Posts Tagged ‘Lessons’

What If…

Posted: March 29, 2011 in Leadership, Lessons, vision
Tags: , , , ,

What if all that we have gone through, good and bad, had a bigger purpose?  What if the events of our life was to shape us and mold us into the person God intended us to be?  What if the hurts and pains of life were designed to build our character for something greater in the future?

I know, many of you are reading this and saying…duh, you are just now getting that?  Well, the simple answer is…Yes.  I remember coming out of college and thinking I had the world by the tail.  I was going to have success and change the world (just like the commencement speaker at graduation said I would).  Well after graduation, life started happening and I experienced “the real world” that they never told me about in college.  I complained to God and told Him how he wasn’t playing fair.  I had given up a lot to purse Him and his plan for the world and He was not returning the favor, or was he?

Graduation was nearly 20 years ago and I am a different person than I was back then.  My journey has not been easy and I would not wish it on my worst enemy, however, I wouldn’t trade it.  It has helped shape my character, my competency, and my compassion for others.  Here a few of my lessons I have learned along the journey…

  1. Find the positive in the negative
  2. Be truthful, even if it may hurt.
  3. If you must make a hard decision, do it with integrity.
  4. Don’t judge (my younger years was full of judgement, and it has come back to bite me)
  5. Be patient with others, they are on a journey…just like me
  6. encourage, love and inspire others to be great

There are many more I have learned.  I am sure there are many more I still need to learn.  I haven’t gotten life figured out yet but I will keep adding each lesson I learn into my arsenal.  Life is still hard at times, however, I am on the journey to something great.

I am just curios…What have you learned?

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I recently was evaluating my life and the journey it has brought me through.  I thought about the moments that I felt like I had failed, which led me to the question, “Did I Fail?”

The truth is I have made some very dumb decisions.  I have hurt others by my decisions and I have let a lot of people down.  Like the time I tried to get a volunteer to resign from her position.  I came up with a plan that would give her some time off.  My hopes were that she would enjoy the time off and come and resign to me.  Not a good idea.  After the “time off” was over, she was ready to get right back in, and she did.  After a few weeks of avoiding her calls and hoping for a good ending, I had to talk with her.

The conversation did not go well.  I listened, for what seemed like hours, about how I was a poor leader and I needed to be honest upfront, even if it was going to hurt.  I felt horrible.  She was right, she deserved better and I let her down.

If the story ended there, I would say I failed.  However, because of that blunder, I committed to myself to learn from this and become a better leader.  That moment hurt her and some others, but because of that, it helped shape my character.  Today, I make difficult decisions, but I am honest and clear about the decision.

I believe failure is when you refuse to allow your character defects to teach you to become a better person.  Don’t be a failure, learn and correct.  I learned a valuable lesson at the expense of someone else, but I am glad I learned the lesson.

Life is a process of events and moments that help mold and shape you into what God’s desire is.  That sounds great but moments can be hard.  Moments in life are often painful and full of questions.  However, think about this, what if every moment in my life, and yours,  were driving us to a destination?  It doesn’t matter if the moments are good or bad, they are the fuel to push us to a greater destination.  Moments help fine-tune us.

Moments may drive us to a destination but the road is paved with attitude.  Moments have the potential to launch us into the next phase or sink us into despair. Like standing at a crossroad with one sign pointing to the left and one to the right, I must decide my attitude. That attitude will shape and formulate my destination.

Embrace the moments of life and let them drive you to your destination, as long as you have the right attitude. It is not easy at times (I sometimes relapse with a bad attitude) but stay focused and stay on track.

Imagine if our churches were filled with embraced moments with good attitudes?  Imagine if the work place were filled with embraced moments with good attitudes?

number-1-sign-756266I have discovered Facebook to be a great place to get feedback.  I ask a question on my status and I get lots of great responses.  A few weeks ago, I posted, “What does Failure look like?”, and I received some amazing thoughts.  So this week I posted this question, “What is the # 1 leadership lesson you have learned?”  I figure if I could provide a list of # 1’s, it would be a valuable list.  So, here they are and not in any order:

  1. “I agree with General Robert E Lee when he said, “I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself.” submitted by Kevin King
  2. “You cannot give what you do not have.”  submitted by Shane Wilson
  3. “Spend 80% of your anointing/calling ministering to God.  This is the key to not getting burned out, and staying effective.-Graham Cooke”  submitted by Angela Barnard
  4. “Be willing to make mistakes: admit them, correct them as much as possible, and move on.” submitted by Jenny Archer
  5. “Always look at the best results that can happen and at the worst that can happen and make changes to keep the worst from happening.”  submitted by Lisa Garrett
  6. “Don’t be afraid to take into consideration the experience of your other team members when decisions about projects are being made.  If someone can can save you the pain of a mistake because of what they have already learned, that is a great gift.”  submitted by Carol Porterfield
  7. “Keep your mouth shut, even if they have it coming”  submitted by Sabrina Roberts
  8. “Servant leadership.  Christ was the great example.  Don’t ask others to do what you are not willing to do yourself.”  submitted by Jennifer Swift
  9. “Being a leader is hard and pretty much impossible without the Lord behind you.”  submitted by Jim Smith
  10. “Communication is HUGE.”  submitted by Cyndi Stahl
  11. “Don’t be to proud to do the lowest job.  Remember, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, stay HUMBLE.  Pride comes before a great fall.”  submitted by Dana Covert
  12. “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”  submitted by Randy Cartwright.

Thank you to everyone that took the time to respond.

What is your #1 leadership lesson you have learned? I would love to hear them.

1212912_38514992Business is good when the growth chart shows “up and to the right”.  There may be some decline at various places but over all the chart moves up and to the right.  Looking at such a chart, whether it be the stock market, profits, or even church growth, we get a sense of success and everyone feels good.

However, lately, I have been charting my life, my personal life.  I gotta say, it doesn’t look like the “up and to the right” success model.  I have found a lot more downs than I have ups.  My chart looked like the scribblings of a polygraph test.  I must admit, this was pretty discouraging.  I started to feel like a failure.  The chart doesn’t lie and that must be proof. Until…

I started charting some of the life charts of hero’s in the Bible.  I charted Joseph, Jacob, David, Peter and even Jesus.  Here is what I found out…none of their charts were up and to the right.  They are all different.  Just look at Joseph…Dads favorite (up), brother hated him and decided to kill him (way down), brothers didn’t kill him (up a little), instead sold him as a slave (down), became Potiphar’s trusted servant (up), falsely accused and put in prison (way down), became the head prisoner (up), interpreted a dream of the baker and cup bearer which came true (up), cup bearer forgot about Joseph (down), Pharaoh has dream and is interpreted by Joseph (up), Joseph elevated to second in command (way up), and finally he was reunited with his brothers and father (way up).  Joseph spent more time down than he did up.  However, God had a plan and it the process was part of the plan.  If you were to ask Joseph, if he could change anything of his past, I am sure he would say, NO.  Because it was worth it all.

God’s view of success is not “up and to the right” and neither should ours.  Be encouraged, you are in the process.  The one thing everyone had in common was the chart went WAY UP when Gods purpose was fulfilled.  God has a purpose, enjoy the process and your chart will sky-rocket when you have fulfilled Gods purpose.

nuggetsHere are a few observations I have made as I watched the Dallas/Denver series.  Hope you enjoy:

  1. Basketball is not a “non-contact” sport.  I have seen more blood and intentional cheap shots in this series than I have in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
  2. Fines don’t detour play.  There must be a better way to clean up the game then a fine.  These guys never miss the small amount of money they receive in fines.  They probably have insurance for this type of thing (if not, maybe a great idea for an insurance company to offer).
  3. Name calling can get national media attention especially when it is done to an opposing team players mom! ON MOTHERS DAY!  The sad thing is, is that it happens in youth basketball as well.
  4. People DO follow their chosen leaders.  The fans of Dallas have followed the pattern of their leader, Mark Cuban.  “Mello’s” girlfriend and K-Mart’s mom had to be issued extra security because of fan treatment.  Way to go, Mr. Cuban, you set the pace for everyone else.

Those are a few of my observations.  The lesson I get out of this is “Leaders be careful what you do, what you say, and how you respond to others, because those that follow you, will follow your example.”

img_00772My entire life I have been the son of a pastor.  My life has been filled with ups and downs.  Here are a few of my reflections.

I had to move away from all of my friends and come to a new state. But I got to meet new friends. The new church plant does not have a youth group for me. So I get to go to other youth groups and do stuff with them. I like it at the new church because I get to help out with stuff they need help with. My family does family devotions and that helps us get  closer together and most of the time it is based off a bible story.

It is really hard to plant a church when you don’t know anyone in the area you are planting in. One way we met people was we helped coach little league basketball. That really helped us meet some really nice people.  These are just a few of my reflections.

Hunter, age 13.