Archive - February, 2010

The Lost Art of Authenticity, Even On Twitter & Facebook!!

authenticityOne of the most important interpersonal skills is the ability to be authentic.  Authenticity is simply defined as — the quality or condition of being authentic or genuine. That seems like such a no-brainer and easy thing to do; however authenticity is more difficult to come by than not.

In order to have healthy, productive and legitimate interactions, individuals must learn how to become authentic.  Start by asking yourself questions like, “Who Am I Really?”  “Who Was I Created To Be?”  “Am I acting this way because I’ve been trained to or is this really me?”  Any of these type of questions will help individuals begin to be gut level honest with who they really are.  Until we truly know who we are and become comfortable with who we are, we will have a tendency to lack authenticity.

The lack of authenticity does not only affect our daily face-to-face interactions, but it bleeds over into online interactions.  We begin to develop the inauthentic Twitter and Facebook John or Nancy, which is a more courageous version of the In-Real-Life John or Nancy.

The lack of authenticity boils down to insecurity, people or so insecure with who they are that they begin to mimic the likeness of others or put on a facade altogether.  What is meant to come off as different, cool, real or strong comes across as “Jake The Fake.”   People can see inauthenticity from a mile away, a tweet away or a status update away… so go ahead and get real with yourself and others.

Authenticity Is A Lost Art, Even On Twitter & Facebook! Honestly it takes more work to be inauthentic than it does to simply Be Yourself.  “Do You! It’s A Statement Not A Question!”

Here are a few simple ways to find The Art Of Authenticity:

  • Be the same person at home, work, church, online… although the context may change the person shouldn’t.
  • Find your voice, not the voice you want but the voice you have.  The voice you want may develop over time, but not until you find the voice that you already have.
  • Ask the people closes to you, if they notice signs or areas of inauthenticity.  Ask them to hold you accountable to improving in this area.
  • Stop asking “How can I be like so and so?” and instead ask “What qualities about so and so can be adapted to who I am.”
  • Make daily steps toward finding The Lost Art Of Authenticity and people may give you the compliment, “I Like Your Style!”

Be your authentic self. Your authentic self is who you are when you have no fear of judgment, or before the world starts pushing you around and telling you who you’re supposed to be. Your fictional self is who you are when you have a social mask on to please everyone else. Give yourself permission to be your authentic self. ~Dr. Phil

Do you find Authenticity To Be A Lost Art?  Share your thoughts!

The Fundamental Flaw Of Leadership

fundamental flawThe Art Of Leadership is not something that comes natural for everyone, although some individuals are uniquely gifted to be more successful than others.  The one thing that is certain for all leaders is the fact that in order to be successful they will have to over-come leadership flaws.  Leadership flaws come in many shapes, forms and fashions.  Just think of the leaders that you have worked for and imagine their flaws that caused you and your co-workers heartache.  Imagine your own leadership flaws and the heartache that you might have caused others.

There are enough leadership flaws out there that we could fill up a book of flaws and fixes.  In my opinion The Fundamental Flaw Of Leadership is not shooting straight with team members and not allowing them to know where they stand.  Time and time again, leaders will talk about the ineptness of a team member or department, without talking to that team member or department head about those particular challenges.  The even sadder fact is that when these employees are on the ropes and getting ready to be fired or moved to another department and don’t even see it coming.

Leaders have the responsibility of letting people know where they stand.  If a person knows where they stand, they know what to fix.  As a leader if you find yourself talking about the struggles a team member is having and they don’t know they are having those struggles… you need to look in the mirror, because you are not doing your job.

Again, if you are a leader and are not letting people know where they stand and not Keeping It Real… you are committing The Fundamental Flaw Of Leadership. Give your team member the one thing they need and that’s the right information.  Information is not knowledge, however having the right information can lead to having the right knowledge.

What do you think?  Is this The Fundamental Flaw Of Leadership?  Have you seen this be problematic?

I'm Tired Of Your Baby Water Cups!

dixie cupThis post is very random; however if you been around BigIsTheNewSmall.com for awhile you shouldn’t be surprised.

Every time I go to a restaurant, I order H20 for my drink.  If it’s a dine-in restaurant it’s water with lemon, if it’s a fast food restaurant, I’ll just grab a regular cup of water and same thing for the dine-in/fast food combo type of restaurants.  There is one thing that irritates me about some or maybe even most of these restaurants… I’m Tired Of Your Baby Water Cups! Can I get an Amen from my water drinkers.

