100 Powerful Questions For Growing In Life And Leadership

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Powerful QuestionAs a leader, I have learned that one simple question, asked at the right time, has the power to change a life when someone exercises the courage to honestly answer the question. I believe that powerful questions can often times provide the keys to unlock closed doors, unleash new worlds of discovery and adventure, and ignite tremendous growth in people’s life and leadership.

Therefore, I have compiled 100 Powerful Questions For Growing In Life And Leadership which I pray will be a powerful resource for your personal growth as well any other people that you lead. As a practical resource for growth, please feel free to read them, ask them, answer them, use them, and share them in any way you like.

100 Powerful Questions For Growing In Life And Leadership

  1. How do you want to be remembered in life?
  2. Who are your core trusted advisors?
  3. What has God been doing in your life lately?
  4. What are your greatest leadership strengths?
  5. What are your greatest leadership weaknesses?
  6. What activities replace the energy you expire relationally, physically, mentally, and spiritually?
  7. What are your top 3 to 5 personal goals?
  8. What are your top 3 to 5 professional goals?
  9. If you could achieve one personal goal that would make your life better, what would it be?
  10. What is the greatest limitation or barrier to achieving your top goal?
  11. What “Well Dones” have you desired and NOT achieved in life?
  12. How does that make you feel?
  13. Will you allow me to give you some guidance in that area?
  14. How full are your emotional, physical, and spiritual tanks?  Empty, quarter, half, full?
  15. What theme does God seem to be emphasizing in this season of your life?
  16. What are you looking for God to do in your life during the next 6 months?
  17. When was the last time you became angry and why?
  18. What are your most compulsive bad habits?
  19. How do you intend to break your harmful bad habits?
  20. What has God been saying to you through His Word recently?
  21. What passion is God stirring in your soul?
  22. What season best describes your spiritual life right now: winter, summer, spring, fall?
  23. What’s exciting you most in your spiritual journey these days?
  24. How will you measure progress in your personal and professional life?
  25. What does personal and professional success look like for you?
  26. Who is the one person in your life who has helped to make you who you are today?
  27. What is the most risky decision you ever made in your life?
  28. What is the one thing you like the best about yourself?
  29. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
  30. What is the one character quality you value most in a person?
  31. What did you always want to be when you were young?
  32. Who is your favorite biblical hero of faith and why?
  33. Where do you expect to be living 20 years from now?
  34. Suppose you only had 6 months to live, what would you do with your time?
  35. What person in life do you feel the closest to and why?
  36. When was the last time you cried in front of another person?
  37. When was the last time you cried by yourself?
  38. What has been your biggest disappointment in life?
  39. What has been your biggest failure in life?
  40. What will you be when you grow up?
  41. What was it like growing up in your family?
  42. As a child, how was your relationship with your mom?
  43. As a child, how was your relationship with your dad?
  44. What percentage of your time do you spend on business, personal, and family time?
  45. What have you learned from your greatest success in life?
  46. What have you learned from your greatest failure in life?
  47. If you could invite any 5 people (living or dead) to a dinner party, who would they be and why?
  48. If you knew you were going to die today, what would you most regret?
  49. What are your personal expectations of your family members?
  50. What are your professional expectations of your business associates?
  51. What person in life do you admire most and why?
  52. What would be the perfect evening for you?
  53. What is your most treasured memory?
  54. Have you ever felt or experienced hate in your life?
  55. Have you ever felt or experienced unconditional love in your life?
  56. When was the last time that you were personally involved in a conflict?
  57. How was your last personal conflict resolved?
  58. For what in life do you feel most grateful?
  59. When was the last time that you felt powerless in your life?
  60. What are the God-centered ambitions in your life?
  61. What are the self-centered ambitions in your life?
  62. Who has been your most influential example of godly leadership?
  63. What are the greatest honorable ambitions in your life?
  64. Will you forgive me?
  65. Who in your life do you need to forgive?
  66. What was the low point of your life last week?
  67. What was the high point of your life last week?
  68. Do you have a written plan for your life?
  69. What is holding you back from writing a personal life plan?
  70. As a leader, what do you stand for?
  71. How can I best serve you?
  72. When was the last time you had a WOW experience?
  73. Where is your favorite place to be alone with God?
  74. What compelling God-centered ambitions do you have for your business?
  75. What compelling God-centered ambitions do you have in serving God?
  76. How well do you maintain self-control when things go wrong?
  77. How well do you handle criticism?
  78. When was the last time you profited from criticism?
  79. What can you do to turn your disappointments into creative new opportunities?
  80. Do people trust you with difficult and delicate matters?
  81. Can you accept opposition to your viewpoint or decision without taking offense?
  82. How well do you cultivate friendships?
  83. Can you hold steady in the face of disapproval and temporary loss of confidence from others?
  84. Do other people’s failures annoy or challenge you?
  85. Do you direct people or develop people?
  86. Do you shun or seek the person with a special need or problem?
  87. Do you more often criticize or more often encourage people?
  88. Who do you say Jesus is?
  89. If you met Jesus today, what would you say to Him?
  90. What are the obstacles that keep you from praying?
  91. When was the last time that you felt rejected?
  92. If you were stranded on an island, what 3 books or magazines would you most desire?
  93. If you were granted a wish and could instantly and permanently acquire one leadership quality, what would it be?
  94. If your reading highlights were turned over to a psychologist for character analysis, what would they conclude about you?
  95. How long does it take you to overcome the feeling of failure?
  96. What do you do or where do you go for renewal from fatigue?
  97. What changes in your life have been difficult for you in the past year?
  98. How do you deal with people who believe they are never wrong?
  99. How can you better direct your energies to do the work God has for you to do on earth?
  100. As you look back, how have you seen God at work in your life preparing you for leadership?

