Sheri and I lead high school small groups for several years and really enjoyed our time. Serving young people is a challenge, their emotions are always at full speed, they fight, cry, laugh, sing, all in the span on minutes. I guess growing up is tough.

One of the most rewarding things we found in serving is witnessing these young people grow up. Over the past couple of years we’ve seen a lot of weddings and young people who grew up in the church together naturally come together. I think this is how God intended it. He wants our families to be families that bring him glory.

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But the other guy…

January 20, 2012 — 2 Comments

Funny thing happened last weekend. I got a speeding ticket. I was 19 when I got my last speeding ticket.

I was trailing a ‘rabbit’ who was 1/2 mile ahead and going a bit faster than me. The CHP came around the corner and nailed ME on radar. The angle worked out just right for my rabbit, but not so well for me! When the officer approached the car, my first reply was, “But the other guy…” at which I was cutoff with, “gotcha on radar-72 in a 55”.

Sheri got a great laugh out of it, “you sounded like a little baby!”

After we calmed down from laughing at my baby-ness, I got to thinking about my response. I noticed I did not deny speeding, but I tried to deflect my error on someone else – Rather than admitting it, learning my lesson, and moving forward.

I lead a small company. As I have taken over the operations, I have made some tough choices and have held some people accountable. I noticed one of two common reactions:
1. Leaders accept the feedback, learn from it, and move forward.
2. Problem employees almost always react with a “But the other guy…” reaction. They try to justify why they are not wrong by comparing themselves to some weaker, less skilled, etc. fellow worker rather than admit they need to change, they rationalize, justify, deny there’s a problem and it’s the leader who provided the feedback is the problem. These people take too much time and energy.

When someone gives you feedback, criticism, or busts you for speeding, do you respond as a leader or a problem?

My Own Worst Enemy…

January 5, 2012 — 1 Comment

As I went through my year end review of 2011, I realized just how much abundance God has given me and how I had fell into the trap of not acknowledging his blessings and instead was focusing on all the things he didn’t take care of.

I know what I need God to do, just ask me! That’s where I found myself in early December. Why hadn’t our house in FL been closed? Why can’t our son move to CA now? Why is it so hard for our daughter to make new friends? Why are we struggling to find the right church? Blah, blah, blah.

As I started praying to help me to understand my selfish sin, God reminded me of all things he had done for me this year: healed my broken back and concussion, allowed us to take vacation and enjoy his canvas we call earth, provided a new job and paid for our relocation, provided a new house in a great area just minutes from my work, given us financial support in ways we could have never imagined. The list went on and on. It far outweighed the stuff I thought at the moment as the most important.

So here I stand, blessed and realizing that God has a plan for everything. I have to constantly fight my pride which leads me down the self pity road that becomes my own worst enemy. Remembering what God has done in my past, helps carry me through the tough times and keeps me humble.

What blessing do you need to acknowledge?

1 Year…

December 30, 2011 — Leave a comment

A year ago I came close to dying. I learned much about friendship, service, letting others serve me, life and how much I mean to my family and they to me.

Since that time, I have witnessed God work in radical ways, seen my family come together, seen my family struggle with change, seen our company grow, seen men fight addiction, witnessed men step-up and lead, vacationed with friends for the first time, accepted a new job, moved across the country, sold a house, bought and sold cars, and most importantly allowed God to lead the way in my life.

As I reflect on this past year and remember (what I can) lying in bed last Christmas with a broken back/ribs/elbow and major concussion and realize what God has done since that time, I’m in shock. Why we he continues to care about me, is a mystery I will never solve. I’m no one, yet he still has a plan and obviously I have more to do. I have not wasted any time this year and am making the most out of things. I have not gotten it right every time, but I haven’t wasted anything.

As I start my annual review of My Life Manifesto, I realize I have a lot to do in 2012. God has called me to be more than I am and I have to get back in the game in some aspects of my life (more later on this). Right now, I’m focused on today and am in awe of how awesome God is.

It’s been a year…

Meanness…

December 19, 2011 — Leave a comment

Having people who will tell you when your wrong is critical to any leader’s success. Who in your life is telling you something? Are you listening?

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This week I had one of my team members decide to move on to another company. While I supported and encouraged him to move on, I always analyze why people leave. There were two factors in this case. 1. He could not stand his supervisor – which was becoming a cancer to his work performance. 2. He felt he deserved more $.

I find it fascinating when people think they can perform at a C level and think they deserve more $. The thinking is simple, “I’m demotivated because I’m underpaid.” The faultiness of this argument is simple. You’re asking me to give you a pay raise based on average performance? Really?! So of course he didn’t get the “deserved” pay raise.

What was more concerning is the dislike for his supervisor was so strong that he allowed it to become a cancer to his attitude. This is career suicide. Why followers allow people over to have this much influence over their lives? We all have a choice and decide how we react to others. We cannot control what others do or say, but we can control how we react.

The real career killer mistake this employee made was he was so focused on his dislike, he pursued and accepted a job that had significantly reduced responsibility for a little more money. During my review of resumes, I always look for instances of people moving backward in their career. While it may not be a showstopper, it makes it easier to use that as the reason to screen them out. There’s always a reason for these things – sometimes valid – and why bother when there’s 50 other candidates without such a blemish?

Before cutting bait on your current job for another position that is a step backward, make sure you think through how someone will view it later on down the road.

What steps do you need to take to ensure you’re well positioned for your next job?