  She doesn't get what she wants or needs. I'm that … [Read more...]

How to build more powerful relationships.

Relationships.  I read a lot about relationships.  Apparently, they're important.  In sales, people prefer to buy from those they trust.  In leadership, people prefer to follow those they trust.  Trust requires a relationship. The root of the word relationship is relate.  The word 'relate' comes from a word that means "to bring".  Are you bringing yourself to your relationships? Relationships are built on the cornerstone of revelation.  We relate to what's revealed.  The more that is … [Read more...]

The Book of Revelation

This morning I told my life story to 5 men I'm friends with.  I revealed pieces of my past very few have seen.  I took a risk.  I told the truth.  It was an act of revelation. There is power in revelation.  We show who we are and who we've been.  We step from the shadow of shame into the light of liberation.  We go from hiding in our history to defying it.  We set our story free from swirling insecurities.    We step towards freedom.  We can start to author our future instead of repeating our … [Read more...]

A simple way to be a better leader – Pt 3

  I squatted down to put Sophie, my 4 year old niece, on the pew.  She sat down.  When she leaned back she cracked her head on the seat back.   It was like a softball hitting a wooden bat. She looked at me quizzically.  The expression asking, "What should I do?"   Her eyes showed she was leaning towards crying.  I had a moment to decide. I'm just starting to get used to being around kids.  God's been giving me practice.  Good thing.  My two new babies will arrive in about 3 … [Read more...]

A simple way to be a better leader – Part 1

In the past few days I saw a simple truth about the language of leadership. Ned and Nancy were trying to get their son to get into the pool.  Their son, Niles, was scared of the water. "Do you want to get in the pool?" asked Ned.  "Do you want to try to stand on the first step?" Niles froze at the decision point.  He was anxious and uneasy.   His answers came non-verbally.  Niles stopped and backed away from the pool's edge.   Parents are leaders.  The leaders were putting the child … [Read more...]

Follow the leader

I walked down the row of cubes.  Someone from my team grabbed me.  "They did it again.", they said.  We had another team that we worked with.  We didn't see eye to eye.  We didn't have mutual respect.  It seemed each team thought the other team was a bunch of idiots.  I got fired up.  I'm insulted the other team.  I'm sure I "should" all over them.  - They should do this, They should do that.  I'm damn certain I cursed.  I'm sure I poured gasoline on the fire.  The fire burned higher.  The … [Read more...]

Be smart. Write better.

The screen flashed the report.  It told me that I write at a post-graduate level.  It compared my writing to insurance documents.  I was proud.  I scored high.  No one could follow a single 62 word sentence I wrote.  But the computer told me I was smart.  Truth was I was being dumb.  I made things overly complex to feel smarter. I remember teachers coming to ask me what a word I used meant.  They didn't know the word (It was "Reify").  I thought I was smart.  Truth was I was being dumb.  I … [Read more...]