Archive - November, 2010

Criticism: “It Is What It Is!”

Criticism is a one of those words that seems to cut most people like a knife.  Although the knife doesn’t seem as sharp when we put the word “constructive” in front of the word criticism; none-the-less the word still seems to pierce.

When I was growing up my mom would always tell me: “Son, you can’t control or worry about what people say… you can only control what you say and what you do.”  Later on in life, as a young leader I had a mentor that would always say “If you’re doing something worthy of people taking shots at you… they will.  I would much rather have a leader that people don’t always understand and who are occasionally criticized, than a “leader” that no one ever talks about.”   I have heard my pastor say something like “If you want to find the leader, look for the one with the arrow in their back!”

I tend to view criticism as neutral… “It Is What It Is!” I prefer to “Eat The Meat and Spit Out The Bones!”  If you don’t want to be criticized, I have some advice for you: Say Nothing, Do Nothing & Be Nothing!

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

I don’t ever want to find my place with those “Cold and Timid Souls.”

Criticism: “It Is What It Is!

What do you think?  Share your thoughts!

A Question For Every High Capacity Leader

Every High Capacity Leader Should Ask Themselves This Question:  Am I encouraging, developing and producing other high capacity leaders?

“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.” ~Harvey Firestone, Founder of Firestone Tires

Is the encouragement, development and producing of other leaders the greatest measure of success for a leader?

How Twitter Saved #BlackFriday

Upon finishing the amazing thanksgiving feast at our home, it was finally time for all of the Thanksgiving festivities to come to an end and all of the BlackFriday preparation to begin.  On my way to take my mother home, my mother in-law (who is staying with us for the Thanksgiving holiday) asked me to stop and get her a newspaper with the sales circular ads.

She was in the process of planning her BlackFriday shopping spree.  This year she will be doing her BlackFriday shopping without my wife who has conceded to the fact that, “She no longer wants anything to do with that madness.”

During one of my pit stops, I sent out this tweet: “Just dropped my mom off at her house… Now on the hunt for a newspaper with the crazy #blackfriday sale ads.” I then proceeded to stop by 7-Eleven, Wal-Mart Market, Wal-Greens, Shell, 7-Eleven #2, Valero, The Post Office and 7-Eleven #3.  No newspaper were to be found anywhere and all of the store clerks seemed to be perturbed by the question, “Do you have anymore newspapers?”

At this point I had done my duty as a good son-in-law and had to forfeit to the fact that there probably wasn’t a newspaper available in the entire Oklahoma City Metro. Meanwhile, I got this Twitter response from @amyurbach: @ScottWilliams have one that I’m getting ready to toss into the recycle bin of you can’t find one.”

Aha… It looks like Twitter was going to save the day, not only the day — but #BlackFriday.  @amyurbach and I DM’ed back and forth and I made my way over to her and @ericurbach’s home to pick up the newspaper.  Amy blessed me, I blessed my mother-in-law and the wheels on the bus go around and around.

That’s How Twitter Saved #BlackFriday.

How has Twitter helped you or saved the day?  Are you indulging in the #BlackFriday Madness?

It’s All About The Dessert!

Dessert is defined as: A sweet course, treat or dish; served after the main course.

As I was thinking about the holiday season and all of the desserts that I am going to consume; I was reminded of what dessert really is by definition.  It’s that sweet course or treat after the main dish.

In life that main dish could be college and the sweet treat could be obtaining that degree.  The main dish could be your role as a leader and the sweet treats are the lessons that you learn daily.  The main course could be that step in obedience in making the commitment to tithe, the sweet treat is the opening of the floodgates of blessings that God pours into your life.   The main course could be the struggles of life, darkness, insecurity, sin… and the SWEET TREAT is the truth, life, grace and forgiveness through Christ.

You get the picture!  dream BIG. think BIGGER.

The bottom line is to always be mindful and thankful that even though the “main courses in life” may not always be good or our favorite dish…  there is always opportunity for dessert.

It’s All About The Dessert…

“Some people complain that roses have thorns, I’m thankful thorns have roses.”

  • Are you able to anticipate the sweet treat after the main courses in life?
  • What is your favorite dessert during the Holiday Season?  I’ll go first: Pecan Pie (a little crispy on top and not extra goo-wee.)

