So there I was…

Life happens here at the speed of Chaos. Percentages count like horse shoes and hand-grenades! Close counts. 

After a fun filled day at the office today I walked into the realm of ‘close does not count!’ There was fire after fire after fire. But peace draweth niegh as the day was done.

Thinking I had one small victory today to atone for my many errors, I was sorely mistaken. For my blog, read only by the best of the best-(thank you!), contained a mine-feild of misss-spelleded words…

Thus I write to say thank for the grace of Falling Forward and learning lesson from life!

In Search of Sustainment: Never borrow against your future for today’s sustainment.

There is, in the heart of man a desire to sustain what he currently has; moreover, increase it. Yet nothing in nature is stagnate. It is either moving towards something or away from something.  Therefore man is stuck in the middle, always in need of sustainment. 

In times of loss he needs gain.

Nature hates vacuums.  

Therefore, when we barrow against what we do not have it creates a vacuum in our soul that cannot adequately be sustained for any length of time. It stifles our ability for future sustainment and robs our soul and dignity.

Find your speciality in your family and market place and do it better than anyone else…

Never borrow against your future for today’s sustainment. 

Question: What is the cause of empty space deep within man (or marriage, family, business, your JOB, etc…) What’s the shape of hole? How will you, how do, satisfy your search for sustainment?

Dear Boss, You failed us.

Note to the Boss: That project your said was important is now done. Daily work suffered and some work was taken home; sacrifices were made but the product looks good, is usable, exceeds all criteria, and provides insight we did not have before. You knew our plate was already full… after all busy folks get things done!

We, your “team,” however, are appalled at your 2-second-Thank-you for a 2 week project that makes you look great and puts us behind! Please have the respect to acknowledge this project took a lot of time to complete. Let us know we did well. We, those in the trenches carry you, and you forgot about us. Hope you enjoy the bonus.

*****

Leaders, write yourself a letter and post it. Write the letter you never want to see your folks write to you. In the valley of motivation, read it. Let it invigorate you to stop, get out from behind your desk, and serve your people. It’s not about being right all the time, it’s about serving. Empower your team to fail and to achieve. Then praise them for their work!

Question: What is the worse thing your folks could say about you? Would they be right? …but would if matter? Would you reward for letter from your team letting you know of a short coming?

Unity over Volume Wins every time!

Years ago at the University of Indiana at Bloomington there was a professor of music who proposed that a marching of 100 could play louder than a marching band of 200. Thinking our youthfulness was stronger than this mans experience we, his students, argued against the physics of sound and the principal of Unity of force and effort. 

In our study we learned that sound travels in waves and carries energy. When multiple sources of sound are traveling, the greater the power and greater the distance traveled. However, this is only true if the sound is in-tune with each other. If a trumpet plays a note of C and a second trumpet plays the same note but is flat, the sound will not travel as far or as loud. But two horns playing in tune can play louder than 3 that were not in tune playing the same note.

Your teams in business are no different. Leaders set the pitch, the more followers who choose to pull into tune, the farther you will go…and with greater power. As the conductor you will have to re-tune after each movement. Build your folks up with a unity of effort and listen to the sound it makes. 

Your Family is not devoid of this principle either. Dads, set the pace, build your team, get the unity of effort and go farther that you could imagine.  

Bottom line- Get in tune, because while being loud is not a bad thing, it just will not carry you as far as if you are in tune. Unity over Volume wins.

 

Question: When have seen a group of individuals pull together and form a common effort? Were they greatest working as individuals or as a single unit? What would happen if you and I re-tuned to the pitch of out project leader? What would and could that look like?

Take the Trash out!

Trash left to pile up will smell. In England many years back there was a strike of trash collectors. Ten and twenty foot high piles of daily trash blocked the roads and collected in ‘car-parks.’  The economy was also taking a hit because folks could not get to work on time and some not at all. England had to change something they were doing to get rid of all the trash. When they did, life started to take shape again. People moved, Business’ moved, Idea’s moved, all because someone started to take out the trash.

Parents of infants and teenagers. There is a correlation between the diaper pale and the pile of clothes in your teens room. Their smells mimic one another in odoriferous harmony. But unlike a Hummel Trumpet Concerto, you are left with something from The Really Terrible Orchestra and with curled nose hairs and twitching left eye.

My teenage son is our families trash man. He is great at taking the trash from the kitchen to the street. He is not good at doing it without a prompting. But neither are we good at taking out our own trash without someone else prompting us.

Life has plenty of trash it throws our direction. Some trash, like rotten bananas or PayDay Loan offers, we ditch without thought while others, like the Big Sale at REI or ALTA, we file in a box never to be seen again… Its those things that are the most troublesome. They collect over time and soon you are overwhelmed with the need to take action to get rid of the box…but can’t lift it by yourself.

