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Delightful People

I say of the holy people who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
Psalm 16:3 NIV

Every journey in business and community begins with company. in those people you will find help, strength, wisdom, grief, betrayal, loyalty and a thousand other characteristics. Mixed in those people are people of the Lord’s tribe, so affected by Him that they bring Him to every meeting, every workday, and every interaction.  Thy aren’t preachy or perfect, just different.  They are refreshing. You find Him in His people.  That is where He lives.

Separated to Him is a God thing. These people don’t follow the flow of lemmings. They are hard and faithful and caring individuals. This world must lose hold and the Master gain influence. If you join them, you are a separated and distinctive and peculiar people. Love His people. In some ways we are strange as we become more like Him. Love these people. Embed yourself in them. Become like them.

Noble people are loved of all.  True believers are loved by others because they are loving toward others. And they are noble.  They stand above not aloof. They are not haughty but distinctive. They are repulsed by the banal but not judgemental. They are turned off by the crass, but understand why others live there. This is the Lord”s people.

Delightful people give us a place to join and are grateful to serve. The Lord’s tribe is an open table. Anyone with the committed heart is welcome to join.  Anyone can sit at the table and try out the food to decide.  The committed join. These people know how to explain their love of others and service to God without being offensive. There is a delightful place for all.

 “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” Melody Beattie

In all things be grateful for the Lord”s noble and grateful people.  He builds a living monument to His love and mercy and strength and calls it a family.  You thrive in the family. A business or community endeavor will grow with the influence of these.

Once at a lunch room table, a rather crude man rose to tell an off color joke.  It was obvious and his normal habit. Off color usually means sexual lyrics or racially demeaning.  A loving believer quietly pushed back his chair to exit the conversation.  Just then as the joke opened, a woman piped up, “Really. Jack (the believer), doesn’t want to hear your joke and neither do I.  Why not keep it for the bathroom?” The others at the table chuckled and nodded.  Jack settled back in his chair and the air stayed clean.

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Stand and Stare

I say to the Lord , “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” Psalm 16:2 NIV

Prayer is a matter of fact transacting of business. Hudson Taylor

In a negotiation and business relationship, we acknowledge the position and power of each involved. In front of God, acknowledge His position and power.

When I pray, I pray to the Creator of All.  Remember to whom you are speaking. Realizes He is able to do whatever is needed. Acknowledge Him in His greatness. Stand before Him as a child of greatness.

When I pray, I pray to The Great Love. His love is outstanding above  all human expressions of love. Come repentant. Acknowledge gratitude for this love through a changed life. Yearn to be like Him.

When I pray, I pray to The Good God. His goodness challenges me to step up my life. He is good to all. His mercy covers all His creation. Acknowledge love and acceptance for others unlike yourself. All are Hs creation and objects of His goodness and affection.

 Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. Lao Tzu

Struggle through life issues with a confidence and reliance on the Great Lord. He is Lord. He is Master. He is Boss. He is In Charge. He is King. He is not here to do my bidding but for me to express His will and way.

In employment and business relationships I try to remember the parable of the talents. Jesus tells the story of a business operator who assigns assets to be managed by three men. Two are faithful and increase the value. One does nothing. In the end the businessman says to the two, “Enter into the joy of the Master.”

The joy and reward is most defined by the owner of the asset and the most powerful in the transaction. When I recognize that, I open myself to greater reward in negotiation and relationship.

Approach God open. Allow Him to define the terms of reward. Drop preconceived ideas of what you want and understand He only has good to give.

Stand before the Lord, Creator, Great Love, Good God and stare into His power and presence. He will change you and your circumstance. He has good to give.

Positions In The Lead

Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. Ps 16:1

The writer positions his mind and heart in God as he prays and preps for the day ahead. We need that. As a community and  business professional, I need that.  We need to position to posture and to pose in our our mind and heart as we approach the Living God in the day of challenge that lives ahead of us.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

How do You Stand in Front of the Lord of All in the Face of the Day?

Position with humility. Recognize He is God and I am nothing. Yet, in my nothing , He makes something. He makes worthy. He makes valuable. He makes able to stand before Him. No longer am I nothing. I deserve nothing and receive by grace everything as a free gift.  Sure, I have good successes. Sure, they can vaporize in a moment.

Position with gratefulness. Thank Him for all He brings. He brings life and life with abundance. He gives forgiveness and the freedom to walk without bondage of depression and anxiety and defeat. I am grateful for all the years I have  success. I am grateful to the I have served and those that serve me. I am grateful most to the God, who has stood with me.

Position with power. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is on my side and your side. Stand there in His favor. Allow Him a place. Spiritual power is necessary for balanced growth. It is not just me or others, but His intervention that gets me through the tough spots.

Position with confidence. Confidence builds through conquest. Problems rise and fall. We rise and fall in and through them. Rise more than fall. It is said the average strong business leader fails five times before striking on the right formula to success. Get up and go again. Stand up and sing again. Never stop singing. Never stop standing.

