Posts Tagged ‘How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK’

Day 40: How to Lead by THE BOOK: Entitlement, PC, & “Tolerance”!

Monday, August 16th, 2010

My tenth book, How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK was published on August 29, 2009 and is approaching its one year anniversary. Normally, sales tail off in the months following a book’s release. However, June and July’s sales have been the best of the year! It’s great to see a picking up, rather than winding down, of momentum as the months march on. Thank you for your support!

Tomorrow, I will leave to speak in Florida for three days. I plan to use the time on airplanes and in hotel rooms to finish the preface of the book. A preface describes the book’s purpose, gives an overview of the content, and discusses for whom the book is written. A preface differs from a book’s introduction in that the introduction sets forth the book’s specific arguments and issues. Since a preface and introduction are so closely related, I’ve decided to combine them in the preface section. Unfortunately, many readers skip through the preface or introduction and jump right into the first chapter. This is a big mistake! If an author does his job right, you’ll find plenty of “meat”, and thought-provoking material in those sections that set the tone for the entire read.

In my preface, I’ll outline the unique challenges leaders face today as they endeavor to lead their organization and live their lives by biblical principles. These factors include but are not limited to: a rising tide of entitlement amongst employees, society’s rush towards a “there are no absolutes” culture where anything goes and everything can be rationalized, and the pervasiveness of political correctness that has eliminated all middle ground: you’re either for affirmative action or you’re a racist; you’re in favor of gay marriage or you’re homophobic; you’re pro-choice or you’re a fundamentalist “nut job”. You either agree that a mosque should be built at the site of the 9-11 massacre, or you’re a bigoted hatemonger. Cultural currents like these have caused many leaders to make costly compromises in their personal beliefs and businesses.

Because moral boundaries have been blurred in both society and in the workplace, How to Lead by THE BOOK will stress the importance of clearly defining what you stand for and refuse to fall for up front. Once that is done, it’s far easier to make decisions, to know what to say yes or no to, and to more quickly understand what fits your organization’s vision and strategy and what doesn’t. Paradoxically, in this age where “tolerance” has become the big buzzword, a leader’s character is largely defined by what he or she won’t tolerate or accept.

P.S. Happy birthday to my daughter Ashley! The “Big 25” today! She makes her mom and dad VERY proud–and old!

Day 36 How to Lead by THE BOOK: The Key to Beating Stress!

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Though it may sound strange, one of an author’s biggest concerns is whether or not anyone will actually read their book! Just because a book is published is no guarantee that anyone will buy it, and the fact that someone buys it is no assurance that they will read it. Some authors have been known to buy thousands of copies of their own book, just to place it on a best-sellers list! While this may gratify the author’s ego, it misses the entire point of writing a book: to help those that read it! These facts have triggered my gratitude for three events that have happened in just the past few days:

1. A university in Lithuania is using lessons from, How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK in their curricula to prepare students to run their businesses by ethical standards.

2. A South Korean businessman who read, How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK is working with my publisher to secure Korean translations rights so that he can distribute the book throughout South Korean churches and businesses.

3. The CEO of EQUIP will teach a course, How to Lead Through Crisis, in Poland next month that sources the principles in my past books as strategies for leaders to apply.

In addition to the recent international impact, a day rarely goes by when I don’t hear from a reader in this country who was positively impacted by one of my books. This sense of gratitude brings me to the point of today’s posting:

Gratitude is an antidote for stress! In my upcoming book, How to Lead by THE BOOK, I will provide strategies for beating workplace stress. One of the simplest is gratitude. In fact, when you’re feeling stressed out, it’s normally an indication that you’ve lost your perspective on how blessed you really are, and on how awesome your life is at the moment–despite its challenges. As a result of your temporarily lost sense of gratitude, stress levels skyrocket! However, when you begin to re-count your blessings and take an inventory of all the good in your life and business, you’ll find that stress evaporates. In fact, I’ve found that it is practically impossible to be grateful and stressful simultaneously!

Feeling stressed today? Then quit whining and count your blessings!

Day 33 How to Lead by THE BOOK: Truth is Not an Opinion, nor is it Hate Speech!

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Is all of the Bible relevant? How about the smaller, obscure books that few people can even remember or pronounce properly? The answer is, “of course”! In fact, I’ve decided to include insights from all sixty-six biblical books and sprinkle them throughout the seventy strategies. I can think of no better way to demonstrate that all of the Bible is useful for application in life and business.

