The Every Day Leader: Around the Table

Yesterday I blocked out an hour for a lunch meeting.   The hour lunch turned into a two-hour lunch, then into a three-hour lunch.   The same was true for my lunch the next day. In fact it seems when people stop and take time to break bread together something profound happens.

The time is never wasted.

There is something magical that happens around a table, whether food is involved or simply just a cup of coffee. When you intentionally meet with someone over a meal or coffee, relationships change.  The acquaintance becomes someone you get to know, a current relationship often grows stronger and trust starts to develop.

When I was kid, I watched my parents model this.  No matter what they were doing, if someone stopped in for coffee my parents stopped and made the time to sit down and build that relationship.  It was how neighbors kept in touch.  It is how you knew what was happening with your neighbor.  It was a different way of living back then.  Today, neighbors don’t usually stop in for a cup of coffee; and we are often too busy to invite them to.

Relationships are still built by gathering around together and one of the best way to do that is around the table. 

Every day leaders have to be intentional to seek to invite others into fellowship.  We have to be willing to take the time to build relationships. If you are in the business world it is important to connect with your employees and clients. In the non-profit world it is important to get to know those that partner with you, volunteer for you, and support you in a variety of ways is vital to your success. As individuals we can intentionally reach out to a friend or neighbor and invite them to come and sit around the table for a bit.

When was the last time you took a break from your busy day and met someone for coffee?  Maybe there is someone you know who is merely an acquaintance and you would like to get to know them better.  Perhaps it is one of your employees that you sense is struggling. Maybe it is someone who has helped you bring your dreams to life. A simple cup of coffee around the table, or the simple act of breaking bread can change that relationship forever – it will bring connectedness.

We as people long to feel cared about.  We long to feel connected.  We want those around us to really know us, more than just our name. Remember the TV show ‘Cheers’?  It was the place where everyone knew your name, just as the theme song pointed out.  Something each one of long for.

Every day leaders intentionally seek to build relationships around the table. They intentionally invite and break bread and add value to others.

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The Every Day Leader: The Hands of a Father

I grew up seeing these strong hands fix so many things on the farm. They were the hands that were always there to help when I needed him.  These hands were hands that gripped a strong cup of coffee as he talked with a neighbor. They helped out in the community and comforted others.

These hands, these very special hands were the hands of my father, gentle yet strong.

I admire my father; this quiet man lived his values out and modeled them every day. He showed us what integrity looked like, how to be trustworthy, what it means to have a strong work ethic, and how to build a strong foundation in your life.

He showed us that people always came before things and that being a person of your word should be valued above everything.

Who I am today is due to a large part of my father’s influence and what he modeled to me growing up. The life lessons have never left me and have shaped me and made who I am.

I won’t be with my father this father’s day.  We live over a thousand miles apart, yet I pray he always knows the impact that his life has had on me.

My father, an everyday leader, making a difference and impacting lives.

 Happy Father’s Day! 

May all of  you fathers be an every day leader to your family and those around you.

The everyday leader.  Choosing to live a life of intention.