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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lessons Learned from a Leadership Veteran

Willow Creek D/CH / Foter.com / CC BY

Bill Hybels and Rich Devos (2000)

Rich Devos co-founder of Amway.  Owns Orlando Magic team.  His son Dick is current president of Amway Corp.  Dick is on board at Willow Creek.

Running any organization is filled with failure.  The only problem with that is knowing how to deal with failure.

One failed business – A flying school – he didn’t know how to fly. 

He passed Latin with the condition that he would never take Latin again.

They (He and Jay) weren’t afraid to do something because they didn’t know how.

They bought a sailboat – they read a book about it but never had been on one before – they finally sank it.

They sold Nutrilite.  They were committed to have their own business.  Jays mother said it was good so they went out and sold it.

The concept of Amway – It was the American Way – to have your own business.  It was designed to help people have their own business.

They just went to work every day.  Everyday they did something to advance the cause.  Don’t get into the leadership role and forget to build. 

4 Steps Leaders who fail take
11.       First a Builder 
22.       Next a Manager- becomes stagnant 
33.       Then a Justifier of Non-Performance 
44.       Finally a Blame Placer

Things that move people are to say – “I’m sorry,”  “I’m wrong,”  “I’m proud of you,” “I love  you,”  “I trust you,” and  “I believe in you.”

How do things look from another person’s viewpoint.

The best way to motivate people is to tell them, “You can do it.”

Rich DeVos writes a lot of memos to people to encourage them.

If you want excellence you have to pay for it.  This may mean that you have to work hard at it.

“I decided that instead of being a big wheel and needed to make our distributors big wheels.”

“I’m not a great conversationalist.  I just listen.”  At interested in their lives . . . that is motivation.

We need R and D.  (Research and Development)  What is the next new thing?  Try and fail at some things.  Experiment.

If you don’t continually look for new ways to improve and advance your cause you are preparing for failure. 

The fun part of tithing is that when you give, you don’t lose it because you never claimed it as your own.

“Don’t put down achievement.  Appreciate people who have money.”

“Get over the fear of rejection.”

Always be who you are.  Don't be afraid to tell others of your faith in Christ.

The Leadership Summit on Learning From Other Leaders-  DVD 1
Willow Creek Resource

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What We’ve Learned from Other Leaders

Willow Creek D/CH / Foter.com / CC BY
Steve Jurvetson / Foter.com / CC BY
Bill Hybels and Rick Warren (1997)

What qualities does a leader need to have in order to learn from others?

Rick Warren – a teachable spirit.  “God has not called me to be original.  He has called me to be effective.”

“I heard of a guy who said he would be original or nothing and he was both.” [humor]
“Originality is the art of concealing your source.” [humor]

Bill Hybels – “As early as possible it is important to become students of your children.” – in order to know how to influence them to be leaders.

You won’t discover what they are capable of unless you put them in a variety of arenas of opportunity.

Rick Warren – “Let God make them in His image.  Don’t try to make them in your image.”

“God’s kingdom does not equal church programs.”

Speaking of handicapped Sunday School teacher as a child - “Love can overcome any limitation.”

When he went to Seminary he went with a question in mind.  “What will help me build a church?”

“I am a voracious reader.  I try to read a book a day.”

“It is more important to get one good idea out of a book than to have it sitting on your shelf while you feel guilty that you haven’t read it.”

“I don’t try to get everything out of every book.  I try to get something out of it.”

“Everybody is ignorant . . . just on different subjects.” – on being observant.

“It is wiser to learn from the experience of others.  I don’t have time to make all the mistakes myself.  It is a lot less painful as well.”

Bill Hybels -  “Most of us need to think more about how to expand our worlds.”

Admit you don’t know things and invite people who know things about a particular subject to help you get smart.

Rick Warren – Jerry Falwell in sermon on the topic of discouragement said, “You don’t determine a man’s greatness by his talent, his wealth, or his education.  You determine a man’s greatness by what it takes to discourage him.”

Jim Collins said,    As preachers we place sands of truth in people’s minds.  A grain of sand irritates them but let God work on it and it becomes a pearl of truth.

Bill Hybels -  the tenacious mind - a search for information to take you to the next level – developing as a person . . . reading is important to stay ahead of the game.

