Living a life of alignment [New Blog Post]

We all have a definition of what we believe success to be.

The question is, Does our description of success line up with God’s definition of success for our life?

True success is not a destination but a journey of our lives becoming more and more aligned to God.

Alignment happens when we live a life in joyful, willing obedience to Him, this is where we find fulfillment, purpose, and meaning.

So where do we begin?

We start by becoming acutely aware of how our daily choices align with the Bible.

Our habits and daily choices reveal the things we value and highlight what we deem important.

Our priorities are the things we do every day.

When we examine our lives through the lens of the Bible, our selfish ambitions and worldly desires are brought to light and revealed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Gently He prompts us to realign and move toward Him.

The Spirit’s nudge is His loving guidance directing us toward His definition of success, living a life submitted to Gods desire for our life.

This is the safest and most successful way to live.

So where do go after the nudge of the Spirit?

I have realized that if I don’t have a plan and a strategy to overcome areas of my life that are misaligned with God best for me, I will NEVER fully reach my potential that God has designed for me in this life.

We have to define the WHAT realignment God is calling us into and design actionable steps to define the HOW of living it out.

If God is speaking to you to move away from the pursuit of more to align you with His giving heart (Your WHAT), you may develop a strategy to give some of your possessions away to those in need. (Your HOW to live out the Spirit’s nudge)

Every spirit unction calls for actionable function.

The great news is God has your best in mind and is for us and not against us. His desire is for you to live your best life, a life of Godly success.

Philippians 2:13 says (NLT)
13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Jesus WANTS us to live a successful life according to His word, and He empowers us to do it by His Spirit!

Godly success does not promise a life free from pain and struggle, what Godly success does promise is that you will find real joy, meaning, and fulfillment as you align your life with His best for you.

Question: How do you define success and how is God’s Spirit nudging you to a retirement with Him? Leave a comment below. 

There’s a system to everything [New Blog Post]

 

Today you woke up and followed a system. You got out of bed, jumped in the shower, got dressed, ate breakfast, brushed your teeth and out the door you went.

Have you ever been late to work? Did you forget to set your alarm? Did you hit the snooze button one too many times?

Why do I bring up these examples?

Because there is a system to everything, we do. Most of the systems we follow are learned habitual habits ingrained in us from childhood, so we haven’t needed to stop and document our processes.

For most of us, this is not the case with our work.
Most of our workflow processes are not identified, well thought out, or well executed.

We are usually running too hard too fast to stop and physically document the significant steps in the processes we use.

How do you prepare for a meeting you are leading?
What do you do with the notes you take at meetings? Do you take notes at meetings?

They key question is “Have you identified the next steps you need to take to ensure that you and your team reach your end goal with the least amount of hiccups.

Have you ever had a team member drop the ball on something?

What happened?

Did they forget to send an email, call a client, clearly cascade a message? Whatever it was, you can trace it back to a step in a process/system that was missed or skipped.

Productivity and efficiency fall apart when we circumvent steps in the system.

Dropped balls will occur. We are human. We forget things in the midst of our busy schedules. No matter how organized you are, you will forget to do something.

All the more reason to identify the steps we need to follow for our most important tasks.

 

Question: What important tasks do you need to document?

The pursuit of right answers over being right [New Blog Post]

 

Admitting when we are wrong can be difficult. Our ego is easily offended when our ideas are challenged. When it comes to being effective and achieving great results, ego is the enemy.

The key to achieving great results and making a huge impact is the pursuit of right answers over being right.

No matter your position, CEO or custodian, everyone has great ideas they can bring to the conversation when working in collaboration as a team. Now, not every custodial decision needs input from the CEO and vice-versa.

The objective is to create the space needed for deep dialog that pursues results over being right.

I’ve been in meetings where I raised my voice and argued my position, and luckily there were others in the room willing to do the same. We were open to other possibilities; we were able to argue our positions and also acknowledge the ways we were also wrong.

The team was more concerned with right answers over being right.

Kim Scott in her book “Radical Candor” shares about creating these types of environments.

She says:
“Make it safe to “speak truth to power” at all levels of the organization; encourage your team to tell you when you are wrong.
If a person is bold enough to criticize you, do not critique their criticism. At Apple, as at Google, a boss’s ability to achieve results had a lot more to do with listening and seeking to understand than it did with telling people what to do; more to do with debating than directing; more to do with pushing people to decide than with being the decider; more to do with persuading than with giving orders; more to do with learning than with knowing.”

I completely agree.

Everyone has bad ideas and makes wrong decisions. When you create an environment that encourages you to challenge ideas, admit when you’re wrong and share your ideas freely, you will see your team begin to make tremendous strides towards accomplishing your goals by getting to the right answers.

So what steps can you and your team take to ensure you are pursuing right answers over being right?

1. Have ideas but hold onto them loosely.
Just because you have what you consider to be an excellent idea doesn’t mean that the timing is right or that there isn’t a better one that will help to move the project, or organization forward.

2. Listen with your heart not just your ears.
It’s easy to hear with our ears and ignore with our hearts; this can be even more difficult if we are set on being right. Listening with our heart says”I’m going to seek to understand you and your position by placing myself in your shoes.

3. Be willing to debate with your team.
Having a willingness to debate as a team will help you to dig until you find the right answers.

4. Be supportive as a team player when another idea is chosen.
In the end, someone has to make the final decision; collaboration does not mean consensus.

As we pursue right answers over being right, we deepen our level of trust as our team and dismantle potential silos before they happen.

Everyone likes to be right, but pursuing right answers are better.

Question: What would you add to the list? I love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below.

