Leaders: As your Responsibilities INCREASE, your rights DECREASE

April 22nd, 2010 by Gallagher John 2 Comments

Anyone who doesn’t believe the title of this post needs to look no farther than the sports headlines today.  Two different stories with the same cause, but different consequences:

This is not a post about judging right or wrong or the individuals involved, but making a point.  As our Responsibilities increase (Quarterback = President), our Rights decrease.  I am not talking about the rights we have as citizens, but the rights we have to make poor judgement and put ourselves in bad situations in the eyes of those who follow us and believe in us.  What have I learned from this Ben Roethlisberger story?

  1. I choose not to put myself in situations like Roethlisberger put himself in.  Aside from the allegations, we live in a world of camera phones, flip video cameras, Twitpic, etc., and our poor judgement can be broadcast, literally, in SECONDS.
  2. Leadership is a full-time position.  24/7.   There is a country song titled “I don’t have to be me til Monday.”  WRONG.  When you leave your ‘office’, you are expected to behave the same way whether or not you can be seen.  This is the definition of CHARACTER
  3. Some wise advice I was given early on:  “If your mother would be embarrassed to read about this action on the front page of the newspaper tomorrow, you probably should not be doing it.”

Ben Roethlisberger has made some poor decisions and put himself into a bad situation.  Whether or not he was convicted, he is the face of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ franchise.  As a leader, he must do better.   I hope that he, as an individual and leader, can recover from this and rebuild trust in the relationships he has damaged.

So, do you agree?  Do your rights DECREASE as your RESPONSIBILITIES increase?  Why or why not?

Book review – Mentor Like Jesus

April 8th, 2010 by Gallagher John No Comments

As a result of commenting on a blog post at www.michaelhyatt.com, I was given the book titled: Mentor Like Jesus by Regi Campbell.  I must say that I really enjoyed this book.  In this book, the author defines a process he developed on his own to called “next-generation mentoring mentor a few men (8) in a year long process.  The author defines a great mentor as “one who can listen, ask good questions, bring others into the conversation, and tell a relevant story to make a point.”  He uses Jesus as the model mentor.

He defined 11 elements of next-generation mentoring: 1) On purpose, 2) Selfless, 3) in a group, 4) handpicked 5) for  defined period of time, 6) Scripture, 7) Prayer, (8) Modeled, 9) Taught along the way, 10) Mutual commitment, 11) Required multiplication.

The elements that touched me the most included:

Handpicked – Generally, a mentee, chooses a mentor, but in this program, the mentor choose the mentees HE wants to mentor…Just like Jesus picked his 12!

Defined period of time – Too often, I think mentoring, once started, goes on for an undefined period.  In this program, there is a specific end date

Required mutual commitment – The sessions are scheduled out a year in advance and there are no ‘excused’ absences or tardies.  His math is simple.  If there are 9 men in the group (1 mentor and 8 mentees) and you are 5 minutes late for a meeting, you aren’t just wasting 5 minutes, you are wasting 45 minutes of time!

Several quotes hit me as well:

  • More time with fewer people equals greater kingdom impact
  • “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
  • A good mentor is like a good tennis coach:  I hit the balls over the net(issue or opportunity), and he simply changes he angle of the return(with great questions).

The book gets a ‘6’ on the dogear scale that I use; however, most of the books that I review have 220-250 pages.  This book only has 152 pages, so the effectiveness of the book is much higher than it’s ‘6’ rating.  I will be passing a copy along to a friend and would suggest it to you.  I want to thank Michael Hyatt for the opportunity to read this book.

So, what are you waiting on?  When are YOU going to start a mentoring group?  Actually, the book has a great list of questions to let you know WHEN you are ready to start and WHO to mentor!  I have the date set on my calendar for when I will start my mentoring group.  I want to work to prepare myself for it.

Building the Perfect Sandwich…I mean…Presentation

March 31st, 2010 by Gallagher John 2 Comments

I have often marveled at the ability and patience my 13-year old son Brendan has to put together a perfect sandwich.  He layers it perfectly and the order of ‘construction’ is very important. 

