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3 Reasons to be a Learning Leader

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Good leaders know things.  Great leaders learn things.  They never stop learning.  This is a simple reminder for us to live life within certain boundaries.  I have determined in my life to Never Never Never stop learning.  Great leaders consistently attend webinars, spend money on education, attend conferences, and buy books (oh, and actually read them).

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Why Leaders Should Go To Church

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Ok, most everyone who knows me knows I am a pastor and expect me to say this.  But before I was a pastor or “had” to go to church, I went.  I am a public fan of church.  I know church has gotten a pretty bad rap lately, and for a majority of the population

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3 Pitfalls of Authenticity

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I have noticed a trend in leadership circles.  It’s the trend of Authentic Leadership.  The idea that leaders and their teams are connecting with who they really are.  No more: politics fake smiles tolerance for the sake of feelings saying anything in order to get past a conflict or hurdle. Being authentic basically means: true

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Success Secret-Stop trying to be a person of success

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Try not to be a man of success but a man of value -Albert Einstein When success is your goal, target, or end game, everything you do becomes a tool or technique to that end. And people can tell. Instead of being a success try being of value. Instead of using everything and everyone to

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3 Stages of Change

The New Year is a great time to make the change you want in your life, family, team, and organization. Navigating change can be difficult as a leader. Knowing the stages of change will help in leading the change that needs to come. In each stage there will be those who go with you and

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2016 Has Begun!!! Time to Change for Good!!!

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I love the feeling of a fresh start. That’s what today is-A fresh start This is a time to shift into gear and get started on the things we want to accomplish in this next year. You have set goals, made resolutions, and committed to making 2016 the best year ever!!! This year start the

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E2 = AYG Simple formula to Accomplish Anything Anytime Anywhere

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This is a simple little equation I use to accomplish anything, anytime, anywhere. A leader’s ability to accomplish goals is priority.  This next year can be the best year ever for accomplishing your goals, keeping your resolutions, and changing for good. What do you want to accomplish in 2016? Get to your ideal weight Get

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Quit trying to figure out ways of saying NO!!!

I have been noticing a trend in leadership lately. The trend is encouraging leaders to say “No” without guilt. I get it…we are all busy and great leaders have a tendency to over commit. If we don’t stay balanced, we are doomed to fatigue and fail. Yet, I am not sure approaching this problem of

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3 Lessons to make 2016 The best Year Ever!!!

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           Brand New Free Webinar I have just finished a massive project that took several years to accomplish. The preparation was intense and I learned some very good but hard lessons. I want to share with you just a couple of lessons I learned. Planning is powerful Goals are funny things,

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Leaders Earn It!!!

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We just past Memorial Day in the United States. The day we remember those who have paid the ultimate price for the freedom and liberty we have in this country. As I was enjoying the day, I remembered a line in the movie “Saving Private Ryan“. The scene where Capt. Miller (Tom Hanks) looks at

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5 Leadership Lessons Learned in Kindergarten

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Sometimes leadership can seem so complicated and complex. Decisions, strategy meetings, administration, and conflict can make a leader feel overwhelmed and ineffective. But, leadership is rather simple. When leadership seems complicated, it usually means it is simply hard. When these times come, go back to Kindergarten. Some of the basics of leadership were learned in

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3 Components of Consistent Creativity

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I’m convinced everyone is creative. We live in a created place, made by a creator, to have His same creativity. You just have to tap into the creative process. Creativity is a gift to be used to bring about your own uniqueness and style. Creativity is the ability to connect dots that aren’t connected. You

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4 Leadership Lessons Learned Riding in a Hot Air Balloon

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Several years ago my wife and I got to ride in a hot air balloon. This was a great experience. It reminded me of some leadership principles that I learned over the years. The Hotter it gets the Higher you Go To go higher in a hot air balloon you have to heat up the

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Power of Patience–3 Factors of Patience

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I love to see things grow. When I was a kid my mom and dad always had a very large garden. Both my grandparents had gardens. I have always been around growing things. One of the most difficult things for me is waiting for the tomato, jalapeno, radish, strawberry, chive, or anything else that may

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Secret to Success-10 ways to be generous

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Ever wondered what sets those who seem to be successful in their lives apart from those who are not as successful? You know the ones who seem to turn what ever they touch into the best product, the best idea, or are the most productive. It seems like they just can’t fail. They all have

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You Have a Message-10 ways to find it!!!

