J Calaway

Lead with Diligence

J Calaway - Lead with Diligence

Leaders Earn It!!!

R128 Leadership-Earn This picWe 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 Private Ryan (Matt Damon) and says “Earn this…Earn it” That line and the thought of earning what others have paid for with their lives has struck me. At the end of the movie and old Private Ryan Visits the Grave of Capt. Miller. Overcome with emotion he asks his Wife, Have I led a good life…Am I a good man?” What a question. What does it take to earn the freedom we have been given? What does it mean to lead in life, to be a good person?

Earn it!!!

Take responsibility

  • Refuse to play the blame game.
  • Quit making excuses
  • Blame and excuses are the marks of the unsuccessful
  • Be responsible for your actions and the actions of those you lead
  • Accept feedback from both criticism and complements

Give back

  • Whatever we have in this life is due to those who have gone before
  • Give back to the generation before you
  • Give back to your generation
  • Give back to the generation coming behind you
  • Give credit
  • Give honor
  • Give Respect
  • Give yourself

Set Boundaries

  • Live within predetermined boundaries
  • Spend less than you make
  • Be productive everyday
  • Decide to be positive
  • Love yourself so you can love others

Diligent leaders understand the power of earning.  When it is earned you gain.


  • Influence
  • Respect
  • Honor
  • Character
  • Purpose
  • Abundance
  • Interdependence
  • Maturity
  • Growth
  • Freedom

Question:  How do you Earn It?  Comment Below

5 Leadership Lessons Learned in Kindergarten

R128 Leadership -- KindergartenSometimes 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 kindergarten. Simple principles, when applied to everyday leadership, can make a huge difference.

5 Lessons Learned

Show and Tell

Good leaders don’t just tell us what to do. They also show us. Great leaders lead by example. Be present and show what what you want and how to get there.

Always put things back where you found them.

I call this closing the loop. An active team will always be moving from one project or event to another, quite possibly overlapping the ending of one and beginning of the other. Processes and systems are crucial for this to run smooth. The facility, resources, and people used in one event will most likely be used for the next event or project. Having processes and systems in place to “put your stuff away” and close the loop will make the transition of the facility and resources work.

Story time is good

Good leaders communicate with stories that convey information. Relate a word picture or parable that conveys a point. Creativity is a key factor in communicating the needed information. This post is an example of a word picture. A simple reminder of a childhood experience to convey the simplicity and basics of leadership.

Nap time is better

Good Leaders know how to disengage and rest. There needs to be an unplug time consistently throughout the week.

  • Schedule a day off each week to recharge and rejuvenate.
  • 15-20 minute afternoon walk, nap, quiet time
  • Turn off your notifications during this time

This will increase creativity, longevity, and patience in your leadership.

Take care of the class hamster, gerbil, plant, or iguana…

Good leaders bring teams together around projects and events. To keep the team together there needs to be a “class project”. Something you can bring the entire team around. Each team member has his or her own responsibility or area of leadership for the project. It provides opportunities for the team to work together and celebrate each other together. In the end the entire team gets the credit.

Question: What are some other leadership lessons you learned in Kindergarten?

Join the Conversation below

3 Components of Consistent Creativity

Creative picI’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 can be creative in:

  • marriage
  • parenting
  • career
  • community
  • church
  • leadership
  • business

We all copy different ideas, concepts, structures, and programs from others.  But you cannot be copied.  Your style cannot be copied. You are unique and you are uniquely designed to meet the challenges of your world creatively as only you can.

The creative process is important and you have to intentionally tap into it.

3 Components of Consistent Creativity


When you spend time consuming all that is around you, the creative juices start to flow. An experience reminds you of a principle you are trying to convey to your team or audience. You can use that experience as a word picture or illustration of the principle. Someone’s idea becomes a component of an innovation you are trying to establish in your organization. You never know when or where an idea, event, or experience will trigger a creative solution or innovation.

  • Read everything
  • Listen to everything
  • Observe, and be aware of everything
  • Write everything down


When you have confidence, you are willing to speak up and share your ideas. Some of the best and most creative solutions to problems, breakthroughs, and innovation come from someone who had the confidence, courage, and willingness to fail.

  • Know that you have a unique message that no one else has
  • Know that you see things that no one else sees
  • Know that your presence has the potential to inspire creativity.


Schedule some time to sit, simmer and stew. Creativity happens when we take time to be alone and allow what we have consumed to mix with our uniqueness. Communicate to your team that you are in creative mode and you are not to be disturbed. During this time write down things that come to your mind. Plan, strategize, and

  • Get a Creative notebook or journal to write your thoughts down
  • Set a scheduled creative time each week.
  • Go on a walk
  • Sit in a favorite spot in a park
  • Go to a restaurant where no one knows you.

You have creativity in you. Step out and have the courage today to tap into it and be creative.

Question:  How do you tap into the creativity in you?

