The Every Day Leader: Hidden

What is it about white picket fences that we like them so much? Stories are written about them, little girls dream of growing up and owning homes with them and often times we are drawn to houses that have them. There is something special about seeing a pristine white picket fence around a house.

When we moved into our house, I was thrilled to have a little white picket fence around the back yard.  When I look at it,  I am filled with warm memories of growing up on a farm.

This fence looks beautiful from the back porch, all nice and white with a few plants growing along the side to enhance the look.

An up close look though tells a very different story.  When you look closely at some of the boards you will see that many of those boards are rotting and some are even broken off at the bottom.  If you push a little too hard, you might just push all the way through! 

What looks beautiful on the outside… IS NOT what you see on the inside.

This can be true of us Every Day Leaders too. We  often look fabulous on the outside! We have just the right look and talk, our actions seem to say we are leaders but what you may find on the inside is far different.  Our outside is nothing more than a facade, hiding our true selves.

 As Every Day Leaders seeking to live a life of intention, our lives should look the same on the inside as the outside.  If we claim to be someone with integrity… is that reflected all the time, even when no one is watching? Integrity is doing the right thing ALL the time. It is being who you say you are and doing what you said you have done, this includes on paper too.

If we say you can trust us, does this change depending upon the situation, the person we are with, or the opportunity presented? Trust is hard to get, easy to lose, and extremely difficult to get back. Customers are often lost over broken trust and employees are less productive when they don’t trust their leadership.

When we say that we care about someone, is it only for the moment or are we  willing to truly show that we care even if it means being inconvenienced? Words are easy to say but do our actions speak loudly that we do care about those we lead? Do we take the time  to show them by getting to know our employees and those around u?. Do we take time to help them work in their strengths to be more successful? Or is it all about our success and how they can help us achieve it? As a leader when you truly care for those you lead, you will do everything possible to help them be successful, knowing their success is your success.

If I am going to follow someone, I want to know who they are, not just who they say they are. I want to know they are consistent and that their words and actions are the same.

What image are you portraying to others? What things do you say and do to create that image?

The picket fence is a great reminder to us as leaders that looking good to others on the outside is not all we want to be or should strive for.  We should always strive to be the same on the inside as what others see on the outside.

Our character counts.  Not the way we look or dress, what we own, or even our position, but what really counts is that which is deep inside us. And that which is deep inside us will always define us. It is this character that is inside us that is the true influence on the lives of those around us. 

The Every Day Leader, living a life of intention, being our best selves – inside and out.



The Every Day Leader: STAND OUT!

Ever pick out your favorite colors in M&M’s when you eat them?  Are you drawn to a particular color?  Statistically, the company puts the highest number of blue in each container…in fact 24% in each bag.  Can you guess the least amount?  Yep, brown, an average of 13%.  Any guesses as to why blue is favored over brown?  I don’t have the answers, but have my own theory.

Blue stands out

We are drawn to people for the same reason. We are often drawn to those people who stand out. It may not be because they are loud or outgoing, or because they are some great leader by position, or because of their following or even their money.  It might be because of their gentle quiet spirit, or maybe it is how they consistently love people.  They may stand out because of their guidance and leadership to those around them.  Whatever it is, we all see it.  They are different.  They are the everyday leaders around us that stand out because of who they are and not for what they do.

These every day leaders are leading and influencing those around them in powerful ways.  Perhaps it is by mentoring another.  Maybe they are influencing someone by tutoring a high risk child.  They may be the leader in a ministry or a business,  leading a few or leading many; regardless, they are making a difference in the lives of others.

Go ahead try it…Stand out. 

We are drawn to those who stand out  by how they behave, how they think, how they respond, their integrity, their words, and their discipline. We know we  can trust them, they have a servant heart and model it. We can count on consistent decisions and a strong confidence.

 We are drawn to their character.

Just like the blue M&M’s stand out, I long to be that everyday leader that people are drawn to because of my character.  I long to be someone who people can count on,  someone who influences the people in my life.  I want to make a difference today.

What about you?  Are you willing to settle to be among the brown M&M’s or do you have the courage to stand out and be bold like the blue M&M’s?  It is never to late to be the best you can be.

Start today.  Stand out. 

Be the Every Day Leader living a life of intention and make a difference.


The Every Day Leader: Weathering the Storms

The Midwest is known for its flat lands with hardly any trees in sight.  So when I moved to the South I was in awe of how many  trees lined the landscapes.  You could not turn from one side to the other without seeing trees!

When a tree has a strong root system, the deep roots provide nourishment and allow it to survive heat, wind, and storms.  It will even stay green, exhibiting life and vitality because of the strong root system that provides the moisture and nutrients it needs from deep within the ground.  In contrast, the trees that grow in clusters often have their roots close to the surface; their trunks are thin as they compete for vital nutrients. They are often the first to fall in a storm.

Intentional leaders will never know their strength as a leader until they have weathered the storms. They will never know what they are made of and how far their roots go down until adversity strikes and they are put through the test.  How are you when the unexpected happens? When someone attacks your character?  When you have lost what is most important to you?  How do you respond?  How we react is based on how strong our foundation is.   How we respond reflects the very character of who we are.

Character comes in being rooted firmly in who you are and knowing what you can and cannot do.  If it is your integrity that has been attacked, are you quick to set the record straight or can you rest, knowing that truth is all that matters?  If the unexpected happens, do you accept it with grace, knowing that God is in control or do you fall apart?

Maybe you haven’t thought about the foundation of your life, because you have never had to.  Living as an intentional leader means living everyday using all that has been given to us to the fullest.  It means thinking ahead.  It means being ready for the storms.   It means being strong.  It means knowing who you are.  It is living everyday a life of intention, a life that makes a difference.

Live intentionally.

Build a strong foundation and withstand the storms of life.