Archive for January, 2011

New Book Previews & Article: “No Problem” is a Big Problem!

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

This month has flown by! Im traveling to Dallas tomorrow to speak at Goodyear’s annual convention at the Gaylord Texan–one of my favorite hotels. It will complete a twelve-speaking-day calendar in January, with a like schedule next month. Gotta love those frequent flyer miles!

Here are two quick updates on my upcoming books and a link to an article on customer service that you should read and apply immediately.

1. already has “How to Lead by THE BOOK” posted. It will be released June 21. Get a sneak preview here:

2. also has the revised and expanded paperback version of “How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK” posted. It will also be released on June 21. Take a look:

3. My friend and Small Business Advocate Radio Show host Jiim Blasingame wrote an article called, “No Problem is a Big Problem!” It ties in very well with the Simply the Best Customer Service principles Ive been teaching in my new seminar. Read it and share it with your team. 

Six of the nine expected cover-quote testimonials for How to Lead by THE BOOK are in. I should have the rest in a few days and I will share them with you next week!

What it Means to Go the “Second Mile!”

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Today in my email message from The Institute of Basic Life Principles, there’s terrific insight into what it means to go the second mile–and the benefits for doing so. Thanks to Bill Gothard for sharing this wisdom and insight. Here’s Bill in his own words:

“There are several attitudes that could be expressed as we obey the command of Jesus to go the second mile. However, only one attitude is the right attitude, and it is the one that will allow us to experience the joy and freedom that Christ planned for us to have when He gave us this important command.

One day I was counseling a couple by phone. I knew the wife was getting ready to leave her husband, and I was trying to avert this tragedy for the sake of the Lord, the couple, and their children. During our conversation, I asked the husband if he felt they had a happy marriage. He responded, “Absolutely, we have had many years of happy marriage.” The shocked wife blurted out, “Happy marriage! We have not even had one year of happy marriage.” The husband was oblivious to the things that he had done which were causing unhappiness in his marriage. As a result, his wife left him.

During the divorce proceedings, the judge required the husband to pay a certain amount of money to the wife and children each week. Every time he paid this money, a wave of bitterness swept over him. Again he called me and asked what he should do to overcome this bitterness. I encouraged him to give more money to his wife than the judge required. He did not see how this could help, but when he followed the counsel he was amazed! His attitude of bitterness vanished and was overtaken by a spirit of genuine love. There is a Biblical principle here:

Love continues where obligation ends.

When this husband sacrificially gave more than was required by the judge, he began to experience a new sense of love for his wife and family. This is precisely what Jesus states will happen when our treasure is voluntarily given. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).

The wife immediately recognized her husband’s new level of love and sensitivity. It caused her to have a new hope that their marriage could work, and in time they were reunited in marriage. If the husband had only understood the principle of voluntarily investing more than is required in the lives of his wife and children at the beginning of the marriage, they would have avoided many years of heartache.

When a “honey-do” list is done out of obligation rather than genuine love, it has a bittersweet taste to it.

The attitude that makes the second mile successful is an expectation and excitement in putting our whole heart and soul into whatever we do as an expression of love for the Lord and for those whom we are serving.

A second-mile mind-set is essential for daily success. Now is the time to embrace it as a regular part of our thinking and doing.

Ten Quick Lessons to Begin the New Year Strong!

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Last night I met with a group of business and church leaders to discuss ideas for creating future vision and strategy. Here are the top ten points and lessons that came out of our meeting. Perhaps you can apply them to your own organization:

1. You don’t change behaviors in an organization by changing the vision. You change behaviors in an organization by changing its culture.  Culture dictates behavior and behaviors determine results.

2. In an already strong culture vision will accelerate, focus, and enhance behaviors.

3. Vision without strategy is hallucination. Visions are relatively easy compared to creating the plan, and consistent tactical implementation is even tougher.

4. Vision is where you’re going; the strategy is what you’ll do to get there; the tactics define how you’ll do what you’ll do.

5. The primary reason most organizations fall short of their potential is not because they fail to change. Rather, it is their chronic inconsistency and inability to follow through on change initiatives.

