Archive for January, 2012

A good friend of mine called me today hopping mad…well, maybe just frustrated but certainly not a happy guy. He was on his way to Los Angeles driving on a rainy Saturday morning to solve a problem that should never have been. You see, he is the man in charge of his project and he assigned someone to handle a job which in this case, was to cover up the roof of this unfinished building with plastic to thwart the coming rain. His employee performed the job similarly to how many people I have seen recently perform theirs…poorly…and as a result, the man in charge was forced to give up a Saturday of his life to solve the problem. Needless to say he was frustrated and he called me on his way up to the job site to vent. As the conversation progressed we started discussing leadership and how important it is to really anything that needs to be accomplished. From the football gridiron, to building anything, anytime there is a task that must be completed by a group it is the quality of the leadership that makes it happen. Now I’m the first to admit that leadership will only get you so far, you MUST have quality people in order to be successful. When you don’t have them, you end up doing what my friend is doing today…fixing someone else’s mistake and that affects everyone. Remember the old saying, ” you are only as strong as your weakest link”? I think we all know that statement to be true.

Recently I was watching my young son playing the game Madden NFL but he was doing it with a small twist. He turned off the games salary cap and was forcing trades thereby ending up with the very best players for his team. Now whenever he plays, he has an all-star team. He has Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady all on the same team? Can you imagine having the very best employees available all on your staff? For those of you who have worked in your industry for a long time, I’m sure you have worked with people you really enjoyed and there was a reason for that. Like me, if you were in charge, it’s because they knew their job and they cared about what they produced thereby causing you to admire their work ethic…or selfishly, because they made you look good…right?

Well the reality is we can’t have the very best people because they tend to get spread out amongst our competitors. Remember that part is all about the money. So what do you do to succeed with the group you have? You, You, You have to put forth quality leadership and get the most out of your people possible. Isn’t that what good coaching does? They put people in the right places in order for them to succeed thereby helping the company or team succeed. Don’t force that square peg into that round hole…you will regret that move…

But let’s get back to the beginning. My friend assigned a job to someone and that guy did that job poorly. This guy either has a good work ethic or he doesn’t. You can try to teach work ethic but I have found that to be difficult because many times it is how the person was raised that gives him his “approach to a problem” mentality. Unfortunately, in our world today, where we are struggling to stay in the black, companies just don’t have the time to spend on people who can’t simply step in and be productive. For me personally, I will give you one warning and then I must move on to the next person. That may sound harsh but my company’s success keeps many people employed and I will not allow a poor work ethic to spoil that success.

I will end with this. As a Christian, we are told in Colossians 3:17,

Let every detail in your lives-words, actions, whatever-be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

Simply put, not just in our words, but in our ACTIONS, which is our work ethic, we must commit all our efforts (especially work) to Christ and we, you, will be successful…So keep your head down until the job is finished and done right…

Until next time guys…

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Many years ago I worked for a company that decided they wanted to improve the teamwork amongst their management group. The ownership believed there were some folks in positions that didn’t play well together which makes for a difficult work environment. As a result, the owners decided to send the entire management team to a 2 day bonding experience high in the mountains. Personally, I had a great time because the majority of these challenges were  physical and very self challenging. For example, we got to scale a 100 foot tree and then repel back to the ground. But the exercise that truly impacted me, as well as the rest of us, was the fall back challenge. I remember standing up on a small 4 ft. high stand facing away from the group. The objective was for me to simply fall backward and trust that the group standing behind me, would catch me. As it turned out, I did fall and they did catch me, but for that split second, I wondered if they could handle my weight or what if there needed to be more people to catch me? All of those concerns ran through my mind right before I let go…

Now I know this is a very simple example of what I am trying to illustrate here but I think it will work. What if those questions I mentioned earlier never crossed my mind for this reason…because there was never any question that my teammates would catch me? What if I had NO fear and complete trust they would be there for me? What kind of relationship would I have had with them in order to have that kind of faith in them? That is exactly the kind of faith I marvel at when I look at the example of young David as he prepared to face the giant, Goliath. Fear was never the issue in his mind whereas any other soldier, it was paralyzing. He absolutely knew that when he stepped onto that battlefield he would be victorious…with no doubt whatsoever…total childlike faith in his God. I believe that even if Goliath would have had a Howitzer on that day, David would have beat him.

This is what David told Saul the King below:

The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the Lion and the paw of the Bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

1 Samuel 17:37

So how does one come to that kind of faith in God? What did David do or for that matter, what did God do in order for David to believe in him with such utter childlike dependence? Can you imagine if you approached your own Christian walk like that? No matter what you attempted, your faith in God was so solid with the knowledge that he would catch you if you fell…The kind of faith that is almost as natural as breathing…its just automatic.