A Look Into My Life 2 Years Ago

I was taking a look back on memory lane last night and ran across this video that I shot exactly two years ago to the day.  It was a video of My Day Through My Eyes, basically a compilation of my entire day.

It was crazy to look back and see all that has changed in two short years.  My youngest son is not a lil’ boy anymore going to private school but rather a Big boy halfway through his second year of elementary school. Some of the blogs that I read in the morning have changed, the music has changed, my oldest son is in middle school, my staff is completely different, I have a book deal and this list goes on and on.

Videos and pictures are great for reflecting.

Here is what you have, a video of My Day Through My Eyes exactly 2 years ago via unedited chunks, all shot from a flip camera (that’s another change, today it would be shot from an iPhone 4).  Some of the video highlights include:

  • My morning regimen
  • My 5yo son singing & 9yo son dancing
  • OU Women’s Basketball Paris-Twins (Courtney and Ashley Paris)
  • Meet my staff. BTW-The one who had jokes is Vince; one of our Associate Youth Pastors.
  • My wife is MIA… she said I couldn’t record her. LOL
  • Live interview with Shaq, as he helps Larry Jones raise money for Feed the children!

What has changed in the last two years of your life?  Do you ever look at old videos and reflect?

Get Your Tweets On A Billboard!


Oklahoma City based Lamar Advertising Company has a cutting edge project dealing with Tweets and their Digital Billboard space around Oklahoma City.  In my opinion it’s one of the smartest examples of a business leveraging Social Media for community connection and Brand/Business awareness.

@LamarOKC has these 14 foot by 48 foot digital billboards around the city. They will screen thousands of tweets a day from their followers and choose 4-5 tweets to place on these monstrous digital billboards.  My tweets have been “Lamar’d” several times.  I always know when one of my tweets have been featured, because I will receive phone calls, tweets, emails, facebook updates and new followers letting me know they saw my tweet on the Big Screen. Early on, I even had people ask me if I paid money to have my tweet on the billboard. I simply chuckled…

This is another example of “How and Why” businesses should leverage Social Media. I am writing, you are reading and people are talking positively about @LamarOKC.

You can watch the 2min. video above for the complete story.  The coolest thing about the story is the last tweet they feature on the billboard.

dream BIG. think BIGGER.

Share your thoughts on the Twitter Billboards or any other examples of businesses uniquely leveraging Social Media.

Paradoxical Tension Of Believing In Yourself!

If You Believe That You Can’t… well you are probably right. It’s so easy to get caught up into what we can’t do and what others think we can’t do, that we end up not doing it.  If you don’t believe in you yourself, it’s difficult to get other to believe in you.  On the contrary, if you believe in yourself it’s easy to attract naysayers who think you’re over-confident and Believe That You Can’t.  It’s the Paradoxical Tension of Believing In Yourself.

When people don’t believe in you, let that be motivation to fuel your “can-do” fire.

When you don’t believe in yourself, let that be motivation to fuel your inner “little engine that could” I think I can, I think I can.

Don’t beat yourself up for believing in yourself… it’s the first step to success. If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome. ~Michael Jordan

Even when you don’t believe in yourself… Believe In Yourself!

God Believes In You!

dream BIG. think BIGGER.

Are On-line Church Communities Real?

I’m currently in Memphis, Tennessee leading a Micro-Conference for Executive Ministry Leaders.  There are some amazing leaders here, with some very sharp minds.  I love the fact that anytime I go to speak somewhere, I’m always challenged and always learn.

Last night over dinner there was a nice spirited debate over video teaching and then it moved to the fact that an Internet church or Church Online Service or Experience is not real community.  I emphatically disagreed and we debated on and on and back and forth.  It was a great discussion and I’m the kinda guy that says, “Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.”  I invited them to check out church On-line.

In the past I have always made the below 9 Points About Why On-line Relationships are Real and I would think these same points apply to on-line church.  Especially if the on-line church is set up in the manner that Church Online is set up.  There is a dedication to that community that is very similar to a physical campus and the relationships and life change is real.

