What was Solomon’s smartest decision?

Solomon was a smart guy. He built Jerusalem’s first temple. He wrote three books of the Bible (this one, this one, and this one). He was also the wisest and wealthiest (estimates say up to $2.1 trillion 😵) King in the Old Testament. Solomon, by all accounts, was a capable decision maker. He was a guy who knew how to get things done.

But he didn’t start out this way. He was a man who grew in maturity just like the rest of us. He had to lean on the Lord and others throughout his life in order to be effective.

Which is why I like him.

I’m a big believer in stewarding the small stuff. Sweeping the edges of the floor as much as the center. I believe if you can’t be accountable for small things, then the big dreams are just that — dreams.

If you can’t be accountable for small things, then the big dreams are just that — dreams.

Solomon started with a similar posture. At the beginning of his kingly-career, he asked the Lord for wisdom instead of wealth. He stewarded a “step one” decision.

“Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” Solomon said.

His humble request set him up for a lot of success in life – and some very surprising management decisions too.

Let’s look at one now.

As wise as Solomon was, he had one particular trait that outshone the rest. If you were to ask me, it held all the rest of His wisdom together. This was a “one ring to rule them all,” type of thing.

It starts in the Sheba story – wherein a foreign Queen decides to see for herself just how smart this Solomon guy actually is. A fair question between royalty, I’m sure you’d agree.

Let’s start here:

“And when queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, their clothing, his cupbearers, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the Lord, there was no more breath in her.”

1 Kings 10:4-5

We could spend hours talking about someone’s breath being taken away based on food and clothing. I was at Walmart the other day and I had a similar reaction. The jury is out on whether it was the Holy Spirit.

But let’s focus on the list. The Queen of Sheba (Shelby for short), was most affected by the way the King managed his house. Out of all the ways he demonstrated leadership, the most surprising one was that he had officials.

Which begs the question: why does the smartest, wealthiest, wisest man in the world need advice?

He was literally the “smartest guy in the room.”

It’s fascinating. But there is actually a very profound reason to account for why he made this decision.

The reason begins with good counsel.

Regardless of our roles or jobs in life, we are all in need of good counsel. This is true whether we are owners of a business, entry-level employees or executives in ivory towers. Placing ourselves under authority, under someone’s else’s oversight, is the quickest way to promotion, protection, and long-term success.

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers, they succeed.” Proverbs tell us. Ironically, these could very well be the words of Solomon – echoing his life to us from the pages of his personal experience.

Solomon’s posture towards people and the authority they could lend him was what made him wise. He knew what he didn’t know. Not only that, he also had the humility to let others inform his ignorance.

His posture towards authority is what made him the wisest man on earth.

Solomon’s posture towards authority is what made him the wisest man on earth.

There is a myth that promotion equals less oversight – that the higher we go up a ladder, the more decisions we can make in isolation.

This is how great men fall.

If you’re a manager, if you own your means of income, or if you oversee a venture of any size…even just your cubical, you must seek to be under authority. Even if you simply lead yourself – a profound urgency should rest in you until you’ve found the right counsel to place yourself under.

If you haven’t done so yet, start building a master list now – an inner circle of confidants that can support you both spiritually and practically.

Find other men that can Father you and inform your decisions making process. Ideally, find one man for each type of authority you have over others.

If you shepherd people, find someone to shepherd you.

If you lead in business, place yourself under the counsel of someone that knows the market better than you do.

It doesn’t matter what you do…do not rest until you find good counsel.

Failure to do so is the reason why some men’s blessings become Basheba’s. Case and point.

We all need someone who can tell us “no.” A person who can call our bluff and inform our ignorance. This side of heaven, no one outgrows the need for it. And this becomes truer the more successful we become.

The ability to accomplish a job is not the same as walking in humility. But the inverse is true. Walking in humility is what makes us capable of more capacity.

The ability to accomplish a job is not the same as walking in humility. But the inverse is true. Walking in humility is what makes us capable of capacity.

The more we understand, and the better we are at what we do, the lower we must become.

Make a list of men you can trust today.

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the gift of leadership

The gift of leadership (and how to give it)

Leadership is a bit of a buzzword. The word has been branded, sanded and refined a million different ways so that anyone with enough energy can attribute an action, any action, to a leader-initiated one.

