What Are You Contributing To Your Organization?

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Are you bringing new ideas to your organization, church, or the place where you work?

You see things no one else sees…

You have experiences and connections no one else has…

You have a unique perspective on life…

You surely have opinions…

Don’t keep them to yourself…

Use them for the good of the team…

What could you be contributing that you’ve been holding back because of fear or lack of self-confidence?

Start sharing today…

8 Most Stressful Careers

iStock_000000053566XSmallI love Southwest’s magazine.  I always find interesting articles to kill time during flights.  This month was no exception.  I am glad that let you bring these magazines home. (They do, don’t they?)

Do you feel like you have a stressful career?

According to a survey by careercast.com highlighted in Spirit Magazine, here are the jobs that send workers home most exhausted:

  1. Firefighter
  2. Surgeon
  3. Senior corporate executive
  4. Police officer
  5. Roustabout
  6. Sailor
  7. General practice physician
  8. Psychiatrist

I don’t know that I qualify, but if I can be considered a “Senior Corporate Executive” with our church, then the article helps explain why I seem to have so much stress in my work these days.  I realize I am a pastor, but lately, with the growth of our church, I seem to do play administrative roles than spiritual roles.  Read posts about that change in my role HERE and HERE.

I know a few careers I was surprised were not on the list.  These jobs would stress me:

  • Homemaker
  • School teacher
  • Lion trainer
  • Daycare worker
  • Soldier
  • Small business owner
  • Professional chess (or poker) player
  • Santa Claus

Is your career on the list?  If not, do you think it should be?  I guess at any given time it could be our career on the list.   What do you think?

Are You Taking Advantage of Human Capital?

iStock_000006413523XSmallDo you harness the greatest power in your organization?  The best assets of your church, business or non-profit never appear on your balance sheet.

The truth is that any organization is only as good as the people within it.  Take the greatest idea and put the wrong people behind it and little progress will be realized.   With the right people, even average ideas can achieve tremendous results.

Are you taking the advantages of human capital?

Are you relying on the knowledge, insight and experience of everyone on your team to make the organization better?

Here are a few quick ways to capitalize on the people value of your team:

Brainstorm – Have assigned times periodically where everyone on the team gets to give input into the organization’s future.

Allow mistakes – Create an environment where team members are willing to take risks without fear of repercussion if things go wrong.

Ask questions – Genuinely seek help from those around you.  Recognize the fact that others may know more than you know about a particular subject.

Don’t pre-define – If you want help solving a problem or planning for the future, start with a clean slate.  If the leader always has the answer, team members are less likely to share their input.

Be open to change/new ideas – The leader must genuinely desire the involvement of others.  If team member’s suggestions are never implemented, they eventually will stop sharing them.

How are you currently taking advantage of human capital?

For more ideas on creating an environment of innovation click HERE.

Strong Words For Preachers (and others)

I read a strong reminder for those of us that have the responsibility of preaching God’s Word, but I think it’s applicable for all of us. These are Jesus words to us from The Message Version.

But it’s trouble ahead if you think you have it made.
What you have is all you’ll ever get.
And it’s trouble ahead if you’re satisfied with yourself.
Your self will not satisfy you for long.
And it’s trouble ahead if you think life’s all fun and games.
There’s suffering to be met, and you’re going to meet it.
“There’s trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular.
Luke 6:24-26 (The Message Version)

Is that as clear to you as it is to me?

One Incredibly Important Characteristic Of Successful Organizations

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There is one incredibly important characteristic of a successful team or organization. It is inherent and cannot be trained or programmed. With this trait a team can weather the storms of life together. When this is an attribute of an organization, regardless of the struggles it encounters, the vision can be accomplished.


Leaders need to understand the importance of SHARED VALUES…

It could be spiritual belief…it could be a cause…it could be a sense of well-doing…it could be an organizational philosophy or structure or simply the joy of belonging to a certain team, but there is a power of the heart connection among employees that cannot be overlooked as a reason for success in an organization. There is strength in believing in what you do and your role in accomplishing the vision that is more powerful than talent, skills, or sometimes, even product.