To God’s glory, have a blessed “Make It Happen” day!

100 Powerful Questions For Growing In Life And Leadership Work Copyright 2013, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint the leadership article, 100 Powerful Questions For Growing In Life And Leadership, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Learning: The Greatest Growth Factor For Leaders

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Learn And Lead

Learning Comes From The Direct Investment Of Others

Do you know that everything you and I know today is the result of someone else’s investment in us? I am able to write, speak, and teach about learning because of the people who have freely invested in my life in one way or another. Some people have invested in me directly through personal coaching, mentoring, and teaching. People like my father-in-law, who believed in me and personally invested in my education so I could possess the triple-crown in business education: a Finance degree, an MBA, and a CPA. He told me one day as we were sitting in his garden room talking about college and my future, “Gary, I think you’re smart enough to get your MBA and your CPA. You should think about it. Don’t let money stop you from getting an education. Once you have it, no one can take it from you.” And I was thinking to myself…what in the world is he thinking…an MBA and a CPA… Honestly, it was hard for me to get my head around that idea at that moment; however, many months later that seed sprouted into motivation to actually do it.

My grandfather is another person who consistently inspired me to be more, learn more, and do more. He was always there to encourage my business ideas and fan into flame my entrepreneurial spirit. He would say things like, “That’s a great idea! It will take some hard work, but if you put your mind to it, you can do it.”  One time I was at work and I couldn’t remember my home phone number because my wife and I had just moved to a new home. So I called my grandfather to ask him for my phone number. He told me, “Boy, I may not have as many degrees as a thermometer like you, but this much is sure, I know my own phone number…”

My mom and dad are also people who invested in me by sacrificially supporting my education in private schools so that I could be well prepared for college. My dad would always tell me, “Son, I couldn’t afford to go to college, but I want you and your sisters to go so you can have it better than me.” I was the first person in all of my family to graduate from college and then my sisters as well as my mom followed behind me.

And lastly, but certainly not least, my Pastors have invested in me even at the lowest points of my life. They helped teach me how to daily live for Christ, love my wife, and lead my family. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why I’m now in full-time ministry. I was invited into my Pastor’s small group and I just wouldn’t leave so they had to put me on staff. All kidding aside, I am so grateful for my Pastors and all the people that God has put in my life to help me learn, grow, and develop as a person and a leader.

Learning Comes From The Indirect Investment Of Others

Besides those people who have invested in me directly, there have also been others in my life who have invested in me indirectly. People like Mike Murdock who wrote the book, One-Minute Businessman’s Devotional, that helped transform my thinking about business in the kingdom of God. John Maxwell, who has helped me learn how to develop myself as a leader and also develop the leaders around me. Norman Vincent Peale, who taught me the value of always possessing a positive attitude especially as a Christ-follower. Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, who taught me how to build an organization to last through values-based convictions. And Stephen Covey, who taught me that you learn 95 percent of what you teach to others. In fact, that is one of the reasons I so much enjoy teaching others. Each time I have the opportunity to do so, I help people learn and grow and I also learn and grow at the same time. This life principle leads me to the importance of living a Learning Team Value at work and even at home.