Rick Warren – mastery – always sharpening your axe.  As you read always be looking for something to help you grow . . .

“It is your job to stimulate your spouse for growth.”

Bill Hybels -  meets regularly with Bill Clinton.  “Bill Clinton listens intently no matter what you are talking about.”

Always be looking for leadership lessons.  You can learn from anybody.

Rick Warren – We have a “three hump camel” in our services.  In any good service you have to have emotional highs and lows.  He asked Steven Spielberg . . . “How do you create emotional highs and lows in your films?”  Spielberg said we use three things:  light, music, color.  Examples:  Dangerous scene – red  Mother cuddling baby – pastel.

The Leadership Summit on Learning From Other Leaders-  DVD1
Willow Creek Resource

One-on-One with Jim Collins

Willow Creek D/CH / Foter.com / CC BY
                    Bill Hybels and Jim Collins (1997)

“Built to Last” by Jim Collins  Best seller list for 29 months – also author of "Great by Choice."

Professor at Stanford, Business school.

Question to consider – “What kind of leader accounts for sustained performance over time?”

Leadership comes in how you think about life.  Change your mental set so that things thought impossible become doable.

Leadership is breaking perceptions about what is doable.

Four Key Ideas
1. The people who are successful are clock builders as opposed to time tellers.
2. The Genius of the “And” …. Figuring out how to use things that seem to be contradictory in a compatible manner… as opposed to the Tyranny of the “Or”… the feeling that you always have to make choices between options.
a. Genius of the And does not mean “doing everything”… being everything to all people.
b. It is not a balancing act… it is embracing two apparently opposing possibilities and determining how they can be both used to advantage.
3. Preserve the Core Values AND Stimulate Progress ….
4. Consistency in Alignment….

Charismatic Leader myth…..  that a Charismatic leader is an asset.   Instead a Charismatic leader is a liability to recover from.  A Charismatic leader builds an organization that depends upon him.  Those who follow ask what would “X” do?

How can a leader help his church prepare for sustained growth?
       1.Determine core values of the church… make sure it is clear to the people.
Embed them as an organization element rather than a personal element.
       2.Put in place an audacious aspiration for the church which will extend beyond the tener of the pastor….
       3.Cultivate a successor
       4.Do you determine if you really want someone to succeed after you are gone.

B-Hags . . . .Big Hairy Audacious Goals

A B-Hag is on the border line between laughable and possible.

The role of the B-Hag is to stimulate progress.
The B-Hag must be consistent with your purpose/mission.

One of the key functions of leadership is to motivate people to progress.

Winston Churchill – 1940 as Hitler was a challenge said, “Our goal is not to survive.  Our goal is to prevail.”

A B-Hag helps you to decide not only what to do but also what not to do.

To Do List…. A Stop Doing List  The second list can be as important as the first.

Set you B-Hag and clarify your purpose.

Unplug the TV’s in your life.

Just because something is good doesn’t mean you have to do it or that you are supposed to do it.  Choose what you feel  you must do AND you will be most effective in doing.

The Leadership Summit on Learning From Other Leaders-  DVD 1
Willow Creek Resource

Liberty Limits


It seemed like I was constantly getting into fights.  As a ten or eleven-year-old boy I was not aggressive, abrasive or argumentative.  I thought I was a nice guy.  Older students at my elementary school, however, continued to pick on me.  It didn't help that I had not lost a fight.  It seemed to be a challenge to them.
This time was different.   A boy I knew and his older sister were on their way home from school.  Without any provocation he insulted me and challenge me to fight.   After some unpleasant conversation his older sister stepped forward and said,  ”If you hurt my little brother I will give you a licken’.”  My parents taught me to never touch a girl and to act respectfully toward women.  Besides that the girl was about a foot taller and quite a lot heavier than I was.   It was time to retreat.
There are times when we may feel that we are right and want to push our Christian liberty in the presence of a brother who is restricted by rules and regulations.   Paul indicated that this may “provoke the Lord to jealousy” so that He will take up the defense of our brother against us.  (1 Cor 10:19-23)  That is a situation we want to avoid.  In our desire to please God at all times and in all ways we will do our best to not damage the conscience of our brother by our freedom in Christ.
In like manner, Christian leaders must remember that the people we are working with are God's creation.  Whether they are serving Him or not, they are deeply loved by Him.  Therefore it is wise for us to remember to never treat others as objects but rather as people of privilege.  We never want to harm the self image, self confidence, or the conscience of those we try to lead.  People are always more important that programs, positions, and popularity.  Just because "we can" doesn't mean that "we should". 
Dr. Gayle Woods

