Friday, May 29, 2009

LEADERSHIP Series: Thinking Rightly – Doing Right Things

Rich or poor. Oppressed or the oppressor. Experience shape us, not by what happens, but by what how we think and therefore what we do about what happens.

It is because of the simple, common grace of God that we are born seeing. Easily forgotten. We take such for granted – until we are one of those born sightless, or deaf, or dumb.

Beyond the actual to the metaphor, all have been given some measure of enlightenment. Both can experience the hope for something more than this life offers: the poor for wealth that comes without anxiety and the oppressor for wealth not built on abusive behavior, but on right living.

It always comes down to what we do with the light the LORD has given:
Do we turn away (leave the lesson) and seek the shade?
Do we reach out, despite our condition, and ask our Creator to teach us something more?
Do we leave the light and seek darkness?
Are you learning or “leaving?”

Proverbs 29:13 (MSG) The poor and their abusers have at least something in common: they can both see—their sight, God's gift!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

LEADERSHIP Series: The Chords of Leadership Character

In their book The 5 Pillars of Leadership, Meyer and Slechta posit that the first three fundamentals of leadership are integrity, a servant’s heart and stewardship. The chord of your character, if built with those three strands, will not easily be broken!

Warren Bennis is quoted as saying that “Character is the key to leadership” and research, done by Harvard University professors, indicates that 85% of a leader’s performance depends on personal character.

Character helps you clearly define your goals because they are formed with integrity that is born from a Godly fear. These goals serve the needs of a leader’s followers because the Christian leader has first learned to serve their Master; and their goals reflect the attitude that the Leader does not “own” the business and its resources: the effective leader understands that s/he is a steward of those resources.

For the Christian leader, the source of character is a reverential and worshipful fear of the Lord: ignoring this fear (The attitude that I will fear no one!) has consequences. There is the final judge. What we do, what we think and what we say ultimately matters.

One of the paradoxes of Christianity is that happiness (blessedness) starts with fear. Know God - No Fear. Fear God - Know happiness.

From what are strands in your chord of character made?

Proverbs 28:14 (NIV) Blessed is the man who always fears the LORD, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble.

Copyright ©2009 by P. Griffith Lindell

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

LEADERSHIP Series: Servant Leaders Await Praise

Servant-leadership is an expression of humility.

A great paradox is that this kind of leader is one who exercises authority, motivating people to willingly do what has been asked because of personal influence. They don’t do this for personal praise. They do it because they understand and share the vision, know the mission and make sure the team knows their roles and are driven by values that include other-orientation.

Authority is different than power. Power can be bought or sold and given or taken. Not so with authority. It is earned because of a person's character as expressed in their behavior.

Character is often best expressed in the rough-and-tumble of the street where selling, customer service and problem-solving takes place. When humility rules, successful case histories and testimonials can become a major part of your marketing communications program.

Effective market leaders drive further market penetration by developing “happy-user-stories” that powerfully tell of the results of the value your offering delivers. That result can be traced to the truth of the verse below – it is a universal truth.

Proverbs 27:2 (NIV) Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.

Christ has left us with the example of the behaviors of humility and servant-leadership. The result of His humble authority is still being felt today.

Is your authority as a leader being positively experience in your organization today?

Copyright ©2009 by P. Griffith Lindell

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

LEADERSHIP Series: Choosing the Right Tools to Train, Guide and Grow

Leaders must use many different tools to encourage excellence. Some tools are meant to train; others, to govern direction and focus; and finally, there are tools that a consequence of inappropriate behavior. Each must be used with wisdom and without succumbing to emotional anger or disgust or some other expression of how we feel – it should never be about us – it must be about them.

Coaches often use different tools to train a team – I can remember running laps because of an inadequacy in someone else – the lesson was that we were all in this together. We work together. We are “punished” together. It is about team.

Motivations to change are both extrinsic and intrinsic – using a combination of each, at the right time, is what effective leader’s master. That mastery is directly related to the state of the leader’s heart. If your feelings, attitudes and motivations are not congruent with your Creator’s, how do you expect to train, guide and effectively discipline those you are charged with leading?

Is your heart ready to guide to govern and to grow your people?

Proverbs 26:3 (NLV) Guide a horse with a whip, a donkey with a bridle, and a fool with a rod to his back!