Thought leaders. Servant leaders. Leaders of men. If you don’t feel particularly competent in one type of leadership, no problem; there is probably another version you can try on for size without much difficulty. Maxell’s Law of the Lid won’t even slow you down. Now anyone can hide behind a “leader label.”

Part of the problem is principles. We know what good leadership looks like, so it’s easy to package it up nicely and put a bow on the whole ordeal for others to see. But once the wrapping is off, we don’t actually know what’s underneath. In other words, we can fake leadership really well.

The other issue is motivation. Sometimes we want leadership as a means to an end. Leaders get paid more. They’re seen more. They’re in high demand. So there are many reasons why one would want to be in leadership. Unfortunately, personal drivers don’t put others first. And eventually, this will put any leader-to-be back at the beginning.

So why lead at all? Where will it get you? Better yet, where will it get others who might win from your windfall of better judgment? You can start by setting all the leadership principles, techniques and convictions you have aside. Not because they’re not important, but because they won’t do you any good until you know what’s leading you. In other words, you have to know what you’re willing to follow for the long-term.

If you want to lead well, you need a crystal clear idea. An idea you’re willing to get behind. An idea that will keep you up at night, and require the help of other people to execute. Until you have an idea you’re willing to submit to and sacrifice for, your principles and techniques will only buy time. Eventually, people will pick up on the absence of substance driving you.

Which begs the question: What ideas do you follow?

Good leaders follow great ideas.

They get behind them. They protect them. They learn to let them lead. Sometimes they create them too.

The benefits of good ideas abound. For starters, when the big idea isn’t “you” the idea will end up with a life of its own. This is a force-multiplier. If you have identified the idea, but it lives with other people, then you have a higher likelihood of achieving the goals that drive it.

Perhaps that sounds simple, but the difference between your personal identity and a personified idea is huge.

One can leave with you. The other doesn’t.

This is important because growing teams only get behind things that stick around.

Call it a survival mechanism.
Call it existential urgency.

Just don’t call the shots.

When you don’t let ideas lead, leadership principles aren’t effective. And any principle that’s linked to people will always assume that something bigger is at stake than any one person doing the leading. So set yourself up to win, and put yourself behind a winning idea.

If we’re honest, the reason we rely more on principles than on ideas is because we’re insecure about our own leadership ability. It’s easy to learn the mechanics of leadership. We can learn how the pieces fit together without even having a reason to lead. In other words…

We know we need to lead well,
because we’ve been told to lead well,
but we don’t have a reason to lead well.

There is nothing in the background driving our reason.

Once we’re aware of this, we can do the hard work of leading; which is finding the right idea to get behind.

So what is a good, leader-worthy idea?

A good idea is:

Bigger than you.
Better than the current situation.
Best with other people.

A good idea exists in spite of people, but it also benefits people.

This where most breakdowns of organizational leadership occur. Most leaders know “how” to lead, but they don’t know “why” they are leading. It is much, much harder to identify the idea than to organize an ideology.

Anyone can memorize a methodology. Few can identify a meaningful reason.

So do the hard work of leading. Once you’ve done the work of crafting the idea, making it clear and consistent, your principles will have power. Your techniques will take on an initiative of their own. This is the best gift you can give your team.

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Anointed Man

How to get practical, nine-to-five anointing

Anointing is a big word. A black hole even. It’s elusive, powerful, and hard to put your finger on. But it exists. And everyone else seems to know what it looks like.

Most of the time those people are on stages. They sound good. They look sharp. They’re separated from the common man too. Which makes “it” seem even harder to nail down. But the truth is, anointing is useful, practical and needed to do your daily work effectively.

So what is anointing? And what effect, if any, does it have on a Christian man during the day?

Let’s start with the origin.

Anointing was first and foremost, used by shepherds to protect their sheep. Similar to Jesus with you.

Historically, the shepherd would pour olive oil over a sheep’s head and around their ears. This protected the animal from bugs and outside elements that could harm – or even kill it. So it was protection and provision; provided by the sheep’s master. An outcome of association.

Fast forward, and many ancient cultures would use anointing as a way of saying that a leader was set apart for a particular type of work. A king would be anointed with oil on his head. A priest might be as well. It was a sign that God was with a person for doing a holy task.

So anointing is both a sign and a signature. A mark of acceptance as well as a unique event. It is designed to support a leader and the things he needs to do.

Enter Christ.

“The Anointed One.” in literal translation.

He is a person – not a magic potion.