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

True Determination


Michael Jordan is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time. His leaping ability, demonstrated by performing slam dunks from the free throw line in slam dunk contests, earned him the nicknames “Air Jordan” and “His Airness”. He also gained a reputation for being one of the best defensive players in basketball. He is described as ‘single-handedly redefining the NBA superstar’ and yet to get there he openly admits to failing more than most.

Jordan did a basketball commercial where he walks in the arena and the people are chanting, “Michael! Michael!” He says, “ I've missed 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and I have missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life.” Jordan goes on to say the reason he has succeeded boils down to his constant failure and using failure as motivation to shoot for success. In other words Jordan viewed failures as stepping stones towards success.
Determined leaders fall forward.  Staying down is not an option.  Looking ahead while getting up from the fall is the practice.  Each mistake is a lesson paid for and learned well.  It is a lesson not to be repeated.  Constant improvement is the goal.   Though the effort may be strenuous, the obstacles foreboding, and the prospects discouraging the determined leader presses on with an cautious optimism that anticipates victory ahead.
Dr. Gayle Woods

Friday, May 10, 2013

Developing Followers



The story is told that Abraham Lincoln once visited a slave auction. He did not go to buy a slave but merely to watch the proceedings. As he watched he was more convinced than before of the indignity of selling and buying a fellow human being. As a result of the experience he was overcome with rage.
In this state he observed a young woman being brought to the auction block. She was obviously difficult to manage as she rebelled against the possibility of being sold to a stranger. She probably had known this experience in the past as owners had used, abused and then disposed of her.
Lincoln did something that was out of character. He joined the bidding and he continued to raise his offers until he was awarded the sale of the slave girl. After paying the price and he strode over to where she was being held. Her defiant anger was now focused on him. To her disbelief he said, “You’re free.” She vehemently expressed her disbelief. Lincoln insisted. “You are free. You can go wherever you want and do whatever you want.” The truth of the matter was finally grasped and she said, “Well, if I am really free, than I’m going with you.”
Leaders who understand people, are able to develop people who want to follow.  When a leader consistently listens intently to his people as they tell about the challenges as well as the victories in their lives he will gain a trust that would not be found otherwise.  When people discover that their leader really cares a bond is established.  When a leader doesn't forget the encounters he has with his people but shows his interest in practical ways his people will begin to want to help him accomplish what he feels is important.  
You can pull people along like a man walking a dog who has interests in other things besides staying on the sidewalk.  You can also lead people who want to follow like the farmer who takes a bucket of feed out to the cows in the pasture and leads them to another field that has a better grazing area.
I continue to be amused by the Chinese proverb that says,  “He who thinks he leads and has no one following him is only taking a walk."   Leaders can accomplish much more when they develop followers.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Character Matters


Job was a model man. God boasted of him to Satan saying that “there is none like him in the earth.” (Job 1:20-22; 2:1-10)

What were his distinctives? What set him apart?  A look at the Hebrew words might help us in knowing better what kind of behavior and demeanor impress God.

Job was a perfect man – The root of the Hebrew word Tam means to be complete. In many instances it speaks of that which is ethically sound.

Job was an upright man – yashar – to be level, straight, upright, just, lawful. One of the characteristics of the blameless is that they live upright lives.

Job feareth God – yare – fearing, afraid - reverence, respect

Job escheweth evil – sur means to turn aside, depart – Sur is used both in a negative and in a positive sense. It means to make a distinctive and definite act of removing yourself from where you were before.

Job was a leader among men in his day.  Above all he was a man who impressed God.  From his example we find a number of things that will help us as we develop our leadership style.

1.  He was ethically above reproach
2.  He was fair in his dealings with others
3.  He was submissive to authority
4.  He was honest in all of his activities.

