Posts Tagged ‘www.learntolead.com blog’

A Secret to Greater Success at Work is…

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

A successful marriage. That’s a secret to greater success at work. I’ve found that everyone from front line employees to business owners who are happier and more fulfilled at home, are more focused and productive at work. The joy, love, and respect they enjoy with their families strengthens their resolve to do well at work.  A happy marriage reduces their stress levels and anxiety while on the job. Today’s Wisdom Hunter’s Daily Devotional, which I’ve included below, speaks to the what is involved in building a successful marriage:

Successful Marriages 

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”   Ephesians 5:31

Even successful marriages are fraught with mistakes. Marriage lessons are learned by trial and error or trial and terror, as some husbands and wives have experienced. Indeed, successful marriages don’t just happen by chance. They are not created like a clock, to be wound up and never given attention.

You become one flesh in marriage, but in reality it takes a lifetime of hard work, forgiveness, love, and respect to enjoy oneness. One flesh implies unity of purpose. It is an alignment around beliefs and behavior, and if this is void in marriage, you become vulnerable to misplaced expectations and perpetual misery. Marriage requires at least as much work as work.

Hard work is a necessity for successful marriages. This seems obvious, but we tend to drift toward being spousal sluggards when we become intoxicated by apathy. However, hard work is the fuel that keeps a marriage moving forward. We see the fruit of hard work in our career and raising children, as it produces satisfaction and significance. But these results come from many hours of planning, communicating, training, and teaching. Indeed, your marriage is a direct result of the amount of effort you have expended.

Don’t expect a harvest of marriage success if the seeds of forgiveness, love, and respect have not been planted in the soil of humility and trust. Furthermore, the weeds of busyness have to be intentionally pulled out, before they choke out your love and friendship with your spouse. Busyness is the enemy of the best marriages, so labor toward a marriage with much margin. Robust marriages take time and trust.

Forgiveness in marriage means you take the time to say, “I was wrong” and “I am sorry,” and it means you take responsibility to confess your anger and selfishness. Moreover, it is the ability to not hold a grudge. God-like forgiveness forgives even before the offense has been committed (Colossians 3:13). It accepts apologies and does not bring up past hurts as a club of resentment. Forgiveness is the cornerstone in the foundation of a successful marriage.

Above all else, successful marriages are made up of unconditional love and radical respect. No wife has ever complained of too much love, or a husband of an over-abundance of respect. Love is emotional, physical, and volitional. Husbands, you are to love sensitively, intimately, and willfully (Ephesians 5:25). Wives, respect your husband out of love and loyalty.

Make sure he knows you are with him and for him, no matter what. Respect is devoid of fear, so you trust your husband because he is accountable to God. Furthermore, marriage is your laboratory for Christianity because you learn to live for the Lord by learning to live for each other. You die to yourselves and come alive to each other. Marriage is your mirror of obedience to Jesus. Successful marriages reflect your oneness with your Savior. Be a marriage success as God defines success.

Taken from the February 26th reading in Seeking Daily the Heart of God.

Day 92 How to Lead by THE BOOK: The Productive Response to Evil!

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Last night I spent nearly three hours writing the recipe to a single business challenge for, How to Lead by THE BOOK. I’ll certainly need to pick up the pace a bit if I expect to finish the book on time! However, the challenge was a big one: Is it right to hold leaders more accountable and to a higher standard than followers? I provided numerous reasons why this must be the case. One of the many areas I listed as being necessary for a higher degree of expectation and accountability for leaders was in the realm of emotional control.

Controlling one’s emotions and responding maturely to provocations, lies, gossip, and other attacks is essential for anyone, but particularly for leaders.  When provoked by evil, it is important to apply Romans 12:21. This verse is often misunderstood and applied with a misguided expectation for how the perpetrator will respond. Here is what the verse says: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. 1 Peter 3:17 reminds us, For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

Overcoming evil with good does not necessarily mean that a mature and productive response to an attacker will overcome the evil in him or her. Rather, it assures you that by responding to evil with good you will overcome the evil in you! When you respond productively to evil done to you: by not seeking vengeance and by deciding to forgive, you overcome your own tendencies towards evil: becoming bitter, resentful, angry, vengeful and the like. You have no assurance that your “good” response to evil will change or overcome anything evil within the perpetrator. Maybe it will. Maybe it won’t. But you can rest assured that it will snuff out the evil within yourself, that left unchecked, will cause you to sin in your response.

Day 91: How to Lead by THE BOOK: Empower & Delegate Wisely!

