Great leaders have an ability to expose options to difficult situations. They pull opportunities from team members, see things from different angles, and give important decisions the time needed for proper prayer and consideration. But what happens when all the options seem to stink? It’s the decisions that have no foreseeable “good” outcome without opposition that require leadership. Extreme cases have been found on the battlefields for centuries. A General may have two plans of attack, but both will surely cause death and mayhem and therefore both stink, but the decision must be made nonetheless. (more…)
Some of the most satisfying moments of reading books comes when you discover something that has worked in your life, but someone else has articulated it. It’s the moment you discover a wisdom has proven true for someone else as well. A similar moment happened when I read Sam Chand’s words, “Some people say the devil is in the details, but I say fulfillment of vision is in the details.” I agree; focusing on the details sends the message you care, and when you care others around you will care. My dad has always referred to someone who was unwilling to find out the details as a “hill-topper,” implying they skip from hill top to hill top never exploring the depths of the mountain. And it’s usually not in a favorable suggestion. (more…)
Recently we had an order put on hold at our office with a request to return the materials. The purchasing agent had informed us,“The process is simply too high!”and,“We can do it ourselves at a fraction of the cost.” After my being aware of the situation I instantly thought perhaps she should check her numbers; the freight and labor back and forth would absorb any cost savings of doing the process in-house and then some. Soon afterward I happened to be in the lobby when the driver arrived to pick up the materials.To my surprise he took great interest in how it came about that he was picking up the materials, so I obliged in filling in the gaps. He then asked, “Say, do you mind if I give the purchasing agent a call? I’m not so sure we will be saving anything by taking these materials back.” I said,“Sure!”as I thought to myself, you’re about to be chopped liver for questioning her command. This is what ensued:
Recently watching the billionaire Marcus Lemonis in his reality show “The Profit,” about saving small businesses, I was reminded of a commonality in high level leaders. In the show, Marcus has tough conversations with the entrepreneurs, sometimes bringing their weaknesses to light. To some this trait is natural; as my father has told me, “I couldn’t imagine not discussing the elephant in the room.” To others like me, discussing difficult matters can be a bit uncomfortable, but observing high-level leaders has brought me to this conclusion: you will only rise to the level of leadership of which you are willing to have difficult conversations. (more…)
Years ago, my wife and I lead a small group through our church. We were encouraging members of the group to take educational opportunities offered at church, but we realized we hadn’t taken every opportunity ourselves. There was one more course available: Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. With only the motive to lead by example, we enrolled into the 13 week course (now it is 9 weeks). During the course, my entire philosophy about money and building wealth changed. As man of the house (that’s not to say I wear the pants!) I had adopted the thinking that to become financially secure you needed to hit a grand slam, i.e. Facebook or some other overnight success amassing mega millions. It was a tremendous relief of pressure learning the millionaire next door doesn’t need to hit grand slams – he or she just needs to make calculated decisions taught in the course for singles and doubles that amass to fortunes.
My father tells the story that in his younger days his aunt gave him a book and humorously suggested, “You should really read this.” He now admits, “Boy, did I ever need to read it.” Convinced by my father’s influence, I purchased the book on CD four years ago and have listened to it at least once a year since, and will continue. Warren Buffett took a course on the book when he was 20 years old and still proudly displays his diploma at the office. That book was originally published 78 years ago, in 1936, and has sold over 15 million copies worldwide. The book is filled with real-life experiences from housewives to the greats of mass enterprise from the day. The spectrum is wide, but the subject is singular… people.