Producing Potential in People (Leader grab a shovel and dig)

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Potential is like buried treasure.  Leaders have a responsibility to dig it up.  Whether it is leading as a parent, a business leader, a manager, teacher, or Pastor.  Whatever kind of leadership role we function in, one of our primary duties is to get a shovel and dig.  We are digging for hidden treasure.  That gold under the surface.  At first glance all you see is dirt, but as you dig and move the dirt out of the way, you see all kinds of Gold and Jewels in the lives of those we lead.

The sad part about potential is that in most people’s lives it’s unrealized.  It’s hidden in the deep recesses of a persons fear or lack of confidence, or even opportunity.  As a leader I see it as my job to help unearth all of that great treasure in a persons life, so they can become everything God created them to be.  When we lead people, it can’t just be about getting them to do what we need done, or even about what our organization needs from them, it must be about the greater cause of fulfilling God’s purpose in them.

Our job is to grab a shovel and dig.  How do we dig out the dirt and get to the treasure?

1.  Become a master at seeing the potential in a person.

You’re a treasure hunter.  When you look at people you should view them with the eyes of what they could be.

2.  By getting them to realize there is more in them then they think.

Speak encouragement in the lives of those you lead, not flattery but true acknowledgment of their strengths, even if they are not fully visible yet.

3.  Give them practical ways to see and use the potential that is in them.

Put them in a role where they will get a win.  Where they can excell and it can be apperent to them and everyone around them, they could really do something great.

4.  Realize that this treasure called potential has to produced, it has to be mined.

Its a process, you have to dig through the dirt, not stopping to judge or criticize.  Confront when necessary but only to get to the gold.  Teach, train, dig, encourage, and once you get to the Gold, you have to polish it, value it, spend it.

It’s a shame when people with great potential never realize it, and its usually because they don’t have a leader in their life willing to see past the dirt, and dig to the treasure.  So if you’re a leader, start digging, and remember when you dig you’re realizing the potential in your own life.

Something to Say about the NBC Late Night Fiasco

Well, I must say, I don’t watch late night talk shows much, but I have caught these shows enough to form an opinion. I like them all. All the guys are funny and for the most part their shows are very entertaining. Lets all remember that the decisions that will be made are bottom line decisions. Ratings, money, etc. It has very little to do with the likability of the people themselves.

I have always liked Jay Leno, but I have an opposing opinion to all of this. When they made such a big deal out of giving Connan the tonight show, several years ago, it was a great opportunity for him, but lets face it this is the “tonight show” The icon still connected to this is Johnny Carson. The “Tonight show” is an incredible long standing Franchise, and in my opinion should be left alone. Give Connan the time and chance to win over the audience, and boost his ratings. He is the best chance to get this upcoming generation attracted to the tonight show. Although Jay relates to the older generation, its time to move towards the future, (thats what I would be thinking if I were NBC)

Leno, wanted to go prime time. He touted his show, would be something completely different, fresh and new, and to be honest, it is the exact same show, with some furniture moved around. There is nothing different about it. Bottom line, it didn’t work. He took the chance, but it didn’t succeed. So in my mind, he should just take his lumps and move on. Let Conan, continue to build his audience and keep the franchise in place, or the future for it will be over. Thats what I have to say about that.

Thats just my opinion, what are your thoughts?


Something to Say about the end of a Perfect Season

Let me start by saying I’m no football commentator, however I am a fan. I love football on every level. I think the game is terrific and has many great traditions. I’m having a ball watching this year. They seem to be playing more competitively then i can remember in a while. I really loved the attempt at a perfect season by the Indianapolis colts.

How unfortunate to lose at this point, especially when it didn’t have to happen. Far be it from me to be an arm chair Coach, however i feel the move to take out the best players on the field to assure their health at this point in the season was ridiculous and incredibly near sighted.

I love the quote i have heard from so many coaches, I don’t know who originated it, but it says, “we play to win, we don’t play not to lose.” What a huge statement. Playing it safe, playing to maintain, playing not to lose, always seems to land teams in the loss column.

