The Need to Inspire

In anything a leader does, he or she must inspire those around them. In the toughest situations or the darkest of nights, a leader who is still courageous and inspiring can give new hope to followers.

Be Inspirational, Be like sunlight coming through the clouds

Be Inspirational, Be like sunlight coming through the clouds

I remember one time when I was at a youth camp. We were planning to play some outdoor games all afternoon. Games like kickball, tag, and dodge ball. However, a few hours before the whole camp was going to take part in these games, it started to rain. And it kept raining. I, along with almost everyone else, was disheartened and frustrated. Now we would probably have to sit inside and play boring inside games or something equally  unexciting.

Yet the youth leader of the camp was unfazed and recognized the situation. He immediately announced that we would still be doing games outside, but they would be games suited for wet weather. He proceeded to talk these games up so much that everyone in the camp was soon even more excited about these new wet weather games than the other games we had planned. Even today I still remember all the games we played that day and the fun everyone had because of one inspiring leader.

A leader who can look at a situation, change plans, and then inspire others to follow is a great leader. It is not easy at times to throw out plans and come up with something new, but it is necessary to do in certain situations.

So how can you do a better job of inspiring people? The next time when your plans do not work out very well, try to be flexible and change, and then be excited about the new direction you are heading. You will be surprised by how many people are willing to follow an inspirational leader who is genuinely excited about leading.

photo by B Tal

Subscribe Now

And Receive our 3 Most Requested Resources Absolutely Free!

Email

Get off the Bench and Play

Do not stay on the bench, get up, and enjoy the life God has made you for.

Do not stay on the bench, get up, and enjoy the life God has made you for.

Photo by Chris Gin

When you think about church you usually also think about the pastor who is in charge of that church. Most people would assume that a pastor is, or should be, responsible for everything that occurs at their church. I mean, how hard is it to be a pastor right? All you’ve got to do is give a little sermon on Sundays and be a good person right? Well, pastors actually have a rather difficult job.

Think about this: a pastor’s busiest work day is Sunday; everyone else has this day off. Pastors usually have to work on every major holiday, such as Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving. Pastors are often expected, or assumed, to be good with children and organize activities for them. Pastors are expected to be available whenever someone has problem to discuss. A pastor is often paid very little, and expected to make do with a small or insufficient house.  How many other people have hundreds of others that they are to serve who often critique how they are doing.  There are a number of other things that could also be said, but I think you’ve got the idea.

Pastors have a difficult job, which brings me to my point. Every church needs to have a group of leaders to run the church. One of them of course, is the pastor, but also in that key leadership group are people who take on the extra tasks that the pastor can not or should not be doing. In the best possible situation, a pastor should only be doing the things that he is gifted of the Lord to do and the rest of the church should be doing the things that God has gifted them to do.  One of my gifts is being able to do things at the last minute.  I told one of my pastors this and I said if you find out Sunday morning that the children’s church teacher is sick or your voice does not work or somewhere there is a whole that needs to be filled let me know and I’ll take care of it for you.  He took me up on it a couple of times.  Never to preach but he did ask me to fill a whole at the last minute on a number of occaisions.

When a pastor is left to lead by themselves, they will soon fail. So if you are attending a church but are not involved, you should strongly consider taking on a few tasks.  Think about areas where you are gifted and would enjoy pouring into.  If you are not sure ask if you can try out a ministry for a season and see if it is something that God blesses.  The better you know your own strengths and spiritual gifts the more accurately you can offer them to the body.

Don’t delay, begin serving today.

Lead By Example

Blaze a new trail and lead by example

Blaze a new trail and lead by example

photo by Ozyman

Lead by example; you have probably heard that before. Maybe your parents or some other person in your life chided you at some point saying, ‘you must lead by example first’. Now, you might consider it good advice, but nothing really important. However, in reality, it is a very important factor for instilling key values in those under you, plus it is essential for a leader to set a good example.

Every organization usually has several key values it sees as significant for the employees to adhere to and follow. But how can you actually get people to live by these key values? You might impose rules, or incentives, or any other of a number of options and some may have slight success, but there is one option that is double-edged and rather easy to implement.

To set the key values of your organization and get people to follow them, you must first follow those values and be the example for everyone else to follow.

There are two key benefits that come from leading by example.

