Archives For Business

10 Marks of Wise Leaders

November 19, 2013 — 2 Comments

blue-brick-wall-shadowWe’ve all considered the question, ‘Are good leaders born or made?’ It can be argued to some extent that when it comes to leadership, ‘you either have it, or you don’t.’ However, I believe that most leaders, given some honest feedback, encouragement, and experience, can improve even in areas that are viewed as weaknesses.

Solid leadership requires good judgment. Solid Christian leadership demands personal discipleship and prayer as well. So many times I see and hear leaders complaining about the push-back and lack of support they get from those they are elected, appointed, or called to lead. And, to be fair, sometimes those followers are just grouchy or plain mean. More often, however, I think they are responding understandably to the seeming inadequacies, incompetence, and insincerity of those who seek to lead them.

All leaders hit walls from time to time. Christians are no exception. That is to say that they realize their own limitations and ineffectiveness. Unfortunately, those limitations are often realized, if not magnified, by others around them as well. As a minister and therapist, I am a huge proponent of family systems theory, which teaches that even one small problem in an individual can create chaos and confusion for every other member of the family. When you carry that principle over to a more concrete system — an amusement ride, for example — it’s easy to see how one loose screw or one weak link could jeopardize the security, integrity, and functionality of the entire operation.

Lucky for us all, we do not bear the burden of perfection. On the other end of the equation though, we must find within ourselves the grace to extend to those around us who are equally imperfect. Viewed in this way, I believe that challenges, even failures, can provide great opportunities for the kind of self-evaluation that can right wrongs, turn corners, and calm the turbulence of dysfunctional teams and organizations. We’ve seen such scenarios play out through the years in sports, politics, business, and church life — sometimes on TV and sometimes much closer to the action.

So what makes the difference between an exhausted and ineffective leader and an effective one? I think it all comes down to wisdom and a teachable spirit.

Consider these 10 attitudes and practices of wise leaders: Continue Reading…

Life these days is extremely busy for most people. We must either learn to manage our time or face the fact that our time will manage us.

This post from one of my favorite bloggers, Michael Hyatt, gave me pause to think about my own time management skills. And although most would consider me a pretty productive guy, I must confess that there is much room for improvement. Obviously our daily routine should be focused on those things that are truly legitimate priorities. Too often, however, I find my limited hours eaten away by problems resulting from the poor planning of me or those in my family or on my staff team.

Michael, of course, emphasizes the importance of a simple daily to-do list, along with scheduled breaks throughout the workday. However, the point that hit me hardest was the one about multi-tasking:

Do one task at a time. Multi-tasking is, at best, over-rated. At worst, it is a myth. Instead, you need to focus. Starting, stopping, and switching tasks before you finish costs you time, energy, and productivity. Instead do one discrete task from beginning to end. Check it off your list and then go to the next task. After a few of these, you will feel the momentum build.

The fast-paced nature of our world really has conditioned us to be diligent in multi-tasking. If I’m totally honest though, my reality is that I seem to always be multi-tasking. Even during personal conversations with others, if I’m not careful, I can become very distracted by my own internal self-talk, which constantly reminds me of those uncompleted to-do items, those phone calls to return, and the errands I need to run.

Then there’s my love-hate relationships with Facebook and Twitter that also gnaw for a portion of my time. Without some very clear boundaries, I can easily make it to the end of the day absolutely exhausted but having accomplished very little that was supposedly important enough to make my to-do list.

Here are five practices I’ve found that help me stay focused and productive: Continue Reading…