Tag Archives: encouragement

Speed of the leader…

20160413_113933If there is one life lesson I have learned…it would be “speed of the leader, speed of the team“.  I learned this from a wise man who leads by example, living his life striving for excellence. He is a quiet leader, practicing what he preaches. But, not all leaders live or act in a way that makes a positive impact on their team…Sometimes a team is made up of more than one type of leader.

I have worked for individuals who found fault at every turn.  There was never room at the table for an exchange of ideas. There was never room in the conversation for constructive criticism.  And there was absolutely never room for encouragement. Their leadership style is dictatorial.

I have worked with individuals who  looked for opportunities to share wisdom and encourage team members.   They were open to new ideas. They offered constructive criticism looking at each situation from all points of view.  They always offered encouragement. Their leadership style was that of a teacher. DSC04761

Who do you think I learned more from, the person I worked for or the person I worked with… I learned from both. The critical leader bullied his team into producing results. The encouraging leader recognized team weaknesses and took the time to teach new skills which produced results.  Both leaders achieved results…both made an impact on my life.

I am still learning…I recently left a job where I hired and raised up a team of leaders. I was the same type of leader with each of the individuals on my team. Most of my team members became leaders who lead with compassion, enthusiasm and encouragement. The members of their teams produced incredible results week in and week out.  Their team members are thriving and productive. Speed of the leader…speed of the team.

However, not all of them responded in kind to my leadership style. One in particular turned out to be the polar opposite of me; always critical, accusatory and rarely encouraging. This leader is struggling to maintain an effective team. Speed of the leader…speed of the team.

DSC04819I do not take credit or responsibility for the type of leaders the people I hired have become..We are all products of our environment….we are each responsible for the choices we make and what we do with those decisions. We become who we choose to become…

I choose to be a leader who leads with enthusiasm, compassion and encouragement.  I will help my team achieve their goals and dreams. In turn I will achieve my dreams and goals.  I will be able to look people in the eye knowing I have done my very best for everyone involved.  I will be able to lay my head down on my pillow at night without a single regret.

Speed of the leader…

 

 

 

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the first blank page…

Today, is the first blank page of a 365 page book... What will this book say about your life a year from now?

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2015...is here and with it comes opportunities for each of us to make a difference in our little piece of the world.  Some opportunities will present themselves in what appears to be small inconsequential moments; a warm smile offered to a passing stranger, holding the door open for a woman wrangling an active group of little’s, or paying for a cup of coffee for a total stranger.  Some opportunities will present themselves in ways that have the ability to impact someones world and change the quality of their life; giving warm clothes and blankets to a homeless shelter, helping raise money to build water wells in under developed countries, adopting a less fortunate family for Christmas.  I believe that when we give with a joyful heart our hearts are filled with joy and our life is better for it.

The bible tells us that God’s mercies are new every morning, Lamentations 3:22-23.  There is no need to wait until the beginning of a new year to make changes in our life or the lives of those around us. However, we embrace the opportunity to do just this every January 1st.   We make lists of resolutions; being more organized, eating healthier, getting more exercise, read our bible everyday, drink less, quit smoking, learn a foreign language, wake up earlier, get more sleep, visit family, and on and on and on!

Sure, today is the 1st day of the new year and there is no time like now to make a change for the better.  So DO IT!  Choose one thing to change today…Turn off the TV and read a book. Get up off the couch and go for a walk. Throw out all of the Christmas sweets and replace it with healthy snacks; fresh fruits, veggies and nuts.  Start today…it’s the first day of the rest of your life. Then tomorrow do the same thing…choose one thing to change and just DO IT!

Every day of our life is the 1st day of the rest of our life. We don’t have to wait…we can make the change now. If you didn’t start yesterday then today is the day.  No need to make a resolution…just make a change and live the life you’ve imagined. What will you write on the blank page today?

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I will carry your burden but not your load…

my load

Recently someone posed this question to me…Is there a difference between your load and your burden?

My answer was…yes of course there is a difference. But when I tried to articulate the difference I found I struggled to give a clear explanation.

A load is something with substantial weight. Something you can physically see, touch and feel. It is something that can be weighed.  On the other hand a burden is something that weighs you down emotionally. It’s a perceived load. It doesn’t have physical traits. You cannot see it, touch it or feel it.

Yes, a load can be burdensome but that isn’t what I am talking about here…

According to God’s word, in Galatians 6, we are to carry each others burdens and we are to carry our own load.  We should have empathy and sympathy for those who are hurting physically and struggling emotionally with the things that are out if their control.  We should be there to help them carry their burden. However, we should not be expected to carry someone’s load…bail them out of situations that were caused by their choices.

The more we carry someones load for them the less likely they are to learn to carry it for themselves. The more dependent they will become.  It will be difficult in the beginning…the load will seem too heavy for them but over time they will grow stronger in their abilities and their belief that they can do it. Empathize with their burden but encourage them to pick up their load and walk.

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Public Service Announcement….

every little thing

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October 21, 2013 · 11:13 pm

Speak Life…

Be a lamp

When is the last time you stopped to consider the words you speak?  I think about it quite often.  I have witnessed the power of the spoken word and how it can lift someones spirit or tear them down. I have seen  the crushing blow of a parents angry words to a child over a missed pitch in a baseball game.  I have seen a beautiful vibrant woman turned into a sad shell of herself due to the constant insults leveled at her by her husband.  I have also witnessed a husband lose his sense of self-worth because his hard work goes unnoticed by his family.   Then on the other hand,  I have seen tears replaced with laughter, desperation replaced with hope.  I have seen anger replaced with peace,  rejection replaced with acceptance.  I have seen a lost soul find their purpose.  All because of the spoken word.

This week one of my young volunteers lost his life in a horrific accident.  As you can imagine the family and everyone who knew him are devastated.  When the Pastor met with the family the grandmother recounted a story of how one particular person had spoken words of encouragement to this young man while he was volunteering and the incredibly positive affect it had on him. “Her words lifted his spirit!”

Every conversation and interaction we have is an opportunity to speak hope  into someone’s life. Recently, Toby Mac released a new CD, Eye On It.  There is one particular song that I listen to almost everyday on my to work…Speak Life.  The lyrics remind me that I have the power to speak hope, love and life into someone’s world…

“It’s Crazy to imaging that the words from our lips as the arms of compassion. Mountains crumble with every syllable. Hope can live or die. So speak life. Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted. watch them come alive as soon as you speak love, speak hope, speak life.”

What will you do with your words today…tear someone down or Speak Life?

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Filed under encouragment, Faith, Leadership

yada yada yada…

Have you ever watched a silent movie? I recently “watched” a movie on a plane flight. I really did watch it…I chose not to pay for the movie so I was unable to hear the sound. The movie was 1,000 Words starring Eddie Murphy. In the movie Eddie’s character discovers he only has 1,000 words left to say before he dies. So this got my wheels turning and I have been thinking about it for weeks.

Have you given much thought to how many words you speak in one day?

One clinical study has concluded that women speak an average of 20,000 words per day and men speak an average of 7,000 words per day.  Now before I head off on a rabbit trail let me just say that there are plenty of opinions about these findings. But let’s just go with it for the sake of this post. 

No matter how you look at it, that’s a lot of talking…This has me wondering… Are all of my conversations necessary or are they  idle chatter?  Are my words cruel and demeaning?  Or are my words sweet and life affirming? 

What if my words were limited?  Not just my spoken words but my written words as well.  Would I  be so quick to speak?  Would I waste my precious words on cursing or gossip?  Would I choose my  words more carefully?  Speak more sweetly? Make the most of every syllable I utter.

How creative would I become in order to conserve my precious allotment. How many non verbal ways are there to communicate with people in my life.? A smile or laughter is universal and conveys joy and happiness.  A hug can express more sympathy or empathy than any number of words and I have found on many occasions it’s all that’s necessary.  A thumbs up will let someone know that they are doing a good job.  A wave says hello or goodbye. 

I know my words carry a lot of weight…My words can build up a life or tear it down! I have a choice before I ever open my mouth…I can choose tasteless bitter words that cause hurt that cuts to the bone… or  I can choose words that are tasteful, full of sweetness, wholesome and kind.  Words that will enrich the life of the person on the receiving end.  My words should breathe life and offer hope.  The words I speak should drip of honey and bless the ears that hear them. 

Now with all that said, I don’t always think the most positive things but I do try to check what comes out of my mouth before its too late.  Words are one thing you can never take back no matter how hard you try…apologize you may but the words will always be there lurking in the memory of the person who was on the recieiving end.    Every time I get behind the wheel of my car I encounter someone who challenges my positive thought process.  When I have to wait on hold for an unmerciful amount of time only to be transferred multiple times or have my call disconnected leaves me fuming and mumbling under my breath.  When my favorite sports team systematically implodes I find myself screaming at the television giving the coach a much-needed talking to.  And more times than not I find myself speaking negative, less than re-affirming thoughts into my own life when I am tired and frustrated or feeling a little bit sorry for myself.