YOU May Want to Check Out Further Study

Copyright ©2009 by P. Griffith Lindell

Monday, May 25, 2009

LEADERSHIP Series: Authentic Self-promotion

In an interview with Larry King, Donald Trump observed that pretenders to success often spend too much time talking to him about all they have done. He has observed that successful people, on the other hand, spend the time learning -- asking questions about his success.

Self-exaltation often results in disaster.

For the Christ-centered, small business person, authentic self-promotion is not about talking about yourself. It must be practiced within the context of personal values that are focused on thinking of others first. Marketing communications, then, will creatively, clearly and compellingly communicate the value you deliver, differentiating your offering.

Your authentic self-promotion is made real by pursuing a turtle-mentality rather than a hare-mentality. Proving the value you deliver is about consistency of behavior, not about your intention to behave in a certain way.

Christian leaders are called to march consistently to a heartbeat whose cadence is called out by God, not by the meaningless chatter of this world.

Who beats your marching cadence at work?

Proverbs 25: 6-7 (MSG) Don't work yourself into the spotlight; don't push your way into the place of prominence. It's better to be promoted to a place of honor than face humiliation by being demoted.

Copyright ©2009 by P. Griffith Lindell

Friday, May 22, 2009

LEADERSHIP Series: The Leader’s Reputation – Got the Right Stuff?

Recently, the news has been filled with those business people and other leaders who have achieved a result and their name is not good because of that result.

For everyone, especially leaders, two attributes are more desirable than all the wealth we can accumulate: to be well spoken of and to be held in high esteem by others.

Both point to personal purpose: knowing who you are and what your purpose is. I hope you have a handle on that.

A.W. Tozer offered seven “tests” for us to use when we want to understand better how we are “known” and what really drives us:
1. What we want most
2. What we think about most
3. How we use our money
4. What we do with our leisure time
5. The company we enjoy
6. Who and what we admire
7. What we laugh at

And remember, as my Mom used to say: “What you do speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you say.”

What really drives you? Do you have a personal purpose statement?

Proverbs 22:1 (NIV) A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

Copyright ©2009 by P. Griffith Lindell

Thursday, May 21, 2009

LEADERSHIP Series: Planning. Collaboration. Prosperity.

Leaders plan: one could probably posit that planning is elemental to leadership.

I like Philip Crosby’s definition (The Absolutes of Leadership):
“Leadership is deliberately causing people-driven actions in a planned fashion [emphasis mine] for the purpose of accomplishing the leader’s agenda….planned fashion means actually laying out a sequence of events that lets people know what is going to happen and what they are supposed to do.”
One way to “let people know” is to clearly express your vision – then share it; publish your mission (which includes your reason for existence - what you do, why you do it and for whom); and promote the values that give shape and meaning to the way you do it.

Leaders build all of this (and more) into planning – note: it is not The Plan – but planning – a dynamic, collaborative process that includes measuring the results, comparing them to the plan and evaluating the variance from the “plan.”

Good planning, in other words, takes hard, collaborative work. The focus is always on results. Shortcuts most often focus on a declaration of success or failure. Remember, you ALWAYS succeed…in producing a result. That success-failure-get-it-now attitude leads to disaster.

What kind of results are you producing? What do those results say about your planning, and work?

Proverbs 21:5 Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.

Copyright ©2009 by P. Griffith Lindell

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

LEADERSHIP Series: Good to Great May Involve Sacrifice

The mix of humility and relentlessness will may define a “Level 5” (Collins, Good to Great), but for the Christian at work, there may be more to consider.

Humility is more than some building block toward leadership: it must be an essence of leadership. It is the definition of a leader that is driven by a desire to serve others.

In Genesis, there is a story about land. It seems that the land could not support both Abram and Lot’s herdsmen who were quarrelling (two groups professing faith) in a land of unbelieving people. Abram’s plea for peace came with a powerful offer to Lot: take half. Lot did not deserve it: was not promised it. But “keeping away from strife” drove Abram’s decision. He trusted God to provide even though Lot chose the best land.

Sometimes, moving from “good to great” demands a sacrifice resulting in a “move” for which God alone receives glory.

Are you a “mover and shaker” for peace at work?

Proverbs 20:3 (AMP) Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, but any fool will quarrel.

Copyright ©20009 by P. Griffith Lindell

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

LEADERSHIP Series: Dangerous Compromises

Compromises of our moral principles begins when we forget the basis of those principles. Our slide down that slippery slope gains its momentum when we stop learning from the text that really matters – Scripture.