Approach the Lord of All with a calm dependence on Him and a sure readiness to act. Be ready for Him to support and you to work without tiring. Position heart and mind to succeed. Shake off failure and put on confidence. He invests in you. He believes in you. He will not make a bad investment.

The Prize Goes to the Winner: Success has 4 Cs not two.

A few good men served today ( Nov 28, 2016) at Ohio State University. During a campus attack from a madman, they responded with character, competence, compassion, and chemistry. How rare do we see these three in action? In our age of self-service and self-serving, we are missing large quantities of courage, discipline, orderliness, compassion, reliability, accountability, selfless giving, and selfless service.  Journalists attribute their response to military preparation.  Maybe, but I bet there were other military trained on campus and maybe even in the room.  These men had something more.WordItOut-word-cloud-922060 (1)

These men stood to the moment. When word went out, they organized their class of students away from the door. Then they placed themselves in harms’ way at the entrance to the room. Had the attacker walked into that room, he probably would not walk out. They showed character, competence, compassion, and chemistry under pressure. Under pressure we are our better selves and we are our worst selves. We choose each time.

Yesterday, a man came to me in my office and asked me an odd question. “What is prudent?” He was looking for a dictionary definition. A quick anger assessment that we do had thrown an unfamiliar word at him. Arms crossed, face scowling, hard life screaming from his face, he looked for an answer. For a moment, it was hard to answer. The temporary confusion was not because I was stumped for a definition. It has hard to answer because it means so much. To summarize, a prudent person does the right thing at the right time with the right wisdom backing the choices. A prudent person would not be standing in my doorway taking an anger assessment because he was on probation, community supervision, supervised by the state.worditout-word-cloud-1956501-prudent

A little later I was on the phone with a case manager overseeing a family situation. Seems the man and woman showed up for a court hearing on neglecting their children while they were high on drugs. Bad had gone to worse. Maybe they are good hearted and imprudent. Nevertherless, they chose to put their children in danger and now the children are under conservatorship in foster care and the parents are being supervised by the state.

The men in the first story sound like my children. I would place my life in the hands of any of my daughters, sons, and their spouses. I trust their decisions over their homes and families and neighbors. They do not believe the way I believe on every subject. They do follow prudence. They do exhibit wisdom in right choices over and over and over. They do exhibit the 4 Cs of Success multiplied by lives lived for Christ.They don’t need me, my wife, or the state to supervise them.  They have been raised.

The men in the first story sound like key employees I have had over time. When they show me the balance of character, competence, chemisty, and compassion, I invest trust and training and increasing responsibility and watch them grow. Consistency and congruency takes over and multiplies their contribution. Talking to my assistant yesterday, I told the story of one such colleague. When this person came to work for me, she could not show up regularly and her work results were erratic. But underneath her chaos, I saw the 4 Cs of success. Over the years, we walked through developing good work habits, learning good work skills, and living through deaths and distractions that life throws us. Her contribution increased as the 4 Cs ordered her life and her income and influence quadrupled. Income in life is directly proportional to contribution.

How does it work? The 4 Cs of Success produce a consistent and congruent contribution. Here is the formula (Character + Competence + Compassion + Chemisty) x (Consistency + Congruency) = Contribution3 . This missive is already too long, so you must read the next few to get the full story.
Note: SOLUM Community Transformation Initiative is a 501c3 dedicated to fixing fractured families. We work with strugglers to stabilize and unify homes. Make your financial contribution today to turn the corner in character for men and women and their children. http://solumcommunity.net/give

Check out the definitions of prudent. Synonyms and Antonyms of prudent (merriam-webster online dictionary) http://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/prudent

Lessons from Luther

Martin Luther was given keen insight into salvation as a free gift of God.  Other items became clear and freedom was offered to many that had been bound in tradition. He was not fully released from some traditions. His hardness resulted in loneliness.

When he had opportunity to include others, he refused.  He entrenched on issues that were not critical but represented the very tradition he sought to break away.  Zwingli came to him with an open heart and open arms and allowance for disparate beliefs that were not critical to Christ living. Two hard pieces of old tradition clung to Luther and kept him from enjoying the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  Don’t make Luther ‘s mistake and walk alone.

This attitude became a continuing mark of those that later called themselves Lutheran.  His hard stance was fathered into generations that some still stay separated from other Christians.

Are there pieces of my theology that exclude other Christians?

Can I find a way of peace that includes those that hold positions that are reprehensible to me?

Am I able to speak what I believe without pushing down what others believe?

Action: Make time to meet with a leader of an area similar to your leadership area.  Listen.  Don’t refute or critique.  Listen and learn. Find a place of agreement.

The Speed of Trust and the 3Cs

Good leaders surround themselves with good leaders.  Good teams submerge themselves in good practices.  Good people doing good action with good processes produce great results.   It works.  Great results flow. They don’t take onerous work. The people, the action, and the process make it happen.

