Posts Tagged ‘Leadership blog Atlanta GA’

4 Things I’ve Recently Learned About Leadership

March 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Four things for leaders to remember

The topic of leadership can come up in various ways in daily life. For me there have recently been four recurring leadership themes.

1) As a leader, you can’t force someone to follow you – You can provide the environment and the resources for someone, but you just can’t make them follow your lead. The decision has to come naturally from the follower in question otherwise it is not a true “followship” and they will resent you.

2) Leading with others can be a challenge, but it is not impossible – When you are not the only leader in an environment you have to learn to “play well with others.” You may have personality clashes, but you have to look at it as a positive experience. What can you learn from the other people with whom you are leading? What can you improve on or do differently having seen them do the same thing? Make it a point to listen and hear them out when it comes to their ideas of how to do things.

3) You cannot prepare for the unexpected – No matter how much you prepare, things will happen that you cannot control. People may not show up on time (or at all). Technology may not cooperate. You can only do the best you can given whatever circumstances may occur. Do not take it personally. It is also therapeutic to be able to step away from the situation and just laugh about it.

4) You need a sounding board – You need to have that person (or people) that you can go to and just share your ideas. It is also okay to have them there to listen to your frustrations as well. Keep in mind that not only should you be able to talk with them, but you also need to be willing to listen to them. They may be able to give you a new perspective you might not have previously considered.

What are some things you have learned recently about leadership?

Photo Credit: By Jukka Zitting


Don’t Give Up – It May Take Time

January 27, 2012 1 comment

Never forget the factor of time.

Many things can frustrate a leader. When someone you are leading does not immediately understand or pick up the skills you are trying to teach them stress can result. Time is a factor that we do not often take into consideration when we lead. Different individuals learn things at different paces. Other times you may not see evidence of your efforts until much later in life and sometimes you might not even see results in your lifetime…you just have to trust that it will eventually happen.

I went to a memorial service for my friend and former youth group volunteer Paul last weekend. Several people shared stories of how he had been a major part of who they were today. One person shared how they had asked Paul how he always knew what to say or do and Paul’s response was “I don’t know. I just do or say what I feel like I’m supposed to and everything else falls into place.” As youth, I know Paul had to have his times of frustration when he was working with us, but he never showed it. What he didn’t get to see was the results of his leadership – at this memorial service there were youth group leaders, Men’s Bible study leaders, worship leaders, and others who live their faith through whatever job they may do on a daily basis. All of this from the impact of Paul on our lives.

My single men’s small group at church has started studying the parables of Jesus. This week we studied the Sower and the Seed. The concept of the story is a farmer plants seeds in different types of soil (rocky, thorny, shallow, and good) and he discovers different results with each type of soil. One commentary mentions that the parable could be considered an illustration for the disciples as a reminder that regardless of what circumstances may come their way, they should never give up or be discouraged in their endeavors as things will happen in the proper time.

What factors do you tend forget as a leader?

Photo Credit: By lucianvenutian

Leadership and Laundry

January 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Don't make leadership a reaction like doing laundry!

Today is laundry day! We have all been there at one time or another (especially the guys). You realize that you are down to only one or two pairs of clean underwear and it’s time to take action – otherwise you’ll be wearing your bathing suit as boxer shorts in a couple of days. As I was doing laundry today, I was thinking about how some times we lead like we do laundry.

For most of us, doing laundry is based on a reaction – “Oh no, I’m almost out of clean clothes!” As leaders we should always be aware of our relationships with those we lead as well as our influence on these individuals. They don’t need a leader right when their world is falling apart. Those you lead need to know from the start that you are in their corner and available for them at a moment’s notice. If you as a leader don’t communicate this to them verbally or through your actions, they are going to be less likely to come to you when tragedy does strike.

You can’t treat each load of laundry the same just as you can’t use the same leadership techniques on every individual you lead. If you put bleach in with dark clothes you will have a messed up load of laundry on your hands. Someone who is better equipped as an individual worker may need a little more encouragement when it comes to work in a team environment. When you accidentally leave a red sock in the dryer and put in a load of white clothes, you end up with a lot of pink. Individuals who may be a little more emotionally invested in their work are not going to take it well if you come at them full force telling them they have made a mistake – you have to handle the situation with a more tender touch.

In what ways have you discovered that you do your leadership like you do your laundry?

Photo Credit: By Celeste Lindell

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2011

December 28, 2011 Leave a comment

2011It’s hard to believe we are in the final days of 2011. As we look back on the last 365 days, several different lists have either come out or will be coming out within the next few days. What were the best movies of the year? What were the best songs of the year?

Here are my top 10 read blog posts for 2011:

10) Strength

9) Leadership Elements

8) The Church of Facebook – Community or Connection?

