Tag Archives: motivation

A Servant’s Heart

“When pride comes, disgrace follows, but with humility comes wisdom.”

Be wary of ambition for the world’s applause is deceitful and deceptive.  Seek to serve not to rule for pride comes in ruling. However, serving produces love.

Awards stir the flames of pride. Jesus taught us to put out those flames.  He said, “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty” (Luke 17:10).

Money, fame, power tempt our hearts to take confidence in our abilities and if left unchecked, pride will follow.  Service, on the other hand breeds love for humanity and births a sense of gratitude for life.

“If you want to be great, serve; anyone can be great because anyone can serve,” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.). Wisdom comes from service because by serving others you enter into their collective experiences. You learn how to overcome challenges and how to have patience through difficulty.

Be wary of ambition for the world’s applause is deceitful and deceptive. Seek to serve!

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Confidence: The Key to Moving from Mediocre Leadership to Leadership Excellence!

“It’s hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.” 
― Adlai E. Stevenson II

ImageGoing somewhere that others fear going requires courage, confidence, commitment, and candor.  Leaders that do not have these four virtues find it difficult to lead people in unchartered waters.  Exceptional leaders who exhibit these four virtues have the ‘stuff’ that makes others trust them in unknown territories.

But of all of these confidence is the most necessary when you expect others to ‘go boldly where no man has gone before.’ Confidence in one’s abilities to achieve is a must.  When a leader has low self-esteem, followers can sense it and will not follow.  Thus, a leader must develop confidence by engaging in a personal growth strategy that ensures confidence is built.  Without confidence, a leader will falter in the face of challenge.

How you perceive yourself as a person, a leader is vital to your success.  The only way to enhance your self-confidence is to challenge yourself to be, do, and act in ways unfamiliar to your nature.  With every success, your confidence grows; with every failure, your experience grows.  You learn the many talents and gifts that lie hidden in your being through experience and training.  So as a leader, build your self-confidence so that others will sense it and follow you into unchartered waters.  The best way to do this is to have a coach who will challenge you and hold you accountable.  That’s what I do and I believe that I have what it takes to help you build your self-confidence as a leader.  Contact me when you’re ready to take the plunge and let my program help you improve your leadership skills.

“Everything rises and falls on leadership.” ~ John Maxwell

 

 

Motivation for Service

“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. 3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.”

People are fighting all types of causes in this world.  There are the fights against HIV/AIDS, Abortion Rights, Healthcare, Public Education, Gender Equality, Minimum Wage, and Tax Reform.  Advocates for the poor, church missions, and capital campaigns all done by people who have made great names for themselves.  But how many people have done so out of genuine love.

A friend of mine was upset because his name was not called.  Everyone on the committee received recognition but because he was absent his name was not called.  He wanted that praise; he wanted the accolade, but to now avail.  He was so rejected he no longer particpated in that philanthropic endeavor.  Was his heart in the right place?  If you were genuinely concerned about the poor, would lack of recognition cause you to withdraw your efforts?  I think not.

But one thing is certain, if you really want to know a person’s heart, don’t invite them to the celebration.  Exclude them from the applause.  Then, you will see where there heart is and you’ll know the real motive for their efforts.  Worldly praise and accolades are much ado about nothing.  This world is fickle, unkind, and sometimes harsh; but what you do for others when motivated by love trumps all the negativity you may encounter.  Learn to get your motivation from changed lives rather than awards and congratulatory acts by others.  Being a part of someone’s transformation has its own rewards; cherish those!

Motivated to Excellence by Fear

For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” ~ (2 Tim 1:7, HCSB)

For as early as I can remember, I have always had this nagging fear of dying and no one knows me. Thus, I have not wanted a house in the country 2-3 miles from my neighbors. I have not wanted a job locked away in solitude to enjoy my work alone. I have wanted to do spectacular noticeable things to ensure someone would know I had lived.

In 2006, of all the things I could have done, I bought a house in the country.  It was a 3 bedroom 2 bath home on a country road in Greenville, Georgia.  For a time I was happy, but alas it is a place I realize I may never live in again.  My fears beckoned me to leave, to return to a place crowded with people.  I guess you could say, I am a city fellow now.  But I know its not because I like people, its because I fear being unknown, of being insignificant, of dying and no one attend my funeral.  

I was beckoned away from the country by a call to serve in Louisiana by a long-time friend.  The service I would render would increase my knowledge among an even wider audience.  I left without hesitation although I was already known by many people, one never can tell who will forget one.  So off I went to discover another place, I had left over 20 years before. Because of these fears, I have and continue to be motivated to excel. And this impetus keeps me moving forward ensuring others will deem me worthy to be remembered. 

I agree that God has not given us “the spirit of fearfulness” but I also agree that fear is a natural part of the human experience.  Fear motivates us to action.  Fear is an activator of our fight or flight reflex.  Since, God has gifted us with “love, power, and sound judgment” to fight our innate fears and win, I overcome my fear with faith – the courage to do it afraid.  I choose to fight my fears by excellence and trying to make a difference in other peoples’ lives.  I choose to exist as a leader, a person who advocates for others, and a person who ensures he is noticed in the world.  People have commended me on my efforts and told me they have been helped throughout my journey.  Yet, their applause was not what I wanted; it was their friendship.  I most of all want to be remembered because to be remembered is mmortality to me.

Acknowledgement: The Third Responsibility of a Leader

“Leaders don’t inflict pain; they bear pain.” Max De Pree

People in this world need someone to acknowledge that they exist. Rene’ Descartes is noted for his saying, “I think therefore I am.” As true as that statement is, it is worthless without acknowledgement of another human being. We should note that Descartes used his interaction with people to develop his own unique views about life.

In terms of leadership and organizations, each employee needs to know that its leaders know they are on the job. Therefore, a leader has to find ways to acknowledge each employee. John Maxwell tells the story of an apprentice preacher in his organization. One day the preacher came into the office and although other employees and members of the church were in the foyer and mingling around the office area, this apprentice preacher, this would be leader, marched right past them without speaking or acknowledging their presence. John says he called the young preacher into his office to discuss his actions. He asked the young preacher why he had not bothered to acknowledge the people present on his way into his office. John said he told him, he was busy and had a lot of work to do and just wanted to dive right in. John remarked, “Those people you just ignored are your business.” Leaders should remember at all times that people are the most important asset in any organization.

According to Robert Slater (2003), one of Jack Welch’s leadership secrets is “Nurture employees who share the company’s values” (p.23). In other words, a leader has to ensure that those employees and managers who embrace the company’s goals and visions are acknowledged and affirmed in some way. According to Welch, “Give employees more responsibility, and they will make better decisions. By making your employees more accountable, you make your organization more productive” (Slater, 2003, p.25).

Leaders should use both spontaneous and systematic methods of acknowledgement to recognize its employees. But above all, a friendly greeting is crucial when leaders interact with employees at every level. “I think therefore I am” means little if no other person acknowledges that fact.

I urge leaders to ensure they acknowledge those who both support the team and those who do not. Each person is valuable in their skin. Even when they don’t support your efforts, you should still value their existence. Even when hard decisions are necessary regarding their position or continuance with the company, you should treat them with dignity and respect and thank them for the contributions they had made up to that point.

References:
De Pree, M. (2004). Leadership is an art. New York, NY: Doubleday.
Slater, R. (2003). 29 Leadership secrets from Jack Welch. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Descartes, R. (2014) Wiki “Rene’ Descartes. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rene’_Descartes