If You are Weary … Keep Pursuing

One of my favorite stories from history is about an old warrior named Gideon who led his army to victory against insurmountable odds.

As the story goes, Gideon and his men were badly outnumbered, exhausted, battered and bruised, when they came to a crossing in a river.

The story is found in Judges 8:4 of the Old Testament. The verse reads, “Then Gideon and the 300 men who were with him came to the Jordan and crossed over, weary yet pursuing.”

You have to love a guy who keeps on keeping on and can convince his team to follow. One of the greatest attributes a leader can possess is perseverance.

As I look at my own life and leadership there are several things that make me weary. A lack of resources, challenging relationships, unrealistic expectations, demands on my time, endless meetings, and even a need to be relevant and creative, all cause fatigue from time to time. Each of these can be obstacles, and even enemies, waiting daily to attack me and steal my joy.

Like Gideon, I have a decision to make. I can either run and hide, giving in to the pressure, or I can keep on pursuing, seeking to make a difference with my life.

Today, I am choosing to pursue. Just like Gideon, I long to be marked by perseverance. How about you? If there is a place in your life where you have considered folding your hand, I say don’t – Keep swinging. Endure. Persevere. Finish

It is possible to be weary and still pursue. Make that choice, and you might find that your energy will return.

If Gideon can overcome, you can too. But only if you keep pursuing.

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

Who do you know that shows great perseverance?

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Doing a Little … a Lot

Like a laser, there is power in focused discipline.

Martial artist, Bruce Lee once said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

As you think about your leadership, are you practicing 10,000 kicks or 10,000 times? Great leaders focus on mastery, not variety.

If you want to strike fear into your competitors, I suggest you do a little … a lot.

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

What area of your leadership needs more focus in the coming month?

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Are You Casting a Compelling Vision?

Great leaders are vision casters.

Like a good sailor they are able to set their sights beyond the horizon and take those onboard to the desired destination.

Spyglass

French aristocrat, Antoine de Saint-Exupery once wrote, “If you want to build a ship, then don’t drum up men to gather wood, give orders, and divide the work. Rather, teach them to yearn for the far and endless sea.”

Interestingly, Antoine was a splendid aviator. Pilots are a lot like ship captains. They are required to stay focused on what lies ahead, rather than limiting themselves to the cockpit.

As a leader your job is to make people yearn for something beyond your current surrounding circumstances.

To remind them of a dream … a possibility … a hope.

If you allow your team to be trapped in day to day busy work you will never take them anywhere.

Don’t forget, great leaders are vision casters. Spend some time today painting a picture of a preferred future. You will end up in a better place.

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

What are the keys to casting a compelling vision?

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Routine Can be Lethal in More Ways than One

A while back, a friend sent me a tweet from writer Max Dubinsky.

“Adventure is dangerous but routine is lethal.” 

When I read those words, my mind went into “two sides of the same coin” mode.

I assumed Max wrote the tweet to encourage his followers to live an adventurous life and to avoid the doldrums of being average. Both of those lines of thinking have elements of truth. Adventure is dangerous, and playing it safe can literally suck the life out of you.

But consider the other side of the routine coin. It is called discipline. In that regard routine can be lethal to your competition.

The best teams are the ones that do routine things better than their opponents. They ruthlessly practice fundamentals, recognizing that the ability to execute under pressure is tied to mastery of the little things.

If you want to do something dangerous this week, try going back to the basics.

Why? Because “routine is lethal,” in more ways than one.

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

What routines can give a leader an advantage over the competition?

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Is it Time for You to Prune?

Over the past couple of weeks my yard has exploded. The grass is growing, the bushes are blooming, and the weeds are out of control. It all means one thing … “Yard Work!”

In his book, Necessary Endings, Dr. Henry Cloud talks about the importance of pruning. He points out that rosebushes produce more buds than the plants can support. A caretaker is needed. The caretaker prunes the bushes cutting away many of the buds.

Cloud writes, “The plant has enough life and resources to feed and nurture only so many buds to their full potential; it can’t bring all of them to full bloom.”

When the caretaker prunes the bad buds he puts an end to the rosebush having to divert its resources. Cloud goes on, “In pruning the gardener frees needed resources so the plant can redirect them to the buds with the greatest potential to become mature roses.  Those buds get the best that the bush has to offer, and they thrive and grow to fullness” . . . “Without the endings,” Clouds says, “you don’t get the best roses.”

When it comes to your leadership are there some places where you need to prune? Maybe a good exercise would be to forget about your “to do” list and instead focus on a “don’t do” list?

I suspect there are some places where your focus and your resources are being diverted in some unhealthy directions and you are feeling spread too thin.  If that is the case, it is time to do some cutting. It is time for some “yard work.”

You will never see something new unless you are willing to let go of something old. Don’t be afraid to prune. Sometimes the endings are necessary.

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

Why do you think it is so hard for a leader to let go of outdated practices?

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