Ivey Business Journal states "Character fundamentally shapes how we engage the world around us, what we notice, what we reinforce, who we engage in conversation, what we value, what we choose to act on, how we decide…and the list goes on.  Our own research on the failures of leadership points to issues around character as a central theme."  (Developing Leadership Character by Mary Crossan, Jeffrey Gandz and Gerard Seijts, Jan/Feb 2012 http://www.iveybusinessjournal.com/topics/leadership/developing-leadership-character)

In order to develop as a leader we must develop as a person.  How we view life, others and God will in a large degree determine the end result of our endeavor to be a leader.

Dr. Gayle Woods

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Leadership and Growth


“Congregations without a leader or with a retiree serving as leader are least likely to experience growth. Congregations with interim leaders are also unlikely to experience growth and are second only to congregations without a leader in the percentage declining.” P 17

“Congregations with multiple leaders (at least one of whom is full time) are by far the most likely to have grown between 2005 and 2010.” P 18

“Congregations with multiple part time leaders or a solo leader are less likely to grow than congregations with multiple full time leaders and are considerably more likely to grow than congregations with an interim, retired leader orno leader.” P 18

“. . . youngest age cohort of congregational leaders (34 years old or younger) is less likely to see growth in their congregation than leaders in their mid-to-late 30s. Overall, leaders aged 35-39 are most likely to be in growing congregations.”p 18

“. . . after age 39, the proportion of clergy in growing congregations drops steadily, reaching its lowest point for leaders age 66 to 70. “ p 18

“ The three areas of activity most strongly related to growth were: 1) evangelism or recruitment; 2) developing and promoting a vision and purpose for the congregation; and 3) teaching people about the faith and scripture. Also helpful to growth were recruiting and training lay leaders, representing the congregation in the community and engaging youth and young adults.” P 19

“Recruitment efforts are essential for growth and the leader of the congregation must be involved. “ p 19

“Time spent developing and promoting a vision and purpose for one’s congregation is a
good bit harder to define than recruitment or evangelism.” P 19

 “ . . . efforts to articulate and support the mission and purpose of a congregation.” P 19

“The leader is very important in helping a congregation find its purpose and in reinforcing
that purpose and the identity out of which it flows.” P 20

‘There was no leadership activity found negatively related to growth . . .” P 20

‘There were, however, some activities with virtually no relationship to growth. The smallest correlation was with “planning and leading worship,” followed by “administration, supervision and committee meetings” and “providing pastoral
care.”  P 20

“The problem is that the vast majority of leaders(three quarters) spend quite a bit or a great deal of time in this area.” P 20

“Catholic and Mainline congregations (which are more likely to decline) spend  proportionately more time dealing with worship than leaders of other congregations.” P 20  

Notes taken from study “Facts on Growth:  2010” by C. Kirk Hadaway on the section “Leadership and Growth”  www.faithcommunitiestoday.org

This is a report on the Faith Communities Today 2010 (Fact 210) national survey of congregations conducted by the Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership (CCSP).  CCSP is a multi-faith coalition of denominations and religious groups hosted by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, Hartford Seminary.

General Colin Powell's Rules

jdlasica / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

  1. It ain't as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.
  2. Get mad, then get over it.
  3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
  4. It can be done!
  5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it.
  6. Don't let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
  7. You can't make someone else's choices. You shouldn't let someone else make yours.
  8. Check small things.
  9. Share credit.
10. Remain calm. Be kind.
11. Have a vision. Be demanding.
12. Don't take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

Parade, August 13, 1989

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Value of Discernment



A man born in the city decided to move to the country and start a chicken farm. He bought 200 baby chicks and a farmhouse with some land around it. The chickens all quickly died. He bought 200 more baby chicks. Again, they all died. Puzzled and distressed, the man wrote to the county agricultural agent and described his problem. He concluded his letter, “I want very much to be a successful chicken farmer. Therefore, can you tell me: Have I been planting the chicks too close together or too deep?” Whereupon the county agent wrote back and said, “I can’t answer your question until you send me a soil sample.”*

Jesus had to have been frustrated with the disciples at times.  They seemed to be so dense.   Sometimes I am as well.   And yet I take great satisfaction in reading that spiritual things are spiritually discerned.

(1 Cor 2:14) 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

Because of my relationship with Jesus Christ I now have a greater insight into the meaning of God’s Word. There are some passages of Scripture that we will still struggle with until we develop more in Christian growth.   But as Mark Twain once said, “Most people are bothered by those passages in Scripture which they cannot understand. The Scripture which troubles me most is the Scripture I do understand.” It is essential that we accept and work with what we DO know as we are developing a greater understanding of the Word.

