A Leadership Separator

Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on AppleSpotify, or Audible. 

We are more likely to act ourselves into feeling good than we are to wait until we feel good about something before we act on it. That self-initiative is a true leadership separator. 

Check out the full episode of The Craig And Greg Show where we talk about grit, perseverance, and resilience.

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Podcast: Toughen Up, Buttercup

Listen to the audio-only version of this podcast by clicking on the player below, or scroll down to watch the video.

Recently Greg got a call from an educational institute asking him for advice on how to help their athletes “toughen up.” Unfortunately, they’re not alone, it seems like resilience is in increasingly shorter supply across the board these days. As a leader, it is your job to help instill grit into your team. Not tearing them down, but showing them that you view them with more potential.

  • [0:15] It’s time to toughen up, Buttercup! 
  • [2:54] We learn the best leadership lessons from the toughest times.
  • [4:17] Greg shares an example from coaching t-ball that applies to all our leadership roles.
  • [7:28] The temporary pain can protect us against the pain that would have derailed our leadership.
  • [8:35] A college contacted Greg about why their athletes are lacking resilience.
  • [10:12] Greg shares an insightful quote about struggling through a problem to achieve success.
  • [12:07] We define the leadership culture that will serve us and our teams best.
  • [13:34] We discuss an example from Greg’s NFL experience.
  • [14:56] Resilience can be hard to teach, but we still need to keep trying.
  • [17:54] Data from the Mayo Clinic that encourages us to develop grit.
  • [19:34] What happens to reach that have teammates who don’t show stick-to-it-iveness?
  • [21:04] A leadership separator is action over feelings.
  • [24:00] The wrong and right ways to handle disappointments.
  • [25:53] We can help coach you to bring out the resilience in yourself and your team.

Check out this episode and subscribe on YouTube so you can watch all of the upcoming episodes. You can also listen to our podcast on Spotify and Apple.

Never Hurry, Just Persist

This is from On This Day.

Sheldon JacksonWe often rush when we should plod, forgetting that we usually accomplish more by persisting than by hurrying. 

Sheldon Jackson was born on May 18, 1834 in the Mohawk Valley of New York. When he was four his parents dedicated him to God’s service, and his ambition from youth was to be a missionary. After graduating from Princeton Theological Seminary, he joined the thousands trekking to the American West. Most were searching for gold, land, and open skies. Wagon trains were leaving St. Louis daily. The golden spike tied East to West in 1866 as the Union Pacific Railway opened. Boom towns arose. Cowboys and mining camps, rowdy saloons and gunfighters filled the frontier. Jackson was everywhere, searching for souls with the fervor of a prairie fire. He once organized seven churches in 15 days. 

He stood just over five feet tall, but his size, he said, allowed him to sleep anywhere. His bed was a stagecoach floor, a saloon loft, a hollow log, a teepee, a canoe. Someone described him as “short, bewhiskered, bespectacled, but a giant.”And his field was immense. He served as superintendent of Presbyterian missions from New Mexico to Minnesota. 

When the United States purchased Alaska, he headed there at once, and the North soon became his passion. He explored the dangerous, uncharted fog-hidden coasts of the Bering Sea and the Arctic Ocean. He established schools for the young and placed missionaries in the hamlets. He evangelized, established churches, and brought Bibles to the Eskimos. 

He worried that explorers and exploiters were slaughtering whales and seals, depriving Eskimos of their natural food supplies. So, braving criticism and ridicule, Sheldon raised $2,000 and brought reindeer from Siberia. Soon great herds were providing transportation, food, clothing, and livelihood for the people. Sheldon made 26 trips to Alaska, and during 50 years of ministry he traveled a million miles through the West and North. He oversaw the establishing of 886 churches. Few men have ever so planted the Christian faith over such a wide area. His secret? His friends simply explained, “He never hurried. He just persisted.” 