6. The leader is the primary architect and chief influencer of the culture. There is no faster way to change a culture than by changing its leader.

7. The five primary components of culture are: mission, core values, core competencies, performance standards, and people. People are truly the key. Without the right people, the other components are severely marginalized.

8. One of a leader’s biggest mistakes is to continue to work around the wrong person, rather than to replace that person. This derelict practice breaks momentum, lowers morale, drains resources, and cheapens his own credibility. There is perhaps no greater distraction within an organization than incompetence.

9. Legitimate optimism is built on a foundation of preparation. You must earn the right to be optimistic by strengthening your culture so that it aligns with your vision. Without first committing to this discipline, you are no more than a wishful thinker.

10. While an organization’s vision is the privilege and responsibility of its top leader(s), you must involve and engage others as you create the strategy. This is because people support what they help create, but they must first weigh in before they buy in.

Wisdom: A Worthy New Year’s Resolution!

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

As we enter a New Year filled with both exciting opportunities and formidable challenges, I can scarcely think of a more helpful resolution than to become more wise. We could all benefit from increased measures of wisdom as we deal with finances, business strategies, relationships, health issues, our families, and more. To this end, I hope that you’ll find the daily devotional from Wisdom Hunters helpful. Take a look:

Wisdom Seekers

“The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.” 1 Kings 10:24
Wisdom is a cherished commodity. People are drawn to wisdom. It is attractive and winsome. Wisdom represents a word from the Lord so its value is enormous. Wisdom is one reason we attend church, listen to good Bible teaching, and engage with older mentors. Wisdom has to be sought out and asked for. It doesn’t come naturally; it’s a gift from God (Proverbs 2:6). Wisdom is precious and extremely valuable.

It is a gift that protects you from decisions that could haunt you for a lifetime. It is a gift that gives you the confidence to carry on or stop. Wisdom is a weapon God wields on behalf of his warriors. Wisdom cuts through confusion, and replaces it with clarity. It distills decisions into a sequence of small successes. It warns of impending danger.

The wise, however, are not immune to sin. A wise man or woman still needs accountability, maybe more so. Indeed, the wise are susceptible to pride (Jeremiah 9:23). A wise heart intermingled with pride thinks it can rise above the rules. It can be so subtle in the beginning, but its inner convictions begin to rot like a termite-infested foundation.

If pride is not kept in check, it will convert wisdom into cockiness. Sad is the state of a once-wise leader who allowed pride to water down his fear of God. Wisdom is God’s gift to carry out his Kingdom-initiatives. If spent on oneself, it becomes self-serving. So seek out the truly wise, those whose top priority is God.

A mutated wisdom suffers from spiritual malpractice, but a pure strain of wisdom gives spiritual life. It is wisdom—coupled with humility and obedience to God—that prepares us to finish well.  Authentic wisdom is appropriate in all situations. Search for it in the Bible, or through books, people, circumstances, film, life experiences, and creation.

Once you find it, don’t take it for granted. Thank God for wise outcomes. Use it for His glory and for His purposes. Allow wisdom to humble you, rather than give you a sense of superiority. We are all seekers of God’s wisdom. We will seek it until we get to heaven.

Wisdom is active and alive, and always in need of a fresh infusion from God. Use prayer as a bridge to the wisdom of God. Ask Him often for His perspective and His heart on the matter (James 1:5). Allow wisdom to draw you closer to your heavenly Father in worship and dependence on Him. Dedicate often your wise intentions to Him. Keep your heavenly Father as your filter for wise decision-making.

Be a generous dispenser of wisdom to others. Make time for people to get to know your heart, and understand the life-lessons God has forged into your faith (1 Kings 4:34). We all have wisdom we can offer to others. Carve out time just to listen to another’s travails. Their “top of mind” issues need attention. Be available to listen patiently with understanding, and then, in humility, offer options for their consideration. Wisdom is polite. It gives answers to all, when asked in a spirit of grace, as a fellow wisdom-seeker.

Seek wisdom and give wisdom—wisdom motivated by humble submission to God.

Happy New Year!