Guys, all of us face challenges and adversity everyday both at work AND at home. I would also be safe in saying that some of those challenges are almost beyond what we can bear…I challenge you today to face your life’s challenges as David did without fear and ready to believe in what God has for you. I certainly will not say it will all be glorious and wonderful by any means…but what I can tell you is that faith in Him is truly sustaining. We WILL make it through our trials and challenges because we believe HE will overcome for us…just like he did for David. I assure you that when David got up that morning, he had no idea that he would be fighting the largest human being on earth. Honestly, getting to know David after some study, I would say that he got up that morning,  knelt down, prayed and said, “Let’s  do this!” and headed off to face his day…

So guys, let’s get excited everyday in anticipation of what God has in store for us…and when the going gets tough…keep in mind that what God did for David…he will do for you!!!

Until next time Guys…

Hey Guys-

Its very easy to get caught up in this festive time of year and forget that there are people out there who are hurting and need someone to give them a kind word or simply a helping hand. Then of course, there are the men and women who serve us in the military and as policemen, highway patrol and state troopers, who find themselves stationed far away or working on Christmas Eve and other holidays when they certainly would rather be with their own families. I came across this video recently that shows Bob Welsh, a retired state trooper, recounting some of his experiences on Christmas Eve. I found his story very moving and wanted share it with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did…

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all you guys…

Over the last few years, the holidays have caused me to reflect back and look at my own life and count my many blessings. I have been more aware of “life’s moments” since the loss of my daughter a few years back. Recently, I spent time  with a man who I don’t see very often because of distance and as I call it, his “self estrangement” from his family because of his desire to be alone and pursue his own desires. Now wait just a minute…what man wouldn’t want to pursue his own passions? We are guys and passions i.e. our hobbies, are what we do, am I right? My friend’s “problem” is that he isn’t alone. He moved in with a woman a few years back and then proceeded to have a beautiful little baby with her. Now you will notice I said “problem” earlier when referring to his new family and is the reason I write this blog post. His complaints about his personal situation caused me to realize how wealthy he is RIGHT NOW, and he doesn’t see it.

Our conversation began about creativity because he is a talented artist, sculptor and more. He is one of those people who see art in everything and when he puts his mind to a project, I have been stunned to see his results. Since I’ve known him, I have come to see him as a creative person with a free spirit. Unfortunately as he puts it, he hasn’t “created” any new “pieces of art” in a long time due to his new-found responsibilities with his girl friend and new child. In my opinion, most new dads find a way around these home responsibilities if they truly want to do whatever their passion is, HE…has chosen to become bitter towards his family. THEY are the reason he cannot pursue what he wants to do and he sees his girl friend and child as obstacles in life’s journey. As I listened to him explain the “journey” he is navigating and why he never has the time to pursue his creativity, I couldn’t help commenting on how much of an inspiration his young daughter must be to him? Here is this little gleam of sunshine, innocence, and just pure beauty and yet he does not see her that way. From the outside looking in, I ask What is standing in his way and blocking him from seeing what seems so clear and obvious to me? What is robbing him of the joy of being a father?

In this life, what could be more important than your wife and child? Again, I recognize I have this opinion because my perspective is different from most men because when you lose a child it changes you…forever. I’m sure you have heard the expression, “walk a mile in another mans shoes?” In my conversation with him, I tried to convey what he is missing by dragging all this bitterness around. He has a beautiful little girl right there in front of him and it doesn’t phase him. Myself, a dad who lost his only daughter, can’t get through to him and emphasize his incredible blessing! He is a grown man who is unwilling to listen to my words about being unbelievably blessed with wealth by heavenly standards…I pray that he will discover that knowledge soon…before she is gone from his life.

Here is my question to you? Do you look at your own family and understand what I mean by true wealth? I think it is pretty clear I am not referring to your bank account. I am speaking to what I believe is really important in our lives. True wealth here on Earth is not measured in dollars and cents. Now I absolutely agree that We, (all of us guys), have our hobbies and personal pursuits that are just ours and yes, I do struggle with my own “time” issue. Trying to balance our personal life with work and family isn’t easy and there are a whole lots of books written on that subject to back me up. I am also NOT inferring I have it all together because I do not…But what I DO understand is that I am wealthy beyond measure… just like I know you are as well.

Guys, I encourage you to take a look at your family through different eyes, God’s eyes. Look at them for what they truly are…your legacy…and your true wealth…

Until next time…