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Leadership

Three Indications a Story is Becoming a Rumor

By | Communication, Leadership, Relationships, Technology and Social Media | No Comments
We’re drowning in stories. Whether you’re scrolling through your social media feed, or watching the news, it seems like every lead-in starts with: “you won’t believe this…”

There’s power in a story. Stories hook and keep our attention better than concepts or ideas alone. And they have a way of motivating us to action. Writers and content producers know that.

Think about the last few stories you read online. Chances are they pointed you in a direction. They led you toward a conclusion, or inspired you to take action.  And there’s nothing wrong with that… so long as the story is really accurate.

But what if the story isn’t completely true? What if the story is just correct enough to be powerful, but wrong enough to be misleading? Then we call the story a rumor. And, generally speaking, we all hate rumors.

But how do you know the difference? When does a story become a rumor?

I’ve reviewed some of the research, and I’ve developed this short list: Read More

Five Questions that Will Make You Look Like a Communication Pro

By | Communication, Conflict, Leadership, Life Challenges, Marriage, Relationships | No Comments
The best kept secret about how to communicate in a tense conversation is this: forward movement will usually happen because of something you hear, not because of something you say.

I have written in my books and on this blog about the fact that when conversations turn sharp, it usually ends in two people talking (sometimes very loudly) and no one listening.  Arguments and heated exchanges often do nothing to move the ball down the field, and do far too much to elevate your heart rate, blood pressure, and overall stress level.  And what’s the point of that? Read More

Wise, Foolish, and Evil People – How Can You Tell the Difference?

By | Goals, Leadership, Life Challenges, Marriage, Ministry, Parenting, Relationships | No Comments
Years ago, Dr. Henry Cloud introduced me to the idea that there are three kinds of people in this world: wise, foolish, and evil. I love that observation! It comes straight from the book of Proverbs where the Bible outlines the difference between each of these life paths. The wise person is headed for a bright and exciting future, the fool a life of hardship and frustration, and the evil person a fittingly disastrous and tragic end.

This is very important for those of us who parent, coach, lead teams, supervise, hire, fire, or are in any other type of authority role. We need to be able to quickly recognize the difference between these life patterns, because they massively impact the future of our families, teams, and organizations. Read More

the “Believer”

By | Communication, Conflict, Leadership, Life Challenges, Marriage, Parenting, Relationships | No Comments
Henry Ford changed the world.  He didn’t invent the automobile, but he figured out how to design, build, and mass-produce one that America could afford and wanted to drive.

He was undeniably brilliant, with a mind that seemed to be custom-built for the industrial age.  He was at once an inventor, designer, and production engineer.  If he hadn’t been a dreamer as well, he might have ended up just another cog in the fast-growing machine of industry.  But in the early days of Ford’s adult life, he did have a dream.  A big one.

When not at work, he spent endless hours in a little garage in which he and a few friends endlessly tinkered and experimented with the technologies they believed could combine to create a working prototype vehicle.  In those days, Ford was just another hobbyist, playing around with the dream of building a car.  He was not the billionaire captain of industry that we now think of when we think of Ford.  He was not internationally respected as a pioneer of mechanics.  He was just a man spending his evening hours mucking around in oil and grease, trying out ideas that might or might not lead to something. Read More

What Do You Think of Me?

By | Leadership, Life Challenges, Marriage, Ministry, Relationships | No Comments
A few nights ago, I was taking my wife to get a cup of coffee at the local Panera.  I was getting ready to turn left into the parking lot, but waiting for the traffic to clear, when I heard a horn honking from behind me.

As I looked in my rear view mirror, I could see a lady in the minivan motioning for me to move into what she obviously thought was a turning lane.  It wasn’t.  I had a double yellow line, and if I’d moved into the lane she was suggesting, I might have been in the path of oncoming traffic.

I quickly responded by glaring into the rear view mirror and giving this lady my best “Look lady, I’m following the laws of the road.  If you don’t like waiting on me to turn, why don’t you just go around?” face.  Somehow I don’t think she got the message.  She responded with her best “You’re an idiot” face.

This, of course, happened within the span of just a few seconds.  Very quickly, the cross lane cleared and I was able to turn into the parking lot and park.

What surprised me was how hard it was to let those few seconds go.  What if that lady did think I was an idiot?  I thought.

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Before You Say Yes…

By | Goals, Leadership, Life Challenges | No Comments
Don’t you love that feeling of a promising new opportunity?  There’s terrific excitement packed into that new job offer, new dating relationship, new house, or new business partnership.  But sometimes the excitement of new possibilities can eclipse our common sense. Read More

Book Review – The Entitlement Cure by Dr. John Townsend

By | Authors and Books, Book Reviews, Leadership, Life Challenges, Relationships | No Comments
A couple of years ago I was attending a one-week intensive training for counselors led by Drs. John Townsend and Henry Cloud.  Dr. Townsend was in the middle of a lecture when he mentioned that he was working on a new book.
“I’m writing a book about the fact that the hard way is usually the right way…” he said, “I’m going to address the issue of entitlement, and what it costs our lives, our families, and our culture.”
Immediately, I knew I had to get my hands on this book.  This topic was screaming to be addressed.  And I knew if anyone could do it well, it was Dr. Townsend.

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How to Bounce Back After a Mistake

By | Goals, Leadership, Life Challenges | No Comments
I am personally convinced that one of the biggest differences between leaders and losers is what they do after they make a mistake.  Successful people manage to use their mistakes to go further in life.  They take a hard look at what each misstep can teach them, they learn those important lessons, adapt, grow, and become better at what they do.  Losers, on the other hand, fight the lessons that mistakes can teach.  Because they feel entitled to success, they struggle to embrace the reality of their failures.  We all fail.  The key to a powerful life lies in how we recover from failure.

 

So, how do you bounce back after a mistake?  Here’s five key steps that will get you back on your feet: Read More

Your Most Powerful Communication Tool

By | Communication, Goals, Leadership, Ministry | 2 Comments
I’m obsessed with communication.  Whether I’m on stage giving a talk, or having a casual conversation with my wife at the end of a workday, my goal is to share a message that is important to me, and have the other person hear, understand, and remember it.

But not all methods of communication are equal.  I learned this while writing a sermon a few weeks ago.
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