Archive - April, 2012

Don’t Just Focus On Your Job… Focus On Your Dreams!

When it comes to work, life, achievement and success we have always been trained to “Focus On Your Job!” If you want to get better, you need to Focus On Your Job! I would agree that it’s important to give attention and priority to our jobs, as they are the primary source of paying the bills, providing for our families and fulfilling the mission of the organization we have committed ourselves to.

Additionally, I would argue that you “Shouldn’t Just Focus On Your Job!”  What I mean by this is I think it’s equally, if not more important for people to spend time focusing on their dreams. If you only focus on your job and not your dreams, I believe that you can squelch your inner creativity, energy, passion and zeal.

I have always encouraged those that have worked for me to spend time during their days, weeks and months focusing on their dreams. Sometimes that time would be within the workday and others would be outside of the workday. It’s not a matter of when you give time to your dreams, it’s a matter of giving your dreams some dedicated attention and focus.

As I look back at some of my employees I encouraged not to simply focus on their job, I can see the path of them chasing their dreams and those dreams becoming a reality. Several individuals whom worked for me when I was a young prison warden, are now business owners living out some of their dreams. One of those individuals operates one of the largest counseling agencies in the state of Oklahoma.

Theses particular individuals were all super-performers for our organization, while simultaneously spending time focus on the dreams and passions that God had placed inside of them. It was a Win-Win situation. I have seen this play out effectively with many individuals, on several different teams and in numerous types of environments.

I know this may seem like are asking individuals to slight their job or not give their priorities full attention. That’s not the case at all. It’s a simple matter of helping those on your team to be energized, motivated, encouraged, inspired and better by sipping from the inner fountain of their dreams.

This past week Baylor Quarterback Robert Griffin III RG3 was drafted as the 2nd pick overall by the Washington Redskins. RG3’s quote and advice to young people was this, “Don’t just chase your dream… Go catch your dream!” That applies to all of us, we have to go catch our dreams and that’s impossible to do, if we don’t give our dreams time, attention and focus.

Don’t just focus on your job… Focus on your dreams!

dream BIG. think BIGGER.

The Measure Of Our Success

My good friend Shawn Lovejoy has a new book coming out May 1st called “The Measure Of Our Success.” I asked Shawn a few questions to allow you to get a glimpse into what his new book is all about. It’s going to be a great resource for pastors.

Measure of Our Success Interview:

Scott: Shawn, you’ve been blogging for many years, but Why a book & Why now?

Shawn: Well, believe it or not, I don’t love to write. I just feel passionate about some things and that drives my laptop keyboard at times. I must say, though, that I just felt compelled by God to write this book. That’s the only thing that would move me to crank out 200 pages!

Scott: Compelled is a powerful word, why were you so compelled to write this work?

Shawn: I love pastors. I love pastoring. But I think I love pastoring pastors more than anything else. Church Planting, specifically, was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I have felt compelled to be a lid lifter for pastors who are getting the you-know-what kicked out of them like I’ve experienced. Ministry is so hard. So many pastors need permission to be who God has called them to be; and they need to know they aren’t the only ones that have the struggles they do.

Scott: YOU mention in the book that “there’s a dark side of the force in ministry these days.” Can you expound on that statement?

Shawn: Absolutely. Recent studies show that eight out of ten pastors are disillusioned, discouraged, and discontent with how their ministries are turning out. Last time I checked, those are not fruits of the Spirit. Satan is sifting pastors, and they’re hurting. I hate it.

Scott: Why do you believe that it’s this way?

Shawn: I’ve wrestled a lot with this. Through churchplanters.com I’ve also been able to talk with hundreds of ministry leaders about this. Here’s my conclusion: Our root problem is that too many of us as pastors have exchanged God’s definition of success for our own. We have placed yokes on ourselves that Jesus did not place on us. I’ve personally wrestled with this; and I’ve watched thousands do the same; and it’s literally killing many of us! Thus, this “impassioned plea to pastors” is for all of us to radically alter our measures of success.

Scott: What are some key concepts that you draw attention to and write about in the book?

Shawn: Sure. Much of the book comes out of my own experience and story of being sifted! “Hi, my name is Shawn, and I’m a workaholic.” Other parts are things I’ve learned from others as a pastor’s coach and consultant. In both cases, what I love most about the book is its practical nature. There is enough in here to radically alter a pastor’s life, ministry, and family.

Scott: What’s your primary goal and hope for the book?

Shawn: I am so proud of the way the book turned out I believe God spoke to me on this one all along the way. I really do believe God will use this work to save lives, families, and ministries. That’s why I want t get it in the hands of every pastor in America. That really is my hope.

Scott: I thank you for your friendship, leadership and being a pastor of pastors… I also want to thank you for writing this book.

Shawn: Thank you!

Watch Your Thoughts…

Sometimes you run across a little nugget of wisdom that makes you ponder for an extra moment or two. This is one of those nuggets:

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

~Author Unknown

13 Simple Ways To Increase Your Leadership

Leadership is about growth and increase. Growing and developing as a leader is of high importance; however it doesn’t have to be as difficult as we often make it out to be.