Dear Mr. Panera Bread: Just because I decide to order a cup of water for my drink doesn’t mean I want your little clear dixie cup that a lid doesn’t even fit on.  I don’t mean to pick on Panera, I could have you pick a restaurant and they would probably fit in this same category.  I know some of you are probably saying, “just ask for a bigger cup” and often times that’s what I do.  I’m even willing to pay; however It’s the Principle of The Matter!

I want to thank one of my favorite local Sandwich Shops in Oklahoma City (Saturn Grill) for appreciating their water drinking customers enough to provide a 2 cent cup.  @SaturnGrill  actually gives you the nice plastic cups that you can take home with you.

Did I mention that these water cups are so small that you will have a foot of straw sticking out of the top of the cup?  Did I mention the fact that a child’s sippie cup will hold more fluid ounces?

I feel better now!

Is it just me or do you feel the same way?  Which restaurants frustrate you the most and what restaurants appreciate you with the BIG Water cup like @SaturnGrill.  Chime In, Sound Off!

Did You Know "Twitter" Is In The Bible?

Twitter in BibleEvery once and awhile you will run across a nugget of information that makes you go “hmm!”  That’s what happened to me not long ago when my friend @mbstockdale  shared this passage of scripture with me. Insomniac, I twitter away, mournful as a sparrow in the gutter.” Psalm 102:7 Message Version If you don’t believe me look to the left at the screen shot of my YouVersion Bible App on my iPhone.

That’s what you call taking “Twitter” to a whole nutha’ level and confirms my 5 Reasons To Twitter During Church.

Did you know the word “Twitter” was in the Bible?    Feel free to share any random useful/non-useful information that you may have come across.

Hurry Up and Be Patient!

hurryI remember early on in my career as a young leader receiving some valuable advice form my leadership mentor in career as a Prison Warden.  I remember sitting in my office with mentor as though it was yesterday.   I was a an ambitious 25 years old Warden, and I clearly remember my mentor looking me in my eyes and saying,  “Scott your biggest challenge is that you are always three or so steps ahead of your staff and you will need to learn to balance your aggressive visionary spirit with being patient at the same time.”

It took me some time to reflect on whether or not his statement was a compliment or criticism.  I embraced the fact that whether or not it was a compliment really didn’t matter.  The reality was that his statement was spot-on.  I had to learn to stay a few steps ahead of my team in thought, while at the same time being patient with them , grow with them and allowing them learn from their mistakes.  I needed to Hurry Up and Be Patient; in other-words think fast and think ahead and be patient all at the same time.

I was always the young dreamer that was thinking, planning, evaluating and ready to charge the hill.  From that meeting forward, I began to re-evaluate my leadership style. I began to learn the art of knowing where we needed to be as an organization, arranging the right people in the right places and being patient with my staff.  This allowed both myself and my team to grow and develop as leaders.  It’s a great Paradoxical Leadership philosophy: Hurry Up and Being Patient. Below are three ways to Hurry Up and Being Patient.

  • Always know where your team members are personally, spiritually & developmentally (Stay 3 steps ahead of them)
  • Know the areas where your team members will struggle, fumble & need improvement (Be patient and let them struggle)
  • Evaluate, Re-evaluate, Evaluate, Re-evaluate, Make Tough Decisions & Grow (Lead ahead, hurry up, be patient and adjust accordingly)

Does this make any sense to you?  It does to me, maybe that’s because I’m just 3 or so steps ahead of you…  Don’t worry, I’ll be patient! 🙂

Share your thoughts on Hurry Up and Be Patient!  What has been your experience with Paradoxical Leadership?

6yo Singing "My Room Is Really Clean"

My 6yo like to write random songs and get his guitar out and perform them. This is one of his songs that he actually performed without his guitar. (His Guitar is A Self- Amplified Really Loud Electric)  Thankful I had my iPhone handy. LOL

Ed Young Gets His Rap On… Featuring TD Jakes, Osteen, Groeschel, Hybels & Others!

Ed Young is getting his Rap On… He is saying U B U.   I have been saying “Do You! It’s A Statement, Not A Question” for quite some time.   Check this out… Ed Talks about everyone from Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Craig Groeschel, John Piper, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, TD Jakes, Brian Houston, Rob Bell, Jentezen Franklin, Dino Rizzo and Others.

