One Tip to Help You Meet Your Goals

Do you ever struggle to complete a project?

You have a goal, you may even know what needs to be done for the goal to become a reality, but you never seem to accomplish the necessary tasks that will bring you success. Your dreams remain simply dreams and you remain frustrated with yourself.

Sound familiar?

Let me share a quick tip to help you avoid this scenario.

Many of us, perhaps even most of us, work better under a little pressure.

Earlier this year I wrote about writing a life plan. (You can read that series of posts HERE.) I’ve found that setting a deadline for the specific action steps in a plan like this helps me be more productive…

If I have a major project I need or want to complete I will:

  • Schedule each step on my calendar…
  • Set an alarm on my smart phone to alert me the week the task is scheduled…
  • Set another alarm to remind me the day the task is due…

I still have to be disciplined enough to complete the task, but having the deadline provides me some accountability to complete an action step towards attaining my goals. It brings me closer to realizing my dreams.

You know yourself better than I do. Do you work best under a little pressure?

What tips do you have to help you stay on target towards reaching your goals?

Doodling Leadership Tip – Addressing the Real Problem

I love the White board application on my iPad. I find myself using it to teach, when sitting with someone, think in pictures, and recently, just to scribble out a quick thought. I decided to periodically share some of them with you here:

Let me ask you to consider this question:

Could you be addressing issues, symptoms, reactions…attempting to correct a problem…but the real problem continues to be unaddressed?

3 Values of Teamwork

Recently I was asked a question regarding how we handle set-up on Sunday mornings. Grace Community Church meets in a school and so every Sunday morning staff and volunteers start arriving about 5:30 AM to prepare for the day.  The specific question was whether we have one person who oversees all the set-up.  The answer is no. We actually have a team of people responsible; with different people in each area of ministry.

Answering the question reminded me of the value of teamwork.  I personally believe that the way we are doing this is best.   I’m not opposed to one central leader, and in some situations that may be better, but with this task, I think the team approach is more efficient than one individual being in charge.

Here are 3 reasons I personally prefer a team approach for this function of our church:

Decentralized control – With one person in charge, if that person gets sick, moves, or decides he or she gets tired and quits, the whole church would suffer.  As it stands now, it’s easier to cross train, we can be covered for absences better, and we aren’t putting all our eggs in one basket so-to-speak with such a vital function as an organization.

Makes each task easier – Think about it: It takes about 200 volunteers for us to make a Sunday work and about 50 of those are heavily involved in set-up. Would your prefer to recruit 10 volunteers for a specific area per Sunday or the entire 200 number?  (I thought so!) Especially when working with volunteers, the easier you can make the task to accomplish the greater success you will have for the long-term. People genuinely want to do a task well, but have limited time (and sometimes experience) to do them.

Brings more people to the table – We like to plug people into leadership roles quickly.  In my experience, when someone has responsibility they are more likely to mature as a person.  When a person has a heart to serve others, they need something of value to complete.  Using a team provides more opportunities to assign leadership tasks.

If you have an especially challenging or overwhelming task to complete you may benefit from a team approach.  Breaking the function into smaller, more manageable parts will help you accomplish more and get more people involved, which is always good for the organization.

Just curious, do you work better as a team or as an individual? Does it depend upon the task?

Have You Ever Been Placed in Leadership Time-Out?

Recently in Costa Rica I saw a tradition that’s common in my country too.  A child was placed in time-out…  For a certain amount of time, a child is not allowed to play with the other children, has to sit in a corner and is basically ignored. I’m certainly not critical of the form of discipline. It works well for some children. We had one for which it would work and one for which it wouldn’t.

I definitely, however, believe there is a time when a “child” outgrows the effectiveness of the practice.  I don’t know that “time out”, for example, works for adults, yet I see it frequently.

Have you ever been placed in leadership time-out?

Leadership time-out occurs:

  • When a leader ignores you because of a mistake you’ve made…
  • When a leader avoids you after a difference of opinion…
  • When a leader is threatened by you so he or she keeps you at a distance…
  • When you have no relationship with the leader other than professional…
  • When a leader acknowledges you only when it’s beneficial to the leader…
  • When a leader has a set of “favorites” on the team…and you’re not included…

After my examples, let me ask again, have you ever been placed in leadership time-out?