Your inbox on your iMail/Outlook is the same… Hit Delete Folks!

What about the the trash we feed our minds and bodies? How much freer would we be if we let go of those things that stop us from achieving our given talents? Could you be a better dad or parent if your mind and soul were at peace? Could your project at work benefit with you having clarity of mind? Would your future family and friends enjoy you living because you cared for your body?

You will have to be radical to get the trash out of your life. You will find the limits and fences that you think are stopping you are all FAKE! Those that seem unsurmountable such as the government or money or family can be solved also. Go VOTE or write a letter to the Seat of your town; get on a written budget or have that tough conversation with mom or dad. You get the picture. It’s not alway easy but it is fairly simple.

You may have to read a book, listen to a podcast, go to a temple or church or speak with a professional councilor or friend. But…

Once you Hit Delete and take out your trash your life can begin again. …and it can begin new every day.

Question: Every morning I sit at the kitchen table, journal, and get quiet. I find things that are trash internally in my life and find a way to get rid of them. If you sat quiet for 15 minutes a day and focused, what trash would you find and what actions might you take to better yourself? …would it be worth it? …who would you find yourself to really be?

Fear is Controllable and a Choice only you can make~

Fear might be the opposite of trust. Trust is certainly bathed in faith. Faith is an absolute trust in something not seen. Trust and Faith are bed-fellows that despite any religious connotations are bedrocks in competing against the fear that drives us to make choices based only in emotion and not facts.

The Christian bible almost seems contradicting in stating that God did not give us a spirit of fear- but we should only fear the One who can give life and take it [for this example, that being is God]. There are other examples across other religious writtings that match this idea as well. The point in this writing is, however, is fear, is controllable. 

We choose to give it voice and action. We choose to allow it to have power. We choose to, in the Christian example above, Fear God and not anything else. 

We are, here, talking about a principle.

The loss of control in ourselves or our environment gives way to fear. What is also true, is that it gives way and opportunity to faith; faith will yield trust only after it is exercised. 

Remember, Trust and Faith are different. On the basic level, trust is mostly seen while faith is always unseen. 

Faith not exercised is pointless. Trust is far too easy at times. 

You gave little thought to the chair you are sitting in now because, years ago, had faith it would hold you up. You exercised that faith in the chair by watching others and it proved good. You now blindly trust chairs… well most chairs!

In business and in life the choice to yield to fear is yours alone to make. But make the choice. Go right or go left; do not sit on the fence of indecisiveness or fear will have won. 

 

Question: As a kid I was caught on the fringe of a hurricane while in a small boat off the Atlantic. Despite the obvious efforts of those around to ensure safety I am, to this day fearful of the ocean… but still visit. What are you giving seed to; Fear or Faith (Trust)? What would happen if you did one over the other?

Your Life is in the Budget

Budget your money, friends, and family.

I am a budgeter and a NERD! I evaluate, plan, then execute; and repeat the cycle as if reading the back of a shampoo bottle…assuming I had hair! It has helped with my personal finances, my time, and my soul.

Growing up in Sunday School with 1970’s technologically advanced flannel-graphs, I was taught two lessons that I’d grasp years later; one from Luke and one from Habakkuk.

In Luke, I was taught to consider the cost of building a tower before starting or you will be mocked for not finishing what you started (decoded: you better budget your money or everyone will laugh at you). The lesson in Habakkuk was the longest to digest and most encouraging: For still the vision awaits for an appointed time: it hastens to the end–It will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surly come; it will not delay.

I started to really budget about two years ago. Today, I cannot live without a plan for my money. But it took seven years of clawing and waiting for the ‘light at the end of the tunnel.’ Had it been any faster I would have missed valuable lessons. But the greatest lesson I am currently learning is to budget your family and friends.

Block out your time in synchronization with you goals (which you are allowed to change, but start somewhere!)

Budget your money to work for you and not against you. Budget your time at home for those thing that are really important. At the office, budget your phone calls and e-mails.

My tiny, minute, modicum of personal success only came after I started to budget my money, then my life. I think our life is found when include ourselves, our families, our friends in our budgets.

Your life will love you for the freedom you allow it to have. You will be able to re-introduce yourself to friends you have not seen in years… moreover, to your family you have been absent from though physically present.

Be encouraged to start. Accept the challenge. It will be hard but worth it!

 

Question: If you dared to budget your money, friends, and family, what would be the biggest reward or the biggest challenge? 

 

Know Your Team!

