Believe what you know

Have you ever thought about the amount of information you have strolling around in your head? If you have lived any considerable amount of time on God’s green earth, chances are you have collected huge amounts of data. Most likely, you have accumulated knowledge from practically every trade and profession. Even if you do not have a degree or a journeyman’s license in a particular field of study, your brain can figure out some portion of how to perform in any given area.

What amazes me is how people can know something and second-guess themselves. It is not that people do not believe in the answer that should be given in response to a question, they simply do not trust their capacity to retain the knowledge and regurgitate it at any given time.

Insecurity is common among people who are familiar with living their lives in the bed of uncertainty. Humans are not much different from computers. In fact, computers are fabricated, artificial substitutes for human inadequacies. Just as computers are designed to receive data in order to spit out calculations and other information, humans need data to be able to think, act and react, feel and grow. Humans are not limited, computers are.

Man can think, reason, and figure out complex problems that may not have anything to do with numbers, and he can perform everything he was created by God to do. Man invented computers and all of its capabilities. Just who do you think wrote the encyclopedias, dictionaries, and came up with Google?

Humans have fashioned great architectural designs and inventions. Engineers and structural engineers calculated weights, loads, capacity, distance and other needed information for constructing well before computers and calculators entered the mind of man. Contrary to popular belief, you can do anything you think and believe you can do.

Use your mind to think and imagine and your heart to believe what you are capable of performing. Stop second-guessing yourself or waiting until you are absolutely sure before you step out on a limb, start a business, or get married.

Believe you me, you know more than you think you know; you can do more than you think you can; and you can have more than you already have. There is an old beer commercial that used to air on television that said, “You only go around once in life, so you have to reach for all the gusto you can.” I finished this phrase by saying, “From now on, I am going to be a gusto grabber.” Either you choose to go for the gold or you simply try to compete

Real Teamwork

Teamwork is a word often used by many who stand on the sideline while others actually do all the work. These people have all the advice, but no history of accomplishments. Usually, the one who mentions how people need to come together as a team is the first to declare that he or she is not interested in being a part of what they consider a weak team.

They feel that if they can help stack their team with overachievers, their chance of winning is greater. On the contrary, their chances are weak because they are actually hoping that a strong team will simply overcompensate for their weakness and mask their lack of character. Therefore, the strength of the team becomes tainted with the spirit of the critic, which will eventually show up.

True teamwork is rarely understood from the standpoint of the critical follower. These people will stand on the sideline and tell others what should be done, but they are unwilling to take the helm for fear of their criticism being discovered as sheer folly. The follower is just as important as the leader. When the leader develops a team, the team must adhere to the instructions of the leader, systematically coming together to help not only the leader, but also the team’s effectiveness.

A team does not truly exist without a leader; but a leader can never lead without followers. Every person should seek to discover ways of becoming effective as a follower before making an effort to become a leader. Good followers always make good leaders. Great followers have made great leaders; and rotten followers have become dangerous and stubborn leaders.

There is one more follower I would like to discuss before I close out this session – the silent follower. This kind of follower is quite dangerous to the overall morale of the team because they do their job, but never verbally contribute for the sake of camaraderie and building confidence in the leadership. They seldom have an opinion and are oftentimes vague when asked a question.

A good follower does not seek to do their job only, but they hunt for ways to aide others in becoming better at doing their jobs. They are fully aware of the fact that when only one out of the team accomplishes their task, it means failure for the team. As long as you are a part of a team, individual success may be applauded, but never truly respected.

People respect and history remembers men and women who sacrifice their individual accomplishments so that everyone can celebrate the team’s victory. Twelve disciples of Jesus sacrificed their dreams so that we can be redeemed to live ours.

My Protégé’s Mistake

A protégé of mine was concerned with a particular problem, and sought my thoughts because his problem needed immediate attention. He said that if he did not make a decision about the matter, it could possibly cost him a considerable about of money. My recommendation to him was to call the company first thing in the morning regarding his concession, and send an email detailing his reasons. After several days had passed, I happened to see him and inquired about his decision concerning his problem.

He said that he and his wife decided to hold off on making any decision and that they would call the company next week. I asked, “Do you think that your problem is going to go away?” He replied, “These things have a funny way of working themselves out.” My response was utter silence and I concluded the conversation with, “Good Day.”

