The Every Day Leader: The Clacking of Time

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Somehow we always seem to think that time will never end…that it will keep on going and we have forever days.

When in fact, time has a definite beginning and ending.  We often take time for granted. We try to squeeze as much as we can into it or out of it. Other times we just waste precious moments – but we somehow always  believe that we always have more just up ahead.

But do we? 

None of us knows our tomorrow and what it will bring. 

We often hear and we even know deep down that we should embrace every moment.  We know that each moment will never come again, we cannot get it back once it is gone.

Yet, it just doesn’t seem to sink in.

Every day leaders know that each moment matters.  We know that each moment we have is a gift that cannot be squandered or foolishly wasted.  As kids the days seem to last forever, as adults they fly by each one getting faster than the other. Just ask any mother who has grown children.

The years are short, but the days are long. The moments disappear.  As much as we would like to think it is true, our time doesn’t go on forever. 

Every day leaders long to make the most of every moment that has been given to them.  They know that we each have limited days and the clacking of time passes all to quickly.

Every day leaders celebrate each moment making the most of each one of them to make a difference in the lives of others. They invest in those around them, seeking to leave a legacy far greater than themselves.

They invest not only in actions, time, words, but even in writing, knowing that through their encouragement to the next generation they are helping them succeed to do far greater things than they did.

Let us be Every Day Leaders who impart wisdom to those younger than us. Let us be intentional to mentor, guide, and encourage those that want our attention and time that we can mold them into the leaders that God intended them to be. Time indeed has an end and one day we will depart this earth but may our legacy live on in those we mentored.

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The Every Day Leader: A Year in Review

I just finished reading my last Christmas card…the day after Christmas.  I wanted to take the time to sit down in a quiet space and catch up with the notes and letters from old friends and far away family.

I read and wondered where the year went.  I thought about the many times I would get through some big event, only to have another something “big” ahead to tackle.  The days come and go seeming long at the time.  Yet, somehow the year goes by so quickly! 

The days are long, but the years are short

I couldn’t agree more.

This year, I am vowing to manage my time, just a little bit better.   Knowing that I am the only one who can do that.  I know too, that if I don’t, it affects every part of my life.  Each day offers many choices…and by saying no to some, it allows me to say yes to others.  I am learning that everyday leaders must be intentional in their choice.  I want my choices to be about making a difference, about investing in others, about being the person God has called me to be.

Today I had to make one of those choices.  I was looking forward to some time alone  and looking forward to the time to regroup.  Then the email came.  Someone needed help.  I longed to save my time for me, but also knew I would still have it.  It was an older gentleman, no food, alone, family was all away, no transportation.  Somehow, there was extra food from yesterday – even an extra ham to share.  When I stopped he was uncertain.  We talked and I gave him the items.  When I left, I had the privilege to pray with him.  I watched as he held his face with his hands, I noticed  the tears that slid down his cheeks. 

I cannot imagine what it must feel like to have been a strong provider, strong believer and yet now, finding one in a place of desperate need and feeling so alone.  I wondered if the next door neighbors had any idea, and if they did would they do something?  I wondered how his life got to this point.  I am reminded the gift we each have of time, of the opportunity to influence the life of another, to love one another.

The days are long – yet they never quite seem long enough to fit it all in.  We have good intentions, but the actions don’t always make it.  Before we know it the year is over once again.

How was your year? 

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Every day leaders savor the moments that we have been given.  We know that we must choose how we spend our moments, to balance it all out and to make our days count. We know it also means to take the time for the unexpected opportunities and the privilege to invest in another.

The Every Day Leader: Live Like That

Sidewalk Prophets have a great song that reminds me to live out what I believe….

Sometimes I think
What will people say of me
When I’m only just a memory
When I’m home where my soul belongs

Was I love
When no one else would show up
Was I Jesus to the least of those
Was my worship more than just a song

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I’ll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that

Don’t you just love those words?

I want to be recklessly abandoned, never holding back.  To live in such a way people see and know who I am.

It is the reminder that we are more than simply the words we speak: what is in our hearts matters,  our BEHAVIOR matters.

Have you ever heard the saying don’t do what I do, do what I say?  It doesn’t have much of a lasting impact, does it?   People are not wired to follow hypocrisy but we run hard after authenticity. We will follow leaders whose walk and talk is consistent and who live out their beliefs for all to see without compromising.

Actions ALWAYS speak louder than words.

This is true for our employees, our volunteers, for our neighbors, and it is true for our clients or customers.  It is true for anyone we have the opportunity to influence.

How do others see you?

Know what you believe without a doubt. Live it out LOUD.

Every Day Leaders live a life that others what to follow.  Being intentional to make a difference

The Every Day Leader: Guarding YOUR heart

There are many things that can come from our heart.  We can try to hide things deep inside, but eventually they work their way out.  Bitterness, hurt, unforgiveness, hate…they are difficult to hide.

On the flip side the good things…love, kindness, joy, forgiveness are things that ooze out in a way that cannot be contained.

For those that know you, what would they say flows from your heart?

 Love?

Hate?

Kindness?

 Bitterness?

Forgiveness?

To be a person of influence Every Day Leaders need to know what is in our heart.  We need to know that we must be intentional to deal with the difficult things in life that cause heartache.  We also know all too well that left uncared for, these very things can fester and have huge consequences on everything we do.

Reflect. Search. Choose.  And know what comes from our heart is what can make a difference in the life of another. Every day leaders know that what is on the inside matters most.