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22

You are already anointed, as it stands, but it is an outcome, or a foundation rather, of the presence of Jesus in your life.

This presence has a unique effect on your life – if you abide in it.

As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in him.
1 John 2:27

Anointing signifies calling. It’s a pretty simple litmus test. Ask yourself: Would you believe someone is “called” if nothing set them apart? Doubtful.

Which is why you’ve been given a deposit.

First Christ sets you apart. Then capability.

They’re linked; joined at the triune hip.

So your growth then, within the work you do during the day, is a matter of priorities.

Not putting the cart making before the horse maker, so to speak.

This priority is for a good reason.

“…as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real…” scripture says.

His anointing will give you what you need to both remain in him and deliver the work you do during the day.

Take Bezalel, for example. This guy had talent for days.

The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you…”
Exodus 31:1-6

Ol’ Bezzy was filled with the spirit. For what? Not songs on Sunday morning. Not Bible Study on Wednesday. Not even a mission trip to Beliz.

He was given intelligence, and knowledge for craftsmanship (widdling included? Some questions only Jesus knows…).

These practical and creative assets were a gift. Given to him for the purpose of giving glory to God through every kind of hands-on work you can imagine. How cool?

So to recap…

You, yes you, are already anointed because you abide in Christ, and because he has his “seal of ownership” on you. That’s good news. From here, you only have to worry about your own conformity getting in the way.

Conformity kills anointing.

Simply because docility exalts another God. When you react to the day, instead of resurrecting it, work ends up worshiping the wrong God. So conform to Christ. He holds the task at hand.

The best way to get out of the habit of doing reactive work is by asking the Lord for wisdom. His anointing will teach you about all things.

Check.

Although to be fair, the context of 1 John 2:27’s verse could be understood as only what it means to live out a transformed life. No problem, that’s also true.

There is an additional promise which you can take ahold of since you are, in fact, “sealed.” as the Bible says.

If any of you needs wisdom to know what you should do, you should ask God, and he will give it to you. God is generous to everyone and doesn’t find fault with them.
James 1:5

If you need to be equipped to do more, see more, or be more (insert thing) God will generously give you what you need to accomplish the work. He is for you, after all.

So the difference then, between you and the guy on the TV, is likely very simple. He is in the habit of asking.​

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A Leadership Principle From King Jehoshaphat

Kings and careers and leaders and jobs are all appointed. Every role at work is a gift from God as well. Which means, when a situation at work arises that feels foreign, stressful, or threatening, we do not have to worry. There is a good outcome waiting for us. There is an invitation to experience the Almighty too. This was certainly true in the life of King Jehoshaphat.

Jehoshaphat (Yehoshafat in Hebrew. Pronounced yo-so-fat….awkward), was one of Israel’s greatest leaders, reigning from 873 – 848 BC. He was king under a divided monarchy and constantly had to balance his leadership role with the pressures of outside influence. His work began at the ripe old age of 35.

His legacy of leadership, is perhaps most notable, when he, and the rest of Judah, are about to be put under siege. Long story short, an entire alliance of foreign nations had plotted against him. The plan was to conquer Judah in all-out war. If we haven’t all been there before…

There are a few things a smart-and-savvy king might do with this information.

He might increase military spending.

He might try and out-strategize the opponent.

He might draft a larger army, to have more people on his side.

Jehoshaphat did none of these things.

Instead, he worships.

Directly in conflict, in the valley of the battle – where anyone else would be mentally preparing to fight. He worships. The cojones on this guy…

…you know the rest of the story.

These rogue nations, on the way to take him out, disagree and destroy each other instead. They didn’t even “run it by the board members.” They march to their own demise instead, killing each other along the way.

In the aftermath, Jehoshaphat is left with only one job.

He has to pick up the plunder.

A far cry from what the nation had expected earlier that day.

After this “battle,” the valley is also given a new name. The Valley of Beracah. Which translates to: the valley of blessing.

Incredible.

The battlefield had become a blessing. The hindrance was now holy.

In Christ, there is a blessing in the valley. A means in a meaningless situation.

In Christ, there is a blessing in the valley. A means in a meaningless situation. In this account, the benefit nearly overwhelmed the soldiers. After the battle, It took three days for Judah’s army to pick up the “equipment, clothing, and items of value” that were left over. Which is important. The ground of war was covered in the gratitude of worship.

