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Feeling Deflated? Six Questions To Help…

It’s not just tires. Leaders can ‘lose air ‘ too.

Intense demands, overwhelming expectations and the daily challenges of leading can easily conspire to emotionally deflate a leader.

The symptoms are short-term (unlike an on-going and much more serious depression).  They include feeling down, lower energy, being negative or irritable, clouded thinking, sensitivity to fears and many more.

Six Questions To Ask Yourself When You Are Feeling Flat Continue Reading

Developing Rhythms for Rest and Renewal

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Ask:

Is rest and renewal a regular rhythm in your life?

Why:

God has punctuated time by establishing day and night, specific seasons, special celebrations and Sabbath. Developing similar rhythms for our lives and specifically for rest is biblical and life-giving.

The Sabbath commandment, Jesus’ discipline of taking time away to connect with the Father, and a growing mountain of research on productivity point to the need for regular rest and rhythms of renewal.

Unfortunately, in our 24-7 world where busyness is often worn as a badge of honor, many people sacrifice rest and self-care. The costs are significant – the sleep deficit alone reduces efficiency, impairs judgment, diminishes creativity, clouds thinking and increases susceptibility to illness and disease. Continue Reading

What Really Holds You Back?

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Dandelions. These yellow ‘flowers’ populate lawns each spring. Initially, it seems easiest to just run the lawnmower over top of them.  After all, they will disappear…for a day or two.

But the dandelions will soon reappear in even greater force. The only way to truly eliminate dandelions is to get to the roots with a nasty poison or a back-breaking weeding tool.

Getting to the roots of dandelions has a very helpful application to personal change. In personal change, we too often we ignore the roots below the surface that are supporting negative behaviors or patterns. As a result, the change initiative often ends in disappointment or failure. Continue Reading

What’s Your One Degree?

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One degree can make a big difference – especially over time. Imagine your next flight. What if the navigator plotted a course that was off by one degree?

Aviators will tell you that for every one degree traveled off course for 60 miles, the plane will land 1 mile off the intended destination.

 

So, what does this mean for a trip from Vancouver to London? It means a 79 mile walk (multiplied by number of degrees off course) to gather your suitcases at Heathrow’s baggage claim!

Applying The “One Degree” Concept to Your Life

What happens when you apply the ‘one degree’ concept to your life? There are several applications:

  1. It’s very important to be as ‘on course’ as possible in stewarding your time, talent and treasure.
  2. Making a positive one degree change in your life can have a significant impact over time.
  3. The more strategic the change (more degrees), the more exponential the impact over time.

So, rather than getting overwhelmed and discouraged with all the changes you would like to make in your life, ask yourself these questions:

  • If you could only make one ‘one degree’ change, what would it be?
  • What personal change would give you the most strategic return on investment over time?

Identifying Your ‘One Degree’ Change

To bring clarity to identifying your ‘one degree’ change, consider these two steps:

  1. Ask the Lord and seek to listen to His response. Pray a question like: “God, in what one area of my life would you most like to see change in order to conform me more to Christ and bring you glory?”
  2. You can also ask others you trust—your spouse, friends, supervisor or colleagues. Ask them a question like this: ‘If I were to consider focusing on one area of personal/leadership growth, what would you suggest I consider?’

Future posts will provide some practical and tangible next steps for getting traction on your one degree change. To help guide these posts, could you give some feedback? What challenges do you experience in seeking personal change?

 

Summer Reading List…

I love summer for a number of reasons. Besides the warm weather and family vacation, I love the extra window of time summer adds for reading. There are so many books and so little time, but here are a few books on my summer reading list:

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Overcoming Squirrels & Other Distractions

“Squirrel!” If you’ve seen the Academy Award-winning animated movie “Up”, you’ve watched “Dug” the talking dog and his talking dog colleagues get immediately and completely distracted by the sight or sound of squirrels. It doesn’t matter what they are doing, Dug and his companions get sight of a squirrel and everything momentarily stops. In some instances, they can’t regain their focus or have completely gotten off track because of their squirrel distraction.

nfocusdesign via flickr

Does this sound familiar? While you might not get distracted by squirrels in the literal sense, many leaders are tempted by ‘squirrels’ that go by other names. Your ‘squirrels’ may be exciting new ideas or possibilities, the next invitation, the new job advertisement or the continual stream of e-communication. Whatever your ‘squirrels’ are, they temporarily capture your attention, distract you from the important, blur focus, take up emotional RAM and sometimes get you completely off track.

Here are three practical tools to keep you focused in the midst of possible distractions:

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