Archive for December, 2011

Change in Leadership or Caught Looking Ahead?

Sometimes you need a change in leadership.  This week, the Chiefs fired their head coach and made Romeo the interim coach.  Take this poll as to the biggest surprise of the game:

Or did the result of this game have anything to do with the Chiefs?  Perhaps the Packers got caught looking ahead and planning a celebration of an undefeated season.   What do you think?

Go Chiefs!

Categories: Leadership, Sports

All or Nothing

If you’re going to do something, give it your all.   Work hard and Play hard. 

I sometimes compartmentalize (is that a word?) my life so that when I’m at work, I can focus on my work.  When I’m doing work with charities or church, that’s my focus.  And when I’m at home, that is my focus.  I can’t say I’m all that great at that as I also live all parts of my life at once.  I am who I am, all the time.

However, I believe that when you make a commitment to someone or something, you need to live up to it. So, if you volunteer to help a charity or serve on a board, make sure you can live up to that commitment.  When there’s a meeting, be there on time (early is even better) and stay until the meeting is actually completed.  If you are unable to do that, be upfront about it so that the group can decide to reschedule or proceed without you. 

And learn the power of the little word “No” as in “No, I am not able to make that commitment.”  It might seem like you’re being rude but actually you’re saving everyone problems down the road.  If you make a commitment, live up to it. 

Another important factor is to schedule time for rest, recuperation and relationships.  After all, God rested on the 7th day so who are we to say that we can go all out non-stop without a break.  If you live by your calendar, schedule an appointment for rest or to spend time with your significant other.  Then, when someone asks you to do something, say (with all honesty) “Sorry, but I already have an appointment.”   You can choose whether or not to share that this appointment is to relax or reintroduce yourself to your loved ones.

Lately, I’ve overscheduled myself and I’ve not had enough sleep.  As a result, I’ve been sick two weekends in a row.  Perhaps this is a subtle reminder to me that I needed to get some rest. 

So, give it your all and then step away and enjoy some time for yourself.  You’ve earned it.

Categories: Uncategorized

A Bi-Focal View of the Future

A couple weeks ago, I made a visit to the eye doctor and sure enough, my vision isn’t what it used to be.   I’m still able to read up close but my distance vision needed correction.  However, if they correct my distance, then I can’t read with my glasses so I’m now entering the world of bifocals.  Specifically, they recommended no-line bi-focals so that it’s a gradual shift from near to far.  I hear it takes some getting used to but we’ll see … or at least I hope I’ll  SEE (sorry, couldn’t resist) but the thought of bifocals made me think about how we ought to look at the future.

Instead of looking at just the immediate future (what am I doing today and tomorrow) or just the distance (dreams of someday but with no plan to get there) it’s important to be looking (and planning) for near and far.

Schedule time to plan your week but also to look ahead to the next month, year and decade.  (If you need to actually put it in your planner or on your phone, do so.)  This should pertain to your career, your finances/retirement, and your personal life as well.

It’s also important to have outsiders that can be a sounding board.  I recently attended a workshop where they talked about the importance of having mentors but also of having people that will point out your flaws and blind spots.  Of course, you need to make sure that if you ask someone to point out your flaws and blind spots, that you’re not going to get mad when they do so.

In different parts of like, you may lean on different people.  For my work in Marketing and Research, I look to people like Vince, Gary and Duane for guidance.  When it comes to church/youth work, I have looked to Lois for many years and more recently added Roy and Claire to my list of mentors.   Keep in mind that someone doesn’t have to be older to be wiser; during a recent discussion at church, I reflected that one of the people that helped guide me on my faith journey was Nate – at the time, I was in my first year as Youth Director and he was still in high school but he showed me how to LIVE your faith and what you stand for rather than just TALKING about what’s important.

Today, I’m having lunch with one of those mentors.   Next week, I’m taking the week off from the day job and will have time to meet with a few of my mentors regarding my second job in Youth Ministry.   I think the break from the routine will do me good and will hopefully allow me to see things more clearly in the future.

To quote a song from a few years ago, “The future’s so bright, I have to wear shades.”