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sin of unforgiveness - sinner and sinned against

The Sin of Unforgiveness (Part 2 of 3)

If you’re a sports fan, you know retaliation is the foul that is almost always noticed and penalized by the referee. No matter the protest afterward, it’s the retaliator not the original offender most often punished. Then again, there is the make-up call. An honest referee knows what’s going on. If he believes the protest, the original offender better not provide any reason whatsoever for the zebra to stop play. And so goes life. We seek to find justice yet always fall a bit short. If you have ever broken up a fight on the playground, you will hear the phrase “He started it!” I’ve always found that line of thinking a bit humorous as if there were no history to consider. Usually, for two to fight, someone has had enough. Someone stepped over the invisible line. And to everyone’s surprise, a fight breaks out. This is the world in

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Sin of Unforgiveness - Kinds of Sins

The Sin of Unforgiveness (Part 1 of 3)

The secular world would like to destroy the word sin. She likes the phrase “poor decisions”. To sin is certainly a poor decision but not all poor decisions are sin. Let’s keep it simple. There are three kinds of sin: childish, adolescent, and adult. Kinds of Sins Little kids sin but the damage is not usually too severe. They lie, hit, bite, and steal. At first, parents are a little shocked they gave birth to a demon-like child. Once reality sets in, character development becomes the goal. It’s not too hard to forgive a kid. Adolescents sin too. The sins of teenagers are more tricky because they live on the border of two countries. On one side is childhood and the other, adulthood. Sometimes they sin like a kid and sometimes like an adult. The consequences for each should be different but adults should have the wisdom to see the opportunity for mercy. If

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knowing your purpose

Your Purpose: 2023

I’ve been told repeatedly that I ask tough questions. I like hard. I don’t like easy. Easy is boring. Easy does not grow me. It makes me soft, lazy, and unready for the faithful challenges ahead. So, carrying on from last week, let me ask you: “What is your purpose?” As you step into the new year, what is your purpose? Perhaps you are walking into a new job or opportunity of some kind. Maybe you are entering a whole new chapter in your life. Or maybe, everything seems as it always has and you can’t quite commit all of you to that one thing. Knowing your purpose Knowing your purpose is what creates vision. And without a vision, goals are just what seems convenient and obvious. That’s why too many of us get up in the morning and “just” go to work because that’s how you survive, have a

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Describe your purpose with two words

Two Words

To have purpose is to have something to live for When we lack a clear and consistent purpose, we are functionally and philosophically lost. Our inner compass is broken. If our purpose has little hold on us, we will easily become distracted and ineffective. A common war tactic is to distract the enemy away from their primary assignment or purpose and then take it from them. This happens every day to those lacking a clear and compelling purpose. A sustainable vision and the goal steps leading there are birthed from purpose. Visions and dreams fail because they have not been cultivated from the deepest part of the soul. A good idea is not conviction. When purpose takes hold, vision and values are the byproducts adding dimension and texture. Writing is the hard work many leaders skip. Some read and that is good but writing is even better because it helps

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A life of purpose - it's not about you

It’s not about you

The Purpose Driven Life is a book authored by Rick Warren. It has sold over 50 million copies and translated into 137 languages. Here are the first four words in the book: It’s not about you. I was around the age of forty when I first read the book. The book has great content but in my opinion, nothing more pointed and powerful than the first four words. They struck like an arrow at the center of my heart. They also released me from a heavy burden I’d be carrying around. A weight to prove myself to myself and perhaps attain validation from others. Even though I was raised in a Christian home, already living a “successful” life, happily married with two healthy children, I needed to hear those words. I remember the event as if it were yesterday. I opened the book and turned to chapter one, page one.

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How to lead like athletes

Lead like…

Professional athletes lead their lives. Lead like professional athletes who play for a team. If you start thinking about your work as athletes think of their sport, it will affect your approach. If you start thinking of your workplace as a sports arena, it too will affect your approach. As you visualize your current work role, how does it relate to a player on the field or the court? Are you the star performer? Are you the steady and reliable cornerstone? Are you the team captain? If you can see yourself as one of these, read on. Athletes care for their physical well-being. They tend to eat healthy, exercise, and build strength where most needed. You may not need oversized biceps, massive thighs, or impressive shoulders but your physical health affects your performance on the job – sooner or later. Athletes participate in the creation of a playbook for their next

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leadership is like gardening

Leadership is…

Leadership is like gardening. To lead a healthy life or to lead others well is much like gardening. While visiting my parents in Arizona, I had the opportunity to plant three Red Tips (a bush-like plant). I’ve always enjoyed gardening and well-designed landscapes. It’s therapeutic while also useful for learning about life and leadership. Below is an example of how gardening provides lessons on leadership: Plant in the right place (sun and/or shade exposure and in the correct region of the country) = do everything you can to make sure the new team member is a fit for the job (experience, temperament, skill-sets, life situation, etc.). Dig the hole big enough so roots can easily establish themselves = do everything you can to remove obstacles from new team members (familiarize them with everything and everyone, be generous in every way possible). Water appropriately. Too much or too little water can damage and even

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“We cannot change what we are not willing to acknowledge”

Acknowledgment. It’s the first step to any kind of change, isn’t it? What are we afraid of? Why are we so defensive? What are we trying to protect? As I consider the caption, my mind is directed to my personal habits, relationships, desires, and goals. Acknowledging a problem is not the solution but it is the beginning. If we don’t at least begin by acknowledging the problem, we will only repeat what we don’t admit because we repeat what we don’t repair. Much of our power to change is found on the inside. We often underestimate the ability God has given us to grow and restore our life and relationships as well as any environment we desire to influence. Acknowledgment is not just about owning and embracing what is broken; it is also about owning and exercising our ability to change it. And He said to him, “Arise, go your way.