7) What Have I Gotten Myself Into – The Peachtree Edition

6) Big Brother – A Dissection of (Not So) Good Community

5) Baby Movin’ On Up…

4) Why I Do What I Do

3) “Every Single Man’s Battle” Has The Best of Intentions

2) You Make Beautiful Things

1) Remembering Paul Fife

May 2012 bring you blessings beyond your wildest imagination.

It’s (Not) All About The Benjamins!

September 14, 2011 2 comments

Time is one of many things a leader can invest.

I am leader in one of the environments at my church called Fusion. This cycle we are talking about the subject of investment. When people hear the term “invest” they immediately think of money. It’s not always about money. You can invest your time, talents, and so many other things.

My friend Susanne does something really cool for her Facebook status. She will find a word that has impacted her and provide the definition. It would go a little something like this (Susanne – this one goes out to you! (c: ).

“Invest: to use, give, or devote (time, talent, etc.), as for a purpose or to achieve something…I like that word.”

She always follows it with “I like that word.” When I read that definition this morning it made me think…how can we as leaders invest in the lives of those we lead?

  • Be a great listener – People want to be heard. Don’t try to solve their problems, just provide a listening ear.
  • Celebrate with them – Birthdays and new jobs are just the beginning. In one of my previous small groups we always celebrated everyone’s birthday and it turned out that one of the guys had never ever had a birthday party thrown for him.
  • Mourn with them – Losing a family member is difficult and it’s even harder when you feel alone. It’s easier to go through the loss of a job with others supporting and encouraging you. A guy in one of my previous small groups lost his daughter to a childhood illness. The majority of our group traveled from Atlanta to Tampa just to be with him in his time of need.
  • Spend time with them – Be intentional about doing things with them. Go out to dinner. Grab coffee. Find out what they enjoy doing and do it together.
  • Remember the details – When you have conversations with people, remember things they tell you. You never realize how much it means to people when you ask them how their interview went or if they finished their big project at work. It makes them feel important.

How do you invest in those you lead?

Photo Credit: By mpclemens

Big Brother – A Dissection of (Not So) Good Community

August 26, 2011 2 comments
There's More To Life Than Reality Shows

Looking for "true community?" Watch reality tv shows like Big Brother and do the opposite!

The subject of “community” has been on my radar lately. A couple of weeks ago, the sermon at church was on community. I am also starting two new community groups – one that I will be leading and another in which I am participating (a mentoring group for community group leaders). When I look up community in the dictionary, four of the definitions really stick out to me:

  1. “A social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.”
  2. “A social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists (usually preceded by the): the business community; the community of scholars.”
  3. “A group of men or women leading a common life according to a rule.”
  4. “Similar character; agreement; identity: community of interests.”

One of my latest guilty pleasures is the reality television show Big Brother. If you’ve never watched the show, it’s basically a group of people whom have never met and they have to live in a house together under the watchful eye of “big brother” (the American public). Each week there is a competition that determines who becomes the “head of household” and that person has to nominate two other residents to be considered for eviction. Residents then compete in another competition for “power of veto” and whomever wins this competition is able to veto one of the nominations or keep them as is. At the end of the week, all house guests must vote to evict one of the people who ends up on the chopping block. Once the competition is down to two people, the previous eliminated house guests vote on which of the remaining two will receive an enormous amount of money.

Needless to say, this show is a VERY bad example of  how a community should be:

  • Individuals on the show form alliances against one another – in community you must be willing to work together as one unit.
  • There is a lot of back-stabbing that occurs on Big Brother – members of community should not turn on each other.
  • Big Brother contestants are caught frequently calling one another names – those involved in community should encourage one another and not embarrass or put down others in the group.
  • Greed seems to be a common theme on Big Brother – those in community want to see everyone succeed in the group and actively celebrate those times with them.

If your “community” were to be filmed for a reality show, would it be like Big Brother?

Photo Credit: By Elaine Ashton


Pretzels, Distractions, and Leadership

August 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Anything can be a distraction for a leader.

I love being an uncle. My nieces and nephews are constantly teaching me new things through their innocent, child-like eyes. The other day I called my parents to ask them something and my two year old nephew was at their house. My mother put me on speaker phone so my nephew could talk to me. He said “Hey Uncle Scott!” and then I asked him how he was doing…absolute silence. It turned out he was distracted by pretzels. At the end of my call, I told my parents that I would talk to them later, suddenly my nephew came back to the phone and said “Hey!” again. The little tyke then proceeded to go back to the pretzels.

There are so many things in life that can distract us, much like my nephew’s pretzels. These distractions may ordinarily be something good, but they can take us away from doing what we need to do or doing it to the best of our ability. Your distraction may not be pretzels – it may be a person, circumstances, money, or any number of things. As a leader, it can be difficult at times because you are not only trying to take care of yourself and grow personally and professionally, but you are also responsible for doing the same for others. When you find yourself going through times of distraction, find a trusted friend or mentor with whom you can share these struggles. Having someone who knows what you are going through makes it easier to focus on the right things.

How do you combat distractions as a leader?

Photo Credit: By Dottie Mae

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