In her book, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, author Goodwin noted that Lincoln was consumed with learning. A study of his life reveals that he not only read but also studied Scripture. His Bible was never far from him and one of his quotes, no doubt stimulated by his constant reading of the Scriptures is, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.”

His compassion (an expression of humility) was demonstrated in his 2nd Inaugural Address when he declared: "With malice toward none; with charity for all…" and that began the process of healing between the North and the South.

You, as a leader, now have power – at some level - to heal or hurt. How you use that power with your followers will demonstrate your ability to follow your Creator-leader. Effective leaders must demonstrate in their character what Lincoln lived out – “a paradoxical mix of humility and resoluteness of will” - one of the hallmarks of “Level 5 Leadership” (Good to Great, Collins).

Arrogance (a lack of humility) and compromising principals starts when we stop “listening to instruction” from the Ultimate Instructor.

Even when we think God is not listening, He is there. As John Eldredge points out (in Walking with God: Talk to Him. Hear from Him. Really) “Hearing from God flows out of our relationship” – a relationship born of God, given us through the work of Christ and sealed by the Spirit.

Like any meaningful relationship, this one also takes work. Driven by a daily duty to declare that even our time belongs to Him, we make that declaration real by “listening to instruction” from His Word – first.

Got the Book? Are you hooked on instruction?

Proverbs 19:27 (NKJV) Cease listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.

Copyright ©2009 by P. Griffith Lindell

Monday, May 18, 2009

LEADERSHIP Series: Listening Critical to Effective Leadership

Listening to understand others and listening to one’s self (self-awareness) are each critical skills in effective leadership and exemplify a leader’s inquiry for and even a craving for, knowledge.

Leadership literature lights up when combining a “Google” search for listening with leadership and one very interesting link was to a research study submitted to the National Fire Academy as part of the Executive Fire Officer Program by a Battalion Chief from Sandy, Utah. Peter Drucker, in The Effective Executive (1966), and Stephen Covey, in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (1977) are just two of the more well-known thinks who laid some crucial groundwork in the literature on leadership and listening.

Jeroen van der Veer, President of Royal Dutch and Chief Executive of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, stressed to during a lecture at the Stanford Graduate School of Business the importance of listening skills to sustainable leadership. He urged the MBA students “to adopt a model of leadership that involves modesty, empathy, and reflective listening.”

He understood that one of the roles of leaders is to ask good questions and then listen to the responses. That takes time and is very different from “doing stuff” – but, in fact, it is the stuff of leading.

Do you take the time needed to listen?

It’s hard work, but leaders do it. Here are five listening tips:
  • Pay close attention to the speaker. This does not mean to stare intently into their eyes as they speak. Mirror and match how they use their eyes: some glance about as they speak; others stare. People like people who are just like them. Match, but fix your attention upon them.
  • If they ask you a question, give a direct, but quick answer and ask a question in response. This shows that you care about their opinion and people often ask questions of us because they have something to tell us about the subject.
  • Be collaborative – seek their feedback - and follow up their feed back with action (send email, a Tweet) that demonstrates that you have thoughtfully considered their input.
  • If a bad news “message” is being sent, listen to message – don’t think about the messenger. Leaders need to practice the body language that is open to critique, contrary opinion, or bad news. Listen and learn and seek the kernel of truth that may exist in every negative critique.
Proverbs 18:15 (AMP) The mind of the prudent is ever getting knowledge, and the ear of the wise is ever seeking (inquiring for and craving) knowledge.

Copyright© 2009 by P. Griffith Lindell

Friday, May 15, 2009

LEADERSHIP Series: Choosing Words Carefully

It is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!

Effective leaders choose words to that make followers feel valued. Choosing the right word, spoken at the right time, in the right manner can make all the difference in your leading.

Sam Walton is quoted as saying, "Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish."

Wise (Godly) leaders are called to offer a distinction to the world by their words: words that encourage and do not destroy; communication that motivates and inspires followers; words that correct without demeaning the hearer; and replies appropriate to the occasion.

Leadership is a heart thing. It begins there. It lives there. It ends there.

Do your words show it?

Proverbs 15:23 (NLT) Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!

Copyright ©2009 by P. Griffith Lindell

Thursday, May 14, 2009

LEADERSHIP Series: The Reflective Leader

Reflective understanding and thinking are activities that happen in rest and stillness.

Yes, activities. Not some empty-minded mediation; but quiet, reflecting thinking about purpose, mission, and strategy. It is the prudent leader who takes time to think, to reflect and to meditate and think through possible actions and their effect on the team, the customer and stakeholders.