Now, remember, this whole thing started with leadership. Humility in the heat of battle. Jehoshaphat’s original prayer was “…we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” How familiar that prayer sounds. Many of us do not know what to do either when we’re backed into a corner.

There is good news though.

God does not need your equipment, clothes, or valuable talent – the things that you might think would accomplish a good outcome. When He steps into a situation, be it an office argument, a delayed project, or some stressful work environment, He will provide the practical means to move forward. He’ll fill your valley. You may not even want to leave.

So then, there is a principle for all of us. Leaders know their marching orders. They understand that their position, whether high or low, is a matter of inheritance. There are no kings which the Lord does not appoint, after all.

This is true for your job and the role within it as well. Whether you think that you are well equipped, or have no idea what to do, the posture, for you, remains the same.

Worship is the tip of the spear. It’s what you lead with. It’s how you face the work and obstacles ahead of you. Jehoshaphat knew this too. Consider his sergeant-level-strategy, right before battle:

After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:

“Give thanks to the Lord,
for his love endures forever.”
2 Chronicles 20:21

Why did he praise the Lord for love? Why not strength, authority, or power?

One reason.

The Lord’s love is practical.

It has a goal in mind.

Love is the best weapon of war there is. Every battle can be won by it. Every situation will conform to it. It’s your best bet when you do not know what to do. But you’ll have a hard time recognizing it if you aren’t already worshiping him.

Consider this truth in the context of Psalms:

“He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing love to his anointed, to David and to his descendants forever.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭18:50‬ 

“He gives his king.” Note the “his king” part. Why is this important? Roles, especially leadership roles, belong to God. Your role, in Christ, is anointed. It belongs to him. Which means, the Lord will look after you. He will give you great victories during the day. You’ll be left with nothing to do – except pick up the plunder of his provision. A very good place to be.

By the by, that phrase translates the same whether you read this translation, this translation, or…even…this translation.

So next time, when you do not know what to do, or you feel the world (or even just the nine-to-five) is against you, use worship as your primary tool to overcome conflict. It sets your sights on the right authority and reminds you that your position is inherited. You might be surprised by how situations change as they react to the Lord’s love.

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The Theology of Thought Leadership

There are many types of thought leaders in the world.

…Oprah

…Deepak Chopra

…the guy at the gym who just discovered plant-based protein.

Just to name a few.

And no matter your knowledge niche, there is always someone ready to give you their two cents, regardless of whether it pays to heed it.

Which leaves us with a question: In all of the noise, how do you sift out the good advice from the bad?

For leaders, this is an especially important question. Namely because whatever we consume, we clone in others.

Hebrews, the Bible’s big book on faith, gets us started. The crux of the principle we’ll look at is in verse twenty-four:

and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
Hebrews 12:24

It’s a bit of an odd verse. But here’s the meat (without the Matt Redman):

Two men died.

And both in a similiar way.

Violently. Unjustly.

The difference, however, between these two men, was in their nature.

Abel’s death, as tragic as it was, could only speak to humanity’s fallen nature. There was nothing redeemable about him dying. It was evidence of eternity without God. But that’s about it.

Christ’s death, on the other hand, proclaimed the power of God. His blood (Jesus’), had better things to say about life (spoiler alert).

His blood backed him up. It gave His words weight.

Once, before his crucifixion, Jesus had this to say about it:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:10

Up until His resurrection, people had to take this kind of statement on faith. It was an extension of experiencing Him in the streets and synagogues. After the grave, however, His blood spoke a better word.

In other words, His resurrection had rhetoric. Because He spoke to what He knew.

This is important. People speak to what they know.

A person may be a bright speaker, and educated on many things, but if they don’t have or know the nature of Christ, they can only speak from a human hope. Nothing else.

You cannot speak to that which you do not know. You cannot guide where you have not gone.

In life, there will be many thought leaders, videos, and podcasts…a plethora of all kinds of content available for you to consume. Many of which are worldy, wise and well-meaning. But if their nature is that of a dead man, be prudent. They may be an expert on every kind of “dead work” under the sun…their advice will not benefit a man in the land of the living.

There is a better word. But you can work on yours here.

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what is christian masculinity?

Christian Masculinity and David’s Mighty Men

Masculinity is the possession of qualities traditionally associated with men. Which begs the question, what qualities should a Christian man consider?