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If we’re going to say anything at all in life, or be anything at all in life, we have to believe we have something to say. You see, I think everyone has something to say that will or could change the world for the better. The problem is, we don’t believe we have something to

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I Just Can’t Wait To Be King!!!

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I just finished listening to Andy Stanley’s Leadership Podcast. I highly recommend you subscribe and listen to it consistently. In his latest podcast he talked about the dangers of autonomy. As soon as he started I remembered a scene from one of my favorite movies, “The Lion King”. In the seen Simba is desperate to

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15 days to 2015

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Are you ready.  In the midst of parties, family, shopping, and ending 2014 strong, are you ready for 2015. Have you thought about it? Has the thought crossed your mind, “How do I want my 2015 to look?” You have 15 days to decide. Here’s what you can do Set a plan Take some time

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The byproducts of Thankful Thinking

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Being thankful is a state of mind.  A way of thinking.  It is a discipline of our thought life.  Our thoughts left unchecked will move to self-centered, rights-based, foolish thoughts (Romans 1 in the Bible talks about that).  Thankful leader’s speculations turn to purpose, prosperity, and are filled with promise.  But it takes focused determination

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Purpose of Thanksgiving—Remind us where we have been

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A couple of years ago I posted a thanksgiving post that referred to President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving day proclamation.  In that proclamation he stated that we are to be thankful.  Yet the focus of our thanksgiving was not just to each other but to God.  I believe if we are going to be truly effective leaders

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3 Ingredients of a Change Agent

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Today is Halloween and for most people they are looking to take their kids out to a harvest festival, trick or treating, or find a party to show off their creative side in the costume they choose to wear.  This day has morphed into many different things throughout history.  Satan’s birthday, all hallows eve-before all

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49 things in 49 years

Today I turn 49 years of age.  I woke up in the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in the Mackinac straits on lake huron.  Pretty amazing life for a kid that went through second grade twice (I think I liked my teacher).  If 7 is the perfect number then 49 may be the perfect age

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Power of Presence

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It was about 7:30am on an amazingly beautiful spring day. My wife was laying on table in an operating room.  Our third child was coming and due to complication with our first, Vicki (my wife) had to have a C-section. Her face was turned to the doorway. The Anesthesiologist’s back was to her and the

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3 habits that will cripple your leadership

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The need for fully healthy and strong leaders seems to be increasing. The reason is too many leaders are crippled by their habits. Leaders by nature deeply want to help people, that’s why they are leaders. Yet we get into certain habits we don’t even realize. There are 3 habits that cause leaders to hobble

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Don’t Let Memories Steal Reality-5 Ways to Keep Memories-Memories

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The other day we went by our first apartment we lived in 30 years ago. My heart sank when I saw the dilapidated old house. It was run down and probably needs to be condemned and demolished. My memory of the house remained the same as when we moved in. You know the feeling, when

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1 hour to WOW! your week–How to start your week

TweetDownload free Ebook Here’s a Post I wrote a while back.  Make your sunday afternoon or monday morning productive and WOW your week!!! Has this happened to you; Friday comes and you look back on your week and wondered if you actually accomplished anything at all?  For many years I have started my day in

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Don’t phone it in-Show Up

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I was watching one of the singing competition shows the other night and one of the coaches on the show told the contestant to always show up and give 200% and never just phone it in. I thought about that in our digital online age we live, and how easy it is to “just phone

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Founding Fathers, Firecrackers, and a Four year old

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Freedom isn’t Permanent On July 4th, 1826, 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, two of the founding fathers died just hours of each other, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson the second and third presidents of the United States. James Madison died just 5 years later on the same day, July 4th.

