Before You Respond . . .

The normal thing to do when attacked is to respond in kind, or run away. If someone yells at you, the natural inclination is to raise your own voice in response. If someone strikes you, the natural inclination is to strike them back. If someone sends you a critical email, the natural inclination is to send back an equally critical email. These are all natural reactions and in almost every case, these are the WRONG reactions. Responding in kind to these kinds of stimuli displays poor emotional intelligence and weak leadership skills.

For more on this check out the short video below:


Blind Spots – Johari Window

The Johari window is a psychological tool that looks at self-awareness, specifically mapping awareness of our idiosyncrasies into a matrix of four blocks:

1) that which is known by ourselves and others,

2) that which is known by others but we don’t know it about ourselves,

3) that which we know about ourselves but others do not know, and

4) that which neither others or we ourselves know about our personality/behavior.

The reason I include this in a proverb is that self-knowledge is fundamental to wisdom.

For more on this check out the short video below:


WIIFM stands for: “What’s In It For Me.”  WIIFM is the operational philosophy of nearly 100% of the population, nearly 100% of the time, including you and me. Yes, there are a LOT of people who say they operate under a different philosophy, and there may be a few who do, at least occasionally, but, by and large, that number is low.  Christians strive to operate out of a philosophy of love and consideration of others above self. This is as it should be and God’s design, but most give little thought to anyone or anything without first considering the WIIFM.

For more on this check out the short video below:

Pride goes before a Fall

That is actually a variation of Proverbs 16:18 (from the Bible): “Pride goes before destruction….” Here is another, “Do not think of yourself more highly that you ought….” Romans 12:3. Jim Collins in Good to Great described the difference between companies which performed at good levels, and those which could be considered great. Several years later he wrote a follow-up book titled How the Mighty Fall which described how many of those “great” companies had crumbled.

For more on this check out this short video:

Respect, Honor, & Love

I was listening to a speaker once, who said: men are fueled by honor and respect, while women are fueled by love. I have noticed that men do indeed respond better when they feel they are being treated with respect and honor; this applies to the home, the workplace and social gatherings. When we intentionally treat the men in our lives with respect and honor, they are more likely to live up to those expectations and be men who deserve respect and honor.

For more on this check out this short video:


Pick up the PHONE!!

I know we live in a digital age.  I know that we depend on email and text messages for almost all of our communication, not to mention LinkedIN, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.  In most cases these forms of communication are entirely adequate to get a message across. In fact, these forms of communication can be extremely effective because they leave a nice digital trail to refer back to if necessary.

For more on this check out this short video:


There is very little that is as effective in shutting down criticism as a simple apology. Saying you are sorry, and genuinely meaning it, is a powerful tool real leaders are willing to use in their pursuit of larger goals. If you can say, “I’m sorry” and mean it, and then learn from the experience, your credibility grows, as does your influence. If, instead, you try to cover up your mistakes or blame them on others, or the circumstances, you are effectively giving away your power and weakening your credibility; you are undermining yourself even though you may think you are presenting a strong position.

For more on this check out the short video below:

Hire People Smarter Than Yourself

Hiring people who are smarter than you are seems counterintuitive. It seems like, as leader, you should know more than those you employ, about every aspect of the job. That, however, would be wrong, especially in the current age in which we live. Hiring people smarter than you will be difficult if you think you are the smartest person in the room. However, if you can get over yourself, you will soon realize there are a lot of areas where you don’t know the answers. Smart leaders hire even smarter workers who can help the organization move forward.

For more on this check out the short video below:

Making Conversation

Whether in a group of three to five individuals, or simply one-on-one, the ability to engage in conversation is a crucial skill. I say crucial because this ability is the beginning step in forming a relationship. Almost all relationships have a communication component, verbal or otherwise. Relationships form the foundation of all meaningful human interaction. The best way to develop the skill of conversation is to start from a common point of reference, for instance, sports, the weather, home towns, cars, etc. Building on that, from a perspective of genuine interest, begin asking questions and sharing from your own experience.

For more on this, check out the short video below:

How to Treat Each Other

First Timothy 5:1-2 states: “Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were you father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” This passage resonates with the ramifications of “being created in the image of God.” We all hold this in common, regardless of race or creed. Treating any person in a way that demeans or disrespects them, damages our own personhood.

For more on this check out the short video below: