3 Things To Always And Never Do In Leadership

“I will NEVER be that kind of leader.”

“I will ALWAYS lead with the utmost integrity in my church.”

We’ve all heard it said, “Never say ALWAYS or NEVER.” ¬†And I think there is some wisdom in that. ¬†These words can easily set us up for major failure.

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In the right context, however, ALWAYS and NEVER can be incredibly useful for staying focused and intentional with who we desire to become and what we hope to accomplish in the future.

Here are 3 things I suggest we ALWAYS and NEVER do in leadership:

1. ALWAYS do your best | Our work effort should be high and directed toward God (Col. 3:23).  This also creates solid character.

2. ALWAYS forgive yourself when you fail | You and I are going to fail. ¬†It’s inevitable. ¬†But if we don’t learn from our mistakes, give ourselves grace and move on…we will end up self-destructing. ¬†Give each new day a clean slate (Lam. 3:22-23).

3. ALWAYS look for the good in everyone | Noticing the positive traits in others (and acknowledging them) encourages and builds others up. ¬†Who doesn’t need more of that? ¬†This also changes the way we view people for the better.


1. NEVER Give up | You and I lose sight of our goals, hopes, dreams, and reason for living when we give up (1 Cor. 9:24).  When you feel like giving up, seek a mentor immediately.  Work through it with someone.

2. NEVER neglect your priorities | Relationship with Jesus, family, personal health, rest, and growth.  These are some of examples.  Whatever yours are, keep them in front of you at all times (Luke 12:34).  Examine them to see how you are doing.

3. NEVER lose sight of your calling | This one helps us to avoid giving up.  Whatever God has called you to, do it well (Eph. 4:1).  He believes in you.

What would you add to this list?

Join the discussion and leave a comment below.

4 Ways to Ensure Your GOALS Don’t Become Your GOD

I don’t want to WORSHIP my fitness practices (goals).

But I also don’t want to go back to worshipping food either. ¬†aka: donuts, candy, cake, soda, ice-cream… (I think you get the picture)

We all know these people. ¬†Their health initiatives/practices are their identity. ¬†It’s who they are known as. ¬†I don’t want to become one of those people. ¬†I’m a pastor and a strong follower of Jesus…THAT needs to be my identity.

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This was me about six weeks ago…only¬†not a woman. ¬†Sweets were a distraction. ¬†They were easy, cheap, and tasted great. ¬†Today, I can honestly say that I rarely battle the indulgent temptations that used to cause me to gravitate toward unhealthy things. ¬†I’m enjoying exercising. ¬†I’m doing great at hitting my daily health goals. ¬†And that’s awesome!

But I’ve noticed something.

My quiet time with Jesus in the mornings has been affected.  Nothing serious.  But it could easily become a problem if I allow it.

What I’m really getting at is this. ¬†How do we continue to work diligently at our personal goals AND NOT¬†have our Spiritual growth suffer along the way? ¬†Here are 4 things I believe you and I can (should) do regularly to T.E.S.T. where our priorities are.

Think | Right now, think about it and really ask, “Is _______ taking priority over my Spiritual growth and life?” ¬†It starts by honestly asking ourselves this.

Evaluate | If something is out of order, why?  How did this happen?  Really take time to pray about this, because knowing the answer to this will become key in getting things back in alignment.

Scheme | Take what we know from that evaluation time and scheme a plan.  Somehow, we need to move forward with our goals differently so that we can avoid the mistakes that landed us here. Change things up a little.  Same goals, altered approach.

Tweak | (careful, not Twerk)  Similar to scheme, but this is taking that step.  This is making the new plan a reality.  Also, share your new plan with someone.  Ask them for accountability.  Trust me, this really helps.

For me, this simply means I don’t go into social media areas at all in the mornings until AFTER I’ve had my quiet time. ¬†After I’ve at least read a devotional thought and prayed for my day.

Call To Action!  Has this been you?  What would you add to this list?  May you achieve your personal goals, and may Jesus walk intimately with you every step of the way.

I love hearing from readers. ¬†Feel free to leave a comment below. ¬†And be sure to hit the ‘SUBSCRIBE NOW’ button above to receive my FREE eBook!

photo credit: www.vegansgoraw.com

Coming Soon…My First eBook!

I’ve wanted to do this for a long time. ¬†So, I decided to take the plunge. ¬†And honestly, this eBook is coming right out of my own growth experiences over recent years.

Here’s the title…

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This is a small eBook, and will be used to give away FREE to those who subscribe to this blog.  This is the first in a LeadRight series.  Other titles will be listed on the last page.

I’d appreciate it if you could help me out! ¬†Would you…

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Keeping with the theme of ‘Goals’…what are you working on? ¬†What is something you really want to try that is new and challenging? ¬†Go ahead, take a risk and post it. ¬†I double-dog dare you!

Have a stupendous week.

Success is a Journey…NOT a Destination

You know why this title is true? ¬†Because if success was a destination, success (or progress) would cease once we hit our target. ¬†And we don’t want that.

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I wrote a blog post 4 weeks ago on the beginning of a new approach to my eating habits.

At 6′ 4″ tall and 44 years old, I had hit the most I had ever weighed that morning. ¬†260!

Now, it’s pretty easy to disguise 260 when you are 6′ 4″…BUT I knew something had to change.

Something ‘SNAPPED’ in me that morning. ¬†I believe it was Jesus kicking me in the rear. ¬†I’ll admit, I haven’t kept to my goals perfectly through those 4 weeks, but I have made great progress.

I weighed myself this morning after 4 weeks, and I’m at 251. ¬†I dropped 9 lbs! ¬†My long-term goal is about 200 lbs, but I’m focusing all my energy on daily goals rather than looking too far ahead. ¬†This allows me to measure results and bounce back from slip-ups quicker.

So why am I putting myself out there like this?  Just two reasons.

1. Accountability | By putting this in a public blog and on various social media platforms, I’m really making myself vulnerable. ¬†I want this to be a permanent change. ¬†So, this has resulted in a number of people asking me how I’m doing. ¬†Am I meeting my goals? ¬†Where am I slipping up? ¬†Others have also been very encouraging as well.

2. Processing | Some people journal. ¬†I write. ¬†And my preferred medium is blogging. ¬†It helps me mentally process things I’m growing through in my own life. ¬†And if it happens to help or encourage someone else along the way…..awesome!

I’m thankful to God for giving me the strength to succeed each day. ¬†And I’m thankful to my amazing wife. ¬†It’s not easy feeding a family of 5 on a tight budget when one of them is limited to a lot of specialty foods. ¬†She has been so understanding and gracious with me.

How about you? ¬†What are you working on, or what are you grateful for? ¬†I’d love for you to leave a comment below.

Photo credit: affirmyourlife.blogspot.com 

 

3 Things I Did To Get Back To My Goals

So, three weeks ago I began a serious refocus on my personal health. ¬†Specifically, regarding my obsession with food. ¬†Then, I spent a week in Nashville for my son’s graduation followed by 4 additional days serving at a Summer Camp for elementary kids. ¬†Let’s just say that those two environments don’t make it super easy to eat healthy and plan your meals ahead of time.

I ate the best I could for the most part.  I also indulged a little, but feel like I did pretty good.  I was able to refrain from most carbs and sugar, and DID honor my rule of not eating after 7pm.

During those 2 weeks, however, I completely stopped my daily push-up challenge.

In the past, I would have felt like I have failed for two solid weeks and thought, “What’s the sense in picking this back up? Why even try?” ¬†And I would have returned to the former eating habits immediately.

Not this time!

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Here’s what I did when I returned home….

Forgave myself | This is a huge first step. ¬†I need to be able to give myself grace in the low moments in order to excel into new higher moments. ¬†Otherwise, I’ll continue beating myself up over the past failures and crippling future potential successes.

Reviewed my original plan | I looked back to 3 weeks ago. ¬†I looked at how I was able to lose 7.5 lbs in my first week. ¬†That motivation gave me the ‘can do’ attitude to pick up right where I left off. ¬†No worries…no regrets…and only looking forward.

Determined to start again | Like Nike says, ‘Just Do It.’ ¬†Start somewhere, ANYWHERE. ¬†And I did. ¬†I began today with a goal of getting 30 push-ups done. ¬†You know what? ¬†I did 60! ¬†I was also public (once again) online and with my family about my goals. ¬†Putting my goals out there creates powerful accountability for me.

