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Monday, November 29, 2010

What is Your Mission?

What is Your Mission?

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"

"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.

"I don't much care where--" said Alice.

"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat

--Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

It is certainly counter-cultural to think that someone would head out on a journey, without knowing exactly where they were going?  

For the record: I'm not talk about a faith leap.  That is different in many ways... because some-ONE knows exactly where you are going, and you are relying on them as your tour guide... it's different.

I'm talking about living life, day to day, with reckless abandon of purpose!  

My life changed, drastically, when I embraced this concept.  

In late spring, this year, my life became a blank canvas for the Divine Artist to draw His will upon.  

I prayerfully went through a Spiritual Gifts Assessment, and unveiled the unique abilities God has wired within me.  

I reflected on my life experiences that God has given me, to refine me and shape who I am today.

I searched deep within my soul to identify passions that absolutely stir me up inside.  Some may call these their "Holy Discontents"

I scoured the scriptures for confirmation and validation of what I was seeing and feeling.

Then... and only then... I prayed for God to reveal to me the overlap of all these areas... which has become my life mission.  my purpose.  my vision.  my drive.

"To bring Glory to God through innovation and start-up energy."

May all that I do be a reflection of God, through inspiring, thinking, reinventing, and breathing energy into ideas.  

What's your mission?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010




What would a world look like, if the primary motivation catalyzing all humanity was thankfulness.  

Think about it.  

After a late night of dealing with your baby son teething, you wake up (far too early) to the electronic siren of your alarm clock... 

... and thank God for your family, air to breathe, and a day to glorify Him.  

You jump in your car to drive to work, and get cutoff by three different teenage drivers (who of course are texting, drinking coffee-- erh... a MONSTER, doing their makeup, and trying to navigate their vehicles through a small hand-chipped port hole on their frost covered windshield) on their way to school... 

... and you thank God for safety and protection on your morning commute.  Then thank God for protecting those kids too.

You finally arrive to your office, and are immediately called into your supervisor's quarters to have a "chat."  You are informed the company has underperformed projections for the past 3 fiscal quarters, and that all "staff" would be receiving a 15% reduction in pay, effective immediately...

... and you thank God for the fact that you still have a job.  And you also thank your supervisor for the opportunity to rebuild the company along side with them.

Think about it.

We live in a society that embraces selfish ambition.  We are told we live in a "dog eat dog" world, and that you have to go out and "get yours." 
I'm not the judge.  I can't pretend to know what's best for EVERYONE... but what if?  

What if the value we placed on gratitude and thankfulness far out weighed the value we placed on individual gain?  What would a world like that look like?

It starts with you.  Today.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Vision in Meetings


Vision in Meetings

In a business climate where slashing prices and laying off hordes to cut costs has become far too common, companies must look at fortifying their gains in all areas of their operation.  Unfortunately, it very well may be that the single largest factor leading to hemorrhaging profits has slipped through the cracks and is festering like suicidal poison among the troops. 

And this factor?  Lack of vision.

Proverbs 29:18 (King James Version)

 18Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Executive teams, management teams, departmental meetings, corporate strategic planning consortiums cannot hide... NO event is immune to this virus... that is, IF a leader does not rise up and valiantly provide this purpose.  

The WORST thing a leader could do is gather his team, setup for a meeting, and have no stated purpose, direction or previously defined reason for gathering.  

Like a good movie, each meeting should have a well defined "plot," according to Patrick Lencioni in his book, Death By Meeting: (a must read)

     The key to injecting drama into a meeting lies in setting up the plot from the outset.  Participants need to be jolted a little during the first ten minutes of a meeting, so that they understand and appreciate what is at stake.

     This might call for the leader to illustrate the dangers of making a bad decision, or highlight a competitive threat that is looming.  It can also be accomplished by appealing ot participants' commitment to the larger mission of the organization, and its impact on clients, employees, or society at large.

So next time you book a meeting, follow this:

1.  Get vision, personally.  Clearly determine the primary reason for the meeting?  (try answering this question:  what WON'T happen if we do not meet?)

2.  The 25% rule.  Spend no less than 25% of the proposed meeting time length preparing for the meeting, well in advanced.  (example:  2 hour meeting?  you should spend 30 minutes (or more) preparing your notes, illustrations, thoughts)

3.  Prime the pump.  Send out the VISION for the meeting to your team at least one day prior to the meeting. (this will give them a chance to prepare their thoughts and ideas as well)

4.  Set the hook.  Upon gathering, clearly restate the purpose for the meeting.  (perhaps even write it at the top of your white board... like a "header")  What are you here to accomplish?

5.  Stick to it.  Auxiliary issues will pop up, but you can decide if they are urgent and important enough that your meeting should be refocused to address them.  If not, put them on a "parking lot list" for next time.

5.5  The Law of the Lid.  Realize that your team growth is limited by you, and your ability to infuse your vision into their planning, purpose, and practice.  THAT is @EntreLeadership.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Integrity over Image

God, may I never be more concerned with surface appearances than with inward substance. I long for a Christlike character that will sustain me through the vicissitudes and trials of this life. May I seek integrity over image and holiness over happiness. Protect me from the sin of lost potential that would result from pursuing the wrong things at the wrong times in the wrong ways. Grant me the power to be that same person when no one is looking as I am when I am among my peers. Let me be increasingly impressed with Jesus Christ and less impressed with appearance, posturing and posing. I ask that godly character will inform and empower my daily choices and relationships. Then I will seek the things that really matter and endure over the things that will fade and disappear.