Thursdays With Oswald—Stretched Like A Bow

Oswald ChambersThis is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Stretched Like A Bow

     God takes the saints like a bow which He stretches and at a certain point the saint says, “I can’t stand any more,” but God does not heed, He goes on stretching because He is aiming at His mark, not ours, and the patience of the saints is that they “hang in” until God lets the arrow fly. … Remain spiritually tenacious.

From God’s Workmanship 

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:7-11)

My prayer is that we all remain spiritually tenacious until God lets the arrow of our life fly!

Links & Quotes

link quote

Some good reading from today…

“Spread love everywhere you go; first of all in your house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor. Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.” —Mother Teresa

“Many people don’t achieve their dream because it’s out of reach, but because they quit.” —John Maxwell

Good things as well as bad, you know, are caught by a kind of infection. If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them. They are not a sort of prize which God could, if He chose, just hand out to anyone. They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very centre of reality. If you are close to it, the spray will wet you: if you are not, you will remain dry.” —C.S. Lewis

Want some free music from U2? They released a new album free on iTunes.

More reasons to be skeptical of so-called “global warming” alarmists.

12 Quotes From “12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid”

12 Huge MistakesI highlighted a lot in Tim Elmore’s newest book 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid … a lot! This is book that every parent (or grandparent) should read because it’s never too late to invest the best in our (grand)children. You can read my full book review of this must-read book by clicking here. Below are just a few of the quotes I highlighted in this book.

“I believe we have under-challenged kids with meaningful work to accomplish. We have overwhelmed them with tests, recitals, and practices, and kids report being stressed-out by these activities. But they are essentially virtual activities. Adults often don’t give significant work to students—work that is relevant to life and could actually improve the world if the kids rose to the challenge. We just don’t have many expectations of our kids today.” 

“Every parent and teacher wants to see their kids succeed in school, in sports, and in life, but making it impossible to fail isn’t the answer. Removing failure, in fact, is a terrific way to stunt maturity. … As parents, we’ve given them lots of possessions but not much perspective. As educators, we’ve given them plenty of schools but not plenty of skills. As coaches, we’ve taught them how to win games but not how to win in life. As youth workers, we provide lots of explanations but not enough experiences. As employers, we’ve mentored them in profit and loss but haven’t shown them how to profit from loss.”

“Truth be told, when kids have heard they are excellent without working hard or truly adding value to a team, the praise rings hollow to them. Our affirmation must match their performance.”  

“When people—especially young people—know they are free to try something and fail, their performance usually improves. It brings out the best in them. But if they are preoccupied with trying not to fail, they become paralyzed:

  • Failure can create resilience.
  • Failure can force us to evaluate.
  • Failure can motivate us to better performance.
  • Failure prompts creativity and discovery.
  • Failure can develop maturity.”

“Our constant caving begins to foster a constant craving in them. They want clarity. With boundaries unclear, they need more direct attention from Mom or Dad. Unwittingly, we actually breed insecurity and instability in our kids. This may sound strange, but consistency may be your best friend as a parent because it aids in your authority and in your child’s development.” 

“Removing the consequences takes one of two roads. We either excuse their behavior and remove negative outcomes, or we actually step in and pay the consequence for them. When we do this, we frequently relieve the stress. We bring immediate peace to the situation, so we get addicted to this pattern. Unfortunately, we don’t see the long-term problems we are causing. Removing the consequences from our children’s lives brings short-term tranquility but long-term trouble.”

“‘You can do anything you want.’ I recognize why we say this, but as our kids grow older, we must help them to see what we really meant. … We really meant, if they set their mind to do something, they’ll be amazed at what they can pull off. The catch is, it needs to be something with in their gift area. They cannot simply make up a dream or copy a friend’s dream and call it theirs. Dreams should be attached to strengths.” 

“We have created a world of conveniences, filled with smart phones, microwaves, Internet shopping, and online banking. The subtle message is that struggles are to be avoided. We want as much convenience as possible. In fact, we feel entitled to it. But we failed to see that when we remove the struggles from our children’s lives, we begin to render them helpless. They don’t have the opportunity to develop the life skills they’ll need later on. Further, when we step in to control their levels of struggle, they don’t learn how to be in control or under control themselves. In fact, all they learn is how to be controlled.”

