Something to Say About Leadership…It’s all about perspective

A great lesson I’ve learned over the years is all people see life through certain filters, or lenses. Our lives are truly a vision of the perspectives we have. Many people can’t seem to get ahead in life, because they see themselves as a victim, so they view life from that perspective. Everything that happens, every relationship, every opportunity, every rejection to them is about the fact that everyone is against them, they are doing their best and people are just keeping them down. It’s amazing what a little perspective change can do. Simply shifting the “way” we see things, can have a profound effect on our lives.

I believe there’s a cycle here. The cycle works this way. We have certain perspectives, view points (the point from which we see things). Our perspectives effect our view, which effects our thoughts. Our thoughts effect our actions. Our actions solicit responses, and those responses bring reinforcement to our perspectives.

Let me give you an example. If a person thinks that others don’t like them, then when they go to pubic gatherings, they are usually reserved, shy, disconnected. This action sends out a vibe that says don’t approach me, so people in response stay back, and this reinforces in that persons mind, “see, I knew people didn’t like me, I should have just stayed home.” Is there truth to this, no. There is no evidence that people don’t like them. They are just stuck in the cycle of fear of rejection, because they have a perspective, for whatever reason that they are not liked. Maybe it was a rejection by a parent, maybe it was betrayal by a friend in their youth. Who knows, but their perspective has them trapped.

On the other hand if you have a person who thinks everyone likes them, their actions speak of confidence and openness, the response is people are drawn to them, and it reinforces their thought, “see, I knew it, every one likes me.”

In either of these situations the fact that people do or don’t like them, doesn’t matter, what matters is their perspective. Because they will behave in ways directed by the way they see things, and their behavior will evoke a response, and the response will reinforce their perspective.

You can see how important perspective is. How do you see your life? What are the filters you see through? What perspectives need to change or even be done away with? If we’re going to lead, then we need to make sure our perspectives are not driven by insecurity. We can’t see the world through fear, and expect to be successful leaders.

There are two places this cycle can be broken. One is in a person changing their perspective, another is in people responding in love to a person regardless of their actions, which can break the cycle and give them a new perspective. Both of these are acts of leadership, and both of these take massive amounts of courage and security. We can do it!

What are perspective shifts you’ve had? How did they effect your life?

Next blog, we will talk about the next step towards security.

thanks
David

Something to Say About Leadership…What is Insecurity?

In life we hear the word insecurity often. We use this word to describe people who lack confidence, people who wear their emotions on their sleeves, and people who are enamored with the idea of pleasing other people.

What is insecurity really? The dictionary defines it as an unsafe feeling. A state of mind characterized by self-doubt and vulnerability. So insecurity is a feeling of not being secure. It is a feeling of being a target for hurt or harm, when you get right down to it insecurity in its true meaning is just plane fear, the fear that we are not safe.

We’ve thought of insecurity as an overly emotional state, immaturity, and a lack of confidence. All these things characterize insecurity. They also Characterize fear. Insecurity simply means I’m afraid I’m going to be rejected. It means I’m afraid I’m going to fail. It means I’m afraid I’m going to hurt. It means I’m afraid to risk. It means I just don’t feel safe.

We can all see how this can sabotage a leader. This type of thinking paralyzes a leader. Keeps them from moving forward. Keeps their focus on their performance not the vision. What we need to do however is remove the mystery from the word insecurity and just call it what it is, Fear. Say it after me. “I am afraid.” We all go through this at different times. It’s what we do in those times that matters. Will we see insecurity for what it is and eliminate it, or will we see it as a small weakness and let it stay. It’s fear, and if you are a leader fear is your mortal enemy!

Fear is the enemy of the leader. That’s the way we should look at it. We need to listen and believe the bible. Romans 8:15 says, “we have not been given the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the spirit of adoption whereby we cry abba father. It says in Timothy, “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love, of power, and of a sound mind. So Fear does the transverse of this passage. It eliminates love, makes us feel weak, and paints us into a corner of confusion. Fear is an enemy to the leader.

We need to understand the power Insecurity and fear can have if we allow it in our lives. What does it cause? If I fear people’s opinions than I can’t lead with a clear vision, If I fear taking a risk, or failing, then I will stick with the status quo. If I fear rejection from people I will be obsessed with my performance and never feel like I’m good enough. It really is a killer of leadership. We must force it out of our lives.

I taught our staff today, on the idea that leading progress requires courage. Its possible to lead and not be moving forward, Moses did it for 40 years in the wilderness. It took courage for Joshua to get it moving forward. God told Joshua in the book of Joshua chapter one, to “be strong and of good courage and not to be afraid” four times. He was getting the point across to Joshua that it was going to take courage to lead to the fulfillment of the dream, to do the right things, to stand against fear itself, and bottom line it takes courage to lead people. It requires us to do the uncomfortable, to confront, and to influence others.

When I was starting out, I wanted everyone to like me. I thought that was leadership. It made me second-guess my communication. I wondered constantly if I was measuring up. It caused me to compete with others in my own mind, and to compare myself with others. I was afraid I would be rejected or I wouldn’t succeed. It wasn’t until I realized leadership is a “stand alone” place much of the time and It takes courage to help people. You can’t help people if you are constantly seeking their approval, because then it’s all about you and not them.

There are ways to defeat this fear. There are perspectives we must have, and perspectives we must change to defeat this enemy. It can be done.

Next blog I will talk about the first way to overcome insecurity, and how our perspectives can create either a vicious cycle of fear, or a victories cycle of confidence.

Hope this is helping you. Please comment on fears you have faced in leadership and how you have overcome them.

-David

Something to say about Leadership

Over 20 years ago I began my journey as a leader. My Journey if far from over. I still have much to learn, and haven’t begin to tap into the true potential that could be realized in my life. I wish I could say that I have reached some sort of pinnacle, but what I have found to be true at the age of forty, is that those who think they have reached the top, really haven’t, but have left themselves no where to go but down.

True, effective leaders are always growing, and developing themselves, and everyone around them. A true leader gives the benefit of their growth to those following them.

I am going to attempt over the next few weeks to blog each day on an issue of leadership. Over the last two decades I’ve read many books, I’ve attended many conferences. I have had the privilege of setting under the ministry of some of the greatest leaders out there and had the opportunity to meet them and set and listen to them.

Over this time I have gleaned enormous amounts of resource, but to be honest this is not where I’ve received most of my leadership “education.” In those settings I learned principles, and leadership thoughts, but it has been in the everyday activities of leading alongside the leaders over me, beside me, and those following me, where I have learned the most. Not because they knew more than the experts, but because we were putting into practice those things we learned.

In this series of blogs I am not going to try to tell you all the principles of leadership that will work for you. I am going share with you experiences in my own life, and in the lives of leaders I’ve watched rise, and fall.

There are things that kill Leadership. Enemies of leadership. Most of them are not external. They are not an enemy from without, but an enemy from within. Pretense, Fear, Jealousy, competition, envy, pride and Greed. All of these, everyone of them, can be summed up in one word, “INSECURITY.” In my mind the greatest Killer of leaders and our influence. Insecurity is sneaky, its often hidden, its always revealed under pressure, and ultimately it will choke the life of leadership out of any leader who doesn’t remove it.

As I write these next few blogs, I hope it will reveal places of insecurity in us and help us to understand there is a way to overcome it. Our leadership can thrive! Our Potential can be realized! We can be Secure, confident, happy, and content, and at the same time very influential.

stay tuned….

Does anybody Care?

I have a great life! I get to meet a lot of people, from different backgrounds, in diverse settings, and issues on different levels. Just for the record, everyone deals with “stuff.” Everyone. Everyone in this life has ups and downs. Many victories and many travesties, and sometimes they come right on the heals of each other.

The one thing I know that “life” is not prejudice. It does not prejudge in any way. Everyone goes through it. By the way there is only one option if you don’t want to go through it. I think that life is what you make it, our perspective has a lot to do with our survival. Whether dealing with good or bad times, we can choose to be positive.

