Friday, August 24, 2012

Becoming a Difference Maker

I have never met anyone who admitted that they did not want to make a difference in this world.  While I have met some whose lives demonstrate otherwise, most people would say that they do want to make a difference in the world, at least in the lives of those in their world.  The problem is that most people don’t know how.  Here are four essentials to becoming a difference maker.

1.  Determine You’re Identity.
You must clarify exactly who and what you are.  Have you ever had an identity crises?  Charles Haffey of Lake City, FL did.  He wanted to change his name.  He petitioned the Columbia County Court for a name change.  They turned him down because he wanted to change his name to God.

There are many definitions of success.  Here is my definition of success.  Success is...

Knowing my identity: being who God created me to be.
Fulfilling my purpose: doing what God created me to do.

The first part of that definition is key because before you can fulfill your purpose in life, you must be who God created you to be.  Do not try to be someone else.

2.  Determine To Take Responsibility
I cannot blame others for my life’s circumstances or direction.  I must take responsibility for my own life.  We live in a time where everybody is a victim.  People cry out, “I’m a victim because life isn't fair.”  Well, no kidding.  Here’s a newsflash.  Life is not fair.  This is not heaven.  We live in an imperfect world.  If you really want to be a difference maker, you must take responsibility for the direction of your life.

3.  Determine Your Priorities.
I've got to settle the question, What is really important in life?  In his book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” one of the laws that John Maxwell mentions is “The Law of Sacrifice.”  The Law of Sacrifice says “I must give up to go up.”  Maxwell calls it a leadership law, but I believe it’s simply a law of life.  If you want to move up in life,  if you’re going to fulfill your God given purpose and reach your God given potential,  you’re going to be faced with some tough decisions of sacrifice - “What am I going to give up so I can move up?”

4.  Determine Your Authority.
Everybody lives under authority.  That’s not a choice.  We all live under some authority. But we do have a choice in who the ultimate authority in our life will be.  I can choose who's going to be in charge of my life.  That's the bottom line.  That's the issue of authority.  Who's really going to be in charge of my life?  Jesus said You cannot have two masters in life.  One day you will stand before God and you will give an account of your life.  He's going to ask, "Who was in charge of your life?  Who was number one in your life?  I made you but I gave you the choice.  Who or what did you choose?"

Friday, August 17, 2012

No Confidence - No Leadership

Without confidence leadership does not exist. Trying to lead without having the confidence to lead is like building a house on a foundation of sand.  Leadership will eventually come crumbling down.  When all is said and done leadership is about having the confidence to make decisions. Fear in decision making will ultimately lead to failure in leadership. Confidence is contagious.  If the leader is confident then those he or she leads will grow to have confidence in the leader.

Joshua in the Bible took over the reigns of leadership from Moses.  At first he didn’t have confidence.  Many times God had to encourage Joshua to “be strong and courageous.”   Joshua lacked confidence for two reasons; the person he followed and the task that was given him.  First, he followed the greatest leader in the Old Testament - Moses.  He had big shoes to fill.  He wasn’t sure he could lead as well as Moses.  Secondly, God had given him the task of going in and taking “The Promised Land.”  This land was occupied by seven other nations much larger and stronger than Israel.  Joshua wasn’t sure he was up to the task.  How did he ultimately gain the confidence to lead and complete the task?  How can you create confidence?

1. Get rid of doubt: Doubt is the single greatest enemy of confidence.  It limits your potential.  It causes procrastination.  Most people believe their doubts and doubt their beliefs.  Why don't you believe your beliefs and doubt your doubts?

2. Forget past failures: Fear of failure paralyzes too many people.  We all fail.  Failing does not make one a failure.  Failing to get up and move on is what makes one a failure.

3. Don’t compare yourself to others: When we start comparing ourselves to others we will always find some who are better than us and we can always find some who are not as good as us.  You were born with a personality, gifts, and talents that make you uniquely you.  Only you can lead like you.  Start leading the way you were created to lead.

4. Start Leading: There comes a point in time where you have to make the move.  As the old Nike slogan says, “Just Do It!”  You will never gain confidence in leadership until you start leading.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Winning Team

I have really enjoyed watching the first week of the Olympics.  It has been fun to watch Michael Phelps add four gold and two silver medals to his count.  It was amazing to watch Gabrielle Douglas win gold in the women’s gymnastics all around finals.  I enjoyed watching Missy Franklin, Allison Schmitt, Ryan Lochte, and all the others win gold in swimming.

I am impressed with all of these who won individual events, but when you look at the story behind each one of these individual medal winners, they all have one common characteristic.  They didn’t reach this level of achievement on their own.  They were a part of a larger team of people who helped them to reach gold.  As I watched interviews following their victories, virtually everyone of these gold medalists credited their success to others who helped them along the way.  They admitted that without the help of family, coaches, teammates, training partners, etc., they would not have been able to win.

John Maxwell states in his book, The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, “The belief that one person can do something great is a myth.”  He goes on to write, “Frontiersman Daniel Boone had companions from the Transylvania Company as he blazed the Wilderness Road.  Sheriff Wyatt Earp had his two brothers and Doc Holliday looking out for him.  Aviator Charles Lindbergh had nine businessmen from St. Louis and the services of Ryan Aeronautical Company, which built his plane.”  The truth is, no one reaches success without the help of others.

How do you build a winning team?  What makes a winning team?  Why do some teams seem to go straight to the top while others seem to go nowhere?  These are the questions we will be seeking to answer in my new Mastermind Course on John Maxwell’s book, The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork.   My passion is to help teams win.  If you want to learn how to build a winning team let me encourage you to sign up for this course. Go to