Learning Comes From Giving As Much As It Comes From Receiving

To practically live a Learning Team Value, leaders must be servant leaders who participate in continuous training, development, and coaching.  And to do this really well, I believe you and I must learn an important kingdom principle found in Matthew 10:8, “Give as freely as you have received.” You see, each of us is a well of learning from others and as we are freely filled by the investment of others into our lives, we have the responsibility to freely give to others what we have freely received. Otherwise, you and I will become like the Dead Sea, dead and stagnate, always taking in, but never giving out. As Christ-followers, we are not designed to be takers only. No, we are designed to be givers like Jesus. However, none of us can give away what we don’t possess. Therefore, we must be life-long learners, continuously filling-up our well so that we have something to give away to others. A leader or a person that is no longer learning is a leader or person that is no longer growing. A leader or person who is no longer growing will soon have nothing new to invest into others.

So let me ask these two personal training and development questions. 1) Who are your mentors?  And, 2) who are you mentoring? If you don’t have any mentors, directly or indirectly, you are not receiving, you are not learning, and you are not growing as a leader. Furthermore, if you do not have anyone whom you are mentoring, then you are not giving away what you have freely received and you are at risk of becoming a stagnate fruitless leader.

Learning Comes From Mentors And Mistakes

Now when it comes to having mentors in your life, some of you might be thinking to yourself that you don’t really have any mentors. I have at times thought the same thing; however, as a Christ-follower, I have come to know that believing such a thought is actually believing a lie. The truth is that you and I have the greatest, ultimate, Mentor, anyone can ever have in life. He is the Holy Spirit, our Advocate and Counselor in ALL of life. John 14:15 states, “And I [Jesus] will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth” and John 14:26 states, “But when the Father sends the Advocate as My representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.”

The issue for you and I is not whether or not we have a mentor or mentors. The issue is whether or not we will pursue the ultimate Mentor in our life and the other mentors that He divinely appoints in our lives. Let me encourage you. There is great benefit from pursuing the Holy Spirit as our ultimate Mentor in life as well as the human mentors that He places in our life because there are only two ways we can learn in life. We can either learn from our mentors or we can learn from our mistakes. Learning from mentors provides the opportunity to learn from revelation; whereas; learning from mistakes provides the opportunity to learn from tribulation. Let me tell you. I’ve learned both ways and I can personally testify that learning from revelation is so much better than learning from tribulation.  Although, I am glad to say that learning from both ways can produce fruit in our lives when we apply what we learn.

Learning Comes From Applying What Is Learned

In fact, I don’t believe that true genius is found in learning alone because really everyone can learn, but not everyone is a genius learner. I believe people who are truly genius learners are people who not only learn, but actually go the next step and apply what they learn. Unfortunately, far too many people never take the time to take the extra step and apply what they have learned.  In Luke 8:10, Jesus tells His disciples [His disciplined learners], “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.’” As disciplined learners in the kingdom of God, if you and I do not apply what we learn through revelation, then we are no better off than those who are ignorant through lack of revelation. As stated earlier, we have no excuse for not learning through revelation because we have the Holy Spirit as our ultimate Mentor to lead us, guide us, and teach us. Pursuing Him today and everyday of our lives will produce great learning and great fruit in our lives.

Learning Comes From Having A Will To Learn

As an undergraduate student in college, sadly, I must say that I did not live up to my full potential as a student. I graduated with a 2.8 GPA which was ok, but was far lower than my High Honors GPA in high school. So when I found it difficult to land a good job upon graduation, I began to consider how I might learn from my mistakes as I decided to go to graduate school and obtain an MBA. Because I did not want to make the same mistakes in graduate school as I did in undergraduate school, I set out to make straight A’s and studied how to do it. In fact, my mother-in-law gave me some cassette tapes titled, “Where There’s A Will There’s An ‘A’”. Do you know that learning takes a lot of effort, but wise learning takes so much LESS effort. Let me tell you, wise learning begins with learning from others.

Here are 5 simple things I learned from the tape series that helped me to make all A’s and just one B in graduate school.