Friday, October 8th, 2010

I attended a 6:30 a.m. Bible study at Calvary Community Church today. We’re going through a course called, “The Dirty Dozen.” It is an eight-week study on the life of the twelve disciples. Today we discussed a leadership principle that I will further explain in, How to Lead by THE BOOK.” This principle has tremendous relevance to your own leadership style and business. It concerns empowerment and delegation.

In Matthew 10 it says that Jesus sent out the Twelve with authority to do many things: heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead, and cleanse lepers. Here’s what we can learn and apply from Jesus’ model:

1. He didn’t empower recklessly. Jesus empowered the right people! He prayed all night before ever choosing the Twelve. Sometimes we will ask an employee to do a task and then realize after they have failed in their endeavor that they were the wrong person to begin with!

2. He showed what good performance looked like before sending them out. Jesus had personally done each task with the disciples that He commissioned them to do before sending them out to do likewise. We must do the same. Show people what good performance looks like! Whenever possible, do a task with them before handing it off to them.

3. Jesus gave them the authority they needed to accomplish the task. Oftentimes we delegate something to someone but give them no authority to make decisions or implement action without checking with us. This slows them down and causes them to waste time and miss opportunities. If you delegate someone to accomplish a job, don’t micromanage the process! Let them go!

4. He clearly defined what He expected before sending them out. Jesus told them specifically what to do. They had clear objectives to accomplish. How often have you “dumped”, rather than delegated, by barking out an order that is not clear–and then expecting that it be done the way you like? Give people a clear picture of what success will look like. They are unlikely to hit a cloudy or moving target.

5. Jesus debriefed the disciples after they had returned from the task. Luke reports that Jesus listened to them, encouraged them, and further coached them after they returned from their mission. We must provide the same follow-up to bring closure to one task and then prepare our team for what’s next.

If you’ve ever delegated a task and were disappointed with the outcome, perhaps you missed one or more of these five points. Learn from your mistakes, use Jesus as your model, and get it right the next time!

Day 90 How to Lead by THE BOOK: Are You Just Making Money or are You Making a Difference?

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

I can’t speak for all authors, but one of my greatest rewards for writing books is the feedback I receive from readers explaining how a book I wrote has impacted their lives. Making money is nice, making a difference is far more important.

I have been fortunate to receive a steady stream of these uplifting letters and emails since How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK was published last August. In fact, an email I read just moments ago from a reader of the book was so powerful and moving that I shared it with my publisher and my team. I told them, “Sometimes it’s important to be reminded of why we do what we do. Here’s why.” To protect the privacy of the email’s author I cannot share its contents here except to say that it didn’t only make my day, it made my month!

As I continue to write How to Lead by THE BOOK, I maintain an awareness that this is not a book designed to help leaders make more money per se. Instead, it is a guide to help them make a difference. After all, if you learn to make a difference in the lives of your followers, results will skyrocket and the money will be there. But money should not be the primary motive–making the difference should be! I tell my audiences, “Don’t chase the money! Chase making a difference and the money will chase you!”

Perhaps it is time to reevaluate your personal motives and your daily leadership activities and consider the impact–or not–you’re having in the lives of your teammates. Are you just making money or are you making a difference? Are you consumed with becoming more personally successful, or are you striving towards significance by elevating others and taking them with you on your journey?

Here are two quick reminders to help you make a difference:

1. You can’t do it at a distance. While you can impress people with your title, power and knowledge, in order to impact them you must get up close and spend time with them. Don’t expect to become significant by sending out more emails, memos and voice mails! Roll up your sleeves and become more engaged with the people-work part of your job!

2. You cannot impact people by maintaining them. A leader’s job is to stretch others out of their comfort zone with high expectations, honest feedback, increased latitude and discretion, and by providing the training they need to become more successful. If you’re not stretching, you’re not leading!

Day 89 How to Lead by THE BOOK: Three Keys to Knowing What to Do in Any Situation!

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Yesterday was filled with great news: How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK was the #20 bestseller in fiction/non-fiction hardcover book categories in airport bookstores for the month of September (according to the HMS Host Sales Report). Also, because of its success, my publisher has decided that I should produce a revised and expanded version of the book that will come out in paperback to coincide with the release of, How to Lead by THE BOOK in June!

I spoke at a gathering of business leaders only four miles from my offices yesterday. Any day I don’t have to get on an airplane to speak with an audience is a particular blessing! There were leaders from real estate, investments, banking, and law enforcement gathered to hear my speech: Four Decisions that Create Growth in Any Market! The wonderful thing about leadership principles is that they transcend all industries. They are applicable and effective regardless of what you do. Fortunately, the audience felt the same way and several attendees have already emailed to indicate they are applying the strategies I presented.

