Tag Archives: timing

Factors To Consider When Deciding To Lead

If you’re reading this then you are a leader or have the desire to lead. Today in my studies I came across three factors a leader needs to consider if he or she feels called to lead. These factors as defined by John Maxwell in his book, “Leadership Promises for Every Day” (2003) are opportunity, ability and desire. Let’s look at all 3 factors briefly.

Opportunity: opportunity is about timing. How often are we presented the opportunity to make a difference in our job, our community or place of worship? If the right opportunity presents itself and you feel you can make a difference, even though you may feel anxious, jump at the opportunity to lead. Maxwell would caution you and state that you have a better opportunity of success if the opportunity presented is aligned with your ability and your desire.

Ability: ability is all about competency. Do you have the knowledge, skills and talents to lead a specific project or to fulfill a need? The opportunity is there; is the competency aligned with the opportunity? So what’s next? John Maxwell would argue that the desire must be present.

Desire: desire is all about passion; a hunger to meet a need. It is not always about being in charge or leading, but it is all about a strong desire, a hunger, to meet a special need or needs.

Let’s pause for a moment. What are the needs in your job, your community, your house of worship? Are you passionate about meeting those needs? Do you feel you have the competency, despite the “butterflies” to help meet those needs and is the timing right. If you answered yes to all 3 then you are the right person to lead the charge to close that service need gap.

Oh, you have been here before. You have allowed pitfalls and potholes steal those opportunities in the past. Laurie Beth Jones in her book, “The Path” (1996) have described those pitfalls and potholes as feeling of inadequacy; as listening to the accusations of others; as small mindedness, fear impatience, apathy or just old fashion procrastination and distractions. I say forget about those pitfalls and potholes, especially if you have all the ingredients (opportunity, ability and desire) aligned. We need you; especially in today’s world. Strong active leadership can invigorate our economy and help meet the needs in our community. Can we count on you to say, “Here am I! Send me.”

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Leadership Is About Teaching

Upward EdgeWell, it’s the Fifth Tuesday of the month and that means Quadrant II time in my division. If you are familiar with Stephen Covey’s book “First Things First” you would be very familiar with his Time Management Matrix. Most leaders and managers are very familiar with the matrix and of Covey’s insistence on finding quality time for “quiet focus” but they just don’t practice it. I make it a habit to practice Quadrant II time in my division; it is my way to “force” my managers to focus, to plan and to learn.

Quadrant II is the quadrant of personal leadership and for personal growth and yes, team growth. It is one of the most important things you can do for your managers and your organization. It’s a critical time to “force” your key players to pause, to re-create, to plan, to build relationships and above all to learn.

So during our Fifth Tuesday of the month, I teach, or someone on the team teaches or we bring someone from the outside to teach us how to relax, to learn new information, to think strategically so we can stay competitive and to improve client services.

So, today as we were doing our Fifth Tuesday thing, it hit me: a good leader teaches. The leader teaches to sharpen the skills of his staff; to prepare the staff and the organization for the future; to improve customer service, service outcomes and above all to teach his staff how to relax, to reflect, to re-create and remind them of the sacredness and importance of this time. My managers love it.

So carve out a time for yourself and for your managers to focus on and to spend quality time building your team and growing your organization.

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It’s Never Too Late

Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
John 6:27 NIV

Doing God’s work is not easy. In fact, many are not sure that the work they are doing is the work God has called them to do. If what you do builds people up and motivates others to do good, you can trust that you are doing God’s will — even when God is silent.

When God is silent, you must persevere. I say to you be attentive, be hopeful. Listen with your spiritual ear and observe with your spiritual eyes. Trust your intuition and know that in due season your work will be acknowledged and confirmed by God himself.

Many great leaders, both spiritual and secular, are often not called to act or realize their dreams until late in life. A few come to mind: Abraham and Sarah, Moses, Nelson Mandela, Madeline Albright, Grandma Moses. I am sure you can name a few more. In fact, consider the oaks in the accompanying photograph. How many years did it takes for them to become mighty oaks?

What nourishments have you been called to create? Do you believe it is of God; if so, what is holding you back?,” In her book The Path, Laurie Beth Jones talks about “pitfalls and potholes” that have kept people for realizing their dreams. What are your pitfalls and potholes: feelings of inadequacy, accusations of others, small mindedness, fear, impatience, apathy or just old fashion procrastination and distractions?

Search the great minds of others and learned how they overcame their “pitfalls and potholes” to live out their dreams and accomplish their life missions.

We would love to hear about your dreams; better yet, we would love to hear how you overcame the “pitfalls and potholes” in life to make your dream, your life mission or God’s will for your life become a reality.

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Our Work Never Ceases

God, I am thinking about “retirement.” I am ready to hear “well done my son.” But what I sense from you is my job is not done. I have more to do.

What might that be Lord? What are the costs, the sacrifices? God I am not sure I am ready for more work and sacrifice. I want to rest. I am tired. Okay, if I need to go on; here’s what I need from you.

Help me to get it right this time. Communicate to me clearly; assure me the voice I hear is yours. I speak not only for me, but for the “all of us” that listen for your voice.

Help us to hear your call. Comfort us as we come to understand that what we do for you will never cease; that we are to labor in the vineyard as long as we are breathing.

So God encourage me daily. Send me reminders often of your love. And if you must, gently discipline me when I falter or resist your will. Show me what you would have me do; for “all of us” to do.

We all have a role to play. Let me and all your children not neglect our job. Give us strong shoulders for those who come after us to stand on as we (each generation) continue transforming the world.

1. Have you ever thought what you might do when you retire?
2. Even in retirement, God preps us for the next venture. What venture might that be for you?

Dear God, help us to stay awake, pay attention and to listen to our hearts and soul as we wait for our new venture to serve you and humankind in a new and exciting way. Amen.

The painting is the work of Jim Whalen

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