I’ve already begun preparing for questions, concerns, objections and criticisms I’ll receive from what I present in, How to Lead by THE BOOK: Proverbs, Parables & Principles to Tackle Your Toughest Business Challenges. These factors normally arise during radio or print interviews, and especially when callers phone in to ask questions concerning their individual situations.

After writing, How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK, I discovered that the vast majority of these interactions were pleasant and productive. However, occasionally someone will call with an axe to grind. They don’t like the Bible, don’t believe in the Bible, they claim that the Bible is filled with myths, inconsistencies, contradictions and the like. While I try to stay on topic and discuss the applicability of the strategies I present and demonstrate how they can work in one’s business, the conversation sometimes strays to the theological, despite my efforts to avoid it. After all, I write business books based on biblical principles. As such, I try to avoid getting bogged down into denominational disputes and religious diatribes with critics who are more interested in attacking the Bible on which my books are based, than discussing the strategies I present in my book itself.

Some calls are from those hostile to Christianity itself. Christians are often accused of being judgmental, bigoted, or fanatical, especially when discussing issues like integrity and character. The mainstream media does little to dispel these notions. Here are six thoughts I’ll share with the critical, curious or belligerent:

1. I believe the Bible is 100% accurate, that it is the inspired and infallible word of God. My strategies are presented with this belief underscoring their effectiveness and authority.

2. Truth is not an opinion.

3. Truth is not hate speech.

4. Morality is not bigotry.

5. Being “loving” as Christ commands does not mean that sin is celebrated, legitimized, sanctioned, or validated.

6. If one does not approve of or agree with a principle, truth, or strategy that I present their argument is with the Bible and its Author, and not with me.

Day 30 How to Lead by THE BOOK: Don’t go “Hollywood”!

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Last night my wife, daughter and I attended a Hillsong Concert at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. They were great! I’ve enjoyed their upbeat Christian music for years. It’s not often when you can go to a concert that opens with a prayer, takes time for a Scripture reading, and gives an invitation to accept Christ.

Yesterday I wrote about a strategy for responding to and dealing with dishonest, unethical, or otherwise God-mocking people who prosper. I’ve longed believed that God allows these people to prosper materially so that they will discover how empty life is without God, despite their wealth or fame and turn to God in search of true life. Many dishonest business people along with the “Hollywood” types who promote and live sinful lifestyles, and that so much of the world admires, are filled with insecurity, bitterness, and envy. They lack peace, suffer broken relationships, and have few true friends. Isaiah 57:21 says it well: “There is no peace for the wicked.” They are to be pitied rather than envied.

I’m going to spend the next several days at a beach retreat where Rhonda and I enjoy relaxing and preparing for the busy fall and winter schedules. It’s also my favorite place to write. There are 52 of the 70 strategies I’ll include in, How to Lead by THE BOOK, that require greater depth and research. Being within a stones throw of the ocean’s peace and power will help accelerate the writing process for me. I feel strongly that I should expand the financial strategies in the book, especially those that involve debt and what the Bible has to say about it. This is a touchy subject for business people, but God is clear about His feelings about debt: it’s a curse, it should be avoided, and it is often incurred in the name of  “faith”, when in fact it is motivated by presumption. We put ourselves in a financial jam and then plead with God to bail us out of it, rather than seek His will first and trust Him to provide the resources in advance of our need. This topic has come up in nearly every radio interview I’ve done for How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK, and requires further attention in my new book. I always encourage readers to pay notice to the parts of a book or course that create the most discomfort, because they usually have the most to teach them.

Day 20 How to Lead by THE BOOK: Recipe for Greatness!

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

When the disciples were arguing about who was the greatest, it is interesting to note what Jesus did not tell them. He never said that they shouldn’t try to become great. Rather, He gave them the recipe for greatness: serve others. Business people should learn from this. There’s nothing ignoble about trying to become a great leader or build a great organization. The question becomes: what are your motives and intended methods for doing so? Do you want to become great because of what you “get”, or because of what you become in the process of adding so much value to employees, customers, and your community that greatness ensues? In, How to Lead by THE BOOK, I’ll tackle the myth perpetuated by some that it’s wrong or prideful to pursue greatness. Instead, I’ll outline the Bible-based steps and motives necessary to become great.

We got word yesterday that, How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK” was on the Hudson Airport Bestsellers list for the 12th straight week, at #24. That’s nice. But what’s most important is that people in all across America are looking to biblical principles to improve their lives, families, and businesses. The fact that we are able to help them do that is what puts smiles on the faces of everyone on our team!

When is a leader most vulnerable to character break-downs? I’ll offer two specific points to watch for in tomorrow’s posting.