Friday, July 31, 2009

Leisure - Follow Up

It is hard to believe that July is over (in a few hours anyway). At the very beginning of the month I wrote about "capacity for leisure." In that post I mentioned that for some of us (like me), leisure doesn't come very often or easily. There's always more work to do...and I enjoy working, whether it is my job, or things around the house.

I am happy to report that my capacity for leisure increased dramatically during the month of July. Here is a brief recap of our adventures.

From the 6th to the 11th our family participated in and served at a children's bible camp. We played games, ate great food, sang fun songs, heard great Bible lessons, did fun crafts and built great friendships. Here are some pictures from camp.

On the 15th our family headed for Kansas City to spend an extended weekend with my parents, my sister and her family. We ate, we bowled, we swam (and got sun-burned), we went to the zoo, we played Wii and we stayed up late watching movies. It was a very relaxing, ejoyable weekend with family. Here are a couple of pictures from the weekend. These are all my children and my sister's children. I have 8 and she has 6 (plus 1 on the way).

During the week of the 20th-24th my 17 yr old daughter went to a dance camp in Kansas City, my 16 yr old son went to a strategic intelligence camp at Patrick Henry College in Viriginia and my 15 yr old son spent the week with his cousins in Kansas City. All three of them had a blast.

At this point we are attempting to get back to our normal rhythm. It has been a very hectic, but very fun month for our family. I hope you have had (or made) some opportunities to enjoy some leisure with those who are most important in your life. If not, there are a still a few weeks before school starts. Go for it!

Seize the day!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What is Leadership?

So, what is leadership anyway? Wow! That is a huge question. Ask ten different people and you will likely get ten different answers. Common words or ideas that you will hear would be: vision, strategy, communication, execution and courage. These are all good words and each are accurate for certain leaders. But, rarely will you find one person that reflects all of them at level of excellence. For me, and Webster's dictionary there is one word that sums up what leadership is all about. Watch the following video (0:33) to hear my answer.

So, what about all of those other words we mentioned earlier? They are all valid. But, they are expressions, or vehicles, of influence. They are not an end to themselves. Some exert influence through their ability to cast vision, others through their silver-tongued communication. But, at the end of the day it is all about getting our "followers" moving in a particular direction to achieve something meaningful (hopefully).

Who is in your sphere of influence? What skills or abilities do you use most effectively to influence them in the direction you want them to go? How are you honing those skills? Who are you partnering with that possesses other skills you don't so together you can be even more effective in your leadership?

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Seize the day!

Friday, July 17, 2009

What Should You Do About Your Weaknesses

After a week off due to a family vacation, we are back to our look at leadership from my recent interview. This clip (0:46) covers what leaders should do about their weaknesses.

So, what are you spending time on that you shouldn't be? What energy are you wasting that you could be using to focus on your natural talents and strengths? How should you redirect that energy? When will you start?

Seize the day!

Friday, July 3, 2009

What's Your "Capacity for Leisure?"

I usually don't post this many times in a week, but I came across a helpful insight in some of my reading earlier this morning. I am currently reading a book called, "The Healthy CEO." The subtitle says, "Taking the lead in your physical, relational and financial wellness." I have decided that my health (especially phyiscal) is one area that I have consistently neglected over the years and that it is about time it received some good attention.

As a side note, and as a compliment to my wife, one area where I scored fairly high, was quality of nutrition. I really appreciate the earnest effort she puts in to feeding our family well.

In my reading this morning there was a section on a person's "capacity for leisure." According to the auther this is simply "how often you take downtime and the quality of that downtime." He goes on to say,

"Every day involves some mental problem solving, physical work and personal engagement. To be efficient and effective in meeting these demands - and to derive pleasure from them - you need to replenish your reserves by intentionally and regularly creating an environment where these demands and stimuli are set aside temporarily."

In other words, to be the leader that my family, my business, my community needs, it is crucial that I (you too) regularly and intentionally have some good, quality downtime. For some of you that is not a problem. For those of us who are driven and for whom work always comes before fun it can be a big problem. It's a problem because, as I'm sure you have found, there's ALWAYS more work that could be done.

I am thankful that this is the 4th of July weekend. It will be a great excuse and opportunity for me to get away from some of the normal "demands and stimuli" and simply enjoy some downtime with the most important thing in my world - my family.

So, how about you? How can you get some good, qaulity downtime? How can you intentionally get those batteries recharged? How can you be consistent? Your family, your business and your community depend upon it.

Seize the day!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Building Your Team

What is important to building an effective team? Watch the following video clip (0:37) to hear the thoughts I shared with a local interviewer.

Join the dialogue. Add your comments.

Seize the day!