What They Do Shouldn’t Matter

Several months ago I was meeting up with a friend who is frequently 5-10 minutes late.  It might be traffic or oversleeping.  All legitimate reasons, but, late nonetheless.  On this particular morning, I went through my normal mental gymnastics deciding whether I should attempt to complete a task before leaving for our meeting, or whether I should leave a couple minutes early.

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4 Common Places To Look For This Major Insult on Your Health

Recently, I was visiting a great friend of mine, Dr. Mike Porter for my monthly round of Nutrition Response Testing (NRT).  NRT is a non-invasive system of analyzing the body to determine the underlying causes of illness and non-optimum health.  

NRT

While undergoing my testing, he found plastics in my body.  I was stunned that he could find this so specifically.  Here’s what I learned are the sources for such plastics in my own case.  While yours might be different, check this list out:

Are You Jumping to Conclusions?

Warning: I’m going to disclose some information in this post that will be very misleading unless you read the entire article.  Enjoy.

It’s no secret that I’m a Christian.  I regularly participate in activities that help me grow in my faith.  This includes daily prayer and Bible reading, journaling, attending church, meeting with guy friends for accountability, plus more.

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How Is This My Fault?

I recently invited some friends of mine to a movie.  We were so excited to have some much needed guy time, as we all have at least 3 kids.  Don’t get me wrong, my wife is the superhero parent in our home, but I have to play the martyr once in a while.  (Enter smiley face emoticon)

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I’ve Been Wrong This Whole Time

I always thought leaders were the people who started the company or led the fight against the opposition. I thought leaders had to have thousands of followers; people looking to the one person in charge waiting with baited breath to find out what the leader wanted them to do. I thought leaders had to approve every decision, know how to do everything, and have an answer immediately available for any scenario. And to fall short of this expectation, a person would be anything but a leader. I might even secretly call them incapable or a failure.

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With this mindset, I have run myself ragged over the past several years trying to have all the answers. And I never did this from a position of pride; I never thought I had to be a know-it-all. I just thought that since my practice is, well…mine, I had to know everything. The truth is (spoiler alert…), I don’t know everything, nor do I need to.

I spoke with Daniel Tardy from Dave Ramsey’s organization last week. He’s somebody I have tremendous respect for. I was telling him how exhausted I get with all the questions I get all the time, and he said something profound. He told me, “Just because you’re the leader doesn’t mean you have to have all the answers. That would be a huge mistake. I used to think that. It just means you have to be willing to go first.”

I have slept through the night every night since that conversation. I’m happy to go first. I’m thrilled that the expectation on me is not necessarily to always know what to do, but to be willing to take the first step. That’s something I can do, and it’s a lot easier than having every detail worked out in my head for every scenario I might someday be asked about.

Where in your life are you willing to go first?

Situational Leadership

The best leaders don’t treat all followers the same, nor do they treat any single follower in the same manner all of the time.  They analyze the situation, identify what the follower needs to function and grow in that particular situation, and then proceed accordingly.

How To Inspire Others When You Don’t Feel Inspired

I used to think the way I felt meant something.  It doesn’t.  I’ve just decided that my ‘gut feelings’ get me paranoid, in trouble, screwed over, or all three.  So I’m learning to make my decisions based on facts, not feelings.

Boredom

Photo courtesy of iStock Photo. http://jonathanlazar.com/istock

For instance, I could see a patient demographic print off in our printer in my clinic for a specific doctor.  There are two logical explanations for this.  Option 1: my associate is trying to rip me off by stealing patient demographic information.  With this information, he can quit his job in my office, go down the street, open another office using the ideas and training he received in my office, and then reach out to all those patients and entice them to come to his new office down the street.  Option 2: my associate wanted to see how many new patients came in to see him over the past month, and our practice management software prints the patient’s demographic information as part of this report.  To be honest, my natural tendency is to default to the former.  Yours is too.  I’ll prove it to you.  Have your parents ever called you on a night you decided to go to bed earlier than normal?  Their phone call woke you up, so that must mean one of them has been in an accident, passed out, or died, right?  I’ve been wrong about that 100% of the time I thought or feared that.  Chances are, they’re calling to tell me they got home from vacation safely.

Through trained behavior, we can learn to respond in a healthier, more appropriate way.  Navy Seals do this all the time.  I recently read in the book Damn Few where Seal Rorke Denver’s colleague remained calm and continued to shoot at the enemy after a slight distraction: he was shot in the eye!  Talk about trained behavior!  I’ve never been shot in the eye, but if by some chance I happened to be shooting a gun at an enemy and I did get shot in the eye, I would probably just freak out.

So next time you don’t feel inspired, do your work anyway.  Connect people.  Serve people.  Success loves action.  So take action and, chances are, the feelings of inspiration will follow.

How To Lead With Influence

Boy, wouldn’t that be awesome if there was a single blog post or essay that could tell you exactly how to lead with influence.  I’d want to read that guy’s blog every time he posted something.  But I don’t know how to answer the questions, so I’m going to give you some thoughts to ponder.

Men's Choir

The Men of Northridge

Positional influence is unfair and doesn’t work well.  Sure, people will appease their boss to his or her face, but we all know what happens behind their back.  There is this covert hostility in the workplace with positional leaders.  But there are leaders who lead with influence.  Some people have titles, some don’t.  Some do this on purpose, others are totally unaware they are doing it.
My cousin can make a white Lacoste polo look sharp.  He’s in great shape, and when he wears a basic shirt like that and he looks good in it, he makes me want to work out more, eat better, lose weight, and go buy a white Lacoste polo.  He wasn’t trying to do that.  In fact, he probably doesn’t even know he had that effect on me unless he’s reading this post right now.  So this is unintentional influential leadership.
There are others, like my dear friend and worship pastor at our church who lead hundreds and hundreds of creative arts volunteers.  His leadership is so inspiring and engaging, hundreds (possibly thousands) of people each year take time off work and away from family, put in tons of hours, drive long distances, and wear themselves out physically, mentally, and emotionally just to be a part of an awesome team and perform in our annual production, The Glory of Christmas.  And every person that volunteers leaves better than he or she started.  Granted, he has positional leadership, but he doesn’t use it.  He is such a great guy, that he continually earns the right to lead people.
Earning that right on an ongoing basis (versus riding on the coat tails of your past success or acquired position) is the only thing that will make people follow you by choice.  The results of this are profound.

Radical Positivity

I’ve been thinking…dangerous, I know…about how we always see the very things on which we focus.

If  you’re looking for things you don’t like, you’ll find them every time.  If you’re looking for things that inspire you, you’ll find yourself inspired.

I recently made a commitment to be 100% intentional about what I think about.  My mission: find reasons to be grateful.  It’s working well.

Harry S. Truman said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” I agree, Mr. Truman – I’m grateful for your input.

You Have to Look for It

We ask and answer about 350 questions every day. What will I wear? Should I address that? Or sometimes chilling questions like, “What color casket do you think he would have wanted?”

I ask God a question every day: “God, where are you working today and how can I help?” Here’s the challenge: we often ask a question and then don’t stick around long enough for the answer.

What’s more is we’re not the best listeners either. I always chuckle when I say something like, “Good morning!” And I hear, “I’m good. You?”

The reality is, when you ask something, stick around for the answer. If it doesn’t come, listen better. Sometimes it’s right in front of you, you’ve just forgotten what you were looking for.