Have you thought about your culture and developed a simple purpose statement? This document articulates your vision (what the future looks like - where you want to go), your mission (what you going to do and to whom [the customer]), and your strategies (the choices you are going to make i.e., just how you do it).

This takes reflection, resources (internal debate, discussion and decisions) and resolve (the willingness to execute). Purpose statements are essential for leaders to focus their thinking, help them understand where the enterprise is going and how it is going about getting there and the what values are in play in that process. This statement also helps followers understand the purpose, the plans and the processes.

These behaviors of reflection, response and reordering do not happen in a vacuum - they are shaped by the values of the leader. Yes, they value collaboration, and believing leaders also value their Creator's insights, and follow His guidelines. They consult Him in prayer and meditation, asking for wisdom and discernment to be acutely aware of what is coming (understanding the times) not only in the business environment in which they operate, but also, more importantly, in the shaping of their lives to be more like Christ.

Proverbs 14: 8 (NLT) The prudent understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves.

Reflection or deception – that seems to be the choice in this verse.

Are you a prudent, reflective leader?

Copyright ©2009 by P. Griffith Lindell

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

LEADERSHIP Series: Words Matter

Leaders work through people to achieve their vision for the organization. They inspire innovation in their people. It is leadership that moves ideas, gets stuff down and keeps the team motivated and inspired.

And they use conversation to do all this. Effective leaders employ carefully crafted words. They use authentic speech and don’t pretend to have all the answers. Their speech encourages collaboration. Someday, keep track of how many and the variety of conversations you have during the day.

Helpful conversation is not about complaining, commiserating or comparing one to the other; it is about inspiring help from the team because the leader is helpful. Careful words will encourage commitment of the team because you keep your commitments.

Spoken words have power to destroy, discourage or delight the hearer. Idle words inspire no one and can distract from focus.

The casual use of blasphemous words destroys the user’s soul – God is not pleased. Swear words and a potty mouth can creep in and out so very easily because our culture has desensitized language. Believing leaders must guard their hearts against this – I understand – there are times I utter “Uffda!”

Proverbs 13:2-6 The good acquire a taste for helpful conversation…Careful words make for a careful life… A good person hates false talk… bullies push and shove their way through life.

Are you a bully or a leader in your conversations?

Copyright ©2009 by P. Griffith Lindell

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

LEADERSHIP SERIES: Leaders Solicit Advice

Outside advisers are becoming ubiquitous, and according to author, Dan Ciampa, in his book Taking Advice, although leaders sometimes have grown less satisfied with the advice they are receiving, they too often overlook help from colleagues, board members, subordinates, friends, and spouses. He points out that when leaders fail to solicit advice or obtain it [actually listen to the advice] the leader and his vision suffer.

So, one of attributes of leadership is the set of seeking and taking good advice. It was Ulrich, Zinger & Smallwood who pointed out that leadership is the product of attributes times results. Their research demonstrated that one side multiplies the other; they are not cumulative. Leaders must strive for excellence in both areas.

Listening leaders are the ones who have learned that the more they know, the more there is to know and they cannot know it all. They model that learning is life-long. Leaders learn to listen - not just hear - and they have honed the skill to listen with a set of expectations that listening and learning will help them produce meaningful results.

If your board is giving direction, are you listening? If your staff is disengaged and seemingly “not on the bus,” are you engaging them by seeking their advice on how, together, you can achieve expected results. If your spouse is making passing comments that your pursuit of business has had an impact on your pursuit of Godliness, do you listen?

Simply listening to advice and actually taking advice are two different activities.

In which activity are you engaged?

Proverbs12: 15 (MSG) Fools are headstrong and do what they like; wise people take advice.

Copyright © 2009 by P. Griffith Lindell

Monday, May 11, 2009

LEADERSHIP Series: Size Matters: Especially the Little Things

Making a very little adjustment to the weights in ancient times could become very profitable for the wealth-driven business person. In business today, although we don't use the same kind of scales, it is still the little things that can make a big difference. The CRA-induced financial crisis is an example of a collection of little changes (demands on banks to lend to those who would not normally qualify) that has had a huge impact on global business today.

Slight, very small “adjustments” in how the inventory is recognized is another example that can have an impact on value of a firm. Recognizing revenue is fraught with minefields of gray areas where small decisions can affect the financial statement.