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leaders are learners

Leaders are Learners

“Leaders are learners” Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.  Proverbs 9:9 Believe it or not Friend, your leadership is either improving or declining. It is impossible to stay in the same place. You’re either getting better or you’re starting to become like a broken record. A broken record (for those too young to remember) is when the needle on your record player gets stuck in the same groove playing it over and over again. That becomes so irritating, you shut the whole thing off or you throw away the record. Last week, I was listening to a speaker talk about personal growth. I wrote down many points and statements that struck me. Four points stood out as something I should ponder more deeply. Maybe these will inspire you as well: We cannot change what

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Seven Deadly Sins of Speaking

Seven Deadly Sins of Speaking

“Seven Deadly Sins of Speaking” He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction. Proverbs 13:3 Julian Treasure is a well-known international speaker on sound and communication skills. Among many other topics, he shares the Seven Deadly Sins of Speaking: Gossip: Most gossip is misleading or worse. Don’t participate. Judging: Judging closes doors. When Lincoln disliked a person, he chose to get to know him better. This habit proved to be more profitable. Negativity: The world is looking for solutions, not people who simply curse the darkness. Negativity is a fixed mindset. It almost takes a miracle to heal. Complaining: Cowards complain because they are always speaking away from the problem. They believe the problem is always out there somewhere and never within their own abilities to make a difference. Excuses: Owning your failures and growing from them draws people to you. Making excuses causes people

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Proverbs 27:17

As Iron Sharpens Iron so one person sharpens another. – Proverbs 27:17

“It was good for me to learn that you are a person of faith.” These words were spoken to me recently by a new client. I’ve heard similar statements dozens of times before so it didn’t surprise me. I don’t like to use the word client because it feels transactional. My vision for each new relationship is friendship and perhaps partnership. For whatever the stated reason, we come together to seek understanding and renewed purpose and direction for the days ahead. Most of my “clients” are aware that I pray for them and our meetings. It’s what I do because I recognize we need assistance. I pray for things like trust, openness, new discoveries, courage, truth, and whatever seems to fit the context of our relationship. Sometimes I forget to pray. It doesn’t happen much but when it does, I am often reminded of the fact during the meeting and

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The leader

The Leader

The knowledge worker cannot be supervised closely or in detail. He can only be helped. But he must direct himself, and he must direct himself toward performance and contribution, that is, toward effectiveness. Peter Drucker I once watched a board of directors make a decision about what they thought the CEO should be doing. They were dead wrong. None of them had ever been a CEO. Funny how that works. None of them had learned the principle: Leaders lead and boards govern. Two different roles; two different purposes. Consequently, the leader chose to leave the organization. He knew the principle: “Good leadership thrives where leadership is valued.” Leaders, managers, and team members are hired to serve the mission of the organization. If they must be supervised like a child playing near a busy street, they cannot produce a good return on their wage. What makes a person valuable to an organization is

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what's wrong with me

What’s Wrong with Me?

I have a habit of starting each day with thoughts of gratitude. As I looked at the blank page of my journal, nothing came to mind. How sad is that? Then I asked myself, “What’s wrong with me?” As I pondered, a current disappointment stemming from unmet relational expectations came to mind. Relationships that matter can hurt. That’s draining. Then I remembered my mom’s recent fall resulting in a fractured hip and surgery. That was hard. I also peeked at the last seven days of my calendar: fifteen coaching or speaking appointments and two podcasts. Okay, that’s a lot for even the most gregarious person of whom I am not. For me, that’s a really stupid schedule. I know better. I coach leaders to schedule better. Here’s the thing, even during these last seven days of pedal to the medal, I have maintained my quiet times and exercise. That’s simply

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Shaping culture

Shaping Culture: The Winning Edge

Shaping culture is an art, and core values serve as the brushes that expertly paint the masterpiece. Here, Jim invites us to delve into the realm where these fundamental principles, such as hard work, humility, humor, and honesty, hold the key to transforming organizations. So let’s step into a world together where values transcend mere words with the help of today’s blog. Last night, I finished up a podcast recording with Erin Porteous, the CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver serving thousands of children across the city. While we touched on a variety of topics, I was most impacted by four values she holds dearly: Hard Work     Humble     Humor     Honest We didn’t get a chance for her to define each of these but for the most part, they speak for themselves. Let me share with you why I love this set

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The Professional

“On your worst days, wear your best suit, walk with your head held high, show no weakness, and project that nothing has changed.” Shinzo Abe Former Prime Minister of Japan One of my mentors tells of a time he was hired to pastor a church of 1200 people. One year later, the church shrunk to 600. I asked why this happened. His answer was straight to the point. “They didn’t like me.” At the time of our conversation, he was still serving in the same role at the same church but now had over 5000 attendees. That’s leadership. Even for the most hard-working, professional, and faithful leader, sometimes you’re a hero and sometimes you’re a zero. When you’re going through tough times, try to ride it out. Trust God for the long haul. Keep working on the right goals. Keep moving forward. Finally, don’t be afraid of hard conversations about

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