The Every Day Leader: Rising Above

In 1931 a gentleman name J.T. Lang gave the term “tall poppy” to those on government salaries that earned a high amount.  A tall poppy is referred to someone who is successful in their field.  From that, folks from Australia have coined a new phrase over the years called “the tall poppy syndrome”.

It is a term referred to one pulling another down that is more successful – especially if they show the slightest bit of imperfection.

It somehow makes us feel better about ourselves.

I didn’t know the term until many years ago – but I have known people to do this, known what it feels like to have it done to me and also know how easy it is to get pulled into being a part of it.

The tall poppy syndrome shows it face when someone appears better at something than you…we become jealous.  When we can find a flaw in that person, it becomes an instant way to bring them down a notch…maybe even down to the level we are at.


Sometimes, all that is needed is awareness that we are capable of doing this.

Can you think of someone now that you are just a little jealous of?  Their skills?  Their looks?  Their position?  How do you handle that?  Are you the one that points out something negative about them or do you celebrate with them?

Ever since I have heard of the term, I have been more conscious of thinking of the tall poppy.  Someone may be a better communicator, a better leader, a better dresser…a better anything.  I am instantly reminded of the tall poppy.

Leaders intentionally celebrate the gifts of others.  They congratulate, they encourage and they look up to them, rather than bringing them down to their level.  We know the importance of not only our words, but our thoughts. Thoughts lead to actions.

When we are intentional even in our thought life, we are better people.  We have new opportunities to influence another. 

We know to celebrate the tall flowers that come up, knowing that God has made us all unique.  It’s what we do…celebrate others success.

Next time, when you are tempted to critique the tall poppy that is doing something better than you…may you be reminded of the beauty they bring, as well as the beauty you bring. 

Every day leaders share successes, knowing that we make a difference when we celebrate together.

The Every Day Leader: Happy Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day.  For some of us this is a great day that reminds us of the incredible love we have had from our mother.  It may also remind us of the gift of our own children. 

Yet for some, this day may bring memories of sadness due to a loss of their mother or child. It may be sadness for not having a relationship at all or even having a strained one with their child or mother.  Maybe it’s a hurt from having an estranged child.  Whatever the reason, Mother’s Day can be a day that reminds us of a heartache that is all too real and testifies to the messiness of life.

My mother gave me an amazing gift… unconditional love. The gift of having someone love you and invest in your life in a way far beyond what I could have ever imagined. I think back and I never doubted the love of my mother, no matter what, her love was there for me regardless of what I did.  She modeled before me what true love was.  It was through that example that I was able to model this  to my own children.

I have met many who never grew up with the kind of love that I had from my mother, yet God has blessed their lives by giving them this incredible gift of love by another.  A person who was willing to invest in them, love them, teach them, train them, hold them accountable, pray for them, listen to them, encourage them, spend time with them, and be there no matter what.

These individuals are our every day leaders. They have chosen to invest in the lives of another and make a difference where they can, instead of selfishly holding back.

How about you? Is there someone in your life you can invest in? Someone, who would benefit greatly by your time, guidance, and wisdom? Each day God gives us opportunities all around us to be used to make a difference. Imagine the impact you could have on just one life if you lived intentionally, willing to pour yourself into another.

Investments take time, it could be just one hour a month or an hour a week, but the rewards are eternal.  The time you take can change a life forever.  Is this not what we are put on this earth for?  God calls us to connect with others, to walk with them on their journey of life – no matter what that journey holds.

Making an investment in the life of another will come at a cost.  It will cost you to be vulnerable to another, real and authentic. It may mean having to confront in love when misunderstandings happen.  But in the end, it will be a cost well spent. You will not be disappointed.

 I challenge and encourage you today to seek out that person to invest in.  Your investment could be life changing!

I want to be that person. I want to be the one that intentionally seeks out someone to pour my life into knowing that the gain is far greater than any loss.


The Every Day Leader: The Simple Leader

Corrie Ten-Boom, A quiet, everyday person willing to do what she thought was right.  She never saw herself as a person of influence – yet she had a huge impact on the lives of many, simply by speaking from her heart. I have been fascinated since High School by the life of this every day leader, who never knew the legacy she would leave.

Corrie Ten-Boom, along with her family, hid Jews from the Nazis during the war and was later captured and ended up in the concentration camps.  Despite all she endured, she always took the high road.  She loved others, no matter what they had done to her.  She forgave.  She kept the right attitude, even during the worst of it all.  She remained thankful in all things, even in a concentration camp!

She was as simple a leader as you could get. It wasn’t about what she looked like, what she wore or even saying the right words. She understood that life and people are a gift and often that is all we have. It is our choice how we manage that gift that has been given to us.  She also knew that she could sit back and do nothing and be safe or she could jump in and do something and make a difference in the life of another.

Corrie Ten-Boom.  Simple.  Quiet.  Obedient.  Everyday Leader.  Lasting Impact on the Lives of Many.

What about you? Each of us is given a sphere of influence, what are YOU going to do with yours? Are you willing to be all that you can be and make a difference, never knowing what legacy you may leave behind?

This every day leader wants to live like that!