Leaders grow your team. Know them; their family, their birthday, anniversary, their kids, and their birthdays. Write them personal note on those days and random notes of gratitude for the work they do in support. Teach you folks. Influence them and shape them to be and belong to something far greater than themselves. Speak wisdom into their lives that not only improves the P&L but changes their lives and family for the better. In doing this, when it’s time to make the tough calls bridges are not burned, lives are not shattered.

Communicate with your team. Speak to you team on a regular and irregular basis. Keep them informed of changes, especially those that directly touch their livelihood–income and other life support issues. Leaders have no right to keep such topics to themselves.  Ask them hard questions and have them ask you the same. Keep in mind, they too have great ideas that need tapping in to. But they need to feel free to share their ideas and this will not come about in a once every three years ‘Town-hall’ meeting.

Protect your team. It is known that the great Steel Mogul Andrew Carnegie paid his people well. But he also protected them while protecting himself. When asked about a yearly bonus of a million dollars to an advisor named JP Morgan, Carnegie simply, my paraphrase, said he liked Morgan and knew his value, he wanted to keep him working for the himself and not his enemies. Give your folks reason to stay. Money is a great reason, but not the only reason. You protect your team by going to bat for them. Stand in the gap and take the hit–never use your folks as human shields–ever!

One aspect without the other is left lacking.

Fall short and your team with help out; Win and the whole wins.

Celebrate those you see today. Exercise prudence and wisdom; be open to opportunity and stand up for good of your team.

Question: When have you seen good leadership exercised?

Baby Steps & MTMMO

A picture is worth 1000 words. Yet only a few will grasp the magnitude this photo. This is graphic illustration of the last seven years.

Image

The journey is depicted exactly as it happened. From the trees and wilderness to the lean months and years; crossing the bridge; entering a city that pulls at you to go right and left instead of straight towards your goal… it’s all there.

Many thanks to several folks for making the journey happen, for believing when others did not. This trip was not made along.

Lampo GroupThis pictorial has been my reward every two weeks for long, long time; a reward for sticking to it. Words fail to express the weight of the “Thank You.”

My challenge to you, reader, is to get freed from stuff that kills you, bogs you down, keeps you from running your race.

Dump your debt. Live life. Support that missionary, every month; build a well with Blood: Water Mission; Engage Burkina Faso; Help Margret send her daughter to VBS, take your neighbor grocery shopping – or just show up with food. Buy you school text books. (shhh, take yourself to dinner AND a movie). Love your wife and kids as a free man, not enslaved to other things. Send your kids to college–be the one to change “the-way-it’s-always-been.” 

You have what it takes; You have permission to win…

Now GO WIN~

 

Question~ If you know this picture and read this, Will you please let me know?

Thanks

 

 

Getting back to Equal

Equal. That is what we all were in the beginning. We were brought into this world and for a short time had the very same potential to be the best at anything the world had to offer. Naked and having just been born, each one of us could have been an Abercrombie, Washington, William, Mandela, Reagan, Jefferson, or a Karzai. Each one of could have been a head of State or spot lighted as an industry leader. We could have also been unsung heros like Jena and her team of folks @Blood: Water Mission. The path had not yet been made. The Each one of us had an unwritten path in this life if only for a moment.

But then, life happens. You attend a Hindi Temple and not a Jewish synagog because your parents are of Hindi descent; you grow up thinking hatred of an ethnic is a good thing because you are told they hated you first. You develop your world view from the environment you grew up in. The friends you meet shape you, parents shape you, the hardness of life shapes you. But only you can define you. Christian’s would state, God through Christ defines you.

You may be of the Shudras or the Royalty of a Nation, but your baseline potential does not leave you. You are equal with every man on the planet.

This is hard and understand, I am not down playing any current plight or the plight of those born into slavery, or prostitution; those of extreme poverty and abandonment, these are still real people with real problems. Those things are hard, very hard and need attention. But even in those atrocities there is potential for better. A desire to get back to when we were equal.

So get back to Equal. Start over. Re-define your life.

Go back to the beginning and ask yourself; What do I want? Who is it I want to be?  The ‘how,’ comes later.

The Tortoise still wins the race…

Decide you are going to do it. Them burn your bridges and do it. Change your world by changing yourself first.

Do something different today that would develop a greater freedom. Get back to the  Equal. If all you can do is dream, then dream. You will find though, your thoughts will start demanding actions. When you get here, you are taking the steps to Equal.

In the John Eldridge book, EPIC, there is an entire section devoted to the topic and idea that we are not who we where intended to be. It’s not our fault. We are flawed but can hit a reset button that changes us our outlook. Our circumstances won’t change, but out point view will.

Question: Can you serve others back to Equal to find who you were intended to be?