A question that came up while I was speaking in Turkey last week was: “How do I know God’s will for my life or my business?” This topic is so important and deep that I devoted an entire section to it in, How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK. It’s essential that Christians understand the process for knowing what to do in any situation. Here are three tips for doing so:

1. The key to hearing God’s voice is found in having a close relationship with Him. As your relationship with God is strengthened it is easier to hear His voice and discern His will. Stay close enough to Him that all He has to do is whisper, rather than shout in order to get your attention.

2. The key to having a strong relationship with God is obedience. Obeying takes you from “knowing” about God to experiencing Him. Jesus said in John 14:15, If you love me, keep My commandments.

3. Proverbs 3:5-6 says that if you acknowledge God in all your ways He will direct your paths. This means that when you surrender and put under His control all areas of your life: finances, relationships, personal and corporate values, and the like, that He will reveal His will to you. By committing first to God, you begin to understand His will. However, most people want to know God’s will and then decide whether or not they want to commit to it! It doesn’t work that way!

You can rest assured that it’s not God’s desire to keep His will for you a secret! He wants you to know it so that you can serve Him. But He is not anxious to reveal it to the rebellious, selfish, independent, willful, prideful or uncommitted.

Day 88 How to Lead by THE BOOK: How to Correct & Coach Effectively!

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Last week I was in Ephesus, Turkey where Paul spent three years of ministry. The ruins of Ephesus are incredible! When viewing them I could only imagine how magnificent the first century city was in its heyday. The 19th chapter of Acts tells a lot of what went on in Ephesus. Read it and you’ll discover that it was a hot spot: demons, riots, intense preaching and more!

Apollos is described in the Book of Acts as an “eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures.” This talented evangelist came to Ephesus and began preaching. Unfortunately, while his speaking style was dynamic, his knowledge of Jesus was limited. Christians named in Acts as Aquila and Priscilla heard him preaching in the synagogue and noticed his deficit of right knowledge. What they did next was a simple, but highly effective method for correcting and coaching someone who has strayed. It’s a strategy for feedback that I’ll discuss at greater length in, How to Lead by THE BOOK. Here’s what the Bible says about this encounter:

When Aquila and Priscilla heard him (Apollos) they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. Acts 18:26.

Aquila and Priscilla did not rebuke Apollos publicly. They didn’t embarrass him, show him up, or try to elevate their own standing in the synagogue by proving their own superior intellect. Rather, they corrected and coached Apollos in private. They subordinated their own impulses and egos to the more important task of edifying and making more valuable a powerful worker in their cause. We are all wise to do the same.

Day 87 How to Lead by THE BOOK: The Buck Stops with the Leader!

Monday, October 4th, 2010

I am happy to report that my recent trip to teach biblically-based leadership principles to Iranian pastors was successful and that I have returned home safely after a 30 hour journey without incident. My training partner and I trained dozens of key leaders committed to religious freedom and to shedding Christ’s light into Iran. After six years of working together, I continue to be inspired by the Iranian Christian’s passion and courage. I am grateful to EQUIP for the opportunity to serve as one of their associate trainers. For security reasons, I will defer further details of the conference until after I receive word that the attendees have all returned safely to their country.

One of the topics I taught at this conference was the importance of accepting responsibility for your actions and results. This is also a subject I’ll cover throughout the 70 strategies I present in, How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK. Not surprisingly, the shirking of responsibility finds it roots all the way back in the days of Adam and Eve. God had given clear instructions to them not to eat the fruit of a certain tree in the Garden of Eden. After the serpent convinced Eve to violate God’s instructions and sample the fruit, she then invited Adam to do the same–which he did.Things quickly went downhill from there!

Technically, Eve sinned first. However, it is Adam who is held accountable throughout the Scriptures for bringing sin into the world, because he was the spiritual leader of the couple and should have known better! His spineless refusal to take a stand in the face of Eve’s invitation to sin caused Paul to write in Romans 5:12: Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world and death through sin…Paul doesn’t even mention Eve, because as the leader, Adam was responsible. He knew better but he didn’t do better.

While both Adam and Eve suffered consequences for their sin, the buck stopped with Adam. This is despite his pathetic attempt to put the blame on his mate telling God when asked whether he had eaten the forbidden fruit: “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate. ” Genesis 1:12. Eve then passed the blame down to the serpent with the whine, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate. Genesis 3:13. Neither repented, apologized nor stood as accountable.