Enjoy, Laugh and Share Your Thoughts!

You’re An Online Minister… Now Act Like One!

internet pastorGUEST BLOGGER: Dana Byers is a church online leader and co-founder of Blue Door Ministries, Inc.  She is passionate about reaching people who are far from God online.

So you think you’re not an online minister?  Think again.  It’s a simple fact: If you’re a committed follower of Jesus, you’re His representative wherever you go (including virtual locations).

I believe God is using the Internet as a primary means to lead millions of people to salvation through Jesus Christ before He returns.  For the past 2 years I’ve been living in Europe, partnering with church leaders, and speaking and writing about how to minister online effectively.  Our family made church online our home and uses it to launch face to face discipleship groups in our neighborhood, as a channel for hosting online prayer outreach missions, and as an evangelism tool to invite friends in our community who won’t cross a church’s doorstep to hear the Gospel message.  It’s amazing discussing each week’s message with people from various countries using webcams, Facebook, Twitter and YouVersion.com.  My hope is every believer in the world would embrace the life-changing opportunity to connect with others and share the Truth online.

Through observation and experience, I’ve composed a list of personal guidelines to follow to keep online ministry practices healthy and growing.  As you pour your life into representing Jesus in your online sphere of influence, here are some hard and fast rules:

  1. Get over yourself! Your time zone, local sports team and currency are no longer relevant when you’re interacting with people on the other side of the globe.
  2. Get out of your house! Praying with someone online doesn’t negate your need to know your neighbors.
  3. Get connected! Overlap offline and online interactions, because effective online ministers make friends in chat rooms and meet them face to face when possible.

How are you using your online influence to share The Gospel?

Leaders Are Scared Of Being The Best

teamYou will often hear leaders, coaches, teams, organizations etc. talk about their desire to be the best.  They will write it on the white board, recite quotes and even have the phraseology about being the best in their mission statements.  These things are all fine and dandy; however many times leaders are scared of being the best.

The term best is an illusive term; however it’s defined as– being of the highest quality, excellence, the best work, desirable etc. With that definition in mind, a leader should want the best and embrace the fact that they’re responsible for creating a culture that allows people to be the best.  That’s a scary thought; a leader is responsible for creating a culture where their team can be the best.  In other words, if a leader wants to be the best it’s important that they maximize the talents of those around them.  A team can’t be the best with just a great coach, they must have great team members and great role players.

Ensuring that others are the best can be difficult for some leaders, because it makes them have to look in the mirror and say “It’s not about me.”  Being the best is difficult for some leaders, because they may have to embrace the fact that their subordinates are better than they are in areas.  Some leaders are scared of being the best, because when you are the best, you attract the best people and the best people can be more difficult to lead.

Leaders Are Scared Of Being The Best, for the simple fact that it’s much easier to be average or good!

Are leaders scared of being the best?  If so, Why?  Share your thoughts!

8 Ways Twitter Can Improve Your Communication Skills

twitter communicateTwitter has many benefits and can be an effective tool for a long list of things.  One of the many important benefits of Twitter is that it can make you a better Communicator.  By definition a communicator is- one skilled at conveying information, ideas, or policy to the public. Everything you Twitter is public and theses “tweets” or public communication can help you to become a more effective overall communicator.

This list below illustrates 8 Ways Twitter Can Improve Your Communication Skills:

  1. You  learn to keep you communication pithy.  All communication has to be short, to the point and effective all at the same time.
  2. You have to think before you tweet, similar to the need to think before you speak. Be Careful What You Tweet.
  3. You have the opportunity to be a student of both effective and ineffective communication; there are millions of Tweeps that fall into both categories.
  4. You have to learn the art of crafting your message specifically for your audience. What does your audience want to hear from you?  What makes them listen?
  5. You have to find your voice and your style.  Are your tweets random, informational, educational, inspirational…   Effective communicators are authentic, real and have no problem being themselves.  Be Yourself!
  6. You learn to embrace the fact that just because you talk doesn’t mean people will listen, developing your audience and creating a tribe is a craft.
  7. You learn that if you share something that is worthy of repeating people will afford you the courtesy of re-tweeting.  {That Rhymed} 🙂
  8. You have to learn that there are times when you need to communicate a lot and there are times when it’s simply OK to say nothing at all.

Do any of these resonate with you?  Share any additional ways that Twitter can improve your Communication Skills?

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