Monday, November 15, 2010




What differentiates average, hardworking people from those an organization deems "indispensable?"  

Is it unique abilities?  Is it some magical element of emotional intelligence?  Is it a superpower?


The difference between average folks and the indispensable team members is simply this:


Indispensable people are formerly average performers, who made a decision to take on every single situation as a unique opportunity to add value.  

Boss interaction?  A fantastic opportunity to hone skills of "leading up."

Staff interaction?  A perfect opportunity to hone the skills of "servant leadership."

Every social interaction.  Every family interaction.  Every work project that comes their way... all are filtered through this single, forgone conclusive decision to be indispensable.

Think about this: You have 4 waiters on your staff.  Business is slow, and you must lay one off.  3 of them are hard workers, and the 4th is good.  The 4th, however, has shown the ability to problem solve.  Case and point:  when an irate customer started yelling last week, the 4th waiter stepped in and turned this customers "frown upside down."  When scheduling issues arise, the 4th waiter is always on point with several solutions that could create a win-win.  The 4th waiter's conversations (between staff and customers) reflect his sensitivity to the kitchen's specials (and thus costs) to help the restaurant profit more per patron with every meal.  

Who do you keep?

I would note that rarely will you see a waiter job description ask a waiter to analyze costs of the kitchen to amplify profits, or even step in to collaborate with peers to coordinate schedules... but the INDISPENSABLE person doesn't need to be told to add value.  

They decide to.

Decide to.

Sunday, November 14, 2010




We were created for interdependence.  No man is an island.  We are all connected in some way.
I learned this lesson over the past few days, in a big way.  After returning from a 3 day business trip to the mid-south, I contracted a stomach flu from my contagious 8 month old son.  (We suspect the church nursery played a part in this as well...)  

Now I'm the kind of person who really doesn't get sick.  In fact, I can't remember the last time I was THIS sick before!  (probably back when I was a small child)  

I was totally incapacitated.  

My wife, my Ezer Kinegdo, my help-mate, my soul-mate... my nurse, proceeded to care for me in a way I never expected.  She called my doctor, got advice from the nurses on call for just what to do.  She got a prescription for me, to subside some of the symptoms of my flu.  

She loved me, unconditionally.

She cared for me, relentlessly.  

She woke me every hour on the hour to take another sip of Gatorade to restore my hydration.  

A sickness that could have lasted a week, easy, has been cleansed out of my body in 3 days...

In those 3 days, I was completely dependent on my wife for my everything.  She was amazing.  

We were created for interdependence.  And I am so glad.

Saturday, November 6, 2010




Becoming a person of integrity is all that matters.  

With integrity, you live in peace.  I've never heard anyone say "Oh boy, I really hope nobody finds out I did... the RIGHT thing!"

With integrity, we can walk in communion with God.  Just as He intended.  A parent has the closest relationship with their kids when their values are the same.  God values integrity.

With integrity, you have a built in guide to know what is right and wrong.  (Holy Spirit)

With integrity, you'll gain the trust, honor, respect, and influence of those around you.

Becoming a person of integrity is all that matters, in ministry, business, and family.

.... on the flip side....

NOT having integrity, in any one of these areas, quickly BECOMES all that matters. (think about it)

Want to become a person of integrity?  Try this:

1.  Get to know Jesus, personally.  You can never live a life of integrity from sheer will or might.  Allow the indwelling Christ through the presence of the Holy Spirit to lead you to do what is right.

2.  Apologize.  You need to go and repent to those you've been fake with.  Those you've lied to.  Those you've hurt from the absence of integrity in your past.  It's not an easy thing to do, but your conscious will thank you.  Remember: it isn't about them forgiving as much as it is about you repenting, sincerely.

3.  Be resolved.  Simply do what Jesus told us to do:  Let your YES be YES, and your NO be No. 

Matthew 5:37 
"All you need to say is simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one."

It's never too late to become a person of integrity.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010



Right Things.  Right Timing.  Right Reasons.

Decisions are tough, especially when they directly affect the future of any team, organization, or group.  Emotions can run high in the midst of change, too.

Think about this:  there has NEVER been a President of the USA, a Governor of any State, or a Mayer of any city that has NOT been criticized.  While I'm sure there are many reasons, the one that comes to mind immediately is simply this...


Change affects everyone differently.  Some thrive on it, while others avoid it.  Some melt down under its pressure, while others refine and strengthen.

Leaders MUST make decisions that catalyze CHANGE.  Period.

But what do you do when a clear cut decision isn't so accessible, and there is "no right or wrong answer?"...

My mentor has encouraged me to filter major decisions through the R3 matrix:

1.  Right Things:  Is this decision in alignment with the truth of God's Word?  Seems like a rhetorical question, but I can't count the number of times this simple filter question has protected me from "gut feel" poor decisions.

2.  Right Timing: Is it the right timing for this decision to be made?  Sometimes even the best decisions need to wait for God's timing.

And finally...

3.  Right Reasons: Is this decision motivated by the right reasons?  Why are you doing this... REALLY?  Stop, and truly ponder that question. WHY?  Is it for respect? recognition? Are you doing to prove something to someone you probably don't even really like anyway? 

I encourage you to consider this filter next time you endeavor into life's toughest calls.  Change is necessary, and bold leadership is mandatory from time to time.  Can't please everyone.... but you can do your best to make God honoring decisions for the Right reasons, Right timing, and right things by stopping and considering these thoughts....

Time to CHANGE.