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Performance or Purpose

Performance or Purpose About a month ago, an organization in the utility industry experienced the accidental death of an employee, a young husband with two children. Attending the funeral of a team member amid the stress of the pandemic was about all the people in this organization could take. To make matters worse, a hurricane hit in the Gulf of Mexico. It did not hit them, but as a good neighbor of the company impacted by the storm, this organization was expected to and had always rallied their resources to assist in this type of emergency. But this time, the

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A Question and A Prayer

Unlike most calls I get these days from executives, this guy’s team was not struggling; as a matter of fact, his division had led the company in production and profits for many years. Everything was still on track even in this current world of uncertainty. When I asked him how he had accomplished this, without the slightest hesitation or posturing, he gave a little credit to “the luck of the draw” on his part, but the lion’s share of the success he attributed to the great work of the people on his team. I asked him what was on his

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The Work Will Teach You

The Work Will Teach You Last year I met with a young man in his mid ’30s who want to be a business consultant similar to what I do. I was happy to help him and asked him what he’d been doing to become a consultant. He said that he has been working on his business financial plan, as well as a business name and card. He had completed several courses to be certified to do the work.  He was now focused on a website, brochure,  and wanted me to help him with proposal writing because if he had all

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Young Again

Youth Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips, and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life. Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity,  of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.  This often exists in a man of sixty more than a boy of twenty.  Nobody grows old merely by a number of years; we grow old by

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Feeling Overwhelmed – The Eisenhower Matrix

Discouragement often manifests itself as personal disorganization – which is rooted in a temporary inability to prioritize. Last week, I was on a consulting call with a group of managers who were, not surprisingly, feeling overwhelmed and discouraged, as were many of their direct reports. We began discussing how to move yourself and others forward through these times of growing uncertainty.  Our question for the session became “How can we influence others to be more positive and productive when all of us feel stuck in – what is going to change next?”. I introduced the concept, “your feeling will follow

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Catastrophizing or Looking the Other Way

In the United States, people spend an average of 444 minutes every day looking at screens, or 7.4 hours. That breaks down to 147 minutes spent watching TV, 103 minutes in front of a computer, 151 minutes on smartphones, and 43 minutes with a tablet. Catastrophizing Over 20 years ago, Graham C. L. Davey, Ph.D.*, knowing that the proportion of negatively-valenced emotional material in the news was increasing, conducted a study looking at the psychological effects of viewing negative news media. There were three groups: One saw all negative news reports, one viewed only positive news, and one saw no news. The

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Secret Service Father’s Day

My father’s name was Odus Tate and he was in the Secret Service. He was a practical man. He loved his God, his family, and his carpenter work. At his funeral, my sister read this first poem, his favorite. My son, Brad, wrote the other poem as a tribute to his grandfather’s life and work. Together they pretty much summarize who he was. After you read them, if you’d like to learn or about my father’s Secret Service work, you can listen to my special Father’s Day podcast at HERE .  I’d Rather See A Sermon  I’d rather see a sermonthan

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Let Me Be Clear

Last week Dr. Joey Faucette interviewed me on his podcast. He reminded me of something vital to remember but difficult to do. He said in his 20 plus years in training, coaching, and consulting that he had learned one big thing- amid significant changes, people crave certainty about everything, but leaders can only give people clarity around a few things. I didn’t ask Dr. Joey what those few things were, so I came up with my own leadership clarity starter list. I’m clear that: This will not be easy. I don’t have all the answers. I’ll do my best, but

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Learn Something New Every Day

Your organization may have not officially restructured or furloughed any employees, but the way people work is restructured forever. Every manager I talk with is consumed with the safety and mechanics of moving people back into their next routine, and rightly so. People are trying to find a new rhythm while the ground is shifting under their feet. They feel their stress level going up and most don’t know how to deal with it. Unfortunately, there are still a few  managers out there who are oblivious to the emotional side of all this workplace reshaping. They continue their micromanagement and

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Next Normal and a 40-Day Plan

Why 40 days? Although there is not scientific data to support the significance of 40 days, history, specifically Biblical history, certainly points toward a pattern of effectiveness to this time-frame. Theologians in general  agree that the period of 40 days signifies a period of testing, trial or judgment. The Israelites walked through the desert for 40 years. The tower of Babel was built in 40 days, Jesus Christ fasted for 40 days, and He ascended to heaven after 40 days. The Latin root of the word quarantine is 40. Which is even more interesting since the U.S. effort to control

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Roll Up Your Sleeves – Living & Leading in a World of Constant Change, Part 10

Well this is it! #10 or 10 in this special series about the observation of four young men who take another life altering journey together in my forthcoming book Roll Up Your Sleeves. Over the past 2 weeks we have covered our One Unshakeable Truth plus these 9 concepts. One Unshakeable Truth – Everyone has unseen battles they are fighting. Be kind. #1 Change is not the same as transition. #2 Personality matters. #3 Role clarity counts. #4 Principles set the pace. #5 Purpose is power. #6 Process matters. #7 Endings let us begin again. #8 Seasons come and go.

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Roll Up Your Sleeves – Living & Leading in a World of Constant Change, Part 9

So far we have covered One Unshakeable Truth plus these 8 concepts, which are found in my forthcoming book Roll Up Your Sleeves: One Unshakable Truth – Everyone has unseen battles they are fighting. Be kind. #1 Change is not the same as transition. #2 Personality matters. #3 Role clarity counts. #4 Principles set the pace. #5 Purpose is power. #6 Process matters. #7 Endings let us begin again. #8 Seasons come and go. Today I get personal with a few thoughts about Observation #9 Self-counseling doesn’t work. – When change hits, we become our worst counselor. Instead of turning

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Roll Up Your Sleeves – Living & Leading in a World of Constant Change, Part 8

So far we have covered One Unshakeable Truth plus these 7 concepts, which are found in my forthcoming book Roll Up Your Sleeves: One Unshakable Truth – Everyone has unseen battles they are fighting. Be kind. #1 Change is not the same as transition. #2 Personality matters. #3 Role clarity counts. #4 Principles set the pace. #5 Purpose is power. #6 Process matters. #7 Endings let us begin again. Today is #8 Seasons come and go. Life is a series of transitions in which we decide to either loathe the change or learn to love ourselves more and serve others

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Roll Up Your Sleeves – Living & Leading in a World of Constant Change, Part 7

From March 23th to 30th we reviewed these 6 concepts: One Unshakable Truth – Everyone has unseen battles they are fighting. Be kind. #1 Change is not the same as transition. #2 Personality matters. #3 Role clarity counts. #4 Principles set the pace. #5 Purpose is power. #6 Process matters. Today let’s look at #7 Endings let us begin again. Acknowledge and accept that the past is behind you and that the future in front of you is worth working through, because it creates forward momentum. Momentum is a wonderful thing. At the beginning of the series, I said that

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