Lord, help me to do the things every day that will keep my energy high so that I can lead my team with passion. Amen.
I choose to spend some time in Arizona in the winter for a number of reasons. It is warmer than Minnesota. It gives me a chance to do a fair amount of writing, develop new servant leadership curriculum for the upcoming year, and catch up on some reading of leadership books. But most importantly it gets me re-focused on my Extreme Self Care Plan. All these things help me build my personal energy!
I recently completed climate surveys with all of my coaching clients. I wanted to find out how I could improve in the service I provide them as their coach.
The one common piece of feedback I received was they wanted me to be more diligent in holding them accountable. We end each coaching session with action items, and they invited me to be tougher on insuring they complete their commitments.
I encountered another reason for Apple’s wildly successful organization this week. It was a case of true servant leadership versus self-serving leadership. I hope by sharing this I can save you some of the trouble and stress that I encountered.
When I opened my web browser one time this week, I received a pop-up message that looked very official. It said that my computer had been compromised, and that I needed to call this number right away. It provided an error code that I needed to give the technician when I called. This pop-up would not shut down, so it felt like I had to deal with this before I could do anything else on my computer.
I had a disturbing comment made to me this past week. I had mentioned that I was going to be listening for God’s voice and guidance on a buying decision. The sales representative said, “Mark, I think God has more important things to deal with.”
The more I thought about that, the more it bothered me. I felt bad for this individual that he felt that he could only take really serious, important things to God for his guidance and consideration. I wondered how you would determine when something qualified?
I am heading into 2016 with great anticipation, just like I enter every New Year. I am excited to release two books, as well as continue to serve as many leaders as possible helping them to become the servant leaders they want to be. I also want to continue to enhance my personal development by doing more reading, as well as my physical well being by being more consistent on my exercise.
I go in with this anticipation, knowing full well that all things might not go just as planned. I went into 2007 with the same excitement, and had no idea that by the end of that year Banta Corporation, who I had worked for the past 20 years, would be sold and everything would change. We need to know that challenges will arise. How we deal with those challenges will impact our leadership moving forward.
My wife and I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas in a quiet fashion this year. Both our boys and their families were at in-laws so we were on our own. This provided an opportunity to really reflect on the leadership lessons of Christmas.
I am overwhelmed at the love that was within God to send (sacrifice) his only son down to earth. Think about that. We feel it is a sacrifice to allow our children to be with in-laws at Christmas. God sent his son away from the perfection and bliss in heaven to come down to this sin-ridden earth to save us from our life of sin while providing us a model for servant leadership.
Christmas is a great time of the year to reflect on your leadership and discern how you can continue to improve in the upcoming year. In that spirit I offer:
A Servant Leader’s 12 Days of Christmas Leadership Lessons (+3 Bonus Days)
It is simply impossible to become a great servant leader if you are not an outstanding communicator. I am not referring to the ability to talk well, or give great speeches. I am referencing the importance of achieving effective communication results.
I can think of examples in my career when I communicated well, and when I did not do such a great job. It went well when I was closely connected to the concerns and needs of the receivers, and adapted the message to meet those needs. Anytime I simply pushed my own agenda without regard for the receivers, I might as well have been talking to myself. The message would not be heard as I intended.
Are you feeling a tad overwhelmed with all that is on your plate to complete before the end of the year? I know I am finding myself feeling somewhat stressed right now. Seems like that is the case every year at this time.
In stepping back and thinking about the best way to finish the year strong I look to a great example of how the Apostle Paul talks about finishing strong. He says in his 2nd letter to Timothy, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” He was talking about the end of his life, which this certainly pertains to, but if I break it down to each year, I figure it will translate to my life as well.
What can leaders learn from Advent, the season of preparation of the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior? Just as Jesus birth revolutionized and changed the world, servant leaders can also significantly impact the culture in which they live and operate.
We are currently seeing people all over the globe trying to take back the world, as they feel it is God’s calling on their life to do so. Extremists from every religion have been in the news, as they feel that you can take back the world through protest, violence, and other extreme measures.