Below are 13 Simple Ways To Increase Your Leadership

  • 1. Read – Books, Blogs…
  • 2. Find a Mentor – Find someone that you trust, respect and admire to mentor you.
  • 3. Mentor Someone – Be willing to invest into someone else.
  • 4. Learn From Outside Your Industry – Keep your mind & eyes open to learn from uncommon places.
  • 5. Write – Journal, Blog, Write an eBook, Write a Book, Submit an article for publication…
  • 6. Wake Up Early – Wake up early & knock out the “mandatory items” Read – Write – Tasks…
  • 7. Use Your Calendar – Schedule everything, Plan Everything, Schedule Everything…
  • 8. Ask For Feedback – Ask and be willing to receive open feedback, criticism, suggestions…
  • 9. Keep A To-Do List – This list will help you stay on task.
  • 10. Keep A Not-To-Do List – This list will help you get rid of certain tasks and do only the things that you can do.
  • 11. Keep A Running List Of Thoughts & Ideas – Everything begins with an idea.
  • 12. Use Social Media – Social media is an information, connection & leadership gold mine. “Mine It!”
  • 13. Be Willing To Think Different“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” ~George Patton

Share your thoughts on these 13? What are some other says to increase your leadership?

Why Ron Artest Will Be Suspended 10 Games For Elbow On James Harden

If you have yet to see the Ron Artest cheap shot elbow on a defenseless James Harden you can watch the video above. This video has several other links attached to it, one being some commentary from Stephen A. Smith and the other is Ron Artests post game interview. I appreciate Stephen A. Smith’s honesty and candor regarding this incident and how the league will probably respond.

I am going to start off by saying that I think Ron Artest should be suspended for at least 10 games. Why 10? Because I feel that the league should take a hard stance that it doesn’t tolerate vicious acts that could ruin someone’s career and potentially affect their life. Artest’s elbow cheap shot not a basketball move and Commissioner Stern must handle guys like Artest with a stern hand.

The NBA has such a great product and can’t tolerate thuggery from guys like Bynum & Artest. Bynum taking off his shirt and taking out JJ Barea and Artest clothes lining Barea last year, simply because Barea was lighting the Lakers up. This year’s version of the clothes line was Artest’s ferocious elbow to Harden’s head. I’m not sure that it’s a coincidence that Harden was one of the leading scorers in the game at the time of the incident.

This reminds me of back in the day in the sport of boxing when Tyson went from being one of the best boxers ever to settling for cheap shots and cheap bites. Just like there is no place for biting ears in boxing, there is no place for ridiculous cheap shots in Basketball, especially from a culprit that has a history of this type of negative behavior.

I know that Artest has come a long was and has made progress… so what; the NBA can’ set on the side aimlessly waiting for his next devastating move. If this was someone that had a history of domestic violence or any other kind of violence and they relapsed, we wouldn’t excuse it away by saying that “Ohh, but he’s done so good.”  This is professional Basketball where men get played millions to compete and entertain the fans.  It’s a great game and Artest must be handled with swift and decisive punishment for his actions.  We all must be held accountable for what we do.

There have been some great players suspended 10 games for violation of the NBA’s drug policy and I’m sorry, you can’t tell me that cheap shot elbow isn’t more detrimental to the league, players and game than violation of the NBA’s drug policy.

Ron Artest has become to basketball what Mike Tyson became to boxing and as much as I liked Iron Mike in his heyday, what he did to the sport of boxing was disgraceful and boxing has never recovered. I know some people may be thinking that what Artest did wasn’t that serious; however if that hit to Harden’s head would have connected just right and Harden had a career ending injury they would think otherwise. We still don’t know the extent of Harden’s injury.

I refuse to call someone Metta World Peace when his actions equate to Metta World Violence. Ron Artest should be suspended 10 games or more and if he has another incident like this, he should be suspended indefinitely.

Don’t get me started on Ron Artest’s post game interview claiming it was an accident. I served as a Prison Warden for many years and one thing I learned to appreciate from some of the mature self-aware inmates was their embracing of this old saying, “If you do the crime, you have to do the time.”

What do you think of the incident and do you think Ron Artest get a 10 game or more suspension? Share your thoughts!

 

Why Social Media Is The New Better Business Bureau

For those of you who are at-least 30 years of age, you probably have heard of the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Those under 30 may or may not have heard of this organization. There are BBB’s all around the country that gather and report information on business reliability, alert the public to frauds against consumers and businesses, provide information on ethical business practices, and act as mutually trusted intermediaries between consumers and businesses to resolve disputes.

When I was growing up, I would hear people use the threat of, “I’m going to report you to the Better Business Bureau” if a company or business was doing something shady or provided horrendous customer service.  I remember using it as a college student and over the years I began to notice that the threat of reporting something to the Better Business Bureau appeared to have less and less sting.

Consumers moved to the: “I’m going to email the corporate headquarters” of an organization.  They would simply send enough emails to make sure someone at the top hears their complaint.  The e-mail route became the most effective and efficient way for consumers to share their complaints.