The Every Day Leader: TIME OUT!

 

The empty bench. What stories it could tell.

The bench can symbolize loneliness or time alone, moments of relaxation or contemplation.  Regardless the reason, taking time away  is a powerful tool, one that is almost always needed.  This is true especially when we go through hard times or need time to replenish.

Have you noticed that there seems to always be a bench nearby?  When was the last time you took advantage of a bench and took some time away? The hard times of life that we go through seem to affect us the most.  Those circumstances can have a positive or a negative affect on us, but rarely leaves us untouched.  I have met many people on my journey that have been through hard times and are still positive with an incredibly joyous spirit. 

On the flip side, I have also met many other people who have been through the tough times of life and are still holding on to the hurt, resentment or even bitterness.  Instead of letting the hard times make them stronger they let it define who they are and who they have become.

                      In both situations the hard times have left an impact.

How is it that people are affected so differently? Going through the tough times and coming out better requires us to be intentional in our behavior and attitude.  We must consciously think about how we are and how we will respond.  We can’t just leave it to chance or do nothing.

We must be intentional to decide and to do something.

 Will you respond by being bitter or better? 

This is a phrase many of us have heard before.  The difference between the two is being intentional to choose how we want to live, think and speak.

Oftentimes it means taking the time, time we don’t think we have,  and getting away to reflect.

Taking time alone is vital to who we are as leaders.   Time away to reflect or contemplate renews us.  It is during this time that we think through the circumstances and make conscious choices.  It is also a time that we take care of ourselves. We cannot give to others what you don’t have.

It is only in those quiet alone times that we get renewed. It is making time to sit on that bench for a personal retreat, whether it’s a few hours or a whole day. It is intentionally saying I can only be at my best when I plan to take time away, to surround myself with things that feed my soul and spirit, that energize and inspire me or to make decisions about the things we are facing. We are more creative, more understanding and patient, and are better leaders when we take a time out and invest in ourselves.

 Everyday leaders long to be at their best.  We know that life can be hard and is messy.  We know that life is unpredictable.  Yet, we also know that God has given all of us the ability to choose how we will respond to those circumstances.

Everyday leaders, choosing to be better instead of bitter, even in the tough times.  Intentionally planning personal retreat time and investing in ourselves so that we can be better for others and make a difference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Every Day Leader: Finding Meaning

Work. We all have to do it; in fact most of us will spend 35-40% of our day working. I recently read a quote that read: “life without meaningful work is meaningless”. I have been thinking about this quote all week, it has made a huge impact on me.

Are you just going through the motions each day?

So many people work at jobs that they are not passionate about. Can it still be meaningful? Can any job be meaningful?

No matter where we are or what we are doing we can intentionally choose to find meaning. As we do this we are not only impacting those around us as an every day leader, but we are also enhancing our own lives! We begin to embrace every moment that has been given to us. Our lives take on a new meaning because we know we are being used to make a difference. This happens in our jobs, at home, wherever we are.

As every day leaders I believe that when we are intentional we begin to think differently. Our eyes are opened to the many places and ways that God can use us to make a difference.

It starts with us.

It starts with a willing heart and an attitude of wanting to make a difference, to make our lives count, to have purpose in each day.

The Every day leader chooses to find meaning in their work and have purpose in their lives. Living differently, seeing life differently, choosing to make a difference.

The Every Day Leader: Olympic Team Work

It is estimated that over 3 billion people will watch the Olympics this year.  It is no wonder why we love to watch the best athletes in the world, cheering them on and cheering on our countries.

In a grueling re-match of last year’s world cup, the USA Women’s Soccer team beat Japan 2-1. They came to win and win they did… THE GOLD! This team had to work together, they had to overcome some BIG personalities,  and they had to work as a single unit.

 Alex Morgan’s face says it all after she kicked the winning goal.

The soccer team was especially dear to all the folks where I live in Georgia as our hometown girl was on the team, Kelly O’Hara.

Don’t we all wish the teams we worked with would have such discipline and dedication to work like the athletes of the Olympics?  The girl’s soccer team didn’t miss a beat; they set their sights on the gold medal and were not deterred.  If they did not work together – they wouldn’t have had a chance.

 As Every Day Leaders we know that a successful team is only successful when the team works together.  It takes discipline, dedication, and a leader that clearly is trusted and steps up to lead.  Just like the soccer team, when the team works together it is a beautiful picture.

Is this really realistic for the business world?

 After all, most of our teams are made up of very different people, with different personalities, skills, styles, and often times our teams are virtual and span different countries. 

 How do we get teams to move through our organizations with effortless strides?

A successful team always starts with their leader.  It is the leader that sets the culture of the organization that shows he/she values each member of the team and has that same expectation for the team members to value each other. 

 We show this by taking time and investing in our teams.  We develop a reputation that we can be trusted, that we know what is best for each team member because we know them. The team trusts the leader because the leader has demonstrated consistent behavior and words that they can count on.

 How is your team?

 There are countless books and training to help each of us as we lead.  It starts with us.  We set the stage as every day leaders.  This is true in any of our environments that we are a part of.

 Just like the soccer team, I believe it is realistic to have successful teams that don’t miss a beat.  It takes work, discipline and being intentional.

 That’s what we do as every day leaders.  Act intentionally.  Lead intentionally.  Set a culture of trust and value. 

Every day leaders, seeking to make a difference in the lives of others, setting our sights on the gold and getting it.

WAY TO GO USA WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM!