Can You Explain it to a Six Year Old?

Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” (tweet)

As you look at what you are attempting to lead, does it feel simple or complex? Do you have margin to love and laugh, or do you find yourself drained and disillusioned? Can you explain it to a six year old?

6 Year OldsNow that football season is in full force, pay attention to the teams who do the simple things with excellence. It is not the highest payroll or the most complex scheme that guarantees victory. No, success shows up on the doorstep of those who block and tackle, whose penalties and turnovers are few, and who play hard and work together. The formula for winning is really very simple.

Perhaps now would be a good time for you to go back to your playbook and redefine what it will take for you to be, not impressive, but effective. BTW – effective is always more impressive than trying to be impressive.

Once you determine what constitutes simplicity in your leadership world, I challenge you to find yourself some six year olds and explain it to them. If you can’t do it, you probably don’t understand it yourself.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What is one area of your life where you need to “simplify” over the upcoming week?

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The Biggest Decision of the Day

A friend of mine joined me for lunch yesterday. As we headed to the car, we were faced with a big decision. The same big decision we are faced with each time we go to lunch. “Where do we want to eat?”

While the lunchtime location is a hard one to decide, it is not the biggest decision of the day.

(tweet) The biggest decision of the day is the first one you make … It is the decision to bring energy and engagement to your work as opposed to holding back and living half-hearted.

(tweet) Leaders who fail to engage at the beginning of the day end up missing out on opportunities to influence others.

Why not make it a practice to ignore your circumstances and focus on the facts?

The truth is, your attitude is a lot more important than you might think.

Focus your mind and heart on being positive in everything you do, and you will be well on your way to a life of greater impact.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What other big decisions determine the success of a leader’s day?

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Blur … Overload

Speed, hurry, and noise. All indicators of a life of Blur.

But there is one last indicator that shows up when we lose our focus. It is overload.

Author Richard Swenson says, “Overloading is what we do when we forget who God is.”

Have you forgotten? Not sure?

Take a look at your life. If it is in overload mode, chances are you need to remember.

I pray each of you has a slow and restful weekend.

Leadership Begins at Home,


On a scale of 1 to 10, how close are you to overload?

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Blur … Noise

Life is a Blur. There are many factors that cause it to be true.

One of the chief reasons? Noise!

Never has there been so much noise. We live in an age of instant access.

Cell phones. Email. Computers. Digital devices. Blogs. Facebook. Twitter. Television. The list is endless.

The reality? We are bombarded with noise.

Noise increases Blur.

Devices designed to increase communication are actually destroying it.

I see couples all the time who are together, yet far apart. Both with a phone glued to their head, unaware of each other.

Kids and teens are no different, texting their way from one moment to the next.

How loud is your life?

Why not turn off the noise and “go dark” for a few hours?

Believe it or not, the world can live without you for a day.

Being blurred is a choice. A noise choice.

It’s time to turn it down!

Leadership Begins at Home,


Where is your life noisy?

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Blur … Hurry

I know a guy who received a speeding ticket on his way to work. Needless to say, the stop put him further behind.

You would think the ticket would have sent a message.

It did not. Fourteen minutes after the first ticket, he received a second one.

Talk about being in a hurry!

A while back, I was walking through a convention center with a real type A leader. I had one of my daughters with me, and the leader was with his wife.

My friends will tell you that I am a fast walker. But compared to that guy, I am a snail.  He walked right off and left our entire group.

His wife, who was walking beside my daughter and me, made the comment, “I am used to it. He is always several steps ahead of me.” She was not smiling.

The Bible warns us about hurry. Listen to these words from Proverbs 21:5 in The Message: “Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind . . .”

For the guy we were chasing, it appeared he was ‘getting ahead.’ I would argue his pace was actually putting him further behind relationally. I imagine his wife would agree.

It was a good lesson for me to see first hand. Too often those closest to me are looking at the back of my head instead of holding my hand.

I hope you are not in a hurry. If you are, you have been bitten by the ‘Blur.’

Why not take someone ‘with’ you this week instead of trying to leave everyone behind?

Leadership Begins at Home,


When are you most tempted to hurry?  How do you think it affects others when you are in a rush?

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