I think one problem we have, is when we get down, we can’t see anyone else. Its like, all of a sudden our life is locked in to a long stare in the mirror, and we don’t like what we see. I was watching “extreme home makeover” the other day, I love it. I love seeing people do good things for other people. There was a young man on it named Patrick Henry Hughes. He was born without eyes, and without the ability to straighten his limbs. He is now nineteen and quite an inspiration. He is a great musician! I can’t do his story justice by any mean, he is so inspirational! He has a book out, I’m going to get it. I can’t Imagine how so many of us have such minor issues compared to him, and yet he and his dad worked together to keep him moving forward, and we can find every excuse to slow to almost a stop.

When we are down and in that stare down with ourselves we can’t see anyone else, so the question arises, does anyone care? The answer of course, is yes! Absolutely yes! Someone does care. First and foremost God cares. The bible says in 2 Peter, that we should cast our care on Him because He cares for us. Others care. I bet we would be surprised how many other people care, if we would just let them in, if we, when we’re hurt would let down our guard and quit sending the message that we don’t want to be bothered.

I’ve had several wake up calls in my life. I call them that, because they are I was asleep to, until someone woke me up. Issues like human trafficking, foster kids, HIV/aides, orphans, starving people around the globe. When I first wake up to an issue, i always get zealous, then I see the need, it seems overwhelming, then I decide what i can do to help, then I go about doing it. In this process there is always a temptation to say, why doesn’t anyone care? Where are all the people that should be doing something about this? However, invariably I find out as i continue my quest to help, there are a lot of people out there caring. Some of them have different motives than others, but what I can say is Somebody does care.

Yes, more should care, and its up to us to get more people informed and involved, but lets not curse the baby as we are throwing the bath water out. I encourage you if your down, realize no one can read your mind. Ask yourself, “is my attitude a sign on my forehead that says, stay away from me?”

Ask for help. Ask someone to get involved. Tell someone close to you, that you need them, because I tell you with certainty, someone does care. Don’t give up, don’t quit, someone does care. If you can’t do anything but cry out to God and ask him to send someone to you, He will. He cares.

Someone Who Cares
David

Depraved…

I have just finished watching “Nightlines” report on tracking a pedophile in Phnom Penh Cambodia. I feel much like i do every time I encounter this. I feel a full spectrum of emotion. I want to cry for the hopelessness of the situation, I’m enraged at a person who could be so depraved as to move from one country to another and make a life there for the purpose of sexually abusing children. Its appalling, so much so that your mind almost wants to say “is this really happening?” Its the ultimate in Surreal.

I probably would say that like so many americans do, except I’ve been there, and I have worked with many children who have been rescued from the sex trade, and our ministry spends time and money to help keep this from happening to other children and helping those this has happened to.

Make no mistake, this is happening all over the world. It is interesting how it happens. The culture is ripe for it, because of what has happened in the history of Cambodia, there are some in that culture that do not have the same respect for human life as others, and there are predators many who are american who take full advantage of this. They see children as a product not a person. Couple that with poverty beyond the pale and you have the makings of using human beings as slaves. Let me just say however, that so much of the cambodian population are very loving, caring people, we have many great friends there, that frankly are changing their nation for good from the inside out.

Its very interesting to me that this man they are reporting on, “Harvey Johnson” an american has gone there and is living there, he is a pedophile disguising himself as an english teacher. The people of Cambodia want to learn english very badly, and its a perfect front to trap kids. He can set himself up as a trusted american there to help them, and make a living in doing so. While there are many organizations that use this tool for good, this man is taking advantage of the culture to please himself.

What is so profoundly treacherous about this situation is that it is in mass destroying the lives of innocent children. Effecting them mentally, spiritually, emotionally and Physically, many times at the hands of their own desperate parents. I can’t tell you the stories I have heard and witnessed for myself of little girls as young as 5, that have been abused. Some that have lost their mind, some have lost their ability to ever have children of their own. Some have been so deeply scarred their future looks bleak at best. However there are many great organizations working with these children around the world. Some who are literally rescuing these children right out of the hands of their abusers. Others have taken the role of aftercare, and counseling. Many organizations are helping pro-actively by getting kids off the streets, and out of situations where they could be taken, or bought for human trafficking purposes.

