Slow And Steady…

The phrase is often used, but rarely does it characterize the path chosen by most. We tend to lean towards a little faster pace. We prefer to take a plan and get the ball rolling right away.

Experience has demonstrated the consequences of making decisions rashly and implementing plans quickly without thinking through the details.

Leaders encounter many dimensions that concern the future of any organization and they must make decisions that often alter direction.

A slow and steady approach to decision-making and implementation is beneficial for at least three reasons: 1) leaders have time to think through angles impacting the development of the project, 2) the consequences of decisions can be considered before enacting the plan (the idea of asking for forgiveness being easier than permission will not work here), and 3) generally speaking, a thorough approach legitimizes the direction, making buy-in from others more forthcoming.

Effort to take a more slow and steady approach on the part of leadership develops stronger credibility as it is connected to the demands of leaders.

A Message Of Retreat…

What were your first thoughts when you read the title of today’s post? Was there a thought of getting away to relax, something of a calming time away from regular responsibilities? Or, were there thoughts of running away from the battle?

We know how easy it can be to end something before finishing it. Perhaps it is the frustration of the moment, pressures of deadlines, or dealing with people who are either not carrying their weight or they seem to be a weight that must be carried along.

Regardless, the decision to stop or go the other direction seems to be quick and easy.

Leaders must possess a different mindset. We cannot, we must not allow the challenges of reaching our desired goal prevent us from finishing well.

A few suggestions might help when facing these times: 1) remember the greater good of the cause for which we are working, 2) be surrounded with affirmations that result from reaching the goal, and 3) make sure the right people are involved in doing the job needing to be done.

Let us avoid the “retreat” mentality and move forward with confidence.

Leadership Word Of The Week…Preoccupied…

To be preoccupied is to have one’s mind dominated or engrossed by someone or something to the exclusion of all else.

Leaders can certainly be preoccupied inappropriately and the results affect family, friends, work, and all areas of life.

There are, however, several ideas associated with this preoccupation that provide a benefit to the individual and organization.

When leaders are preoccupied with the word of God, they have chosen a path that leads to godliness. They see through the eyes of mission, they possess a heart of compassion, and minister with the legs and feet of a servant.

When leaders are preoccupied with the Gospel, they understand the urgency of reaching each soul they meet. No stone is left unturned, no obstacle is too great to overcome, no mountain too high to climb, no valley too low to walk through, and no challenge to difficult to meet because the salvation of others takes precedent.

While preoccupation is a two-way street, and can easily lead to a negative side, the point is for leaders to be preoccupied in the right and positive ways to change people’s lives eternally.

Leadership Habits…Part 1

Habits are, well, habits. We often do not realize our habits unless someone brings them to our attention, or we know they are “bad” ones.

The consecutive number assigned to develop a habit is 21. At this writing, an accurate number needed to break a habit could not be found.

Obviously, we know some habits are easier and quicker to develop than others. We also recognize the incredible difficulty in breaking bad habits. Interestingly enough, no one ever refers to a need for breaking good habits.

Leaders also display habits, both good and bad. What we want to examine in the weeks ahead are a few tips surrounding the idea of habits that will improve our leadership.

As we look briefly at the subject, our approach is one of caution and awareness. We are cautious to discuss the subject with concern for the betterment of all leaders, and we are aware of how limited our own understanding is of such a broad subject.

With this in mind, next week we will begin our journey into the world of leadership habits that strengthen our influence.

Leadership Thought Of The Day…

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Harriet Beecher Stowe

Why is it that so many give up when the adversity of challenge and controversy stares us in the face? The answer to this question will vary with each person, but the sad reality is the fact that many give up.

The possibility exists that the answer lies in the inability to see the turning tide, or a lack of experience in witnessing the turn.

Regardless of the answer we come up with, today’s thought expresses two important ideas: 1) perseverance is a vital component to our leadership character if we are to experience the success of a turning tide, and 2) the elation of a tidal reward has a greater sweetness when we endure the challenges and hang on during the adversity of life.

The commonality for both is the need to hang on a minute longer and keep hanging on.

A Kind Word From A Friend…

We have all experienced those times in life where everything and everyone seemed to be against us. Our thoughts raced with anticipated conversations. We can only think of the worst possible scenario and in those moments we spell out our own demise. When this happens, the choices seem limited and we tend to make decisions that are life altering.

Perhaps we have also observed the benefit of a friend who took a moment to call, send a note, or write an e-mail to encourage us in those dark times.

Take a moment to think about those to whom we are closest and consider how a kind word might make the difference in a life-altering decision.

When the way seems dark and the answers are not easy to find, we appreciate the value of someone who understands and cares enough to speak a kind word.

Our leadership influence flourishes when we provide the same kindness to others we know who experience the same.

Life expands before all of us as we seek opportunity to build up a friend in need.

Think Twice, Speak Once…

This idea relates to an old carpenter’s practice of “measure twice, cut once.” This advice was helpful on more than one occasion.

Considering the application of thinking before speaking is a powerful component to leading in any situation. Thinking twice before speaking not only applies to the verbal, but written words also. Here are a couple of thoughts related to thinking twice before speaking.

1) Before deciding to speak, consider how the words we are about to say will influence the one(s) who hear them. Will our words build them up or tear them down? Will our words heal or hurt? Taking a moment to consider how the outcome of what we say can make all the difference in our relationships.

2) Thinking twice before we speak allows us to develop a concise clarity to what we want to say. We often lose the attention of others when we are unprepared and ramble our way through something we attempt to say. Concise clarity makes listening a much easier task.

When we take the time to think twice before speaking, we enhance the quality of our leadership communication.