Today, I will share with you my son’s ability and some great advice from my coach, Raymond Gleason, to show you how to “Build the perfect presentation (sandwich) in 6 steps:

1) Tell them a story.

2) Tell them what you are going to tell them

3) Tell them

4)  Tell them what you told them

5) Call them to action

6) Bonus!

1)  Tell them a story is like the first piece of bread.  You need to set up the next step with a relevant experience or story.  If you are not a comedian, be careful not to try to be too funny and risk losing your audience, but a little humor to wake them up is nice.

2) Tell them what you are going to tell them is the first condiment like lettuce or a slice of cheese.  Let them know the points you are going to review

3) Tell them – now that you have told them what you are going to tell them, put the main ingredient (the meat!) on the sandwich. Summarize after a few points.

4)  Tell them what you told them Time to add the dressing.  Summarize at the end the main points.  It will help them to remember what you just presented

5) Call them to action Last slice of bread on top.  Holds it all together and makes it worthwhile.  If you are in a large group, challenge them to go out and make something happen.  If in a smaller group, actually work with them to write down what they are doing, but don’t let them leave without making a commitment to what they heard.

6) Bonus – This is the olive on the toothpick that decorates the sandwich (and yes, Brendan even adds this most of the time!).  If you have time, a Q&A session to clarify even further your points can be a great addition.

What presentation have you been stumped on how to get started?  Write down these 6 steps as an outline and fill in the blanks next to them.  It will help. 

Leaders don't Transfer pain…They TransFORM it

March 16th, 2010 by Gallagher John 2 Comments

This Sunday Pastor Bob Fiedler asked us a great question. Do we transfer pain, or transform it? It was a great question. One in which leaders need to understand. There are distinct differences.

Leaders who transfer pain: start problems, yell & scream, discourage, react with anger, and place blame.

Contrast that with

Leaders who transform pain: solve problems, calm & consistent, encourage, react with forgiveness, grace, and mercy, and they take responsibility.

I asked my brother, Michael, to help me with this post and here are couple examples he had to put this question into perspective:

Basketball coaches: When something goes wrong, does a coach compound it by dwelling on what the players are doing wrong? Or does the coach build his players up by saying what they are doing right?

Teachers: When teachers receive test results they aren’t exactly happy with, do they show the scores to the students and break them down more and create another problem? Or does the teacher look at what could have been taught better and try to fix the problem?

We need more leaders (coaches, teachers, parents, pastors, friends, bosses, etc.) that transFORM rather than transfer pain. When we are able to do this, more people will follow us and more will get accomplished.

So, what other examples can you share of differences you have seen in transferring and transforming pain? Please add your comments! I would love to hear from you.

Leaders can't compartmentalize their Character

March 2nd, 2010 by Gallagher John 5 Comments

This week, I was reminded of a verse in Hebrews 11:3 that says: “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.”

Not sure why, but it brought a visual to my mind of an armoire in my home office. The armoire has many drawers. Each of these drawers has a piece of my current life inside:

1) Business files

2) Office supplies

3) Electronics equipment (digital camera, cords, ipod, etc.)

4) CD’s, etc.

The picture reminded me of a leader and our character. You see, inside of the armoire are just the nuts and bolts (‘stuff’) of our life, but the furniture piece that is visible (our character) can be a beautiful piece. Our lives tend to be compartmentalized, but our character is what people see and hear on the outside.

Character, to me, can be defined as what you do when others are not around. In any event, it is visible (like the outside of the armoire) and we can’t compartmentalize our lives.

You see, as leaders:

1) Our lives are made up of many ‘drawers’

2) Not everyone gets to see what is inside those drawers…but they usually know.

3) BUT, folks always see the outside…our behaviors…our attitude…our consistency. We can’t hide that inside a drawer. It is a piece of furniture that is visible to everyone.

So, what can people see of your character (armoire)? Do you have a little ‘polishing’ to do on the outside? Do you have any drawers in your life that need cleaned out?