I have also seen so many of these children who are such success stories of what compassion, love, counseling and ministry can do. Turn their whole world around and give them a safe, second chance.

We work with several and know others, but there are a lot of people out there trying to do something about this travesty. Lest you bury your head in the sand, don’t think it is not happening right here in america. the statistics of children who are being used and abused in sex trade settings in our own country are astounding. WAKE UP! Help! do something, we can not let this stand. Its our responsibility to help the innocent to speak up for those who can not speak for themselves. Who have no choice, who are in the clutches of people who will use them for profits until they are not worth using and then toss them aside like little more than an old dish rag.

We are doing what we can, and I am continually pursuing partnerships, and relationships to work with in this endeavor. How can you help? You can support the organizations that are doing something, or you can get on the front lines and help that way. We are doing both.

Come and see and support what Global reach for justice (Church of the harvest’s global initiative) is doing around the world, to help in this arena and others.

November 13 Friday night, our global reach for justice banquet (fund raiser) withe special guests the Watoto children’s choir from Uganda Africa. It will be a night to hear what we have done, and what we are going to do in 2010 and beyond.

Other organizations to help as well are, International Crisis Aid, International Justice Mission, A21 campaign (chris Cain).

When I saw this for the first time, the little baby girls that are so precious and was told their stories, and read the case files, i was left in a heap, and could only think about my own daughters, and how I would turn the world upside down, if someone were to try to harm them like this. Well, I believe that God has made us as responsible for the innocent as he has our own families and we must stand for them, we must act for them, we must speak for them, we must give for them, and we must stop this for them.

I am not writing this as a spectator on the sidelines, but as a person who has been there, who has seen this first hand, and who is doing something, although I wish much more, we are doing what we can. There are a lot of ways to help, we can all do something.

I will be writing on this more in the next few days. Lets take this head on and lets stop this madness. Kudos to Nightline for exposing this evil.

Thanks
David

“I Love the Lord”…..Whitney Houston

I watched the rerun of the Oprah show late tonight and saw the second interview with Whitney Houston. I really didn’t know what to expect, but I was so impressed with her. She was very honest without being disrespectful, which i would imagine would have been very difficult given what she has experienced. It seems her life, had become very much like so many lives today. Simply out of control. Her marriage, her emotions, her physical life, and her career. Everything was out of control.

She obviously made some bad choices, and got herself in a mess. Addicted to drugs, estranged from her husband, and just trying to pull it together. My favorite part of the interview was when Oprah said, “who do you love?” Whitney replied, “I love the Lord” Oprah asked her so how did you make it? She said I know where my strength comes from, I would never have made it if it wasn’t for God.

Our lives may or may not be out of control today, but it wouldn’t hurt for us to remember we can not make it without Jesus. He has done so much for us, and his grace is so good, and has empowered us to overcome all the negatives in life. So tonight I say like whitney, I love the Lord, and I would never have made it, outside of his goodness and Grace. I know where my strength comes from. Not me, but the Holy Spirit. Thanks Jesus for living in Me, guiding me, encouraging me, and inspiring me, and loving me.

Thanks
David

somebody please remove my designer shoe from my mouth…

If he’s smart that is what Kanye West is saying right now. I fear however that is the farthest thing from his mind. Its unfortunate that his immaturity and lack of contemplation caused him to act in a way that hurt another artist, and himself. If he really felt that way he could have communicated it much differently, in a mature manner, instead of rushing the stage and be so impulsive.

Its a good example of not thinking before you speak. Poor guy, is going to have a hard next few days, hope he learns from it. It really made him look foolish when Beyonce’ won the video of the year. I think The VMA’s did the right thing by canceling his performance. There are consequences to actions, and now he knows.

It should teach all of us really, because I dare to say, that many of us have this same problem its just not displayed on Live TV. The book of James in the bible teaches us to be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath. We should all practice this, and we could keep our feet out of our mouth.

I thought the way Beyonce’ handled it was terrific. I couldn’t think of a better way. She showed real class, and savvy to turn the situation around. A real veteran performers move.

Interesting night all around, great lesson in humility.
http://www.mtv.com/videos/?id=1620605
David