Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Authenticity--Team Leaders

I read an interesting article on authenticity as it relates to leaders and leadership this week. It really got me thinking. The article by Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones is Managing Authenticity: The Paradox of Great Leadership.

I've met a lot of leaders in my life and had the opportunity to work for some truly great leaders with whom I really connected. I had never really though about why we connected before, or why I really knew these leaders cared about me as part of their organization.

On the other hand, I have also had the opportunity to be part of organizations where it was clear the leaders didn't have it together and for whom I had no illusions that they were great leaders. They were just doing the job--and not that well.

It dawns on me that I was assessing the authenticity of their leadership.

What is authentic leadership?

Well, the Center for Authentic Leadership describes it as follows:

"The measure of a man or woman is more than the sum of one’s words or deeds. It is the impact of who we are being as we speak and act that leaves the greatest imprint on others."

Goffee and Jones stated it as simply as the following: "First, you have to ensure that your words are consistent with your deeds; otherwise, followers will not accept you as authentic."

You've probably been in the presence of leaders which make your "skin crawl" because you know that although they appear to be your best friend, you are convinced they really don't care about you and are out for whatever they can get out of you to advance their personal issues. They have a problem with authenticity. I call it something more obvious--they are flat out disingenuous.

Team leaders need authenticity. They need to be comfortable with themselves and also not be afraid to be vulnerable. Who they are deep in their very souls needs to be congruent with who they are as a leader. This does not mean leaders can't play different roles--we are all called to different roles as situations require--but the way the roles are performed needs a sense of consistency that can only come from internal congruence.

Great leaders are not poor leaders trying to be great. They are not insecure people acting out their part--they are congruent in all aspects of their life and they are comfortable with themselves and the role they are called to serve in.

Goffee and Jones kinda summed it up: "Authentic leaders remain focused on where they are going but never lose sight of where they came from."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Holiday Frenzy

Ready. Set. Start your holiday engines!

Yeah--Thanksgiving is here--with three NFL football games, turkey, food, family, and friends. And following that is a glorious week in the "real" south visiting the magical land of Mickey! At least it's still warm there.
And then back for the final two-and-a-half week push to Christmas!!!
And even here in beautiful, almost warm, Howard County, Maryland, there has been a small success--the Columbia Mall reinstated the annual poinsettia tree which they dispensed with last year. It is back by popular demand to brighten our holiday moods. And with the economy tanking--all help is needed to brighten our moods.
By the time January comes we are going to be really ready for a mid-Winter rest. But it is all good. And we have so much to be thankful for--especially the opportunity to travel and to be with family and friends.
My prayer for the season is that we would appreciate all of the blessings that God has given us and not become fixated on what we could or should have. Our glass is truly full and it is usually overflowing with blessings. This season, may we share these blessings with those around us. Share our laughter, our love, our time, our possessions as they are needed, and our hope in the future. And that hope is?

Hey--and while you are at it don't forget--Jesus is the reason for the season. Don't be afraid to say: Merry Christmas, God loves you, too!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Today is the Day--Get Started

I ran across a brand new song by one of my favorite Christian artists this weekend. The song is "Today is the Day" and it is by the usually high energy Lincoln Brewster. And this song is high energy--just the way I like it.

I've been listening to the song in the car ever since I found it because it really speaks to me. Maybe it is the culmination of a lot of things I've been through lately and a lot of baggage I'm hauling around.

The song opens with these words:

I`m casting my cares aside
I`m leaving my past behind
I`m setting my heart and mind on You
I`m reaching my hand to Yours
Believing there`s so much more
Knowing that all You have in store for me is good
Is good

What comfort these words are to people who are saddled with the loads and shots that life sends them.

But it is the chorus which rises out of the mundane, "stuck in the rut of life" situation that we sometimes find ourselves to proclaim:

Today is the day
You have made
I will rejoice and be glad in it
Today is the day
You have made
I will rejoice and be glad in it
And I won`t worry about tomorrow
I`m trusting in what You say
Today is the day

So, today is the day and as some have written--it is the first day of the rest of your life. It is not too late to turn around and start over. Will it be easy--no. But it will be worth it.

