Talkative Leadership


Talkative Leadership - 1This past Sunday I stood up in front of a large group of people and talked.  And talked, and talked, and talked.  I ended up talking for 10 minutes.  I was trying to encourage people, and to lead them.  I was trying to be the leader I thought I was hired to be.  I really did.

The problem is that I wasn’t hired to be “that” type of leader.  I wasn’t hired to talk a lot.  I was hired to lead, but in a completely different manner.

So what’s the problem you ask?  If I was trying to do something positive then all is well, right?  Well yes and no actually.  Trying to do something positive is good, but when it is done at the expense of something better it’s less good.  By taking so much time talking, I stole time from the person who was hired to lead by talking, and therefore robbed the audience of more leadership from him.

Talkative Leadership - 2Which leads me to my point.  

Sometimes good leadership means

Click here to read the rest of the article »

Fantasy Football and Family


Fantasy Football - 1

And with the first pick of the 2014 Fantasy Football draft I pick . . .

I’m a big fantasy football player.   BIG.  I research players in the offseason.  I read and listen to the fantasy football prognosticators.  I prepare meticulously for the draft.  I participate in mock drafts for goodness sakes.  By draft day I know:  whom I want, in what round I want them, and what players I will avoid completely.  If I’m honest, I might be a bit obsessive.  Okay, I am a bit obsessive.  Okay, okay, I admit it, I’m really obsessive!

So, with the first pick of the 2014 Fantasy Football draft I pick . . .  my family.

That’s right, not Adrian Peterson or Peyton Manning, but my family.  I know without the shadow of a doubt that my family’s football stats will pale in comparison to those two fantasy studs, but I also know it is absolutely the right pick.  I realized that my obsession with fantasy football isn’t healthy.  Does that mean I’m quitting fantasy football?  Heck no.  Having hobbies you enjoy is an important element of a satisfying life.  It just means I am going to reprioritize the role it plays in my life.

Fantasy Football DraftI think the exercise of taking an honest look at our priorities is a very healthy one.  For you it might not be fantasy football, but I guarantee you that most of you have something in your life that has gained a higher degree of priority than it deserves.   Here’s a list of potential candidates:  your job, your friends, Facebook, your blog, Pinterest, church, food, golf, adult beverages, and on and on and on……  Whatever it is, find it, slap it in the face, and tell it to move on down the list.  I promise you it is less important than your family.

So you might be thinking (at least I hope you are thinking at least something), “Lance, shouldn’t your number one pick be God?”  To which I say, “No”.  Because I operate under the assumption that God is an all-consuming reality.  Without God there is no family, no football (and hence no fantasy football), no job, nothing.  God is the foundation of my priorities.  He isn’t on the list, because without Him the list is meaningless.  In fact, it doesn’t even exist.  God is above the list.

Fantasy Football - 3Whether or not you share that belief, I encourage you to make a list of your priorities.  Now.  Not next week, or next month.  Because we aren’t promised anything but right now.  Be brutally honest when you rank them.  Here are a couple of things to consider when you rank their importance:  

Click here to read the rest of the article »

Leadership Principle in Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad - 1I just recently finished the last episode of the hit television show Breaking Bad.  Yeah, I know, it took me awhile.  Truth is, it took me so long to watch it because I almost quit watching it in the middle of season three.  Call me an old fuddy-duddy, (and by using that term I realize I am an old fuddy-duddy) but I had grown weary of the increasing violence, and the immorality and lewdness of the characters.  Most importantly, however, I had lost all respect for the character I assumed was the “hero” of the show.  I was rooting for Walter White from the beginning, but my ability to continue rooting for him eroded rapidly as he told one lie after another and performed acts of ever increasing selfishness.  That left me with no one to root for, and for me, having a rooting interest is an important aspect of a compelling television show.

Fortunately (although I would have lived had I not completed all the episodes), a friend of mine convinced me to finish watching the show to its end.  He assured me that I would find someone to root for, and he was right.  As my fealty for Walter White turned to disdain, my respect and admiration for his brother-in-law, Hank Schrader (who comes across as an uptight, know it all jerk in the first few seasons), grew.  Hank was the antithesis of Walter, and the juxtaposition between the two made a great dramatic foil for the writers of Breaking Bad.

Breaking Bad - 2As I contemplated these two characters, and their diametrically opposite characteristics, I realized that the attributes exhibited by each provides a great insight into leadership. 

Click here to read the rest of the article »