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Leading with Purpose

February 13, 2012

This one is for leaders. If you lead in any capacity at all you need to take hold of this. But before I begin, I must say that this post has been a long time coming, and I’m excited to share what I am learning.

One thing that is wonderful about being a leader is the opportunity that one has to speak into the lives of others. This opportunity to cast a vision and bring others along into the vision and direction of an organization, church, team or even a breakfast club is something that cannot be overlooked or downplayed.

Many times, it seems that leaders feel that they must have the answer or the solution and it is their job to communicate their knowledge and philosophies to their team. It seems though, that great leaders or level five leaders as Jim Collins refers to them in his book Good to Great, do just the opposite. These great leaders understand the importance of not having all of the answers; rather letting their team uses their talents and skills (which, by the way, will most likely be greater than that of the leader if the leader understands the importance of surrounding his/herself with really talented people – A Level players), to solve the tough problems.

So, what then is the role of the leader if their team is doing the majority of the problem solving? I have come to see, as I have lead others and observed other great leaders, that one of a leader’s main roles is to state purpose. This is absolutely necessary in any organization.

A leader must bring his people around an idea and vision of where the organization is headed. A sense of purpose must be felt within an organization. I know personally that I am much more willing to follow someone when I gather a clear sense of their

preparation to thoughtfully consider the direction of an organization and the consequences that may follow. When a purpose is discovered, or better yet caught, a leader will be able to spend less and less time trying to motivate people about the nearing future, and more time working with their team to innovate and change the course of history through their organization. That happens because the people who do not buy into the purpose or direction of the organization will dismiss themselves or be miserable as they try to stay with something in which they do not believe.

Leaders, this is call to speak purpose and direction into your organization. You may have an extremely talented team that just is not reaching their potential because they lack the sense that their talents are valuable and can become something so much great then themselves. Leaders, you must purposefully lead.

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It Starts with a Story.

December 27, 2011

One of my favorite elements of the holidays, including all of the good food, family and crazy stocking stuffers, are stories. I love to hear the old family stories that have laid the foundation for where we are today. The crazy stories of great-grandparents taking great leaps of faith to start something in which they believed, that came to put all of their grandchildren and great grandchildren through college. Or even the old tales of strenuous manual farm labor during the summer course break.

It’s so incredible to examine our heritage. Today we’re so connected via Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare or whatever, that we have an idea of what’s going on around us in the lives of our family and friends. Within minutes I can pull up an album of my college graduation and look at similar photos that my friends have shared as they participated in that special day as well. Today our lives are greatly shared online. But we cannot forget to continue to tell the stories that were told to us from generations past. These are the stories of heartache and triumph, famine and feast. These are the foundations of who we are.

This principle is not only true in our personal lives, but also in business. Your people need to know where you’ve been. They need to know that they’re apart of something that is bigger than them and that they are building into something great.  Something that is worthy to have its story told someday.

So friends, be ready to tell your story. Tell someone where you’ve come from. Have the audacity to share of tribulation and fortune. And make sure to listen. Ask your family, or your organization what you’re building into or what you’re a part of.

Ronald Reagan once said, “Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we’ve ever known.” So go and create something worth passing on. Our past generations have given us wonderful shoulders on which to stand.

Here we go.

December 7, 2011

What better way to learn some of life’s great lessons than to walk through some with the people around you? People who will comment, give advice, fight my opinion – only to grow further in our understanding.

Hopefully, that’s what this site will be. I’d love to explore some of the passions of my life, along side of you. We’ll walk together through topics on leadership, faith, and some other interesting things in this world. I hope this will serve as a means of growth for everyone who comes into contact with this blog, because honestly this world needs more great leaders and people who are deeply rooted in their beliefs.

Let’s grow together. Starting now.