Happy Memorial Day!

Freedom is not free.  It may be an overused statement but it is totally true and so appropriate to remember on Memorial Day.  Don’t forget the meaning of the holiday and make sure that your kids and grandkids are aware of it as well.  We live in a great country but a lot of lives have been lost for our freedom.  Just remember that as you enjoy the day and welcome the summer! 

Have a blessed holiday…    


Word Power!

Word Power!

The spoken word is so much more powerful than we know.  Words can both hurt and heal.  They can destroy and build up.  What we say can educate or simply berate.  Words can sting but they can also soothe.  We can use our words to encourage or deflate.  Our words can make someone’s day or…

The problem is that we are often too quick to spout something without thinking of its impact.  As the saying goes we speak before we think.  This often results in our words coming out on the negative side of all of the above options.  That means we can leave a trail of anger, disappointment, and hurt feelings around us. 

Consider the power of your words.  Choose them carefully.  More to the point, today consciously choose to be positive with what you say.   


Fill in the Blank!

I am a good ______________.

What comes to mind when you consider how to complete the above sentence?  Are your first thoughts about your career?  Maybe they are about a hobby or a sport.  I believe that we are all basically good.  It is important for us to remind ourselves of that, and to remind ourselves to strive to be good in the different roles in our life.  What if you had to complete the sentence and it could not be about your profession, a sport or hobby?  Think introspectively about yourself as a person.  What about things like friend, listener, and advocate?   Or what about family roles like parent, daughter or sibling?  What does it mean to you to be good in these roles?  What about just using the word person?  Think about it.  Fill in the blank about yourself and strive to live out that statement! 


Unintentional Influence (part two)

The below MMM is an oldie but a goodie!  It is a story from 2010 about my granddaughter and unintentional influence.  It is a great illustration and worth sharing again as a follow up to last week’s article on this topic.

MMM from 04.26.10

Last week the dog next door was barking incessantly, as it is prone to do.  Those of you who know me know that I am not dog person.  I went over to the wooden fence separating me from the dog and gave it a good kick and yelled something in an attempt to quiet the dog.  It worked momentarily.  Later in the week my wife tells me that the dog was barking again and my 4 year granddaughter, Grayson, kicked the fence and yelled at the dog!  Okay so I am not longer in the running for grandfather of the year.  But I also need to remind myself about unintentional influence.

Great leaders are always aware of their influence.  An obvious step is to understanding influence comes in situations that clearly require your leadership, projects, crisis’s, conflict etc.  But leadership is a 24/7 role at work and at home.  As I have said before, we are all leaders in some role or another, home, work, church, relationships, or in the community.  We all have influence.  It is our responsibility to be careful about our unintentional influence.

The story about Grayson’s action reminded how important my influence is at all times.  Grayson watches every single thing the adults around her are doing.  People we work with as business and civic leaders are watching us as well.  Not that I think they would kick the fence just because I did.  But they might do something unprofessional or disrespectful thinking it was okay if they had seen me do it.  John Maxwell speaks of the importance of intentional influence.  I think it is just as important to look at it is the inverse, unintentional influence.  I did not intend to influence Grayson when I kicked the fence.  I meant to get the dog to stop barking.  (Granted, probably a bad way to accomplish that.)  But I unintentionally influenced Grayson.  I sent her a message I did not intend to send.

Make sure your influence is positive at all times, in all situations and in front of all types of followers!  Be mindful of your unintentional influence.


Unintentional Influence

I have written before about unintentional influence.  It is the impact our behavior has on others without even knowing it, especially children.  The below says it better than I ever could.  I have seen this before and you may have as well, but it is worth sharing and it is a great reminder...  

When You Thought I Wasn't Looking
Written by a former child
Author Unknown
When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn't looking I heard you say a prayer, and I knew there is a God I could always talk to and I learned to trust in God.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don't.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn't feel good and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it's alright to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I learned most of life's lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I looked at you and wanted to say, 'Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking.'

Each of us (parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher or friend) influences the life of a child. How will you touch the life of someone today?