Working on a Dream




Tuesday, October 20, 2015

It IS your fault

There are 2 types of people in this world, those who take responsibility for their lives, and those who do not.

Have you noticed that we live in a culture of blame? There is the overweight woman suing McDonald’s for making her fat. Did the Golden Arches reach out, grab her, and force food down her throat?  There is the guy that throws his money away at the casino. Did the blackjack dealer drive him to the bright lights; take the money out of his wallet and place bet after bet? In both cases, shift went from the individual to some outside external force.

I read a book once with the title, “Take control of what’s controlling you.” Aptly fit for our society today. Dr. Henry Cloud wrote a fascinating book that inspired this post (It’s Not my Fault) that I benefited from measurably. In it, he says you need to, Take responsibility for your life, then put your arms around reality and take ownership of it …”

(B.O.B.) The beginning of blame
Genesis records the origins of much of what you and I experience today. Life, death, murder, marriage, etc. In Genesis chapter 3, we discover that right after Adam and Eve disobey God and sin, they start the blame game. Adam points to his wife, his wife then points to the serpent. Blame, Shame and Guilt. All there in the garden. For our purposes however, we will focus on blame shifting. We just love to shift blame and responsibility on to others. We love pointing to external factors that will get us off the hook. One interesting element about blaming outside sources is that they may be true AND we may even have good reasons to blame -but it does not solve any of our problems.

I will unabashedly state that if you are the type of person that consistently shifts blame on externals --you have serious problems. I know it and your friends / family know it too. I can’t say for certain that you know it, but the sooner you understand this hang-nail about yourself the better off you will be. See, those in life that are successful, those in life that have risen above their circumstances have figured out some important life lessons, one is that they take responsibility for their own lives. 

Is it time for you to look inward, instead of outward?
Choose to man-up and rise above the external forces and when you do, you choose to be a victor instead of a victim.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

What are the 4 roles of a great leader?

#1 Be a model for the people you lead:
The first aspect of leadership according to Robert Greenleaf is to lead by example.  A helpful visual image to help illustrate this point is an anchor. Remember that you are personally anchored to your principles.  Which raises a pretty good question for you to answer ... what are your principles?  If you are going to lead others, you must be crystal clear about what anchors your life!  This is who you are and what you are all about.  Remember, in the end, people do not follow a position they follow a person.  

# 2 Be a Pathfinder:
Find what you are trying to accomplish, have a mission and a vision.  Remember to get others involved (‘buy-in’) in the organization.  You are not a maverick, you are a leader and remember this, if you think you are leading and then turn around to see no one standing behind you, then you are merely out for a walk. A good visual image for this is a map.  Keep in mind that you are a leader and many times you will have a "feel" for the direction of the organization.  You are like a captain behind the wheel of a ship; on the ship there are many mates who are on board with you so be sure to include everyone so that you get to the desired destination!

# 3 Get Alignment:
Make sure everything in your organization reflects the mission/vision. Peter Drucker thinks that great leaders have one simple, yet complex assignment...REMOVE OBSTACLES OUT OF THE WAY OF THE WORKER(S).  How true.  A great boss anticipates problems and sees roadblocks that hinder the performance of their people.  Having a great mission/vision not only steers you in the right direction, it also allows you to avoid unnecessary routes that take up time and slow you down.  As a leader, your job is to get the obstacles out of your people’s way!   Whether it is a church or a business, take a look at where you are spending your money and what types of programs you are running.  Are they wasting time, energy, and resources?  Start clearing out the clutter and only do the things that align to your mission/vision. The visual image for this is a Steering Wheel.  Which ever direction the wheel is turned, the entire ship goes that way!

Role 4 Empowerment:
John Lennon sang, "Power to the People!" and he wasn't kidding.  Unleash the power of the people you lead! This is the where the fruit of the 3 three comes in.  If you are in a leadership position today, you just might be leading the most talented, adequately equipped, and knowledgeable workforce in the history of the world. There are more college grads working at your local McDonald's today because of our economy.  Take advantage (in the good way of course) of the talent you have right in your own workplace.  Gone are the days of hierarchies and only a few men in charge of large organizations.  Pull from the people, work together, include others, involve others in decisions, have weekly meetings,  just get everyone in a room, buy pizza, and talk! The visual for this is men and women.  Build a enthusiastic team, lite a fire, and get out of their way. 

"Where there is no vision, the people perish" 
-Proverbs 29:18