In like manner, a leader must accept and work with what he does know while he is developing a greater understanding of the situation or the circumstances with which he is dealing.  The value of discernment should not be underestimated whether spiritual or secular.  Acute observation, practiced consideration of detail, and careful insistence that unsubstantiated conclusions are avoided must become natural exercises of the leader.   This learned and exercised expertise will be of tremendous benefit as he endeavors to make important decisions.

*Adapted James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 211.

Leadership Quotes






(I intend for this to be a growing file of quotes important to leaderhsip.)






"We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit."  - Aristotle

"Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates.  There's plenty of movement, but you never know if it's going to be forward, backwards, or sideways."  - H. Jackson Brown, Jr. (Author)

"Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you.  Never excuse yourself.  Never pity yourself.  Be a hard master to yourself- and be lenient to everybody else."  -Henry Ward Beecher

"You can not always control circumstances, but you can control your own thoughts." - Charles Popplestown

"If we did all the things we were capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves." - Thomas Edison

"Unless you are prepared to give up something valuable you will never be able to truly change at all, because you'll be forever in the control of things you can't give up."— Andy Law

"One key to successful leadership is continuous personal change. Personal change is a reflection of our inner growth and empowerment."— Robert E. Quinn

"Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have—and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up."— James Belasco and Ralph Stayer, Flight of the Buffalo (1994)

"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."— Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince (1532)

"The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon. If anything, competition in most industries will probably speed up even more in the next few decades."— John P. Kotter, Leading Change

"There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse; as I have found in traveling in a stagecoach, that it often a comfort to shift one's position and be bruised in a new place."— Washington Irving, Tales of a Traveler )

"After living with their dysfunctional behavior for so many years (a sunk cost if ever there was one), people become invested in defending their dysfunctions rather than changing them."— Marshall Goldsmith, Mojo

"We are chameleons, and our partialities and prejudices change place with an easy and blesses facility, and we are soon wonted to the change and happy in it."— Mark Twain

"Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times."— Niccolo Machiavelli
"People don't resist change. They resist being changed!"— Peter Senge

"Even those who fancy themselves the most progressive will fight against other kinds of progress, for each of us is convinced that our way is the best way."- — Louis L'Amour, The Lonely Men

"He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator."— Francis Bacon, Essays, II, On Innovation

"In times of rapid change, experience could be your worst enemy."— J. Paul Getty

"If you want to make enemies, try to change something." — Woodrow Wilson

"Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him." — Dwight D. Eisenhower

"The most successful businessman is the man who holds onto the old just as long as it is good, and grabs the new just as soon as it is better."— Robert P. Vanderpoel

"The respect that leadership must have requires that one's ethics be without question. A leader not only stays above the line between right and wrong, he stays well clear of the gray areas." — G. Alan Bernard, President, Mid Park, Inc

"Never, for the sake of peace and quiet, deny your own experience or convictions." — Dag Hammarskjold, Statesman

"God grant that men of principle shall be our principal men." — Thomas Jefferson

"Successful leadership is not about being tough or soft, sensitive or assertive, but about a set of attributes. First and foremost is character" — Warren Bennis

"Mountaintops inspire leaders but valleys mature them." — Winston Churchill

"People do not follow uncommitted leaders. Commitment can be displayed in a full range of matters to include the work hours you choose to maintain, how you work to improve your abilities, or what you do for your fellow workers at personal sacrifice." — Stephen Gregg, Chairman and CEO of Ethix Corp.

"I am easily satisfied with the very best." — Winston Churchill

"Desire is the key to motivation, but it's determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek." — Mario Andretti

"The basic building block of good communications is the feeling that every human being is unique and of value."— Unknown

"If you have nothing to say, say nothing."— Mark Twain

"The day soldiers stop bring you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them."— General Colin Powell

"Keep things informal. Talking is the natural way to do business. Writing is great for keeping records and putting down details, but talk generates ideas. Great things come from out luncheon meetings which consist of a sandwich, a cup of soup, and a good idea or two. No martinis."— T. Boone Pickens