4 Leadership Lessons Learned Riding in a Hot Air Balloon

Hot Air Balloon PicSeveral 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 air in the balloon. The hotter it gets the higher you go. If you want to go higher in your leadership you have to go through some hot times. When the heat is up in the organization or even on you. Leaders, organizations, teams tend to go higher when the heat is on. Don’t always try to put out the fires, sometimes it’s those fires that are causing you to accomplish your goals.

You get a better perspective

Leaders have a better perspective of what is going on. You can see the big picture. Remember, sometimes those you lead will not understand your decisions or direction because they don’t see what you see. Be decisive and confident in your leadership. People will follow those who can see beyond.

You have no choice but to trust those in the basket with you.

Once you’re up in the air you don’t get out of the basket or you will fall. So whoever you are in the basket with is whom you have to trust. Make sure you make good choices on whom to put in your basket. Be careful and selective!

If you want to get out—cool down

When it’s time to land stop heating things up. There are times in leadership when it’s time to stop the ride or rest. Don’t just quit or get out. You have to prepare to land and then land. The only way to land in a hot air balloon is to let the air in the balloon cool down. When you sense it is time for the team to shift to another project or end a certain season, let things begin to cool down and communicate to the team that you’re going to land. This is a great time for the team to get out of the basket if they want or prepare for the next flight.

Question: How do you handle it when things heat up around you?

Power of Patience–3 Factors of Patience

Power PatienceI 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 have been planted to ripen. Everyday I would go out and check the plants. I still do, when I have time to plant a garden. To be honest it is so frustrating to wait, to be patient.

But I am, and when the day comes—oh the reward is amazing. Patience is a powerful weapon in life. It gives us the ability to see the miraculous in the monotonous. Patience is the secret sauce to growth. If we are going to grow to be an influential leader, parent, worker, boss, or spouse, we need patience. Patience is the key.

Without patience we cannot accomplish much in life. Without patience we cannot be successful in:

  • Parenting
  • Career
  • Finances
  • Relationships
  • Life

What are you patiently waiting for, a new job, someone to marry, a baby, financial break through, maturity in your kids?

3 Factors of Patience


Even though you don’t see anything happening, you know it will. You have planted good things. Your perception will determine your patience. Keep focused on what you know and not what you see. Sometimes we don’t see anything happening and we get discouraged. Keep focused and confident that you’re sowing will lead to reaping


During the time you are patiently waiting, prepare. The farmer doesn’t just sit and wait for the harvest to come in. He prepares the barn for the harvest. He does maintenance on the combine so it is ready to harvest. He calls the buyers and tells them get ready to pay for the harvest. Don’t just sit and wait for something to happen. Prepare for it. If your waiting for a promotion, take a class so you are prepared for the new responsibilities, if you are waiting for a financial breakthrough learn about how to do a budget, or how to invest the overflow.


Talk about what is going to happen. Tell everyone what you believe for. Make sure your talk is always focused on what you believe is going to happen and not on what is not going to happen. In other words those you lead listen to what you say. If you are always talking about how bad it is, that its never going to happen then that’s how you will start acting and others will start believing. Your words dictate your actions.

Be patient and:

  • Keep dancing
  • Keep focused
  • Keep preparing
  • Keep expecting
  • Keep plodding
  • Keep proclaiming

Question:  How do you patiently wait?  Comment Below

Secret to Success-10 ways to be generous

Genius of GenerosityEver 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 something in common, generosity. Yeah believe it or not the one common thread of successful people, generosity. They love to give away their money, stuff, time, and wisdom. Generosity is the secret to success in this world. The Bible tells us that generosity begets generosity. If we want to get ahead in this life, God gives us the formula, be generous.

Throughout life we have the opportunity everyday to help other people.

  • Being other-minded.
  • Treating people as better than our selves.
  • The generous lifestyle gives of time, finances, and resources to help.
  • It is seen time and time again, generosity flows back.
  • It is a simple principle; sow generosity—reap generosity.

It’s not just about money or fame but simply succeeding at everything.

  • Relationships
  • Family
  • Finances
  • Education
  • Career
  • Our selves.

Hard work, discipline, creativity, all these play a part, but there is something about being generous with our lives and our possessions that seem to unlock the success door.

10 ways to be generous

  1. Percentage giving – Give a percentage of your total income (Biblical principle)
  2. Purpose giving – find a cause/passion and give to it on a consistent basis
  3. Give your time – serve in a nonprofit or church, start a foundation/nonprofit
  4. Have a garage sale and donate the money to a charity
  5. Clean out your closet, toy box, garage, or storage unit, and donate to a local shelter
  6. When you go grocery shopping buy two of everything and give the extra away to the local food bank
  7. Teach your children to be generous
  8. Tutor/mentor-Volunteer for a tutoring or after-school program, tutor in your area of expertise without charge.
  9. Pay someone’s bill in the grocery line, restaurant, or drive thru.
  10. Check your motives-Generosity is not a technique or gimmick.