9 Reasons Online Community and Relationships are Real

  • 1. When someone visits/comments on your Blog, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter etc., that interaction is as meaningful as you interacting with someone at your office, the coffee shop, the gym…
  • 2. People are sometimes more authentic and vulnerable in Social Media than in person.  Sometimes you will be sitting right next to someone and not even know that they’re having a bad day.  On the other hand, that same person is blogging and twittering about the bad day they’re having.
  • 3. It’s easier to connect with people of similar interests in an online environment than in a offline environment.  Everyone is one click or one search away.
  • 4. A person has the ability to overcome interpersonal struggles, as they can be an online extrovert, even though they may be an offline introvert.
  • 5. You can evaluate individuals daily interaction, lifestream, thoughts, dreams, perceptions, struggles etc. through Social Media in a short amount of time.  It may take twice as much time to capture the same information In Person.
  • 6. Candor is acceptable and encouraged in the Social Media world and that is not always the case In Person.
  • 7. It’s much easier to overcome demographic barriers in the Social Media World.
  • 8. Online Relationships are more convenient, which is a huge benefit in our fast-paced microwave world.
  • 9. You can positively impact the lives of others daily through Social Media without ever knowing you had an impact.  Your posts, tweets, comments, blogs, chats and overall online presence truly make a difference in the lives of others.

Are On-line Church Communities Real?  Why or Why Not?

Maybe I can direct these guys to your thoughts and comments on both sides of the argument.


em-pow’er-ment n. – To equip or supply with an ability; enable, the giving or delegation of power or authority; authorization, the giving of an ability; enablement or permission. seriously encouraging others allowing others to dream BIG. think BIGGER.

  • Leaders – Empower your staff.
  • Parents – Empower your children.
  • Pastors – Empower your church.
  • Couples – Empower your spouse.
  • Coaches – Empower your players.

Empowerment is like being given permission to plug your life-plug into an electrical socket of unlimited potential.  Micro-management hinders the life-plug from ever making it to the socket of potential.  Equipping, enabling and empowering people will result in empowering yourself.

Empowerment is a win/win proposition.

dream BIG. think BIGGER.

7 Lessons We Can Learn From Southwest Airlines

I have been traveling quite a bit lately, which has caused me to really assess my different flying experiences.  My conclusion is quite simple…  Southwest Airlines @southwestair gets it and the others don’t.  I know that’s a relatively broad generalization, but for the most part it’s true.

If we look at purely a bottom line perspective, Southwest Airlines has always reported profits, even when the rest of it’s competitors were struggling financially.  Southwest airlines earned $205 million dollars in the late summer third quarter.  They continue to make money and make fans (like me), for some reason fans and money seem to go hand in hand.

7 Lessons We Can Learn From Southwest Airlines:

  • 1. Change With The Times – That class system is so 1980, get rid of 1st class and get your customers in a seat.
  • 2. Consistency Matters – Southwest flys the same type jet, to the same places, by the same people all of the time.  I can’t stand those little regional jets propeller planes.
  • 3. Add Value – Seriously, who gets excited about paying $25+ dollars for a bag of luggage and don’t get me started on the no-snacks policy for Southwest Airline’s competitors.  Southwest offers free luggage, good snacks, great flying experience and great rewards program.
  • 4. Efficiency – Southwest always ranks high in the fuel efficiency of it’s aircraft’s (helps the environment for those green people).  Southwest is always at the top of the list for on-time flights and the boarding process is the most efficient.
  • 5. Discount Fares – Value and price always matter.
  • 6. Leverage Social Media – Southwest Airlines does a great job of leveraging Social Media.  They have a very active and effective twitter account with over a million followers.  That’s 10 times as many followers as their competitors.  They embrace the essence of this post.
  • 7. Customer Service – When an airline has the best discount fares, offers free snacks, has efficient check-in, doesn’t charge for luggage, treats all customers the same, adds value to customers through social media…  That is an airlines that cares about their customers.

There seems to be a direct correlation between excellent customer service, a consistently good product and great overall value… to the overall success of an organization.  If you don’t believe me read my thoughts on what Chick-fil-A Can Teach us About Success.

Every business can and should learn from these 7 Lessons.  The additional value for businesses like Southwest Airlines and Chick-fil-A is the fact that their customers blog about, tweet about and share their great experiences. When was the last time you read a tweet, facebook update or blogpost about someone being happy about paying $25 dollars for their luggage to fly with them.

Change with the times, listen and learn.

Share your thoughts on Southwest airlines or other businesses that get it.  Why are some businesses willing to stay behind the times and not learn from the success of others?

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