You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere.— Lee Iacocca

"The art of communication is the language of leadership."— James Humes

"Preaching for life changes requires far less information and more application. Less explanation and more inspiration."— Andy Stanley"

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives." — Willa A. Foster

"There is nothing which rots morale more quickly and more completely than … the feeling that those in authority do not know their own minds.." — Lionel Urwick, Harvard Business Review 1956


"No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it."— Andrew Carnegie

"The phrase I can't is the most powerful force of negation in the human psyche."— Paul R. Scheele, Learning Strategies Corporation

"Nothing is a greater impediment to being on good terms with others than being ill at ease with yourself."— HonorĂ© de Balzac,The Human Comedy

"Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate."— Henry David Thoreau

"No man can make you feel inferior without your consent."— Eleanor Roosevelt

"The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none."— Thomas Carlyle

"Knowing what you can not do is more important than knowing what you can do. In fact, that's good taste."— Lucille Ball

"I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can't be done."— Henry Ford

"He can inspire a group only if he himself is filled with confidence and hope of success."— Floyd V. Filson


"Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared."— Eddie Rickenbacker World War I hero

"The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances."— Aristotle

"One man with courage makes a majority."— Andrew Jackson

"Courage is not limited to the battlefield or the Indianapolis 500 or bravely catching a thief in your house. The real tests of courage are much quieter. They are the inner tests, like remaining faithful when nobody's looking, like enduring pain when the room is empty, like standing alone when you're misunderstood."— Charles Swindoll

"Courage is fear holding on a minute longer."— General George S. Patton

"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."— Winston Churchill British Prime Minister

"It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare."— Mark Twain

"I have endured a great deal of ridicule without much malice; and have received a great deal of kindness, not quite free from ridicule. I am used to it."— Abraham Lincoln November 2, 1863 in letter to James H. Hackett

"Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others." - Robert Louis Stevenson

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” - Ronald Reagan

“You have to be burning with "an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right." If you're not passionate enough from the start, you'll never stick it out.” - Steve Jobs

“Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” - George S. Patton, Jr.

“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower


“Do you know that one of the great problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas.” ― Margaret ThatcherMargaret Thatcher

“Don't follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.” ― Margaret Thatcher

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” ― John F. Kennedy

"Doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting different results, is the definition of crazy." - Unknown

"The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas."— Dr. Linus Pauling

"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought."— Albert von Szent-Gyorgy

"The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions."— Anthony Jay

"Success is on the far side of failure."— Thomas Watson Sr.

"You don't understand anything unless you understand there are at least 3 ways."— M. Minsky

"To have a great idea, have a lot of them."— Thomas Edison

"If you do not the expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail."— Heraclitus


"The only prerequisites to leadership are that you remain positive, calm, and open-minded." - Alexis Hunter

"Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it." - Marian Anderson

"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." - Steve Jobs

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." - John Quincy Adams

"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves." - Lao Tzu

"Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them." - John C. Maxwell

"The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly." - Jim Rohn

"The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership." - Colin Powell

"Nothing so conclusively proves a man's ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself." - Thomas J. Watson Sr.

"He that cannot obey, cannot command." - Benjamin Franklin

"Leadership: The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

"A leader is a dealer in hope." - Napoleon Bonaparte

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." - George Patton

"What you cannot enforce, do not command." - Sophocles

"A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better." - Jim Rohn

"The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality." - Warren G. Bennis

"Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people." - John D. Rockefeller

"The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority." - Kenneth Blanchard

"The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and the self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it." -Theodore Roosevelt








Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Double Dilemma


Two distinctive features which fit those of the postmodern generation are respect for testimony and lack of regard for authority. The disregard for absolutes and the acceptance of someone’s story has left them with twin problems and the church with a double dilemma. Since the postmodernist will not accept the concept of absolute truth, he is placed in a position of having no reference point for his life. He is like a ship without a compass. Since he will accept someone’s experience as real for that person, but not necessarily for himself, he is placed in the position of having a multiplicity of realities that are not tangible for him. To his mind it is as if each person is in a personalized bubble of reality which is unrelated in substance to that of anyone else.