  • Arrive to class early and stay late paying special attention to the material in the beginning and the ending of class because teachers often cover the material that will be on the test in the beginning or ending of class if they failed to cover it in the previous class or during the current class.
  • Sit in the front of the class because there are less distractions and you will learn more about the material than you will about who is wearing what and what kind of hairstyle people have.
  • Never eat a big meal before a test because the digestive process will take your physical energy that could be better used for the test. Instead eat a candy bar or drink a caffeinated soda.
  • Write special notes in the margin of your book to highlight important material for the test and read those handwritten notes before the test.
  • And here’s a bonus tip that wasn’t in the tape series, but I learned from the Ultimate Mentor, the Holy Spirit. Pray before each test for God to bring to remembrance everything studied in preparation for the test.

Learning Comes From Revelation Given Away

Do you see what I just did? I learned something that helped me to make all A’s and one B in graduate school and I freely shared it with you. I received revelation that helped me to learn and grow and I gave revelation away to help you learn and grow. I was mentored and now I am mentoring others. To live out a Learning Team Value is really that simple!

This is what the Bible says about being a wise learner and learning from revelation. Proverbs 9:9-12 states, “Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more. Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.” This is great wisdom for you and I today.

Learning Comes From Being An Uncommon Mentor

How many of you would like to be an uncommon mentor capable of instructing the wise so that they will become even wiser?  Being an uncommon mentor is not easy because an uncommon mentor will risk the approval others to see their potential fulfilled.  I like this quote from Coach Tony Dungy that I recently read: “I wasn’t there to be their Boss. I was there to help the players get better.” That’s what an uncommon mentor does. Uncommon mentors are not in your life to be your best friend. They are there to help you get better and fulfill your potential in life.

According to Mike Murdock, there is a big difference between a best friend and an uncommon mentor.

  •  A Best Friend loves you the way you are.
  • An Uncommon Mentor loves you too much to leave you the way you are.
  • A Best Friend is comfortable with your past.
  • An Uncommon Mentor is comfortable with your future.
  • A Best Friend ignores your weakness.
  • An Uncommon Mentor removes your weakness.
  • A Best Friend is your cheerleader.
  • An Uncommon Mentor is your coach.
  • A Best Friend sees what you do right.
  • An Uncommon Mentor sees what you do wrong.

Learning Comes From Being An Uncommon Protégé

In the pursuit of learning, an Uncommon Protégé will pay any price to stay in the presence of an Uncommon Mentor and learn from them. And when they do, great blessing, favor, and anointing from the Uncommon Mentor is transferred to the Uncommon Protégé. This type of transference is seen in the Bible story about Elijah (an Uncommon Mentor) and Elisha (an Uncommon Protégé).

2 Kings 2:2-10 records the account stating, “Then Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!’ So they went down to Bethel. Now the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, ‘Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I know; keep silent!’

Then Elijah said to him, ‘Elisha, stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Jericho.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!’ So they came to Jericho. Now the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho came to Elisha and said to him, ‘Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?’ So he answered, ‘Yes, I know; keep silent!’

Then Elijah said to him, ‘Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to the Jordan.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!’ So the two of them went on. And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went and stood facing them at a distance, while the two of them stood by the Jordan. Now Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water; and it was divided this way and that, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground.

And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?’ Elisha said, ‘Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.’ So he said, ‘You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.’”

In reading this story, why do you think the other prophets didn’t pursue Elijah like Elisha did? I believe it’s because they thought they already knew everything and didn’t need to pursue Elijah. In each of the cities, the other prophets told Elisha (all paraphrased by me for emphasis), “Hey man, what are you doing following that old man around…don’t you know that the Lord is going to take him away today? Why are you wasting your time with an ‘old-timer’ like that?”

The reason is that Elisha wanted a double portion of Elijah’s anointing and would do anything to stay in Elijah’s presence and learn from him. As a result, the Lord honored his pursuit and gave Elisha a double portion of Elijah’s anointing.

In living out a Learning Team Value, you and I must NOT be protégés like the other prophets in this Old Testament story. We must be Uncommon Protégés like Elisha and do whatever it takes to be in the presence of Uncommon Mentors and learn from them. And when the double portion anointing of the Uncommon Mentor transfers to us, we must then become an Uncommon Mentor to someone else. This is what it means to be servant leaders who participate in continuous training, development, and coaching.

To His glory, have a blessed “Make It Happen” day!