Identifying the people who can share the values of your organizational structure is a critical part in hiring and retaining team members. For those wishing to join an organization, an important consideration should be if you share the same values with the people on your team.

Do you recognize the shared values within your organization?

Are We Smarter Than (As Smart As) The Birds?

iStock_000004412743XSmallHow useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds! Proverbs 1:17 NIV

If you want to catch birds with a net, you don’t won’t them to see you laying out the net. If they do…you won’t catch many birds.

Birds are too smart for that.

In the Biblical days of Solomon, bird hunters would spread a net on the ground, baited with food for the birds. As the birds would fly down for dinner, the hunters would pull up the nest quickly, capturing many of the birds. Birds are smarter than one might think, though. Apparently if they saw the hunters laying down the nets, they wouldn’t land and so they wouldn’t be caught by the trap.

We don’t know what the coming week has for us yet. Most likely there will be struggles, as well as triumphs, if this week is normal. There are a few things we can almost be sure of though.

  • There will be plenty of temptations to distract us from making wise choices.
  • Most likely we will take on the characteristics of the places we go and the people we hang around with.
  • Our emotional state, our attitude towards life, will greatly be influenced by the thoughts we place in our minds.

Which brings me back to those birds. You see, they were smart enough not to get tangled in a known trap! Which makes the obvious question of the day this: Are you and I that smart? We know those things, places, people and thoughts that distract us from having a great week…

…but are we smart enough to avoid the trap?

Personality Pattern Assessment

Picture 1I have taken a lot of personality profile assessments. I find they give me new insight into myself and how I relate to others. Sometimes I have blind spots in my personality that these type assessments help me discover.  From that information I can build upon my strengths and recognize my weaknesses.  This is a new assessment to me.  Here’s what happened when I took the personality pattern assessment.

Competent

You strive to master everything you undertake. You tend to learn quickly and do not shy away from challenges.  You are not a “que sera sera” type of person, nor do you go easy on yourself when attempting to master a new skill or get a job done.

Creative

You are good at solving problems, coming up with original ideas, and seeing connections between things, connections that most other people miss. People with a high score on the “creative” trait often are employed in such fields as finance and scientific research, and enjoy avant garde and classical music as well as literary fiction and scholarly non-fiction.  You do not shun abstractions and concepts in favor of the concrete and tangible.

Astute

You are a quick study. You generally don’t need to have things explained to you more than once. When presented with a problem, you will often have an instant understanding of where to look for the solution.  You do not take your sweet time when presented with a new task to complete or problem to solve. You don’t avoid assignments that require you to learn new skills.

Assertive

You behave in a confident and forceful manner, take charge of the situation, raise your hand in class, stand up for what you think is right, and lead others. Among those who have a high score on the “assertive” trait, many have jobs in which they are valued for their organizational skills as well as their talent for supervising others.   You are not interested in fading into the woodwork, leaving everything to fate, taking more time than necessary to accomplish a task, or avoiding confrontation.

Competitive

You’d rather win than simply get along in most situations. When you know you’re right, you would rather argue your point than compromise. Generally, those with a high score on the “competitive” trait hold leadership positions in industry and are exhilarated by risk-taking both in their professional and personal lives.   You are not always interested in getting along with others in a group, especially if it can mean losing your identity.

Unflappable

You are not a slave to your emotions. It takes a lot to upset or unnerve you. That’s why you’re a good person to have around in a crisis.  You don’t let it all hang out, which means that those around you often don’t know the pressures you’re under or what you’re going through. You’re not the kind of person people run from in a crisis.

Innovative

You come up with a lot of ideas; if one doesn’t work out, there’s always another waiting in the wings. You often have interesting solutions to difficult problems. You’re practically a one-person brainstorming session.  You are less interested changing the world than in dealing with things as they are. Unlike those who spend all their time trying to solve problems, you prefer to zero in on things that work and stick with them.