How to walk in step with our senior leader/upper management [New Blog Post]

 

I was hiking in the Smoky Mountains along the Appellation Trail enjoying a wonderful vacation detached from technology miles away from the office spending a week with some amazing Christian men.

Since I had never been hiking out in the middle of nowhere with just a backpack unfamiliar with the terrain, I thought it would be a splendid idea to get out ahead of the group without a map and be alone, so I could spend some time walking and praying.

As I enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the woods in late September, a black bear came rushing out from the brush about fifteen feet in front of me.

My heart pounded as she kept running. Luckily she didn’t know I was there.

After I knew she was gone, I accessed if I needed to change my pants, wait for the guys to catch up or keep hiking.
I realized how stupid it was to get out ahead of those who had been here before, had a map, and the experience.
In my excitement, I made a quick decision, and it was the wrong one.

When we are excited about new opportunities, it’s easy to make quick decisions, miss seeing the potential danger and pitfalls and miss the big picture altogether.

When a new exciting opportunity presents itself, it’s easy at work and in life to get out ahead, to want to prove ourselves instead of taking to time to walk in step with those around us that have a clearer picture as to the direction we are supposed to be going.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to explore, take calculated risks, or have the ambition to grow in your career.

 

It’s when we get out in front of the ones that are leading the way that we run into trouble. 

When we get out in front of our senior leaders/upper management, we run the risk of taking wrong turns and working on projects we were never ours to work on in the first place.

Wanting to have the freedom to pursue something you’re passionate about it great. New ideas are fantastic, but they have to first align with the vision that’s been cast by your senior leaders/upper management.

So how can we ensure this happens?

Here are some steps we can take before we start running and risk of getting out ahead of our senior leaders/upper management:
1. Slow down.
2. Communicate the steps you want to take.
3. Ask for feedback about the path you want to take.
4. Confirm that the direction you want to go is in alignment with the vision/direction of your senior leader/upper management team.
5. If you get the green light, check in regularly to ensure clarity and that you are in fact on the remaining on right path.

Question: When have you gotten out in front of vision too fast and found yourself facing a bear of a problem? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you. 

4 reverse engineering steps that lead to success [Blog Post]

 

What do you want to achieve?

The best ways to accomplish our goals is to learn from others have achieved what we want to achieve.

So how can we do this?

Two things.

Reverse engineering and consistency.

Wikipedia describes Reverse Engineering as the processes of extracting knowledge or design information from anything man-made and reproducing it or reproducing anything based on the obtained information.

If you want to be a writer, research the process your favorite authors use to write and start writing.

If you want to become better at public speaking, study the public speakers you enjoy and look for opportunities to speak.

The goal is not to act like them but learn the steps and habits that they practice each and every day.

Everything worth doing has a daily routine built into it, and most of them are boring.

Every successful endeavor is a process of small, mundane choices leading up to the moment you reach your goal.

Success is not easy and never happens overnight.

Getting in the best shape of your life means consistently making decisions to eat healthy foods and exercise.

Becoming an author means sitting your butt in a chair and writing EVERY…SINGLE…DAY…no matter how you feel until the book is complete.

Reverse engineering the processes of men and women that have been successful in the areas we are struggling helps us discover their tips and tricks that kept them consistent and will do the same for you.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” ― Darren Hardy,

Whatever you want to call them, tips, tricks, strategies, or habits, they are all systems that were routinely executed.

Following a successful reversed engineered system day in and day out is what leads to amazing outcomes once you have reversed engineered someone’s system always remember to trust the system over negative thoughts and emotions.

I promise that you will experience negative mental clutter when pursuing any worthwhile goal.

Our feelings and emotions will lie to us, tell us to quit and to give up. Trusting the reversed engineered system that has worked for those who have gone before us is key to achieving our goals.

You can achieve great things by following the steps below:

1. Decide what it is you want to accomplish.
2. Study the systems used by the greats
3. Stop believing the lies in your head
4. Practice those same systems each and every day until you reach your goal

Remember, you make your choices, and then your choices make you.

Are you happy or fulfilled? 3 ways to find fulfillment over happiness.

I’ve never met anyone who didn’t want to be happy yet you can be happy and still feel very unfulfilled in life.

Happiness is a temporal emotion attached to momentary experiences.

We pursue happiness by moving up the corporate ladder, striving to make more money, buying a bigger house or more material possessions.

Seeking happiness isn’t wrong, it’s just limiting.

When we chase happiness, what we are all searching for is meaning and fulfillment and meaning and fulfillment is not found in the number of our material possessions.

When we pursue happiness, we are often choosing instant satisfaction over long term fulfillment. We do this to cover over our lack of fulfillment and meaning in our lives.

Happiness will come and go, but fulfillment will give you depth beyond one single emotion like happiness.

Fulfillment speaks to our inner soul; it connects us to something greater than ourselves.

I have learned to pursue fulfillment over happiness by:

1.Always remembering I am unique and valuable to humanity.
I believe we are all on this earth for a purpose. Our life matters.

2. Never making money and material possessions my primary focus.
I decided that true fulfillment has nothing to do with any amount of wealth or things I can accumulate. There is nothing wrong with wealth. I have learned that money only brings temporary happiness but never real fulfillment.

3. Help People.
For me, I find true fulfillment when I help others.
There are so many practical ways to contribute to humanity.
You can rake your elderly neighbor’s leaves, bring a hot meal to a friend, or homeless shelter. Be creative and look for ways to help people.

Pursuing fulfillment over happiness will bring you greater meaning to your life and real joy.

Question: What brings you fulfillment over happiness?