So what does a great flow look like?  Trust builds on competency, chemistry, and character.  Trust greases the skids of great and right results.  Look for trust.  When it exists, the 3Cs are most likely in place.

There is one thing that is common to every individual, relationship, team, family, organization, nation, economy, and civilization throughout the world – one thing which, if removed, will destroy the most powerful government, the most successful business, the most thriving economy, the most influential leadership, the greatest friendship, the strongest character, the deepest love.  Stephen M.R. Covey on Trust

What does trust look like?

Loyalty:  When trust exists the backdoor bickering is silent.  Ever have a cohort who constantly bickers?  Character prevails. Loyalty extends in every direction.  A disloyal worker will bring strife into every decision.  Loyal people listen and learn and run with direction.

Rapid Results:  When trust exists people are busy doing the next thing.  The constant questioning goes away.  Vision is caught and integrated into daily action. Chemistry is activated.

Right Action:  When trust exists the team knows they can run and make mistakes.  They are responsible to keep each other informed and know what to do.  Competency is not a question.

Do The Hard Thing:

Team Building:  A manager asked me recently, “Phil, what do I do when these three seem out of sync constantly?  I have solid processes.  The people are trained.  Communication is constant.  Yet, we just can’t get the flow moving?”   Answer:  Look for the weakened link.  Somewhere, someone has lost vision or never had it.  They are not with the team.   Check out my series of TEAM articles on Shepherdok.net .  There are some tips on structure, action, accountability, adherence, and alliance.   Find the person out of sync.

  • If they are in a slump and have been faithful in the past, see if you can discover their angst and help them solve it. You can’t solve the issues of the soul.  You can provide the right environment to heal if it has been damaged.
  • Do not attack them. Many managers make this mistake and lose quality team members. Not only will you lose a friend and supporter, this is an act of treason on your part.  The rest of the team will sense your disloyalty to one member and you have become the joint out of sync.
  • If they have never shown faithfulness, release them to follow their heart. They are not with you and will destroy the rest of the team.  Let me be strong here.  If you have done your best and a team player resists, release them.  They will not become happy because you are a great person.  They will tear at the rest of the team’s joy and trust and productivity.  Release them and your team can go forward.  Their passion is elsewhere.  Help them get to it.  Be graceful and firm.

Stand strong. Build a great team.  Build a better organization forward.

Boldly Break It Off!

excerpted from Time To Lead (available on Amazon.com)timetolead

Break Off Old Relationships

Radical action causes us to look for new anchors.

II Kings 18:4: He (Hezekiah) removed the high places, and broke the images, and cut down the groves, and broke in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made (during a time of destruction as a focal point): for in those days the children of Israel burned incense to it (turned the one use object into a sort of a god): and he called it Nehushtan (piece of brass).

 “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Base Living:Human nature leans toward base living. As much as we would like to complement our humanity, it simply will decay into animalistic expression left unchecked. Values and character are built over time and circumstance. Truth, honesty, courage, and compassion in a community do not come from standing on the corner and watching. They come from purposeful and determined action of many individuals over time.

Urgency: Hezekiah in his young heart knew action had to be taken. He sensed the urgency of the moment and moved off of the sidewalk of people watching. Hezekiah seized the day throughout his life. At this trend-setting juncture, he established a position of “no retreat” by tearing out the places to which people could retreat.

Disequilibrium: Creating disequilibrium for those caught in a vacuum of disillusionment and distortion of vision can be a necessity. When wanting to move forward into new territory, it is many times absolutely necessary to take away reminders of a destructive past. Radical action causes us to look for new anchors. Even a good thing in the brass serpent, which God meant for good when it was created, can become an evil reminder and a draw backwards instead of forward.

Hezekiah broke off old relationships that pointed the wrong direction in establishing and living in greatness before God with the people.

Ugandan Change AgentUgandan President Yoweri Museveni stood against the curve. After discovering a third of his army officers were HIV positive, he determined to make a stand. The President started a hard and loud program focusing on faithfulness and sexual purity. It was against the cultural curve. The nation had a culture of free sexual activity with multiple partners. He called for cultural change as an answer. The results were astounding. HIV percentages dropped 15% over a decade.

There have been many detractors to his actions. But he took them. He stood against the curve and called for a break with old relationships at a national and individual level.

 Respond with Action: What symbols of antiquity cause your vision to look backwards? What about the people with whom you partner? What ideas are anchored in the past but not the future? What keeps character tied to a post?

Pray with Faith: These are challenging words, Lord of Life. You have plans for me to succeed and prosper in all I do. You have focus on my future. There are many around me waiting on my action. Deliver me from the death of apathy. Deliver me from the shroud of inaction. Cause me to come to Your fresh and living waters. Cause me to see those obstacles that bind me and those around me to the past. Birth this greatness in me, Father. I commit to see life in a new light. Help me to purge the distractions that draw me backwards.