Introspective

You like your own company; you’re a very interesting person. Tracking your own mental processes, knowing what you’re thinking and why you do what you do, is important to you. Often, what’s going on in your mind is more compelling than what’s going on outside. For the most part, those with a high score on the “introspective” trait enjoy reading, taking long walks, learning new things, and other solitary activities.  You are not someone who is constantly looking to be among a group of friends; you never feel bored when you are by yourself.

Intellectual

You are thoughtful, rational, and comfortable in the world of ideas. People find you interesting to talk to. You’re the living embodiment of the saying “You learn something new every day.” In general, those with a high score on the “intellectual” trait are employed in such fields as teaching and research, and are enthusiastic about reading, foreign films, and classical music.  You do not avoid abstract conversation, experimenting with new ideas, or studying new things. It bores you to stick to the straight and narrow of what you already know.

Resilient

You bounce back quickly from adversity. For you, all setbacks are temporary. You don’t dwell on bad news, bad luck, or criticism; you regroup and focus on solving the problem, whatever it may be.  You almost never feel that there’s too much on your plate, that you don’t have the strength to deal with the bad hand you’ve been dealt, or that you’re going to lose it if you have to deal with one more problem.

Try it out.  It takes less than 10 minutes. Then tell me what your top traits are.

7 Ways To Recover After A Major Failure Or Mistake

Never recovering after a major personal mistake or failure is what keeps some people from ever accomplishing much in life.  All of us make mistakes, but I am referring to the ones that cause major pain to yourself and those you love.  Even this type of failure does not have to stop you from achieving your dreams and goals. A lot of bouncing back in life depends on your response and attitude after the fall.

Here are a few steps to help you get back on track after you have a major failure in life:

Apologize – If the error was your fault, then be humble enough to admit your mistake and ask forgiveness.  Taking responsibility for your actions is never a bad thing to do.  Spend some time with God and the people you injured seeking their forgiveness.  God will grant it easily, others may not, but your job is not to control their response, but to offer a sincere apology.

Change directions – You can’t expect to recover if you keep repeating the same mistakes.

Build protection/accountability – Don’t be foolish enough to think it won’t happen again. It will unless you protect yourself.  You have damaged your proprioceptors  (Read this post) and depending on the size of the failure you may have to retrain yourself not to let the same mistake happen again.

Forgive yourself – Often the hardest thing to do is to let go of the guilt and move forward, but if God can forgiven you, why can’t you?

Stand strong – You will receive the same temptation again.  You will have further opportunity to repeat the same mistakes. Do not allow circumstances to control your life.  Find the power in Christ, yourself and others who believe in you to stay strong.

Set new goals – Dream again.  Find new areas in which you can succeed.  This may be one of the most important steps.  Don’t skip it,

Don’t look back – Once you have sought and received forgiveness and built safeguards into your life, do not allow the past to control your destiny.  Move forward with victory!

Are you allowing your past to control your future?   Get moving towards a new day today!

10 Things I Would Do Differently If I Could Do Life Over Again

By all practical standards if I live a normal life, I’m at or past middle age.   Maybe it doesn’t happen to everyone like this, but my middle age crisis has caused me to reflect on life thus far…  (Certainly better than some crises I have heard)

Recently I was reflecting on what I would do in life if I had a “do over”. Have you ever wished you had a fresh start? If I did, here are 10 things I would do differently:

  • Took bigger risks earlier
  • Exercised more
  • Followed my dreams more fervently
  • Avoided the temptations to compromise
  • Stayed in touch with friends from high school and college
  • Saved more money
  • Worried less
  • Wrote down my experiences as I was experiencing them (I would have a best selling book)
  • Forgave others quicker and easier
  • Swallowed my pride a few more times (without life doing it for me)

Thankfully I have half a life (or so it may appear) to accomplish the list!

What would be on your list of things you would do differently?