I realize it seems a lot of players are hurt this Season, not sure why, maybe because the guys are bigger, faster, stronger. Maybe because they seem to be more strategic, don’t know, but it is a factor. To a degree it has always been, this is football, its a tough sport. I can understand the coach wanting to make sure he has his best players on the field in the biggest games. Now, however, he has to deal with the momentum shift and moral of his teams, because of the disappointment of losing the perfect season. I’m certain he thought they would win, but is it a chance you take? Not me.

Because at this time of the year, going into the playoffs everyone is playing their best and hardest and nothing can be taken for granted. Now, there is nothing guaranteeing that if you leave manning and the others in the game they will win, but there is definitely a much better chance.

Its just unfortunate that such a great quarterback, who has a team, that I believe will go to the super-bowl, and win, will not also be able to say, “we had a perfect season.”

I want to encourage you, don’t live life not to lose, but live life to win. Live on the offensive. Not maintaining but pressing forward, going for it, taking chances, not playing it safe. Add a little faith to your life, and believe it will come out right. If it doesn’t then you don’t walk away having any “woulda, shoulda, coulda,” but you know you did everything you could, and that is almost as good a feeling as a win.

Nobody’s perfect, but a perfect season is not out of the question, and that’s what I have to say, about that.


Something to say about Leadership…My daddy’s bigger than your daddy.

I believe that in order for us to break free from insecurity, which remember is fear, we must have the right perspective about several things. The first of which is the right perspective about God. It really is sad to me how many people see God through a skewed view point. Instead of believing Him based on what He says about Himself, many have taken other peoples word for who God is and what He does, and many times their perspective is based on fear. It reveals their own insecurity and by no means truly reflects the heart of God.

How do you see God? Many See him as a mean spirited judge who is anything but just. They see Him as a vengeance seeking tyrant who wants to destroy people when they make a mistake. Others see Him as a sadistic Jester who gets his kicks out of playing with our lives. Others See him as a force, far removed, and distant from our lives. How do you see Him?

Why does it matter? I believe if we have the right perspective about God then we can have a right relationship with Him, and if we have a right relationship with him, and we get a true revelation of what that means, fear will be run out of our lives. How do you see God?

We can view Him a lot of different ways. As the powerful creator, who created all that is. We could view Him as the bible describes Him the first and the last. The genesis and final authority of all things. We could see Him as the judge. Make no mistake, He is. He will be the final judge of all things. Isn’t it interesting however that while we could view Him as all these things, that is not how Jesus said we should view Him and It isn’t what He illustrates in the new Testament.

How did Jesus say we should view Him? In Matthew 6:9, Jesus was teaching the disciples how to pray, and He said, “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be your name.” Couldn’t he have said, our creator in heaven? Or our Great Judge in Heaven? Or even just the Hallowed one in heaven? He purposefully told us to call Him Father. A few versus before this he said “pray to your father in secret” Jesus is telling us to look at God as our father. When Jesus, God’s son, referred to Him, he called Him father. It may not be clear yet why this is important, but follow me, you’ll see.

The new testament gives us several illustrations of this. The story of the prodigal son. This story is a picture of the relationship between God and Man, God being the father. The Gospels say in luke, “if you being earthly men know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more does your father in Heaven want to give you the Holy Spirit. There is One more scripture I want to give you that kind of sums this up.

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. This passage of Scripture answers our question. Why does this matter? It tells us that we have been adopted by a good father so we don’t need to be afraid.

Please don’t take me out of context or understand me to say that God is not the judge, or creator, or due reverence, but God wants us to view him as our father. Why? Because when you truly realize that God is your Dad, then you will also realize there is nothing to be afraid of. Not poverty, cause your dad owns it all. Not sickness cause your dad cares for you and is also your healer. Not stress, because your dad is bigger than all that, and He loves you. He says, Im not just a father, but I’m a good father.