The consumer complaint system has moved from the BBB to E-Mail to the current complaint and praise method we have come to know as Social Media.  If consumers have complaints they will simply blog about it, tweet about or post it to their Facebook page. Often times these complaints will occur while the consumer is still inside the business or when the hit the parking lot. The bad thing for businesses is the fact that those complaints don’t go away and as matter of fact they have a lasting impression and potential to go viral.

Consumers are talking about the good, bad and ugly of businesses or brands.  Not only are they talking but their friends and followers are listening. Research shows that 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations, compared to only 14% trust advertisements.

This new reality makes it paramount for businesses to have a Social Media presence and a knowledgeable person handling their Social Brand. Read this post for my thoughts about Businesses Without A Social Media Presence.

Social Media Is The New Better Business Bureau.

Do you share your complaints about businesses or brands via Social Media?  Share your thoughts on Social Media Being The New Better Business Bureau.

Why You Should Find Your Replacement

I have always been a firm believer in the notion that leaders should always plan ahead. Not only should leaders plan ahead, they should always try to be a couple of steps ahead of their team members. By a couple of steps ahead I’m primarily referring to the thought processes that lead to success. You find me any successful leader and I will bet you they do an excellent job of thinking and planning ahead.

Just because you are two steps ahead in thought, doesn’t mean that you have to be two steps ahead in action. When I was a young 25 year old Warden, my boss and mentor sat me down and said this, “Scott you are always a couple of steps ahead of your staff, you are going to have to learn to be patient, allow them to get some bumps and bruises.  It’s great that you think ahead, but be sure to teach and lead along the way.”  In other-words, he was saying think ahead, but don’t let your thoughts get ahead of your staff’s development.

Sometimes, I feel like the “Activator” in me has caused me to take this forward thinking to a whole nutha’ level. As a matter of fact, I feel like leaders should always have a replacement for every team member in the back of their mind. I encourage my team members to always know who their replacement would be, or at-least who they would recommend. This might seem like an odd concept, but in all reality it forces you to evaluate where you are and think of individuals who can grab the baton and take off running where you left off.

I have come to realize that staff actually appreciate the fact that their leader has people in mind that could actually do their job and potentially do it better.  Find Your Replacement! It’s not a secret and it’s not being disrespectful to existing team members, this openness creates a constant flow of leadership development. Find Your Replacement mindset encourages people to live with an abundance mentality as opposed to a scarcity mentality. There are more than enough talented leaders to go around, Find Your Replacement!

When I served as a Pastor at LifeChurch.tv, there was a season where we had the opportunity to make several key pastoral staff changes in a short period of time. These changes were all great Kingdom moves, in which people were elevated to different roles within the organization. As each of these changes happened, the new team members replaced the old team members simultaneously. These were extremely talented people who were replaced with extremely talented people and our team didn’t miss a beat. There is no guarantee that it’s always going to work out so smoothly; however I can guarantee you that the odds will be in stacked in your favor with a Find Your Replacement mentality.

Find Your Replacement and remember there are more than enough great leaders to go around.  Seek God, start looking, start dreaming, start thinking and start finding replacements.  dream BIG. think BIGGER.

A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn’t and even brags about it! Proverbs 13:16 LB

Should this strategy be a part of every leader’s gameplan?

License To Lead

I have been in a number of conversations with friends, colleagues and clients where the topic of discussion has been the inability or freedom to lead. I just recently had a conversation with a Senior Leader of a very large organization about this very problem. (could be a church, non-profit or business) I’ll let your imagination fill-in that blank.

This guy is a strong, gifted, visionary leader who is being hamstrung by his governing body. Not only is the this crippling him, it’s setting their organization back years.

Just like the famous triple crown horse Secretariat needed to be freed up to run, not only run, but run the race that only he could run. That’s the same situation for leaders being held back in organizations around the country. Leaders want to be free, they want to run and they want to lead.

Organizations and organizational leaders have an opportunity and responsibility to free up their race horses to run and to lead. These races must be within the boundaries of the established organization; however it should be encouraged that they push those boundaries to the limit.

The potential for greatness exists at all levels throughout most organizations and a major hindrance is control and an unwillingness to let the horses run their race. Leaders are looking for a License To Lead.

The famous quote from the movie Secretariat are this, “Let him run his race.”

Let them run their race!

Comedian @MichaelJrComedy Lets Facebook Fans Help Write Jokes

This is a great idea and a great learning exercise for any professional speaker or pastor as to the thought process that goes into delivering great humor.

Share your thoughts on the concept and process. Do you have any additional comedy for the “Throwback Jersey?” Just checking your comedic skills.

Sweet Brown : No Time For Bronchitis : Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

Antoine Dotson Part 2. This nice lady is named Sweet Brown. She is from my City, Oklahoma City, and is interviewed after her apartment complex caught on fire. It’s hilarious, and there have been several remixes; but still waiting on the funniest one to come out.

Share your thoughts on this video… Did it make you LOL?

Funniest Remix Below:

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