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...]

How do you find your way home…

The pastor, Paul's, voice was thrown from the ceiling speakers.  Dave stared into space.  Paul spoke about the power of confession.  The cleansing and healing that comes when we confess to another person.  Dave sat.  A 1000 yard stare.  He looked lost.  Distant.  Like someone who could not see beyond the miles of brokenness that led him to this moment. We never saw Dave before.  We offered Dave something to drink and food to eat.  The state trooper who was taking a break from shadeless shade … [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...]

Do you lead by example?

My mentor, Phillip, asked, "Where'd this thing with you putting your hands in the pockets come from?"   I didn't know the answer.   It appeared that I just picked up a habit of sticking my hands in my suit pockets.  And I didn't know why.  A no-no in the world of presenting is hands in pockets. John, the other trainer I was working with said, "I'll take responsibility for that."  It turned out that he has the habit of sticking his hands in suit pockets. The week before I spent 40 hours in … [Read more...]

Leadership is a contact sport

I don't enjoy playing basketball shirts vs skins.   I just don't enjoy sweaty men pressing and bumping into me. It affects my commitment level. I don't play as hard. It's not fair to my team for me to play and not be committed to the contact required of the game.  When shirts are on, I'm in. I'll throw my elbows around with the best of them.  Shirts off, I should walk away. Adam said, "That's not easy." I asked Adam whether being a good leader is easy or hard. He said, "Hard."   One of … [Read more...]

Is Something is better than nothing?

We knocked on the door.  Dogs barked.  We stood waiting.  The dogs stopped.  Jen texted Henry to let him know we were at his door.   A minute later his girlfriend opened the door.  It was our first time to meet.  We walked in. Henry was in an explosion last week.  He experienced burns that will take  a while to heal.  He was in the hospital for a couple of days.  He got home today.  A friend of ours called to let us know what happened. We picked some things up for Henry.  We forgot to pick … [Read more...]

The problem with the perfect plan

I was listening to Car Talk on NPR.  Click and Clack were following up with a caller from an earlier show.  The caller wanted to transport a chicken coop via the highway on a snowmobile trailer.  Click and Clack told him it wouldn't work.  They were right. Chicken Coop guy's perfect plan was changed in real time as they tried to implement it.  They managed to move the coop with the snowmobile trailer.  But not where they needed to move it.  The snowmobile trailer died in town after a valiant … [Read more...]

Finish or fail … how to cross the finish line

I started looking for photos and links for my content more lately.  The goal was a more polished product.  It was also better Google ranking and more readers.  The work doubled the time to write and publish.  It became hard to to finish. My main goal here is to write and finish.  It's to cultivate a habit of consistent execution.  And to live by example.  I let something that was outside of my main goal get in the way.  I started falling behind.  I started finishing less. Know what your … [Read more...]

Would you rather be needed or wanted?

The exercise started.  I was getting up to work the room.   A thought struck me.  "They don't need me."  I was hit with a sense of deflation.  It was a "What's the point?" moment.   I was at Boot Camp.   The irony, or hypocrisy, I'm working at a program built to help people find purpose and meaning.  And I'm struggling with my purpose and meaning.  We're human.  It happens. I spent a few moments looking at the situation.  The conversation with myself went like this:  "You're right.  They … [Read more...]

Find meaning and significance in life

The breeze blew firmly off the lake. We sat. The breeze brushing briskly in our faces. The hot sun bathing us from behind. Our church met at the Lake this weekend. We celebrated the lake's 100th anniversary. Andrew, our Pastor, started speaking. He suggested that we all want to have a life that was meaningful and significant. He was right ... at least to me. I want to have a life filled with meaning and significance. Sometimes I have it. I just finished another Boot Camp. I saw lives … [Read more...]