Friday, August 31, 2007

I found this on the blog of the President and CEO of Nelson Publishing, Micheal S. Hyatt, and I thought it was a very soul searching question and very interesting. Let me know what you think!

What Is It About Your Leadership?
Blame is the oldest game in town. It was invented by Adam who, after eating of the forbidden fruit, told God, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate” (Genesis 3:12). In other words, it’s Eve’s fault. (And, by extension, God’s fault.)
Not much has changed since Adam’s day. Ask almost anyone why something bad happened and they will point to someone or something else. In my experience, it is exceedingly rare for people to stand up and take responsibility.
Last month, we missed our budget. I was disappointed. So was the entire Executive Leadership Team. We had worked so hard to hit our numbers. But, we missed. It happens, right?
A few days later, I was meeting with Ilene, one of our consultants. She asked me, “So, how did July end up?” I admitted that we had missed our budget. She innocently asked, “So why did you miss?”
I then did what most CEOs do in this situation. I blamed the current economic environment. “Well, the market is tough right now,” I explained. “Gas prices are up. So are interest rates. This has taken a bite out of discretionary spending. Consumers are just not frequenting bookstores like we had hoped.” I then went on to cite the U.S. Census Bureau, Publishers Weekly, and other industry publications.
I finished with what I thought was a note of optimism. “We didn’t do what we had hoped, but we’re still ahead of last year.”
She then said, “Okay, I get that the environment is tough. But, let’s be honest, it’s always tough, right?”
“Yes,” I acknowledged, not quite knowing where she was going. Then she dropped a bombshell on my psyche.
“Mike, what is it about your leadership that led to this outcome?”
“Excuse me,” I replied, knowing full well what she had just asked. Nevertheless, she gently repeated the question.
Honestly, I think I was speechless for a full two minutes. “Well, I'm not exactly sure,” I stammered. “That’s a great question, but I don’t know quite what to say.”
Thankfully, she gave me a little help. “As long as the problem is ‘out there,’ Mike, you can’t fix it. You’re just a victim. I’m not trying to shame you. I am trying to empower you. You can’t change your results until you accept full responsibility for them.” I nodded in agreement, still not sure if I liked what I was hearing.
She patiently waited for the weight of her observation to sink in. We then spent the next couple of hours examining my behavior. As it turns out, I was not only making excuses for myself, I was making excuses for my team. I was too easily letting them off the hook. I slowly began to see a direct link between my leadership and our operating results as a Company.
The bad news about taking responsibility is that you can’t blame someone else. It always comes down to your leadership. There is always something else you could have said or done to produce a different result.
But the good news is that once you accept responsibility, you can change the result. Why? Because your behavior as a leader is 100 percent under your control. Changing the result is as simple—or as hard—as changing your behavior.
Imagine how different your family, church, company, or even country could be if everyone took personal responsibility for their outcomes. Perhaps Gandhi was thinking the same thing when he said, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”
I have continued to ask myself this question over the last several weeks. What is it about my leadership that is producing these results? It’s a powerful—and empowering—question. And, it applies to just about every situation.
So let me ask you, are you happy with the outcomes you are experiencing in your life and work? Where would you like to see change? What have you been blaming on other people or your circumstances. What is it about your leadership that is producing these outcomes?
Until you are willing to ask this question—and face the answers—you will continue to get the same old results

I woke up this morning and this old song came to my mind.

Ancient words ever true,

changing me, changing you,

We come with open hearts,

Oh let the ancient words impart.

A few of those ancient words that also came back to me this morning from my "memorization in Sunday school" days were:

"Remember thy creator in the days of thy youth" I'm glad I did this. My life would have followed a very different path, had I not. A path I would hate to be on today!!

There was another one, but it is gone right out of my head. I should have gotten up and written it down right away. Oh well. If I think of it again, I will tell you!! It's amazing that I remembered it in the first place!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The word of God is powerful. Let it speak for itself.

Romans 12:10
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another:

11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

13Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

14 Bless them which persecute you; bless and curse not.

15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep

16Be of the same mind one toward another, Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceablywith all men

19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath, for it is written,
vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith theLord.

20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head

21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good

Pretty powerful words and so much wisdom. And this is only a small portion of His great Words of Wisdom!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Part 11:
The banquet evening

The Limousine

The Grads

The limo crew


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Angie's Grad

Part 1: The ceremony

With family

With friends

signing "You Were There"

Her teacher and her friend from California

More Family

We put 4 kids thru school, now WE'RE DONE!

Special Big Brother

Monday, August 13, 2007

Here are a few snapshots from camp meeting 2007. The first few are of Angie getting ready to sing with the group, Angie talking to a few friends and Jolene talking to her Dad and Sister. Jolene managed to get hidden though. She is probally relieved!

My Scripture reading today is about getting wisdom and understanding. How I want that more than anything! I also want to be restored in sweetness and love and in the joy of doing good. What an outstanding message last night about doing good by Bro. Booker!
The preaching at camp meeting was amazing. The messages about the Word, the cross and about heaven were amazing. The one by Bro. Booker titled E+R=O (Event+Response=Outcome) was also very good! Master Passion? What is my master passion? What drives me the most? Very Good!! They all were amazing and should be listened to again.

Thursday, August 02, 2007