As a leader in your organization, you may occasionally come under the influence from co-workers and subordinates to compromise what is right for what is expedient. As the leader, you are responsible for doing what is right. While everyone deserves punishment for character violations  in the workplace, the leader should always be held to a higher and stricter level of accountability. It comes with the territory.

Day 77 How to Lead by THE BOOK: Truly Committed or Lip Service?

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

One of the most Biblically accurate statements ever made about Jesus was this: “You are Christ, the Son of God.” Yet, when Jesus heard it, He rebuked those who stated this truth! Why? They were devils! (Luke 4:41). Peter also identified Jesus as the Christ and was blessed for it. (Matthew 16:16-17).  Why the difference in response to these nearly identical statements? God wants those who worship Him to have hearts that are fully committed to Him. He is  not interested in lip service from those who claim to know Him but refuse to believe or obey Him. Jesus said, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. (John 4:23).

In, How to Lead by THE BOOK I’ll address this question: Are the people in your workplace true followers of your vision and leadership, or do they merely offer lip service? One sure way to know is to spend more time watching what they do than listening to what they say. Many people speak “right” and then walk “left.” Their words and deeds are inconsistent. They declare that they want to do well and meet expectations, but then they fail to follow instructions, don’t practice or train, make excuses, and blame others for their lack of greater success. You will do well to embrace what Andrew Carnegie observed long ago: “As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say and instead watch what they do.” Watch closely today!

Day 76 How to Lead by THE BOOK: The Power of Specific Goals!

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

This morning I did a radio interview with Jim Blasingame, of the Small Business Advocate. His show is syndicated on dozens of stations nationwide. In fact, we’ve placed past interviews with Jim in the Online Press Room on our website at www.learntolead.com for our customers to listen to and use. Today’s interview will be posted soon.

Today, as we discussed the June publication date for, How to Lead by THE BOOK Jim asked why I thought so many leaders were unclear concerning their personal goals and corporate vision. I offered three key reasons:

1. They don’t know exactly what they want. In fact, most people don’t get what they want because they don’t know what they want!

2. They are afraid of commitment and resist accountability. Frankly, it’s easier to set general goals that you don’t have to hold yourself accountable for, than to draw a line in the sand and specifically declare what you intend to accomplish.

3. Pride. By keeping their goals ambiguous, they can’t be considered as failures by others if they don’t achieve them.

The problems with this “keep it general” goal setting philosophy are three-fold:

1. Your lack of clarity results in deficient focus. You can’t channel your energy and resources towards targets you haven’t clearly defined.

2. No thrill of victory. You miss the self-satisfaction and morale boost that comes with stating you’re going to do something and then doing it! This sort of personal momentum motivates you to set bigger goals and achieve greater things.

3. You fall for everything because you stand for nothing. When you fail to decide exactly what you stand for you tend to spread yourself too thin and engage in activities and pursuits that waste, rather than maximize, your resources. A specific goal serves as a filter to help you determine what fits, and what doesn’t; what to say “yes” to, and what to turn down.

In the Bible, leaders like Nehemiah, Daniel, Jesus and Paul were very clear about what they wanted and expected to accomplish. As a result, they earned a following. Followers prefer to work with leaders who are focused, resolved and who have clear convictions. As the fourth quarter of this year approaches, how precise are you about what you want to accomplish and where you’d like to finish in 2010? If these targets are not resolutely clear, what are your chances of hitting them?

Day 75 How to Lead by THE BOOK: Leverage the Power of Deadlines!

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

As I prepare to leave on an international mission trip this week I’m reminded of the power of deadlines. Deadlines purify your purpose, narrow your daily focus, create energy and urgency, and are a built-in accountability tool. Deadlines are an essential ally in my work in that each month I must produce one video personal development program, two magazine columns, two monthly newsletters, two DVD programs, and thirty blog postings. This month I’m also writing a new, two-day customer service workshop and, of course, working daily on my new book.

On my upcoming trip, I won’t take my computer with me. Because of this I will be unable to work on, How to Lead by THE BOOK. The anticipation of this is making me very productive in my daily routine. I recommend that all leaders set more deadlines for themselves: daily goals that create the  motivation to do more now!

In Matthew 24:42-45 Jesus tells His followers to watch for, prepare for, and to anticipate His Second Coming. This is the ultimate deadline! And even though we don’t know when it will be, it should serve to help us in ways similar to what I mentioned earlier:

1. Create purity of purpose: Primarily to serve and not be served.

2. Narrow your daily focus: To making a difference, not just making money.

3. Create urgency and energy: To live and do right in the now.

4. Hold yourself accountable: Particularly for the right actions and attitudes.