I remember the first time I read about David’s mighty men. One killed a lion with his bare hands; in a pit, in the snow. Another killed a giant. Another killed 800 men with one spear. Another fought so hard, his sword became glued to his hand.

Regular guys. Typical nine-to-five stuff.

Out of the 30-plus mighty men that King David did employ, the Bible never mentioned an accountant or architect. Not even a middle-manager. Although Abishai, his commander, may have come close.
Some answers…..only Jesus knows.

As fun as these stories are, scripture makes the actions of these men seem kind of commonplace. Sure, it mentions the men are “mighty” but when everyone is slaying giants and lions and bears, Oh my! (JK… no bears), it can set the bar pretty high for anyone who is trying to understand what biblical, and dare I say “Christian” masculinity should look like.

It also doesn’t help that every other definition tends to come from advertising. So, we have our options to look up to: Advertising, advent calendars or “Other.” Check.

For my part, I’d like to propose one trait that makes a man genuinely masculine. It starts in Solomon’s book of Proverbs. Chapter 22.

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.
Proverbs 22:1

A good name.

If you could afford it, it couldn’t be bought.

Your reputation cannot be purchased. It is earned with every “next” action. This is good news. You don’t have to have an excellent name to start working towards one. Each step you take towards integrity is a step in the right direction.

Jesus expands on this idea, by telling us where to start:

“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

Matthew 5:33-37

 

James, Jesus’ earthly brother, seconded his sovereign bro:

 

Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear–not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.

James 5:12

 

“Anything more than this comes from evil.” Wow.

That’s heavy stuff.

Let’s start with the “Yes.”

More specifically, what you say “Yes” to. Your reputation and the integrity it’s known for is a string of yes’s on which you’ve followed through. The opposite is also true. Every time you refrain your “yes,” you make a statement about what you’ve said yes to as well. Confused yet?

The best way to keep your word is to know what it stands for. Ahead of time.

So, here’s a question:

Do you know where you stand on hard issues? Do you know what you’d do if you were alone in the room?

Do you even know if you’ll go to that party next Thursday?

Yes or no.

Life is full of follow-through.

The decisions we make, make us; so we owe it to ourselves to be self-aware of our choices. Fun fact: putting off a decision is still a decision by omission.

So here’s a good principal you can follow. You can call it a barometer of masculinity (or don’t).

Your knee-jerk responses should be pre-meditated. Made on your knees.

Put another way:

If prayer makes the person, meditation makes the man.
(No, not yoga. ……but no judgment. Nameste, bro.)

Prayer and meditation on the Word are how we understand our position to Christ, and in direct correlation, our position(s) towards other people. It’s how our go-to-responses are made. So we study to “show ourselves approved” as Timothy says. If you know someone that has a reputation for good decisions you can guarantee they’ve spent time pre-mediating those choices. More than likely, they’ve studied scripture too.

Other than knowing where you stand on issues, there are other benefits as well.

When a name has a reputation, it also has influence. In my opinion, it’s the only way to gain influence in the long run. But many men would try other ways…the world is full of guys that lift weights till the cows come home, who try and manipulate women or earn more at any cost. Men who lie to get what they want. Men that…you get the picture.

Guys who are true to themselves, but not true to their word.

So let’s be clear, getting what you want in life does not earn you a Man Card. And if you’re religious, there is no credit score for Christendom either. “For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” a wise Rabbi once said.

You could have everything, and have nothing to lean on. Which, by the way, is what happens when we don’t have a reputation for keeping our word.

You could be the poorest man on the planet, but if people count on you, you'd have more influence than most. Click to Tweet

So let your “Yes” be “Yes” and your “No,” be “No.”
And know what your “No” stands for.

It’s how mighty men are made.

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Yanny vs Laurel - Leadership Principle

Yanny or Laurel – A *secret* leadership principle

Like many of you, I’d rest my laurels on “yanny” not being the word said in the latest video craze. But some people would disagree. They’d disagree with me three times, in fact. Which is odd because we both heard the same message – and came to widely different conclusions.

Case and point:

Teams do this every day. They have the same leader but hear different stories. So, everyone draws their own conclusions about how to act. Inevitably, this means that a team will review their goals regularly to see just how wrong everyone’s assumptions were. Not your team of course…but other teams, for sure.

The accountable leader, on the other hand, is told to improve their communication skills. A slap on the wrist.

…a repercussion for a rebuttal. Ha.

