Leadership Means Sacrifice

I have spent about half my professional life in the private sector and half in the public sector, but no matter what the leadership position I have, one key to success is pouring yourself into your people.

Leadership really is about followership — if you don’t have followers, you’re not leading. I’ve been leading people and programs for 29 years and I always ask myself the same question: Who would I follow and why? The best leaders I have had are the ones who have taken the time to pour themselves into me. You know, the ones who actually care about me professionally and personally and see me not as just a cog in the machine, but as someone to grow, challenge, and inspire. That’s the type of leader I will follow and it’s the type of leader I want to be so others follow me.

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Our Most Valuable Asset Sits 63 Feet Ahead

A while back, my family and I were driving to Florida for vacation when my lovely bride pointed out the sign painted on the back of a truck. As we passed it I read what it said, “Our most valuable asset sits 63 feet ahead” (referring to the guy driving the truck). Isn’t that awesome? In this age of Corporate America where greed seems to rule, this was very refreshing to see.

Seeing this truck, I was reminded of a conversation I had with a mentor of mine about two years ago. I was really struggling with stress and I was not getting everything done that I wanted to. As a result I was putting a lot of pressure on myself.

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How Do You Spend Time?

Time. Do you have enough of it? If you are like the rest of the world, you will answer that question by saying “No!” However, you would be wrong. We all have enough time. In fact, each of us has the same amount of time each day: 24 hours. Nobody has more, and no one has less.

The problem with most of us is that we have become addicted to filling our time with things that do not matter. We fill it with tasks at work. We fill our time on social media like Facebook and Twitter. We fill it by transporting our children to numerous events and after-school activities. We fill it watching TV. We find ourselves constantly in motion, squandering precious minutes and hours.

We have allowed very little margin in our lives, so we frantically rush around trying to squeeze everything into our schedule. Sadly for many of us, at the end of the day we have missed out on what really matters: relationships.

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Guest Post by Richard Burkey

My leadership is enriched because of the 7 weeks I spent taking a LIFT Online Class Leading for Transformation. I also understand that while it is great to learn new principles, it is most impactful when I apply those principles. The final project for the class is to create a 90-day plan. I’d like to share a snapshot of my action plan, focused on shaping a culture for transformation. What helps you cultivate your culture?

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The Hardest Question to Ask

“I have the ability to make a grown person cry.”

Those were the words of a business partner on one of our late night walks. Our company felt like it gone from 12 people to 30 people overnight. The new PR director was 23, fresh out of college and earlier that week my friend had said something that drove her to tears. Like Peter Parker, he realized that with great power comes great responsibility.

His words stick with me to this day. At that very moment, his words made me realize I was in over my head.

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Vision is Key

Vision is a key pillar for great organizations.

Vision inspires, directs, and moves people into action. Without it, organizations could become static, complacent, and/or disconnected from their respective missions.

Vision also has a tendency to become exaggerated or “over-the-top”. There’s a fine balance between strong vision and wishful thinking. There’s nothing more disheartening that great vision being projected by a leader that never comes to pass. Overtime, this kind of behavior will produce a lack of trust and confidence in the organization.

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Saying “No” to Opportunity

It’s your choice.

Life is filled with small choices that ultimately determine your “destiny”.
I’m not just talking about choices you make, but also, the choices you choose not to make. A “no” is as legitimate of a chocie as “yes”. Sometimes, a decision not to take on another “good opportunity” or a decision not to schedule another meeting can become a game-changer for our productivity.

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7 Steps for Processing Criticism

Kurt Bubna serves as the Lead Pastor of Eastpoint Church, a large, growing, and community-focused congregation in Spokane, WA. He passionately believes that church should reach the lost and love the found. Read more from Kurt at his blog.

Why is it so easy to become discouraged by criticism? Why do we struggle with fear of rejection and hunger too much at times for acceptance and affirmation?

You’ve probably been there too: the brunt of someone’s despairing remark that takes you down emotionally like a falling star flashing through the sky in a fast burnout of despair. It doesn’t matter how many people say, “You’re awesome!” when you’re bleeding out from the one cruel voice of rejection that wounded you.

We’re human. We feel. For some of us, words of affirmation are the love language that best feeds our soul. Words matter to all of us. Words can cut, and words can heal. What Solomon wrote in Proverbs 18:21 is spot on, “Words can bring death or life.” I wish this wasn’t true, but it is.

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Reflecting on Conflict

Craig Owens is the husband of one wife, and the father of three kids and pastor at Calvary Assembly of God in Cedar Springs, MI. We’re glad to share his reflection from The Global Leadership Summit.

Recently I spent two jam-packed days at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit. As always, I was on information overload with the great content that is presented every year. So I took some time to ponder what I learned.

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