A little adjustment here, a little lie there and white lies everywhere yielding a response to the question, “What can I get away with?" Our culture today presents leaders with many opportunities for self-righteous behaviors; but for those who understand that they work for God, and not humans, the small stuff, while remaining critical, becomes easier to handle when we begin to assimilate the truth that running a business is a heart thing.

Even as business people, Believers are called to pursue God, not “advantage.” We are called to righteousness, not riches. We are called to multiply what He has given us for His glory.

Are you delighting God?

Proverbs 11:1 (NASB) A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight.

Copyright ©2009 by P. Griffith Lindell

Friday, May 8, 2009

LEADERSHIP Series: Theory and Practice of Leading

The literature on the theory and practice of leadership has been around a long time. Studies have emerged from many disparate disciplines that have shaped and augmented that literature. Each writer, some intentionally, many without intention, have reflected a particular worldview.

One’s worldview consists of at least three attributes, it:
  • Assumes something about origins (fundamentally either matter or spirit - first cause - is eternal);
  • Defines the problems that beset the human being (at the core it’s either sin, or some evolved set of environmental/societal drivers); and finally,
  • Ultimately offers a solution to the human condition.

Our view worldview then determines what we believe about the intent, behavior and impact humans have on each other and the role that leaders and followers play in that dance of interaction.
From Plutarch’s Lives, to more moderns writers like:
  • Selznick (1957 – who wrote on the concept of the infusion of values and purpose);
  • Greenleaf (1977- who, from reading Herman Hesse’s Journey to the East deduced the concept of the “servant leader”);
  • Burns (1978 – who developed the concepts of ethically and morally transformational leadership); and,
  • Bennis, Blanchard, Kotter, Maxwell and others who have built on these foundations and added powerful insights -
we have developed a body of literature about the ways leaders need to think and behave to motivate followers - each writer offering valid ideas and processes on leadership. Interestingly, they all have a basis in Scripture. “Wisdom” was there in the beginning.
God tells us that effective leaders are first followers of Him. It is then these followers lead by example; therefore, effective leadership begins after a heart is changed from its original nature to a Christ-centered nature. A heart changed will shape behavior toward yourself and others.

Man’s theories come and go. God’s laws have remained constant.

Have you considered your worldview and how it shapes your leadership? The answer matters – today at work and eternally.

Proverbs 8: 22-23 (NASB) The LORD possessed me [Wisdom] at the beginning of His way, before His works of old. From everlasting I was established, from the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth.

Copyright ©2009 by P. Griffith Lindell

Thursday, May 7, 2009

LEADERSHIP Series: The Value of Others

God’s laws, like principles of leadership, are fundamentally about two issues: personal integrity and the value of others. Robin S. Sharma in Leadership Wisdom from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari put it this way: “The greatest privilege of leadership is the chance to elevate lives."

Robert E. Staub - (The Heart of Leadership: 12 Practices of a Courageous Leader) - reveals that those who purport to lead - but fail - do so because they don't understand who it is they're trying to lead. Sometimes, evaluations of the team are based upon the wrong criteria – they may well be the right “people on the bus” and leaders miss it because they are not holding the skills possessed as “precious.”

According to Jim Collins, “The good-to-great leaders understood …[a] simple truth…. if you begin with “who,” rather than “what,” you can more easily adapt to a changing world.” What I have learned is that working on developing the “who” is a rigorous process and takes competency, intimacy, integrity, and passion.

Leaders know what is precious: It not the stuff that must be done; rather, it’s the people who team with them to get it done.

Who is (or is it “what is”) most precious to you?

Copyright ©2009 by P. Griffith Lindell

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

LEADERSHIP Series: Lighting the Way

Qualities of a business leader often deal with competency, care, and communication. Great qualities to develop. Christian leaders must develop both secular standards of leadership and scared standard that may include providing sound, Biblically-based advice, good teaching that provide “light” and living a life of moral discipline.

Life is not simple and neither is leading.
Business is in constant flux. Capital gets depleted. Priorities change. Boards demand progress. Individual contributors are often driven by self-centered motives painted in the texture and hue of team effort. Complexities arise very often fraught with gray areas that take special wisdom.
The ability to discern truth and righteousness demands, of leaders, something beyond their natural skills. Being known as a Christian business leader should have an eternal impact on the lives around you.

It is about being a light. Light has a way of revealing. Christian leaders must distinguish right from wrong even in the face of what might be "legal," but not righteous, in God's eyes.

Is the “light” of your life revealing Christ in you?

Proverbs 6:23 (MSG) For sound advice [that had come from Wisdom] is a beacon, good teaching is a light, and moral discipline is a life path.

Copyright ©2009 by P. Griffith Lindell

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

LEADERSHIP Series: Learn to Listen

Whether you are leading a small business, a large company, or a team, listening is a skill that has direct impact on your ability to be an influential leader. Listening, learned and applied, is priceless to the person to whom you are listening.

If listening simply means gathering and making sense out of information, and information drives effective communication, then we need to be intentional about developing effective listening skills.

Research indicates that fifty percent of our time is spent listening, but our real attention consumes only twenty five percent – the other half is spent thinking about what to say next. We lose our ability to listen at an alarming rate – in first grade, we heard 90% of instruction and by ninth grade that percentage plummeted to 25%.

In life and in business, the more effective your listening skills, the more you learn about what the prospective customer really needs; what the current customer considers as exquisite service; and what your staff thinks is needed build a team focused on growing revenue or profitability. As one writer states, “The time and money you save by listening effectively can make the difference between success and failure.”

Scripture tells us that developing a “the hearing ear,” or teachableness, results in happiness. Imagine that: a skill we can learn, if diligent, results in something just for us that make us appealing. Leaders who have developed that ear will attract followers not only because they are heard, but also because the leader, who is really listening, is not full of self and is…happy.

We all want to be heard. God does to: Are you listening?

Proverbs 5:1 (NIV) My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight…

Copyright ©2009 by P. Griffith Lindell

Monday, May 4, 2009

LEADERSHIP Series: Get and Don’t Forget

Proverbs admonishes us to “get Wisdom.”

For business leaders, business school knowledge is important, sometimes even vital for structuring your business thinking. Don’t dismiss it as irrelevant; however what Proverbs drives us to “get and hold on to” has eternal impact – and that is what Christian business people are called to generate – eternal impact.

We must form the habits of “get[ing]” and “holding on to” and “not forget[ing]” and “guarding … well” Wisdom’s instruction. These habits will help us assimilate or accommodate any instruction we receive. Shaping all our learning through the filter of Scripture takes intentionality and effort, especially in a culture that forges a false dichotomy between secular and scared.

Think of brain having boxes defined by rows and columns (like in Excel®) – similar to Piaget’s internal model of your world. New instruction that fits the junction at a row and column is easily assimilated. If the new information does not fit, it must be accommodated. Your habit-pattern of thinking can drive that accommodation. That’s why meditation on God’s Word must become a habit. It will shape everything we might learn – especially about leadership. It drives our integration of the scared and the secular.

Obedience to “meditate day and night” on God’s works, God’s wonders and God’s Word drives in us a joy that is attractive to those watching. That’s one way leader’s gains followers.

Meditation Yields Motivation. Is your obedience bringing about a motivating and attractive joy?

Proverbs 4:5, 13 (NIV) Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them…Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.

Copyright © by P. Griffith Lindell

Friday, May 1, 2009

LEADERSHIP Series: In Tough Times Leaders Relax Then Lead

Thoughts about leadership come from many diverse sources. While thinking about sharing my thoughts on stillness and resting, relaxing and leading, I was in bed, also reading a Tanenbaum novel last night wherein this description awoke my thinking:
“Lucy in the meantime was exercising her primary religious talent…simply keeping still and reflecting in peace and gratitude. This had a radiating effect on the other lunchers.”

That author captured the both the wonder of stillness and result it produces. This result will impact all those around - all those watching you. You want to be a magnet of quiet meaning to those seeking rest and relaxation from the troubles of their life? Relax.

If lost in the woods, we are taught to be still. Stay in one place. Our nature is to move. Run. Flee. Frantically find the way out. Instead of frenetic activity, on writer advised, "I have stilled and quieted myself, just as a small child is quiet with its mother."1

This verse says there is a simple method that will provide what you need to learn to relax and it’s free!

Go deep into life – be still. It takes patience and discipline to quiet self and listen to the still, small voice of our Creator. For hard chargers like me, it is difficult to quiet my mind, my soul and my body – and I want God to shout. Being still – relaxing – I have learned will help you discover your way.

Do life right: Shift your focus. Being self-absorbed brings anxiety: Becoming God-absorbed yields relaxation. The choice should be clear.

In the stillness, to whom are you paying attention?

Proverbs 1:33 (MSG) "First pay attention to me, and then relax. Now you can take it easy--you're in good hands.

Copyright © 2009 by P. Griffith Lindell

1 David, in Psalm 131:2