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Reflection is not about the Past!

Summer is a great time to reflect and introspect to prepare for the coming season. The schedule is laid back, things seem to slow down. Picnics, festivals, and vacations are all on the calendar. Why not create some space during this time to reflect over the past 6-12 months. It is kind of like window

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3 Don’ts for a Guilt Free Vacation

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It’s Summer time again and that means road trips and vacations.  Check out this repost to make them the best ever!!! It’s vacation season and there is nothing better than packing up the mini-van and kids and heading out on a family trip.  A few days with the family can be a highlight of a

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Speak? Who Me?!?!?!

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My first public speaking event was when I was 12 years of age. My Dad was the pastor of a church in Iowa. He asked me to preach a message at one of our services. It was 8 minutes long including the response time we preachers call “the Altar Call” Those that listen to me

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The Lost Art of Hard

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TweetDownload free Ebook Have you ever simply done something because it was hard?  I think we have lost the Art of Hard.  Those things that need to be done or would challenge a generation to be greater if we did them simply because it is hard.  Yet I keep hearing, reading, and seeing the easiest

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10 ways we miss saying “I love you”

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TweetDownload free EbookWell, Valentines Day is over and the delivery people are rushed as fast as they could to finish the last of the chocolate, flower, teddy-grahm deliveries to get home to their valentine.  I’m a little cynical when it comes to valentines.  Don’t get me wrong; I love to tell and show my Valentine

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3 Things you DON’T Do in a Relationship

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TweetDownload free Ebook Connecting with people is an amazingly wonderful and dangerous adventure.  Whether it is in a marriage, parent, work, or social relationship it is an adventure.  We are all messy and connecting with each other can and will be messy at times.  To have a High Quality Life-Giving connection with others takes work

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4 Ways to Make the New Year NEW

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TweetDownload free Ebook How to make the New Year NEW The New Year is an incredible time.  I love the feeling of getting a clean slate and seeing what can be written on it.  Yet too many times we come to the end of the year and there has been nothing changed.  We are still

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5 Ways to Beat the Resolution Odds

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TweetDownload free Ebook The odds of you keeping your New Years Resolution aren’t good.  That’s why many people give up making New Years Resolutions.  That doesn’t make much sense either.  It doesn’t matter what your resolution is.  As long as it is designed to better you, your family, or your community, keep making them.  The

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Breaking Bad – 5 Steps to Break Bad Habits

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TweetDownload free Ebook  “All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits”, William James 1892.  When you woke up this morning, what was the first thing you did; coffee, shower, exercise, read the paper, check email, brush your teeth? Whatever you did, it was, in all probability a

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VidCast [06] R128 Leader-Leaders that Deliver-Part 3

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TweetDownload free EbookLeaders that Deliver are Disciplined R128 Leaders are leaders that deliver.  In VidCast [05] part 2 we focused on leaders that deliver are leaders who are decisive.  In VidCast [04] part 1 we focused on leaders that deliver are leaders who are dedicated.  In part three of R128 Leaders-Leaders that Deliver we look at the

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Timex Mentality–Resilient Leaders

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  Leaders are continually challenged to be effective in every season, shift, change, or circumstance.   In order to be more effective in changing times, leaders must be resilient. A resilient leader is a leader who: Can fail and get back up, Realize what he or she is doing is no longer effective and make the

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Leadership Lessons from the Foundations of Freedom

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TweetDownload free EbookRemember The Foundation of Our Freedom Today we in the United States celebrate our freedom.  She is a great nation that has stood for freedom and liberty from her inception.  Yet the freedoms we celebrate and enjoy everyday in this nation do not come from the laws or the legislature of the land.

