What kind of person are you? Are you dependable; are you a leader, are you one that people can turn to in times of trouble? In thinking about this, I’ve been dwelling on what it means to press into something.
Imagine you have some play dough on the table and you take your thumb, and press into it. What happens? Does it all flatten out? Not at all. Only the part you press into compacts under your thumb. The rest of it seems to wrap itself around your thumb, leaving you with a big lump of play dough where your thumb should be.
Consider a child that is hurt, or needs the security of a hug when they are in trouble. They don’t just hug you, they squeeze you like they are trying to get as much of you as possible to surround them. Those are the hugs that make me melt, especially when it is one of my kids. The photo above was taken by a friend of ours at a time when my youngest son was playing and was in one of those moods where he just wanted to be close. This photo sits on my desk at work as a reminder of two things, both equally important. The love of my kids, but also the fact that as their father, I am supposed to be one that they can press into when they need comfort, or security or wisdom.
Everyone is a leader in some form or another, whether they are at home, in the workplace, at church, or wherever, there is always someone that will look to us as a leader and as leaders we need to be the kinds of people that can be a strength to others, and a support when they need comfort, direction, or even the wisdom of someone else to talk to.
Everyone needs someone that they can press into, but let’s keep in mind, that as leaders, we also need to be those kinds of people that are a support to others who look up to us.
Have a great week,
Christmas is a time of celebration, joy, blessing, giving and so much more. Not only that, it’s just around the corner. Our kids still with great excitement count the remaining days by saying, “Only 24 sleeps to go!”
One jolly fellow that is often referred to during this season is ‘Santa’. Children are often told that if they are nice, Santa will bring them a present, and if they are naughty, their name goes on “The List…” and they won’t get a present at all. I wonder how many of us remember hearing that story as children? I remember hearing that and making a sudden change in my behaviour and attitude because I didn’t want to end up with my name on “The List...”
I wonder what would we do if there was a ‘list’ today used to record ‘naughty’ and ‘nice’ leaders? Have you ever considered that a ‘list’ does exist? It is in the mind of each person we come in contact with. John Maxwell says, “A man who says he is a leader, but as nobody following him is just a man out taking a walk.” Whether it is right or not, people are quick to judge and not quick to forget. The way you impact someone the first time will affect how they respond to your leadership. You may possess incredible leadership skills, but permission to lead them can be given by the person themselves. How you treat people will determine whether they give you permission to lead them or not.
Which list will your leadership be on this Christmas? Naughty... or nice…?
Have a blessed and safe Christmas.
Are you a Hypocrite? Some would be horrified if they were called one, especially if they view themselves as being ones who “Practice what they preach.”
Originally the word ‘hypocrite’ was a term used to describe an actor because they hid behind a mask and pretended to be something they were not.
The word ‘Hypocrisy’ comes from two Greek words, ‘hypo’ meaning ‘under’, and ‘krisis’ (crisis) meaning ‘decision’.
A crisis today means, “A time of intense difficulty or danger”, but it’s original meaning was “A turning point in the course of a disease”. This turning point was the moment where one of the two variables for the disease (i.e. you get better, or you get worse) was cut off hence the meaning ‘de-cision’. The word incision means to cut into - therefore giving two halves. The word ‘Decision’ means a removal of one of the options.
Actors used to hide behind masks when playing their roles. They would act a certain way so that others would believe them to be something which in real life they are not.
You are an actor in real life. People naturally come to a decision about you based on the role that you play.
By our actions, we cause people to be ‘under decision’. They will end up believing something about us. Whether it be true or false doesn’t matter, they will believe what they perceive.
John Maxwell says, “A man who calls himself a leader, but has nobody following him, is just a man out taking a walk.” A good leader therefore is one who is leading people. The title we may have of ‘Leader’ is ultimately given to us by those following us.
What will they say about you?
Recently I was thinking back to when I learned how to drive a car. I remember thinking that driving would be easy, but when I sat in the drivers seat with the instructor by my side, I suddenly realised that there was a lot that was going to happen at once that I hadn’t previously considered. I learned the acronym S.M.I.L.E. (Seatbelt, Mirrors, Ignition, Look, Engage). “Yeah right! Easy for you buddy! You’ve been doing it for years! Today is my first day!”
The interesting thing is that as time progresses, we learn everything we need to learn, then we become more comfortable with it. It’s second nature to us. We become skilled enough to now sit in the instructors seat and able to teach others. Everything is so easy… but then something goes horribly wrong! We drift into easy mode, and switch off because we just know how to do it all.
It is when we switch off that things can go wrong. We forget some of the simple things like looking over your shoulder before changing lanes… having two hands on the wheel at all times… don’t use your mobile phone whilst driving… and the one I’m going to focus on today, use your mirrors regularly. This one simple procedure in driving is so important, and yet so many do it so little. Why? It’s not difficult. Mirrors are installed in your car to assist you in knowing what’s around you, but unless you look in them, you will be unaware of what is going on around you.
Good leaders always lead in a way similar to good drivers. The have a clear focus on the road ahead, on what is going on and also on what is coming up but they never forget to have the occasional look over their shoulder and in their mirror to see what is happening around them. Sometimes this extra glance will cause us to be aware of something coming up and that making a slight adjustment could mean the difference between survival and being a statistic.
When is the last time that as a leader you looked around you? When did you last make an adjustment? We all need to do it. Nothing survives well without a regular checkup, and adjustment, and your personal life and your organisation are no different. Think of this - an ocean liner that steams ahead on a path that is only a single degree off the mark will in two days be a long way off course.
Remember that a fine adjustment can make a huge difference to your organisation. It’s critical that you look around, learn from your past, focus on your goals and maintain your direction and focus, especially in challenging economic times, but you will need to make occasional adjustments when necessary. This way you will arrive at your destination, but also enjoy the journey in the process.