Learning: The Greatest Growth Factor For Leaders Copyright 2013, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the leadership article, Learning: The Greatest Growth Factor For Leaders, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Competency Development – Rx For Extraodinary

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Extraordinary

Extraordinary

Webster defines competence as: a sufficiency of means for the necessities and conveniences of life; the quality or state of being competent. So then, let me ask these two important questions:

1) Are you competent in life?

 2) What are you doing to develop your competency for sustainable success in life?

These two questions are important to ask because as a professional and a leader, competency matters in life in the same way that character matters in life. For example, a commuter pilot of small engine planes may have the greatest character and be an awesome friend; however, if that friend does not know how to fly a commercial jet airliner, there is no way I would board such a plane with that friend as the pilot because competency matters.

Competency Development Builds Extraordinary Influence

In his book, 21 Indispensible Qualities Of A Leader, John Maxwell states, “Competence goes beyond words. It’s the leader’s ability to say it, plan it, and do it in such a way that others know that you know how—and know that they want to follow you.” Simply put, competent people can be counted on when being counted on counts. As a result, competent people have extraordinary influence with others.

On the other hand, incompetent people have little influence with others because they cannot be counted on to do what they must do when it matters. In fact, Proverbs 26:10 states, “An employer who hires a fool or a bystander [an incompetent person] is like an archer who shoots at random.” If you and I are going to build extraordinary influence with others, we must develop competency that others can depend upon when it matters. Doing so will differentiate extraordinary influence in our life from ordinary influence in our life.

Developing Competency Makes An Ordinary Life An Extraordinary Life

Again, in his book, 21 Indispensible Qualities Of A Leader, John Maxwell shares that when it comes to considering the competency of people, there are three types of people:

Type 1: Those who can see what needs to happen.

Type 2: Those who can make it happen.

Type 3: Those who can make things happen when it really counts.

To me, this shows a clear pattern of competency development where the Type 1 person is only competent enough to see what needs to happen, but cannot make it happen. This competency level leads to a common and ordinary life. The Type 2 person not only can see what needs to happen, but can also make it happen. This competency level leads to an uncommon and extraordinary life. The Type 3 person not only sees what needs to happen and can make it happen, they can also be counted on to make it happen when it really counts. This competency level leads to an uncommon and extraordinary life with uncommon and extraordinary influence in life.

By the many examples in life of ordinary people becoming extraordinary people with extraordinary influence through their competency development, it is clear that the more competent a person becomes in life, the more extraordinary they become in life. But, it doesn’t happen without an intentional plan for developing competency; therefore, I recommend writing a Professional Development Plan that includes the following:

  1.  A personal commitment to growing in areas of real life application of the values of the organization in which you share a mutual vision of the future.
  2. Clearly defined personal leadership commitments to achieving the purpose of the organization in the areas of operations, finances, people, and service.
  3. Coaching leadership to help you learn, grow, and develop your competency as well as hold you accountable to developing your competency.
  4. Volitional submission to ongoing review and feedback regarding your competency development.

Thank you and have a blessed “Make It Happen” day!

Competency Development – Rx For Extraordinary Copyright 2012, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint Competency Development – Rx For Extraordinary, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Character Development – Rx For Excellence

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Excellence

Excellence

What is character? The best definition that I’ve heard for character is: the person you are when no one is looking.  When leaders have character, they are big people on the inside and as a result people follow them on the outside. John Maxwell says that everything rises and falls on leadership and I believe that statement to be true. Plus, I also believe that a person’s leadership actually rises and falls on the foundation of their individual character and integrity. In fact, the courage of one’s convictions (character) plus the peace of one’s conscience (integrity) equals the foundation of one’s leadership (influence). Any cracks in a leader’s character and / or integrity will put the leader’s influence in serious jeopardy if those cracks are not effectively addressed and resolved. 