Back to the “silent movie”…Eddie’s character became very creative with non-verbal communication…especially as he came closer and closer to the end of his life.  Not one of us knows the day or time that we will breathe our last breath…isn’t that reason enough to be more cognizant of the words we speak.  What kind of legacy will your words say about you?  With that in mind, I am much more thoughtful about all the yada yada yada in my life…how about you?

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Being Mindful of Margin…

Margin is the space between your load and your limit.

Mindfulness is the quality of fullness of attention, immediacy, non-distraction. In that sense, it is the key to life. Without mindfulness there can be no margin.

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Rick Warren…

“A lot of people are on overload and headed for a crash. Consider these statistics:

  • People now sleep two and a half fewer hours each night than people did a hundred years ago. You’re sleeping less than your grandparents did.
  • The average workweek is longer now than it was in the 1960s.
  • The average office worker has 36 hours of work piled up on his or her desk. It takes us three hours a week just to sort through it and find what we need.
  • We spend eight months of our lives opening junk mail, two years of our lives playing phone tag with people who are busy or who are not answering, five years waiting for people who are trying to do too much and are late for meetings.”

Having margin in my life means I have time to cherish loving moments with my family.  Living without it means we say the words “I love you” but we do not follow them up with loving actions. 

Margin in my life allows for moments of pure joy to seep into my soul and fill me to overflowing.  A marginless life means I settle for moments of momentary happiness,  usually gone as quickly as they appear. 

Margin allows for moments of absolute stillness…listening to the small quiet voice guiding me through my life.  Life without margin looks more like chaos…cluttered office, overflowing laundry baskets, dishes piled in the sink, lack of sleep and late for everything. 

Living a mindful life allows me the opportunity to slow down and address situations that are out of my control, usually because someone else lacks the margin in their life.  I have the time to think, re-evaluate and make educated adjustments.  MY Life without margin begins to feel hurried and harried and filled with stressful moments. I feel like Alice’s White Rabbit…I’m late…I’m late…for a very important date…no time to say…hello, goodbye…I’m late!

Being mindful of my need for margin allows me time to fill in the gap when and where it is needed.  A stress filled life will limit  my ability to be spontaneous and help out when the opportunity presents itself.  Living a life with margin begins to feel like the life I was created to live…

When my life has time I have self-control – margin limits the frustrations that happen in life because there is no margin for error

From the same article:

Dr. Richard Swenson, MD says this:

The conditions of modern day living devour margin. If you’re homeless we direct you to a shelter. If you’re penniless we offer you food stamps. If you’re breathless we connect you to oxygen. But if you’re marginless we give you one more thing to do. Marginless is being 30 minutes late to the doctor’s office because you were 20 minutes late getting out of the hairdresser because you were 10 minutes late dropping the children off at school because the car ran out of gas two blocks from a gas station and you forgot your purse. That’s marginless.

Margin, on the other hand, is having breath at the top of the staircase, money at the end of the month, and sanity left over at the end of adolescence. Margin is grandma taking the baby for the afternoon. Margin is having a friend help carry the burden. Marginless is not having time to finish the book you’re reading on stress. Margin is having the time to read it twice. Marginless is our culture. Margin is counter-culture, having some space in your life and schedule. Marginless is the disease of our decade and margin is the cure.

If I am not mindful of the moments that make up my life… I will miss out on all that makes life worth living…

Galatians 5:22 “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.”

If I am too busy to look up and witness the beautiful blue sky… how will I know when it’s raining?

If I am too busy to look into the eyes of a friend…how will I know they are hurting? 

If I do not laugh at myself…I may take myself to seriously.

If  I do not consider others…who will consider me?

If I…do not find the margin in my life…my life will become a series of hurried and harried days on end…I will quite possibly find myself chasing my life instead of living it!

To recognize the need for margin is the my first step to making the adjustments…I have been making a few changes and I am now enjoying my new-found margin.

 Rick Warren sites four benefits to building margin into our lives; Peace of Mind, Better Health, Stronger Relationships and Usefulness in Ministry.  To read the article in it’s entirety…Four Benefits to Putting Margin in Your Life…go here!

What does margin in your life look like? 

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This post is part of theBlogging Challenge: A to Z April Challenge.  Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “M”

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