The church’s basic premises are founded in absolute truth. If that concept is not accepted then the premise is rejected as well. Furthermore, many Christians are reluctant to tell their story except when they are cloistered with other Christians in a building topped with a steeple. Even then, it is sometimes difficult to persuade the “faithful” to recount the testimony of their faith.
How then does the Church reach a postmodern world? Are we to consider the differences to be irreconcilable and thus acquiesce that we have lost a generation? The situation seems to be hopeless as long as the postmodern will not accept the absolutes that are essential to our faith, and we neglect to tell our story which might convince them to consider the veracity of our worldview.
How can we win them? How can we breech this seemly insurmountable wall of separation? I would like to suggest that it appears that a key to this problem would be through the vantage of incarnational testimony. By incarnational testimony I mean the life, and the vocalization of a daily experience which clearly and without hesitation expresses a living, vital relationship with the risen Jesus.
The account of our experience with God must be genuine, sound genuine and bear the scrutiny of examination over a period of time. Postmodernists seem to have an uncanny ability to perceive, that which is not authentic. Thus in order to reach them, Christians must first become zealously concerned about their own relationship with God. Although no one can be always consistent, we must enthusiastically endeavor to clean up our act. As we make these steps, each action becomes part of our story that will have the clear peal of a clarion. Once we have allowed God to sweep the clutter out of the dark recesses of our inner beings then we must make it our business boldly to proclaim to postmodernists that God can, and does make a difference in the heart and life of the person who honestly is willing to yield to Him.
I am suggesting that once the postmodernist is convinced of the authenticity of our story, and that of others, which appear to be replicas, he will see that the spiritual experience of humanity can be more than a random inspiration or intuition. When he sees genuineness multiplied, he will know that not just one but many have indeed found an Absolute. That Absolute is the God we know. At that point it will be our responsibility to introduce the postmodernist to our Absolute who can make him part of our experience. When he truly knows the Absolute then the absolutes of our faith will more easily be accepted.
by Dr. Gayle Woods

Friday, May 3, 2013

Facing Obstacles


Proverbs 22:10-16 says, 
10  Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out, and quarreling and abuse will cease.  11  He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend. 12  The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge, but he overthrows the words of the traitor.   13   The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside!  I shall be killed in the streets!”   14  The mouth of forbidden women is a deep pit;  he with whom the Lord is angry will fall into it.   15  Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,  but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.   16  Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth,  or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

It is true.  Life is full of heartache and hardships.  You can expect obstacles in life.  On the way to work you may find that the highway is under construction and you have to take a detour.  Some obstacles that you will face are more significant.  You may be handicapped causing you to forfeit some of the desires in life you might have had.  You may have recently lost a loved one.  Possibly you are facing economic difficulty.

Jesus F. Contreras, a Mexican sculptor lost his right arm while working on a statue. Besides the pain, expense and inconvenience, this caused him a lot of frustration. But the artist did not give up on his work. Through painstaking effort he learned to carve with his left hand. Finally the day came when he unveiled his beautiful masterpiece.  He had named it ’In Spite Of’.
Booker T. Washington was born in slavery. Thomas Edison was deaf in his left ear and 80% deaf in his right ear.  Beethoven was deaf.  Abraham Lincoln was born of illiterate parents. Lord Byron had a club foot. Robert Louis Stevenson had tuberculosis. Alexander Pope was a hunchback. Admiral Nelson had only one eye. Julius Caesar was an epileptic. Helen Keller was blind and deaf.
All of these individuals faced obstacles but did not let it stop them.  They went on to great success.  As leaders we realize that the best way to overcome a problem is to face it.  It is important that we model this before those who follow our lead, but it is important that we verbalize this to them as well.  
As you lead your people through the obstacle course of life they will also see something else of great advantage if you are a Christ follower.  We take courage from stories of great men and women who have been strong in the face of adversity and yet we have an advantage that many in life have not discovered.  We have a God whose grace is sufficient for every circumstance.  We have a God who will never leave us when we face the obstacles of life.  He will never forsake us when others give up and leave us to face the hardships of life alone.
By Dr. Gayle Woods

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

6 Ways to be a More Courageous Leader


By Brad Lomenick
1. Set scary standards. 
2. Allow for failure. 
3. Make decisions. 
4. Reward innovation. 
5. Pursue the right opportunities. 
6. Learn to delegate.
Notes are taken from the article found at:
Also check out his blog for many helpful articles at:  http://www.bradlomenick.com/