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Everybody’s a Keeper – 10 Keys of leadership

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TweetDownload free Ebook  For years I have had a motto I live by.  Everybody’s a Keeper. It is a philosophy that has guided me in my personal leadership.  To view and treat everyone you meet as a keeper there are 10 keys to ensure that you will be the kind of leader who adds value

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VidCast [05] – R128 Leaders–Leader that Delivers – Part 2

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TweetDownload free EbookLeaders That Deliver Are Decisive R128 Leaders Deliver.  They are consumed with being good to their word.  To be a leader that delivers you must be decisive.  The ability to make decisions, the right decisions, breads a desire to follow.  People want to follow leaders who make decisions.  In part 2 of this

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VidCast #04 — R128 Leadership–Leader that Delivers — Part 1

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TweetDownload free EbookLeaders that Deliver are Dedicated   R128 Leaders Deliver.  They commit to what they say they are going to do when they say they are going to do it.  In this first of a three part VidCast we look at the what it takes to be a leader that delivers. Leaders who deliver

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10K Leadership

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TweetDownload free EbookLeadership Lessons Learned Running A 10K For the past several years I have been distance running.  I am no pro by any stretch of the mind or imagination. I simply enjoy it.  5 years ago I entered my first race, a 5k, that is 3.1 miles and for the last 2 years I

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Money, Money, Money!!!–10 Personal Priorities

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TweetDownload free Ebook   Every year I do my taxes I take time to look back on the blessings I have received.  I don’t mind doing my taxes because it gives me a chance to look back and see what happened over the past year through the eyes of my money, possessions, and resources.  I

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How to teach an Old Dog New Tricks

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TweetDownload free EbookThe church I lead tuned 100 years old last year. During the past 24 years we have been the youth pastor, music director, Associate pastor, nursery coordinator, yard crew, and now for the past 20+ years Lead Minister. The Church has gone through many changes and seasons.  Most experts say once an organization

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VidCast [03] The Launching Leader Pt. 2

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TweetDownload free Ebook  Leaders change things.  One of the most important roles a leader has is to keep the organization relevant, efficient, and effective.  To do that the leader must be willing to launch new ideas, programs, systems, ministries, etc.  In this VidCast I continue the teaching on the Launching Leader. This is part 2

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Brand New Resource R128 Leadership Ebook-FREE

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TweetDownload free Ebook Check out the brand new leadership resource for you.  R128 Leadership — Lead with Diligence.  This Ebook is a practical guide that will give you insight on how to be a diligent leader. The best part of all is it is free.  Simply fill in your name and email address to your

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5 More Qualities To Look For In A Mate

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TweetDownload free EbookValentine’s Day is just around the corner.  So I thought I would continue my list of things to look for in a mate.  In one of my most popular posts, “5 Qualities to look for in a mate” I shared the five things I encouraged my kids to look for.  Over the years

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The Decisive Leader

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TweetDownload free EbookI went to see Lincoln (the Movie) the other day.  It was amazing.  I actually saw it twice in a week.  The movie was loosely based on the book by Doris Kerns “A team of rivals; the political genius of Abraham Lincoln”.  Great book and I highly recommend every leader read the book and

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VidCast 02 — The Launching Leader Pt. 1

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TweetDownload free EbookMany years ago when I was first starting out I was approached by one of the people who attends the church I lead.  He was quite upset by the things we were doing because we were changing.  He said, “you pastors are always changing things”.  I must admit I was taken back by

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Walk through the Valley of Death

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TweetDownload free Ebook I am reminded of these words today “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me.”  (Psalm 23:4) As the reality of the shootings in Newtown Ct. rose with the sun this morning feelings of anger, remorse, sadness, and

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Write it Down

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TweetDownload free EbookI was struck by the passing of Zig Ziglar.  I never met the man and yet I felt like I knew him.  I remember the first time I heard him speak and the first time I read his books.  It was very clear what he wanted in life.  He wanted to help people

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3 Byproducts of a Grateful Leader

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TweetDownload free EbookOn October third 1863 William Seward, then Secretary of State, penned the words of the Proclamation of Thanksgiving for President Abraham Lincoln.  The Civil War raged and the United States was ripping itself apart from the inside out.  Today, we are still instructed to give thanks in everything.  We teach our children to

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Iron Sharpens Iron — If the Angle is Right