Now, I’m writing this just two days after restarting. ¬†I’m hoping and praying that a week from now I’ll be able to tell you I’ve been able to #WinToday successfully each day with my goals. ¬†And honestly, I’d invite you to ask me exactly that.

How do you bounce back from a day or more of slipping away from your goals?  Or maybe a better question is what do you need to do that you are not doing to get back on course?

Join the discussion.  Leave a comment below.

Health & Fitness on THIS Blog?

For years I’ve joked that being 6′ 4″ makes it pretty easy to disguise being overweight.

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While this is true, the truth still remains. ¬†It’s impossible to hide it from YOURSELF. ¬†So I got out of bed a week ago determined to make a permanent life change. ¬†Mainly, this had to do with food. ¬†Food has been my idol, my drug of choice, my depression medicine for far too long.

The problem, however, was that I needed some regular inspiration to keep me focused on my daily goals. ¬†So I did a quick search on iTunes and found the Fat-Burning Man, a podcast hosted by Abel James. ¬†Don’t let the title throw you, this podcast is so much more than just ways to burn fat.

Other podcasts I am following include: ReLaunch, The One You Feed, and Underground Wellness.

While I’m on this new journey to much better health, this blog may become more about journaling my progress and discoveries for a season. ¬†BUT the blog title still remains to be fitting. ¬†Because leading ourselves well is the most stable foundation to leading others well.

Why am I posting ¬†this? ¬†The more I can be authentic and public about it, the more I feel like others are watching. ¬†There’s a level of accountability in it.

For me….my desire is to eventually lose 60 lbs. ¬†My new approach, however, is to set daily goals that are small enough to achieve. ¬†I’m not looking past the next 24 hours, other than to plan my meals. ¬†So each day I will strive to #WinToday! ¬†And starting off, a ‘Win’ at the end of the day means I’ve accomplished all 5 of these goals:

     РNothing after 7pm but water.
     РCut 90% of sugar and carbs out of my diet
     РAverage 30 Р60 push-ups each day
     РCut my meal portions in 1/2 (they were BIG)
     РDrink about 60 oz of water each day

When we’re not working on something we actually stop developing as individuals. ¬†We become stagnant. ¬†(btw, that’s not good)

What are you working on and what does your process (or plan) look like?

3 steps to remaining focused in 2013

One source I came across reported these statistics related to keeping New Year’s resolutions.

75% of us last beyond the first week…..ouch!

64% beyond 1 month.

46% last past 6 months!

photo from: 123rf.com
photo from: 123rf.com

This is a continuation from a recent post. ¬†So you say you are going to make great changes in the coming year? ¬†That’s great…I celebrate that with you. ¬†I’m in the same boat. ¬†Now, we all know that starting is half the battle, right? ¬†What I’ve been wrestling with over the past few days is the fear of losing my drive, my inspiration, my focus. ¬†Just look at those numbers above again.

Here’s my plan in 3 steps:

1. ¬†PRAY: ¬†My One Word for the year is STRIVE. ¬†That said, I am going to wake up each day and pray, “Lord, what would you have me STRIVE in today? ¬†Give me the energy and positive attitude to become TODAY the leader you intend me to be.”

2.  PARTNER:  This is the clincher.  Ask a close friend, spouse, or mentor to hold you accountable.  Additionally, it really helps if this person clearly exhibits their own ability to lead themselves well.  Now, this takes a lot of humility and authenticity.  And if we want it to work, we absolutely must be honest with them!

3. ¬†EVALUATE: ¬†Get your Google Calendar, iCal, or old school spiral planner and schedule dates throughout the year to seriously sit down and check on how you’re doing. ¬†Recognize and celebrate the areas you’ve grown in, and re-engage those things you have gotten distracted from.

You can do this!

Just accept the fact that you will sometimes fail. ¬†That’s ok. ¬†If we didn’t ever fail we wouldn’t have any need for Jesus!

Isaiah 40:29 tells us that, “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.”

So, give your weakness and struggles as a leader, husband, and father to God…and He will fill in the void the way only He can!