Who hasn’t seen a job description with “excellent communication skills required” written somewhere in the list of desired traits for a new hire? Do these people exist or is it just a copy-paste reaction that is supposed to accommodate a certain role? Who knows. Needless to say, we have an enunciation epidemic.

There is something we can do it about it though. We can shift the skill we lead with.

Communication is a secondary leadership trait. Not a primary one.

Let me explain. I like you, have been around accomplished “leaders” who were fantastic communicators. They were more polished than President Macron in a congressional curfuffle. But their actions sucked(pardon my French).

There was no spit to their shine.

Good communication with a bad outcome will leave a team confused and untrusting. Said enough way: Passion, that’s not linked with productivity, will have diminished returns for each and every misspoken word. You can count on it.

So what is someone in leadership to do?

The pressure to communicate meaningfully can be enormous. And without a doubt, it is important. The good news is there is a leadership trait that is better than communication…and (believe it or not) it’s better at communicating too.

It’s initiative.

Initiative trumps communication. #leadership Click to Tweet

It trumps good communication. Bad communication. Somewhere-in-betweenication.

Which is good to hear.

If you don’t feel your grammar or gabble skills are up to par, you’re in luck. People watch what you do more than what you say. Teams that are unsure of what to do will look to you to take the first step in what to do. So take the first step. It says more.

Think of it this way:

Communication is a tactic.

Initiative is an outcome.

Initiative is a line drawn in the sand. You can’t talk your way out of it.

It says more than a speech ever could about the problems, challenges (and adventures) you think a team should care for.

Taking initiative, for that matter, is much harder. You can’t hide behind a decision like you can with good diction. Which is why we have weak leaders.

I love what James, the brother of Jesus, has to say:

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

James 1:22

and this:

“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”

James 3:1

If we really want to lead well, and we really want to be accountable for good outcomes, we have to take the first step.

We are the first out of the boat. Not the first to talk about it (High five to my buddy Peter).

Take some time today to reflect on the grey areas of communication in your family, church team or work environment. What actions can you take to clear up the confusion? The benefit for you is better outcomes. The advantage to those you serve is a better understanding of what actually matters.

On other note, which word did you hear? There are, by this time, millions of different answers.

Tell me yours (and the reason why) below.

Ready to Awaken Your Calling?

Discover it just like Joseph, David, and Paul.

The difference between christian leaders and mangers

The difference between a Manager and Leader (Christian Version)

Managers ask “What is measurable?” Leaders ask “What is meaningful?” Christ is asking both.

I’m not a big fan of titles. Or anything you can hide behind, for that matter. Which brings me to a conversation I had about the difference between management and leadership.

I have a friend who is a great manager. He also happens to be a good leader. But you can definitely have one without the other. You can kick your car keys down the road if you want to.

Most of us fall into one of two camps. Those that delegate and those that dream. You need both in every team. Delegation without a destination is pointless. People will ask “What am I working towards?” A dream without a playbook is a nightmare. Teams want a vision with a map.

So, we need both. Check.

But how do we grow in both? How do we take initiative past the point of title – regardless of the role we have?

We ask ourselves the two M’s (I ask them myself every day.)

They are:

  1. What is Measurable?
  2. What is Meaningful?

Let’s start with Measurable. Everything you do should have an outcome. Start with a deliverable. The package in the mail. What will it be and how it will it get there? Work backward to move forward.

Michael Hyatt has a solid approach – if you’re interested. But you can do it with anything. The best managers do it with everything.

And now, Meaningful. What is the existential element you’re working towards? The thing you’d bring up at chili-cookoff “just because.” If you don’t have a “why,” make one. If people work for you, be sure to give them one too.

The Christian life calls us to ask both questions.

Let’s take a look at what James, Brother of Jesus, had to say.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.

James 2:14-18

James had a good sense of what stewardship meant. For him, the cross and cause go hand-in-hand. It’s true for us also. We cannot separate what we do from where we’re going. So we live love-centric. We don’t profit without it, as you know.

Sure, you can be a good manager. You could also be a good leader. With a little accountability, you can be both. The benefit, to you, is greater awareness for where you and your team are going.

Take a few minutes at the beginning of every day to ask the Holy Spirit what the meaningful and measurable should be for you and your team. You’ll see more fruit (functional faith) and enjoy the refreshing jolt of vision you get for the mundane parts of life.

Ready to Awaken Your Calling?

Discover it just like Joseph, David, and Paul.