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TweetDownload free EbookI was rather impressed with myself the other day.  My mom and mother-in-law both commented on how sharp my knives were.  They are incredible cooks and to have excellent cooks ask how I get my knives so sharp was gratifying.  It is simple, I sharpen the knife each time I use it and

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Go For The Gold — Enemies of Excellence

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TweetDownload free EbookWatching the Olympics this past summer reminded me of the price we pay as leaders.  I may not be an Olympic athlete but I strive to be an Olympic leader.  In other words, I go for gold every time I show up to lead.  It seems that every time I commit to excellence

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#01 — The Equalizer — [VidCast]

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TweetDownload free EbookI am launching a brand new resource.  It is a monthly leadership teaching video.  The first Friday of every month I will post a new leadership VidCast.  This will be a practical teaching for anyone who leads people.  You can use these videos for your private study, small group, or team training. Hope

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Decisions Decisions Decisions—Effective Decision Making

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TweetDownload free Ebook I just voted and I am amazed at the system we have in place.  This week the United States decided who leads the military, appoints judges, ambassadors, cabinet members, and countless other positions in our government.  We decided what belief system, conviction, and ideology will guide us.  That is huge!  Decisions are

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4 steps to become a Thriving Leader

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TweetDownload free EbookMoving from surviving to thriving in life is important.  As I was thinking about thriving I realized there are many leaders who simply survive in their leadership.  They are barely influencing, guiding, or keeping the best and the brightest.  The challenge for a thriving leader is not to have the newest tech toys,

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5 Qualities to look for in a Mate

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TweetDownload free EbookMy youngest daughter got married this summer and I am rather amazed that I made it this far as a dad.  My son got married 3 years ago.  I must admit I have thought a lot about whom they would marry.  When they were young I began talking to them about it.  I

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A Family Mission

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TweetDownload free EbookMany years ago we sat down as a family and asked, “What is our mission? What are we going to be known for?”  Corporations had missions, schools had missions, churches had missions—it seemed to me everyone had a mission, but I didn’t see families with a mission.  So we set out to determine

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Just Plain Vanilla?

TweetDownload free Ebook My favorite Ice Cream is Vanilla.  I know, rather plain.  I was thinking about that the other day when I heard someone describing someone as just plain vanilla.   You know the old adage that implies there is nothing real special or memorable about a person.  Yet have you ever researched how vanilla

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Let Go

TweetDownload free EbookI conducted a funeral of a man who died of heart failure at the age of 56.  It was sudden and he was the central part of his family.  As I shared with the family some thoughts of comfort and challenge to live according to God’s plan, many in the room were upset

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30 Year Date

TweetDownload free EbookRecently my wife and I celebrated the 30th anniversary of our first date.  I know, a little sappy, but we have fun.  It is June 12th and we always do something rather simple and not too extravagant.  Our first date consisted of popcorn, coke, Rocky III, and a group of about 15-20 of

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Danger of Purposelessness–Find Your Purpose

TweetDownload free EbookAs I finished an early morning prayer meeting one Friday, my son texted me the question, “did u hear there was a shooting in CO @ a Dark Night show?”  In the moments that followed, I learned the details of a most horrific, purposeless act of death and destruction.  Twelve lives ended for

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Determine Your Day

TweetDownload free EbookDetermine Your Day Do you have trouble starting your day?  How you start your day will determine your day.  I have found three steps to starting my day that has been beneficial for many years. Spiritual Spend the first part of your day in renewing your spirit.  Take some time praying, reading scripture,

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Proud to be a Plodder

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Friends handed me a book several years ago, “In Praise of Plodders” by Warren W. Wiersbe.  I was young and ready to take the world on and conquer it by the time I was 30.  The couple looked at me with anticipation of my joy as I opened their well thought out gift.  They proceeded

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How To Follow A Blog — My First Post

TweetDownload free EbookWelcome to jcalaway.com. This is my first blog post. I am excited to share some thoughts with you in several different areas that involve leadership. I have been leading people for over 30 years and have accumulated some ideas, concepts, quotes, thoughts, writings, disciplines, and strategies. This site is where I plan to

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