Archive | July 2012

Are You The Leader Who Serves?

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Q: Who makes a great leader?

A: An outstanding servant.

I have been listening to and reading many books on leadership and the characteristics of a great leader. I wasn’t too thrilled by many of the criteria or styles of leadership, so I grabbed the bible and I started reading The Book of Mark, Chapter 9, Verse 35:

35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (NIV)

As I read this passage I began to think of all of the leaders that a exponential impact on the sake of mankind: Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, and of course, Mother Theresa.

Mother Theresa is the quintessential example of a true Servant Leader. She dedicated her life to serve others in any way that she could at a very young age. She formed various missionaries and initiatives to bring peace and provide necessities to those who were destitute and lacking hope. Her submission of her self to God and the will of the people inspired and compelled others to follow her. As a result she became the figurehead of missionaries and her legacy of service lives on and is carried out by those who were touched by her example.

It is now clear to me that before one becomes a dynamic leader, they must first be a humble servant. It is through selfless dedication to serve that stimulates others to do the same.

Sailing Towards The Storm

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I am not a fan of most reality television, but my absolute favorite show these days is Deadliest Catch featured on the Discovery Channel. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Discovery Channel tapes the journey of six snow crab fishing boats and their crew during 2 different snow crab fishing seasons in the Bering Sea. Before this show I was never aware of the risks and dangers that these man face in order to satisfy a demand for a food that I love.

During one episode, a descending ice cap forced all but two boats to dock for the rest of the season. The risk of fishing in tremendous amounts of ice and icy weather was not worth it to a majority of the captains. However, one captain was desperate to get out of debt and the other captain was young and wanted to prove that he was just as great as his older peers.  They both BELIEVED that something great was waiting for them on the other side of the ice. So what did they do??? The sailed TOWARDS the ice….WOW!! In the end, the two captains ended their season with record breaking fishing, both making over ONE MILLION dollars.

This made me think about life and the ability for people to see past the storm and SEIZE what is waiting for them. That is an
exercise of belief and vision. The two captains could have docked and safely waited until the storm was over like the other 4 captains, but they didnt. One captain had to much to lose to stay and the other had so much to gain to go. They headed towards the storm despite the dangers, objections from others, even their own fears.

I challenge you to sail towards your storm because through the journey lies your strength and beyond your fears lies your victory.

Cooperation vs Compromise

 

Cooperation vs Compromise

I came across an amazing article on cooperation vs. compromise. I always thought that you had to compromise when in a relationship but the author, Dr. Michael J. Formica says that that is the wrong approach. He goes onto outline 5 points of cooperation that will pretty much guarantee a successful relationship. They are:

  • Communication- being able to communicate your thoughts and feelings to one another effectively and respectfully.
  • Honesty- no secrets or ulterior motives, be open.
  • Objectivity- the ability to see things from both points of view
  • Tolerance-understand values, opinions, beliefs, and or preferences. Then decide whether or not you want to be flexible with some things and not others.
  • Friendship-a trust, bond, and alliance.

This article is phenomenal! All of this time I had it wrong! I have used the word compromise in so many debates as a solution to relationship issues. Have you? Dr. Formica sums it up best:

We strive to survive, but playing “one-up” or “one-down” in our partnerships derails the very thing that is supposed to be feeding and supporting us. Making an agreement to cooperate with our partner, rather than compromise or compete, can lead us to a whole new level of connection and communication.”

The Happiness Thief

During the past couple of days, I have been pondering whether or not someone can steal your happiness. I requested the help of the ultimate research assistant to help me with this project…GOOGLE! (LOL). I started to type in key words such as: happiness, thief, burglar,etc. I came across a description of a movie entitled
The Happiness Thief.

Description:
A miserable little girl curses her younger brother for being so happy. Little did she know that her curse would summon a grotesque figure who, in the darkness of night, would violently steal the boy’s happiness.

Sometimes I feel as if there are people like this character, who want to literally suck the happiness out of you. But we all know that this is impossible. Happiness is something that you own and you can either give it away on good terms or relinquish it on bad terms. If there is someone in your life that consciously or sub-consciously is making you unhappy, it is because you are letting them. If you know that you have done nothing to deserve this type of “attempted robbery”, just keep smiling. Focus on yourself and everyday attempt to be the best you that you can be. If they don’t appreciate your happiness, there are other people out there who will.

So in the words of the great Bobby McFerrin, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”!

Are You Inspired to Inspire?

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in·spire

To stimulate energies, ideals, or reverence

Have you ever read a book, an article, or watched an interview that gave you that big “A-ha” moment? Perhaps you had an epiphany that propelled you to think and act different from that day forward? If this has happened to you, chances are you were INSPIRED! Do you remember the adrenaline rush that you felt upon being inspired? Are you constantly looking to feel that over and over again? I have a remedy for this addiction, INSPIRE SOMEONE IN RETURN!

Inspiration is the gift that keeps on giving, as long as you don’t hoard it. That is why inspirational phenoms, such as Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Jim Rohn, John C. Maxwell, Napoleon Hill, Zig Ziglar, Joel Olsteen, T.D. Jakes, Oprah etc, have made and continue to make such an impact. These people have the amazing ability and gift to inspire others to inspire others.

Are you going to be apart of the next wave of inspirational benefactors?

Today’s Challenge: The next time you are inspired, share that inspiration with someone else.

You will find that in the act of sharing inspiration, you will be inspired to inspire again.

Enjoy Your Weekend!

Are You An Independent Thinker?

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As I watched everyone celebrate Independence Day, I began to reflect on the origination of the holiday. In short, a group of free thinking individuals decided to come together and declare their independence from a governing body that did not have their best interest in mind. I started to evaluate my own life and asses whether or not the people that I surround myself with have my best interest in mind.

Many of my mentors always say, ” You are the sum total of the five people you hang out with.” If this is the case, do your friends or family with whom you spend the most time, value your opinions and ideas and encourage independent opinions and creativity?

I challenge everyone (including myself) to be an independent thinker when it comes to your values, beliefs, and creativity.

Do You Share the Same Love?

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“No woman wants to be in submission to a man who isn’t in submission to God!”
~T.D. Jakes~

In my opinion, being in a relationship is like being on the same team and your coach is God. As I begin reading the bible, I am starting to realize that it is our “play book” for life and in this book there are specific instructions on how to be a better child, mother, father, leader, servant, husband, wife, etc. If you are in a relationship and you are TRYING to make today better than yesterday and TRYING to be a better person, it can become very discouraging when your partner does not embrace this. It’s important for both partners to understand that ultimately God calls the shots, so if you both are not following his instructions you ARE NOT going to WIN your relationship.

You do not have to be an extremely religious person to embrace your spirituality. Also, everyone’s spiritual walk is different. However, if you are in a loving relationship with someone, you want to make sure that the two of you have a loving relationship with GOD. It is through that relationship with God that the strength and endurance in your own relationship will present itself.

It is better to lead from…

It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.

~Nelson Mandela~

Do You Consider Yourself a Leader?