The first benefit is that the example you set, the key values you follow, will then be followed by those under you. If you want your organization to have certain key ideals, start living them yourself and soon people will notice, and start following those ideals as well.

The second benefit is that you will be a much better leader because you lead by example. People, even those outside your company or organization, will see how you are genuine and real, and will want to follow you.

So have you been setting a good example? Are you leading others by first doing whatever it is that you ware trying to make them do? In what areas can you do a better job of following your own rules and requirements? If you haven’t been setting a very good example so far, that’s OK, you can start today and begin leading by example.

What Does A Life Coach Do?

What does a life coach do?

What does a life coach do?

Photo by Alex Layzell

So maybe you are feeling a little skeptical about the whole ‘life coach’ thing. What does a life coach really do?

Life coaches actually can take on a number of roles, depending on your needs and the type of coach you are working with.  Here are seven typical roles of a life coach.

1.  Sounding Board. Sometimes a life coach will simply be there as a sounding board to help you weed out unimportant or ill advised activities and focus on the best items. Many top CEO’s employ personal life coaches who help them stay on track and focus on their goals and the goals of their company. You might need a life coach to help reorganize your life, or tweak certain aspects of your life.

2.  Ask Questions.  Most Life Coaches are great at getting to the heart of the matter.  Using questions instead of simply giving information they often lead the person being coached to the answers that they really need.

3.  Fresh Perspective. Often you just need someone with different eyes on the situation to give you an outside perspective free from the emotional attachments that you carry in your situations.

4.  Accountability. Many times just knowing that I am going to meet someone who is going to ask me a question is enough to get me off my backside to accomplish whatever it was.  Just today I met with a couple of the guys that I work with and we set out goals that we wanted to accomplish in he next 7 days.  Most of them were personal, some were business but I am sure we will do a better job of meeting those goals this week then we did last week because we know we are going to be asking each other about them at the end of the week.

5.  Life Purpose. If you are wishy washy on your reason for being on the planet the right coach can help you.  My friend and author Stephen Blandino (http://stephenblandino.com) first turned me on to Life Purpose coaching about 5 years ago and I have been enjoying doing it with lots of people over the years since then.

6.  Goal Attainment. Do you have goals out there that you just can’t seem to reach.  Maybe you have been thinking, dreaming and planning about some of them for years but can’t seem to get forward progress.  The right coach can give you the traction you need to make your dreams a reality.

7.  Priority Discernment.  Taking the time to get away can often give you the discernment that you need to figure out what you should be focusing on.  When that doesn’t work a few pertinent questions can often be all that you need to set you in the right direction.

Life coaches are really exactly what their name suggests; people who coach others as they go through the various challenges and distractions of life to help you get the most out of the life that God has given you.

The basic function of a life coach is to help you take the next step in life, to help you make the best use of your time and energy. And when you employ your time and energy effectively and efficiently in the right direction, you are suddenly able to accomplish great things of lasting value.

If you claim Christ as Lord and want a life coach I urge you to look for a life coach that has the same values as you.  It’s not hard as there are many Christian Life Coaches out there.  I have had three formal life/leadership coaches in my life and the results have always been wonderful.  If you have had a life coach please leave a comment and let me know what the experience was like for you.  Also feel free to recommend any great life coaches.

The Best Leadership Question Ever

best question for leaders

A few weeks back in an email exchange with Dr. Ray Wheeler, found of Leadership-Praxis.com, he told me to ask this question to the people I was responsible for leading.

“Based on the time you have known me…what do I believe about you?”

As I asked the members of my team this question it reavealed a lot of things both about my leadership and their beliefs.  I found for the most part they were worried that I viewed their perceived weaknesses as larger than I actually did (in some cases I did not even see the issue they were concerned about or if I did, didn’t see it as a weakness)  Also they were reticent to share what they thought I thought of their strengths.  It is a little bit of an awkward question to ask but it was very valuable for my own insight as well as being able to correct the misperceptions that others had.

Since most of what people believe comes from what we say I realized I need to do a much better job of encouraging my team.

So next time you have the opportunity with a team member, close friend or someone else that will be honest with you ask them,  “Based on the time you have known me…what do I believe about you?” and remember no matter what they respond with don’t be defensive or you’ll probably never get a truly honest answer from them in future.