Become a generous person and watch the doors of success open only to allow you to increase your generosity!!!

Question: How do you live the Generous lifestyle?

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

R128 Leadership -- You have a message PicIf 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 say.

I want to challenge that thinking. You have a lot to say, you just need to believe it. You have been wired to speak to a unique group of people in your world and they are waiting to hear from you. Your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, community group, church, or school are simply waiting for someone (you!!!) to speak up.

If you look back on your life, your experiences, your family, your choices, and your relationships. Just those alone will give you enough to have something to say. What have you learned that will help those coming behind you, how do you think things could be changed for the better? Just think of the difference you could make by sharing your message with those around you.

10 ways to find your message

  1. Your experience
  2. Your passion
  3. Write every day
  4. Study every day
  5. Research every day
  6. Ask questions (a lot of questions)
  7. Talk
  8. Join a group
  9. Connect with people
  10. Observe

All you have to do is believe you have something to say and speak up!!!

 Question: What do you have to say?

I Just Can’t Wait To Be King!!!

lion king picI 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 become King. He will be the lion king someday but he’s just a boy. He breaks out into the famous song “I just can’t wait to be King”. The idea is, when he becomes king he will do what he wants, say what he wants, no one to tell him to do this, go there, or sit here. He is his own boss.

What a great life that is. To be the king of my jungle.

We all want to arrive at the place where no one is telling us what to do, where to go, when to show up. We are the boss that is telling everyone else where to go, what to do, and how to act. That sounds great but it doesn’t seem to work that way.

What’s to point of being the boss or the “king” if no one is there to follow?

But the point of being king is not; to do what we want, but to self-lead so others can follow. A confident, diligent leader is one who is willing to submit and learn to follow long before they learn to lead. If we are going to be diligent leaders we must first, and always be submitted followers.

Here are some characteristics of diligent leaders:

  1. humility
  2. confidence
  3. understanding
  4. care
  5. wisdom

Question: What are some characteristics you see in diligent leaders that follow?

15 days to 2015

15 days leftAre 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 this week.  Get by yourself, even if it is only for 1 hour

Ask yourself some questions:

  • How did I do in 2014?
  • What would I do different?
  • What would I do the same?
  • What do I want to accomplish in 2015
  • only list 3-5 things (don’t go overboard) that’s a sure fire fail!!!

What do I want to learn?

Answer those questions:

  • Once you have the answers list the answers out.
  • Break them down into bit sized pieces.
  • Get specific:

If you answered,

  • “I want to spend more time with my kids”
    • how much time?
    • Doing what?
  • “I want to get a promotion”
    • What is it going to take to get that promotion
    • More education?
    • Telling your boss you want more responsibility?

Set some goals:

  • Put them on the schedule
  • If you are doing a workshop or class put that on your schedule
  • Set deadlines and goals for accomplishing the tasks

Activate the plan

  • Now, set the appointments
  • Enroll in the class or workshop
  • Accomplish one thing on your list this week
  • Action breeds momentum!!!
  • Make the calls you need to make. 

Be Accountable to the Plan

  • Show someone your plan
  • Ask them to check on you throughout the year on your progress
    • (If you don’t have anyone I’ll do it!! Just message me, I’m serious!!!)
  • Expect to succeed!!  Talk about your goals and plans for the new year as if it is going to happen
    • Tell people what you are doing and what the outcome is going to be
    • This causes a sense of expectation in them and accountability in you.
  • Change your mindset
    • Promise yourself you are going to accomplish this.
    • Confirm in your mind you will not quit!

Question:  What are you plans for 2015?

The byproducts of Thankful Thinking

The thinker 2Being 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 for our thinking as leaders to be based in thankfulness and gratitude.  Leaders who discipline themselves to be grateful in their thinking have some pretty cool byproducts in their lives.

Thankful Thinkers:

  1. Their lives become full of every kind of decency
  2. Virtue
  3. Generosity
  4. Compassion
  5. Contentment
  6. Sanctity of Life
  7. Peace Makers
  8. Their standard is Truth and Transparency
  9. Forgiving
  10. Quiet—They do not share other peoples issues
  11. Loyal
  12. Love God
  13. Respectful
  14. Humble
  15. Give others credit
  16. Creative in ways of doing Good
  17. Honor their parents and previous Generations
  18. Understanding
  19. Their Word is their Bond
  20. Trustworthy
  21. Sympathy/Empathy
  22. Merciful
  23. They realize these byproduct produce prosperity but that is not why they are thankful.
  24. They hang out with others who have these same characteristics.
  25. They encourage others to do the same.

On this Thanksgiving Day take a moment to check your thinking, your motives, and your company.  If any of these need to be changed then discipline yourself now and become a leader know as a Thankful Thinker!!!

Question:  How do you discipline yourself to be a thankful thinker?