I really didn’t understand this until I became a father, and experienced a fathers love. I know how much I care for my girls. I know I would do anything for them. I would fight hell itself, I would give my own life, I would go to what ever extent to take care of them. I’m imperfect, I have flaws, I don’t always get it right, but if I have this heart towards my kids, and God is perfect and He never gets it wrong then what a great dad He must be.

So what does that have to do with overcoming insecurity? Were you ever on the playground and got in an argument with another kid about who’s dad is the best or biggest, and what does it always come down to. Someone says, “my dad is bigger than your dad.” Well in this case that is always true.

No matter what we are facing, our father, God is always bigger. So if God is always bigger than what do I have to be afraid of? Why should I be insecure. Fear, insecurity, much of the time is driven by intimidation. We feel intimidated by our circumstances, or competitive because of someone else’s gifts. However if we truly get a revelation of God that he is our father, and he is good, and he wants what’s best for us. If i really believe that, and that’s the perspective I have in life, then I have no need to fear. My girls know, I’m always here for them. In my humanity some day that won’t be true, because physically I can’t always be there. Humanity doesn’t apply to God. He said in Matthew…”I will never leave you or forsake you.”

So I encourage you as a leader if you want to overcome insecurity and really find your place and confidence then begin to see God like he wants you to see Him. Not as a judgmental person who is merely tolerating you, but a loving father who is always there for you.

Thank God for His grace, his mercy, and His Father’s heart. Let me encourage you, the beginning of this type of understanding is to become a son or daughter of God. You do that by inviting Jesus into your life, and forgiving your sins and committing to follow him. If you ask him to have this relationship with you he will.


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.


overcoming frustration

Many times in the forty years of my life i have battled with frustration. The feeling that things just aren’t working out. The irritation that I’m trying hard to accomplish something and for some reason it just isn’t happening. The consternation that comes with expecting certain responses and results from people and them not living up to it, or worse, expecting big things from myself and not being able to meet a goal, or complete a task or get the results i was aiming at.

Frustration is a killer, its the step before discouragement and depression. Frustration unresolved steals motivation and momentum from your life, and brings everything to a halt. It opens the door to bitterness and offense in our lives, which lead no where but to negative circumstances.

So what is frustration really. Frustration is the difference between Expectation and reality. You expect your kids to behave a certain way, and in reality they are not perfect. Everything between the two is frustration. You expect to be at a certain level in your career by a certain time, but you don’t make it. The difference between what you expected and where you really are is frustration.

Given that life is imperfect, and there will be many times when our reality doesn’t line up with our expectations, how do we keep from being overrun with frustration?

The common Mistake we make is to get focused on our reality. There is nothing wrong with evaluating your reality, or being honest about it, but if we get to obsessed with it, or focused on it, especially in light of its deficiencies in relation to our expectations we will be overcome by frustration.

The answer is to keep our eyes forward, looking forward towards our expectations, moving forward towards stated goals, thinking forward in the direction of our vision, focused on where we are going, not where we have come from.

Expectations are powerful, we should set them high and shoot for them, and as long as we stay focused on that, then at some point our expectations will become our reality. Frustration can destroy that from happening.

Overcome frustration. Focus on your expectations.


Be encouraged

Just an encouragement to everyone. No matter what’s going on around us, fear does not help. Fear is a destructive force and only makes things worse.

One of my favorite scriptures has to do with overcoming fear. 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.

Several good things in this scripture. The first is it refers to fear as a bondage. The best description for fear is bondage. Fear binds your life, it paralyzes you or it pushes you into bondage because of bad decisions. Most decision based on fear are the worse decisions. It says the reason we should not fear is because of what we have been given. The grace of God. God has adopted us into his family. We all as children, when faced with a bully, would say, my dad is bigger than your dad, in this case its true. We have been adopted, God is the greatest and most and truly if God is my father, my dad, my abba, then why should I be afraid? He owns everything, He’s bigger than it all, His love and compassion far surpass any problems we may go through.

So be encouraged, if God cares for the sparrows, and flowers of the field and has set up the process for them to be provided for, how much more does He care for us.

Don’t be afraid, your daddy’s got your back.