The song closes with a modification of the chorus which goes:

And I won`t worry about tomorrow
I`m giving you my fears and sorrows
Where you lead me I will follow
I'm trusting in what you say

And if you really want to know what it means--check out Matthew 6:25-34 and remember God said we are more valuable than the birds or the flowers and He takes care of them!

Today is the Day!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lighting the Christmas Palm

Alright--so most of you know that Chris and Nicole and Jax are in New Orleans for a conference/holiday. I have been playing the part of the bachelor and keeping the home fires burning. So last night Chris is out in New Orleans headed for dinner and sees a sight which causes her to snap a picture with her camera phone.

Now--you know I am a huge Palm Tree guy and that the thought of Christmas lighted Palm Trees is one of my favorite sights. So imagine my delight when I got the picture she took.

It made me smile.

And that is why I keep saying that I live too far north--no Christmas lighted Palm Trees on the street corners to brighten the holiday season.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Jax and Poppop Steal a Couple Moments

Something rare happened on Sunday. Jax and I had some quality time together.
For some strange reason he parked himself on my lap and proceeded to play and coo and sing for over 40 minutes. He was relaxed and so was I.
He wants to be mobile so bad. He really needs some alone time on his belly--but he hates being on his belly because, I think, he feels isolated and he can't interact with everything around him.
He is so personable. And boy, does he like to eat. Anything. I just sense he wants to be grown up beyond his years--which is a good thing.
There is a little button on the top of the toy he is playing with and it causes the lights to light and songs to play. He figured out how to play the songs by hitting the button. And not just once in a random fashion, but in a repeated fashion he found the button and caused the toy to light and sing.  Wow.
Look out Ethan--your little brother in right on your heels!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Autumn's Last Gasp

Well--it is now over. The last of the leaves have fallen and I have even removed them from the yard. I took these pictures over the weekend and by Monday, all the leaves were on the ground.

But I have these images--the colors of the Autumn as it passes into my memory.

Clearing the yard of the leaves on Veteran's Day was a solitary experience. I talked with many of my friends at work to find that they too, spent their holiday laboring in their yards with mountains of leaves.

Ah but the colors were great, but now the trees are bare and ready for Winter's onslaught of cold, wind, and ice or snow. Because of our dry spell, some of the leaves never changed from green--and there were many green leaves in the piles I made on Tuesday.

Spring is not that far away--at least in my mind.
And it is, after all, mid-November. Thanksgiving is two weeks away and the Christmas season is on its heels. I'm even beginning to plan on getting out the Christmas lights for the house--to bring some light and color back in to the world after the passing of the colors of Autumn. And after that? A mid-Winter vacation to somewhere warm? Well, maybe.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bogle Vineyards Phantom 2003

We sampled this wine on Friday evening at a friend's house and absolutely loved it.

It was a very smooth wine with a complex and delightful nose that is stunning. It rolls onto the tongue with in a deep, silky manner treating the drinker to flavors of berry, steak, black pepper and other spices blended in a manner that is very pleasing. And the taste lingers on the palette. It truly envelopes your whole mouth in a sensory experience.

The wine is a blend of Petite Sirah 55% - Zinfandel 42% - Mourvèdre 3% and truly is designed to please.

Recommendation: Buy and drink this wine. At about $20 per bottle this is a wine that can definitely be used for special occasions and will definitely impress. And I hear the 2005 vintage is every bit as good if not better than 2003.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

November arrives

Well, I think I'm finally recovering from the election hang-over. It was a wild ride these past few months as the candidates slung mud to get to election day and the American people finally could make their choice and mercifully end the campaigning which has been going on for almost two years now.

I urge each of you to sign up with the Presidential Prayer Team to pray for the transition and our new president.

I also urge each of you to visit the President-elect's web site to learn more about the new team headed for The White House.

Regardless of who you voted for--and I admit I didn't vote for the guy who won, we need to support the President-elect. Why? Because we need our President to be successful our President needs our support and prayers for wisdom and discernment of God's will for our great nation. We can disagree on policies--but on this we must agree--our President and all of our leaders need our prayers.

And finally--if you want to have some fun and become a bit more educated about our 43 Presidents--check out this Presidential rating website. I found it fascinating--especially the selection for number six!
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