Leadership and 'Re-fueling Pit Stops'

February 19th, 2010 by Gallagher John 2 Comments

In a Nascar race, an average efficient pit stop that consists of the changing of all four tires and a full tank of fuel can take anywhere between 13 and 15 seconds. The amount of pit stops during a race vary because of numerous factors — race length, caution flags, fuel mileage, tire wear and pit strategy to name a few.

In Leadership, it is necessary to take regular ‘pit stops’ so that you can keep your engine running. In today’s economy, it sometimes can feel so important to continue to run around the track at 200 miles an hour and not have time for a ‘pit stop’. We all know that if we don’t come in and ‘re-fuel’, replace the tires, and adjust the suspension, we will not be able to cross the finish line.

Recently, I completed an overnight ‘pit stop’ where my wife, Chris, and I were able to get away for an evening…just the two of us…to re-fuel and prepare to get back out on the track again. This opportunity was refreshing and got me thinking how important it is to take time away to refuel. You see, re-fueling doesn’t mean to shut it down completely, but rather, a brief moment to ensure all the systems are ‘go’. And, it isn’t enough just to do this for a vacation annually. It has to be planned as daily, weekly, quarterly, and annual down time to recharge. Mark Sanborn tweeted recently a post that touched me completely about the need for weekly ‘down time’. He asked if Sunday was a ‘day of rest, or a day to catch-up’. Too often, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is seen as the norm, and I don’t want to allow myself to fall into that trap.

So, I am committing to the following ‘pit-stop’ schedule for myself.

  1. Daily – 1 hour (reading an inspirational book or listening to a podcast)
  2. Weekly – One day (Tuesdays. In real estate, Sunday is a ‘normal’ work day. Even for church leaders, Sunday is a work day!)
  3. Quarterly – One weekend
  4. Semi-annually – One week

During this time, I will take my foot off the gas and re-fuel the engine. I know it will benefit me. It is important to set boundaries around this time as well. No email…No PDA…Minimize the distractions. My wife needs this time, too. Rarely do stay-at-home moms get the benefit of pit stops and I need to honor her time.

So, are you taking ‘pit stops’ to re-fuel? What do you need to do to ensure that your motor is running at the end of the race and that your down time is rest time and not catch-up time?

Leadership and Shoveling Snow

February 11th, 2010 by Gallagher John No Comments

In the midst of one of the historic winters in Roanoke, VA, (with regards to snowfall) it has been a CHALLENGE to manage my attitude each time I have to go out and shovel the snow off of our driveway. Perspective is important. So, as I was shoveling our driveway for the 3rd time in a 24-hour period just the other day, I found myself thinking about how this could POSSIBLY relate to leadership and it actually was relatively easy.

Continuous improvement – I am always trying to find the ‘least waste way’ to do things and shoveling a 3,000 square foot driveway is no different. How can I improve upon my methods to reduce the time that it takes? Probably one of the many things that drives Chris crazy about me, but it is just how I am wired. (No comments from the Peanut gallery about buying a snow blower. That is another story in itself!)
Relationships – I was able invest time with Chris as we talked about a future vacation, sitting on the beach, and being WARM! We had about 3 hours of time with no TV, no distractions, except for the scraping of the shovel over the asphalt. It was almost peaceful.
Discipline– It was a great workout. Not a whole lot better core workout than shoveling about 4,5000 cubic feet(yes, I calculated it!) of heavy wet snow. Great cardio, too. Thus, I did not have to go to the gym (could not have gotten there, anyway!)
Attitude – Rather than it being WORK, it is time to reflect, think, be grateful…Grateful for the time with Chris, for the beauty of the snow falling, etc.

So, next time you get frustrated or angry with the shoveling of the snow (or some other project), view it as a time to grow personally….make a game out of it…consider it your exercise…It really helps to reduce the stress of it. (this DOESN’T mean that I am hoping for several more inches of show 😉 )

So, what project do you think you HATE to do that if you were to take a different approach, would make it a positive experience?