In my opinion and experience, leadership time-out is often due to poor leadership skills on the part of the leader.  The leader operates more out fear or control than out of respect and empowerment.  The leader plays games more than he or she leads strategically.  The leader doesn’t have the maturity to lead effectively.

Great leaders learn to push through the emotional aspects of leadership so they can treat people as adults in every situation.

What other examples would you add to my list?

Where My Best Ideas Come From

Where do you get your best ideas?

I love ideas, so I’m always trying to create new ones.

Here’s where some of my best ideas come from:

Brainstorming with others – I love to surround myself with creative thinkers…they expand my thinking.

Running – When I run, my mind races quickly…much faster than I actually run.

Outdoors – When I take a walk along the beach, or sit on a hillside watching a sunset, or staring at the stars…I think big thoughts!

Shower – I remember reading research that said there was something scientific about this…but either way, when I take a shower, I think!

Random – I am a random idea guy, so much so that I must, however, keep something handy where I can take notes at any given time.

So where do your best ideas come from?

7 Reactions to Controlling Leadership

Recently I was speaking with someone about their experience with a controlling leader. My friend said, “He’s just one of those humor him and move on kind of guys.” I thought to myself, “What a sad commentary to be said about one’s leadership!”

It reminds me of a similar experience I had with a controlling leader…

You see, I once had an idea…

It was a dream…a big vision…

I knew it would require risk, extra energies, and the assistance of others, but I was confident this was something worth pursuing…

I even felt it was a call of God for my life…

I was a volunteer for the organization, not an employee, but I had been given a certain amount responsibility and authority…

The only problem…

The leader of the organization was a controlling leader…

That fact alone changed the way I approached (or didn’t approach) the opportunity…

Many controlling leaders receive that kind of attention…

I’ve noticed from my own experience and watching others, that there are certain ways we tend to respond to controlling leaders…

Here are 7 examples:

  • Ignoring them instead of confronting…
  • Asking forgiveness instead of permission…
  • Keeping our best ideas until we are certain they’ll work…
  • Being afraid to share new ideas because we know they’ll be shot down…
  • Feeling the need to build a coalition of support before approaching…
  • Hiding our true thoughts and opinions rather than sharing them…
  • Keeping our relationship to “strictly professional”…

Leaders, do any of those describe how people respond to your leadership?

Don’t be that guy!

In my specific situation described above, the result was one of the 3 ways listed HERE in a previous post. Which do you think was the result?

What would you add to my list of reactions to controlling leadership?

Friday Discussion: How Are You at Saying No?

One of the greatest improvements you can make to your leadership and possibly your life is to learn when and how to say “No”.  That’s a tough challenge for me.  I’m a doer and a people helper. I like to say “Yes” if at all possible.  The reality is, however, than when I say yes to one thing I am ultimately saying no to something else.  Often that “something else” has a higher potential for greater good.  When I say no to another meeting and yes to my family, for example, I’m investing in God’s greatest gift to me.

It’s a constant challenge, but it’s a battle worth winning.

Today I’ve got a couple of simple questions…

Are you more inclined to say “Yes” or more inclined to say “No”?

Does it bother you to say “No”?

Bonus question: What helpful hints do you have for learning to say “No”?

Scripture Memorization, Week 2

Last week we started memorizing Scripture together. (Read that post HERE.) It’s something we will do every week this year. A new verse will post each Saturday. Over 50 people said they were doing this based on the comments and then another 50 or so told me on Facebook, Twitter or by email. (You can still join in…whether you comment or not…but I’d love to hear that you will.) We have some people eager to learn God’s Word this year! How awesome is that?

Memorizing Scripture can be made easier than you may have thought. As I said last time, writing it down helps. Write it somewhere you will see often. One Twitter friend took my suggestion and wrote it on her mirror. Another (read his suggestion in the comments from last week), is going to make the verse the background on his phone each week. I love creative ways to do this! Please share them if you have more ideas.

Last week’s verse was:

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

How did you do last week? Could you recite it if you had to?

This week our verse is:


 

 

I have seen this verse applied so many times in my life. In spite of the bad decisions I make…or sometimes even the good ones…in the end…God has a way of getting me where I need to be in life. He’s got the whole world in His hands…including my life.

This week, place this verse in your mind, let it sink into your heart, and allow God to impress you as He gently guides your life through the maze of this world.

Have you seen how God has shaped your path over the years?

Again, let me know if you are accepting the challenge to memorize these verses.