“Ironically, the things young people want to avoid are necessary for them to mature authentically. Slow, hard, boring, risky, laborious… these are the very challenges that prepare me to become a good man, a good husband, a good father, a good employee, a good employer. Many life skills that once naturally developed in us now atrophy in today’s culture. So we must be far more intentional about leading our kids into opportunities to build these skills.” 

“When we affirm looks or clothing—external matters instead of internal virtues—kids values become skewed. Remember, what gets rewarded gets repeated. Without realizing it, we are reinforcing cosmetic features—usually features that are not in their control. … We should be doing just the opposite. We must affirm effort and behavior, which are in their control, instead of characteristics that are out of their control. If we do this, we begin to foster a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset.”

“We mistake hurtful with harmful. Many times, hurting helps us. In fact, removing the hurt may be harmful. … When we hurt, we can learn important truths about ourselves and about others, truth that will be beneficial later in our lives. … We confuse disturbance with damage. We hate being disturbed. Our days are so full, we often hope and pray we won’t face any unexpected disturbances as we pursue our goals. The fact is, however, that on our way to those goals, we fall into unhealthy ruts. Interruptions force us out of those ruts. Interruptions are not damaging at all. They are the very items that save us from our tunnel vision. We need to be disturbed from time to time. Interruptions are wake-up calls that rouse us from our apathy or complacency.” 

“I know you think kids are tired of you talking about the good old days. But I’ve found most kids love hearing stories of how we adults struggled to learn the same life skills when we were young. It’s all part of growing up.”

Getting Back Up When Life Has Knocked You Down

The Bible never presents life as some sort of pie-in-the-sky, walk-in-the-park, everyday-is-always-rosy picture. If it did, we would reject the Bible because our experiences would immediately tell us otherwise. Instead, the Bible realistically portrays the challenges, and the pain, and the heartache, and the disappointments of life. But as it does so it also shows us that God’s way is the only way out of our sorrow and into His joy!

In our P119 Spiritual Workout series, we saw the bookends of the section daleth (Psalm 119:25-32) are:

I am laid low in the dust (v. 25) → You have set my heart free (v. 32).

How do we get this freedom when we are knocked down and laid low in the dust?

The Jews saw the Hebrew letter daleth as a door. Specifically, a door through which humble people stepped into a greater realization that He is God, and I’m not … that He has the answers, and I don’t … that He is in control, and I’m not. So part of going from down in the dust to a free heart is humbly acknowledging that you need God’s help!

In verses 26 and 27, the psalmist recalls his past history, and in so doing he is reminded that God has always been there. God has never left him nor forsaken him, so here’s what the psalmist resolves to do:

  • Teach me = I learned something before, so let me learn again.
  • Let me understand = help me to discern, distinguish; tell things apart. This word is used for things that are divinely disclosed; in other words, they’re things you and I cannot figure out on our own.
  • Meditate = talk with my soul about these new things the Holy Spirit has disclosed to me.

In verse 28, the psalmist says that his soul is weary with sorrow (or as the King James Version states it: my soul melteth for heaviness). The only way to overcome this is to ask for God’s help to energize us to go forward.

In the final four verses of this section you can sense the psalmist’s strength returning as he makes these bold statements:

  • keep me from deceitful ways (v. 29a) = keep me from lying to myself (NLT).
  • be gracious to me (v. 29b) = give me the privilege of knowing Your instructions (NLT).
  • I have chosen (v. 30a) = I have determined (NLT).
  • I have set (v. 30b) = I am long-sighted (on God), not short-sighted (on my problems).
  • I hold fast (v. 31) = the KJV says I have stuck to it!
  • I run (v. 32) = I will [not merely walk, but] run the way of Your commandments (AMP).

So when you are sad/disappointed/injured, run TO God. Don’t cling to your own (old) ways of thinking. Let Him take you from I am laid lowYou have set my heart free.

If you have missed any of the messages in our P119 series, you can access them all by clicking here.

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