How could people be so naïve as to think that if things are left to themselves they will evolve into something beautiful? That makes as much since as Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. The last explosion I can recall left everything affected by its force in complete ruins. Do you believe in chance?

Are you the kind of person who leaves his problems alone, thinking that somehow they will work themselves out? The person who leaves his or her life to chance simply believes in luck.

Life may hold some unfair advantages for some people if success is considered luck. Fortunately, success yields itself only to the self-disciplined, driven individual who believes that he or she can force their success. E. B. White said,

“Luck is not something you can mention in the presence of self-made men.”

God informed Joshua in the book of Joshua that if he adhered to His laws and was courageous, then he would know good success and would make his way prosperous. No marriage works without sacrifice; no business succeeds without a proven product or service; and no person overcomes their ignorance without information and applied knowledge. Therefore, get your head out of the sand and make something happen.

Lucille Ball once said,

“Luck? I don’t know anything about luck. I’ve never banked on it, and I’m afraid of people who do. Luck to me is something else: Hard work — and realizing what is opportunity and what isn’t.”

5 Powerful Leadership Principles

Leadership? Can you define leadership, and if so, how can you tell if it is active in your life? Can you give an honest, personal assessment of your leadership skills without exaggerating and exasperating the excuse column? Most people will gauge their leadership skills as favorable by using one to three creepy friends that do not have half the brain to think for themselves. My intention is not humiliate or rag on people in general, but rather to point out that when a person takes a census of their leadership abilities, they should use a few mentally healthy people. Allow me to give you what I deem as the five most powerful leadership principles in a capsule. If you will adopt these principles as your own, you are sure to be on your way to positively affecting the lives of many people. Well, without further ado, let us get down to business.

PRINCIPLE 1- Know Thyself
Knowing yourself is not only primary, but a premium also. If you are not sure of your strengths and weaknesses, you will always find yourself second-guessing yourself. Not only will this be a problem for you, but also this breeds uncertainty and insecurities. These poor qualities are an ineptitude that creates huge holes in your character. Work hard at first accepting and being responsible for your character flaws. Do not be afraid to confront your insecurities, poor people skills, and most dominant fear. At least by doing these, it can help facilitate your personal growth and increase the probability of you becoming a good leader.

PRINCIPLE 2- Survey Your Consistency Status
If others notice you as a person who seems to be constant in word and in action, this consensus reveals a powerful strength. People will not have to second-guess your actions because they realize what is normalcy with you. On the other hand, if your behavior patterns are inconsistent with words, this creates uncertainty in people on how to respond to you and increases your chances of people not liking you.

PRINCIPLE 3- Do Not Depend On Your Talent
If there is one mistake I see all potentially great leaders make is their propensity to lean on their natural talent as though that will be enough to pull him or her through the hard-pressed and difficult times. Not so, talent is not enough! Talent alone will not beat the best of your opponents. Talented people can go far, but they cannot go all the way. Understanding leadership is developing your talents for maximum effort, coupled with heart and a strong desire. Therefore, when your talent is not enough, your extra work and development will kick in to take you over the top.

PRINCIPLE 4- Increase Your Communication Skills
It is not only what you say, but also how you say it. I learned a long time ago that people rarely hear what you say; they see how you say it. Like words, gestures are communication. They both tell the listener what you mean as you speak. Your unapologetic character flaws causes people to consider your verbal flaws and actions before they decide to seriously listen to you. Work at getting all communication hindrances and debris out of the way, so that what you say, and how you say it is well thought-out by the listener; which may erase what you may have previously said or done.

PRINCIPLE 5- Seek to Influence Lives not Change Them
To try to change someone’s life is an attitude of superiority and is condescending to say the least. I often say that my aim is not to impress you, but to impress upon you the importance of what I am saying. Understanding leadership is consistent with understanding people. Good leaders realize that people do not change people. People change their own behavior based on what they see and hear. Feeding people the right stuff causes their actions to be right and vice versa. You would be surprised at how much data can be gathered to aid in the proper development of a person just by watching and hearing their leader as he or she lives their daily lives.

If there were only one word to define and describe leadership, it would be INFLUENCE.