Character Development Matters Desperately In Our Personal Lives

We only have to look as far as the headline news to see the devastating effects of failed character in life and leadership. From corporate boardrooms to family washrooms, character matters desperately. In fact, John Maxwell offers the following about character from his book, The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader:

1) Character is more than talk

2) Character is a choice

3) Character brings lasting success with people

4) Leaders cannot rise above the limitations of their character

Furthermore, author of The Enemies of Excellence, Coach Greg Salciccioli, teaches leaders what he has learned and observed over his life-time in coaching: talent most often exceeds the character necessary to support it. I believe this observation is primarily true because talent is a gift; whereas, character is developed. Unfortunately, if a person does not learn how to develop the character necessary to sustain their talent, it is only a matter of time before the enemies of excellence in their life take over and completely sabotage their success in life. The Bible states in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

Developing Character Produces Personal Excellence

To safeguard our personal lives from the strategies of the devil to destroy us, we must develop character that produces personal excellence in the following 3 practical ways:

  1. Write a Personal Life Plan that includes a personal vision of the preferred future in the areas of Spiritual Growth, Relationships, Fitness, Finances, and Future.
  2. Develop daily routines to replace the energy expired each day spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally.
  3. Create a group of wise trusted advisors to give wise guidance and counsel in life.

Character Development Matters Desperately In Our Professional Lives

While character is critically important to a person’s success in their personal life, it is also critically important to success in their professional life. The influence of an organization rises and falls on the influence of its leaders and the influence of leaders rises and falls on the character of leaders. Therefore, to develop an organization with great influence, an organization must develop great leaders with great character.

Because God has kingdom purpose for organizations in the marketplace, the devil is keenly aware that he can sabotage God’s kingdom purpose in the marketplace by destroying the leaders in the marketplace. Therefore, we must understand very clearly, the stakes are high for kingdom leaders in the marketplace. In Matthew 11:12, the Bible states, “From the time of John the Baptizer until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful people have been seizing it.”

Developing Character Produces Professional Excellence

To safeguard the advancement of God’s kingdom in the marketplace from the strategies of the devil to hinder God’s kingdom purposes in the marketplace and destroy marketplace leaders, we must develop character that produces professional excellence in the following 4 practical ways:

  1. Write a Professional Business Plan that includes the God-ordained Vision, Purpose, and Values of the kingdom of God within the organization.
  2. Develop a clearly written Strategic Plan that identifies the compelling ambitions and objectives of the organization.
  3. Identify personal and specific leadership commitments for everyone in the organization that support the Strategic Plan of the organization.
  4. Implement a leadership coaching process that effectively develops people and unleashes the extraordinary God-given potential of everyone in the organization to make a real difference in life.

Thank you and have a blessed ”Make It Happen” day!

Character Development – Rx For Excellence Copyright 2012, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint Character Development – Rx For Excellence, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

The Make It Happen Moment ® Life Coach

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Michael Jordan and Dean Smith photo at UNC gam...

Quote: “You have the potential – no, you have the responsibility – to be a mentor and be mentored!” – John Wooden

One afternoon at a business conference, I learned some important leadership insights from the game of basketball as taught by an excellent speaker at the conference.  Prior to the speaker’s presentation, I had never really thought about the fact that a basketball player really only has the ball in his hands for two to three minutes in a 40 minute game.  So then, what does a player do with the other 37 to 38 minutes of the game?  For great basketball coaches, the answer to this question is quite potentially the real difference between their team winning and losing; therefore, they effectively prepare their players for playing well the other 37 to 38 minutes when they don’t have the ball.  The speaker emphasized that this insight is so crucial because the real game of basketball is actually played away from the ball and great coaches instinctively know that if you take care of the little things away from the ball, the big things with the ball will take care of themselves…provided of course that the little things do in fact lead to the big things.  For instance, learning how to thank your team mate for passing you the ball after you make a score is a little thing “away from the ball” that leads to big things “with the ball” – more scoring opportunities because of the small expression of genuine gratitude and humility with your team mates.

I recently read a quote from Michael Jordan at www.twitter.com/air_jordan which stated, “Years of practice amounted to years of achievement.”  Obviously, Michael Jordan is recognizing the importance that practice played in direct relationship to his achievements on the court.  And I think his statement also clearly affirms the leadership principle that the big things in our life will not happen without us first taking care of the little things that lead to the big things.  So what are some of the little things in life that we must focus upon and diligently practice in order to properly position and equip ourselves for the big things in life? 

I have learned from my Senior Pastor as well as from real life personal application that we can learn life lessons in one of two ways: revelation (mentors and wisdom) or tribulation (mistakes and pain).  Personally, I’ve tried both ways and I so much prefer the revelation way that I now spend many hours seeking revelation wisdom from wise qualified mentors who can teach me the little things away from the ball that will prepare me for the big things with the ball.  The great apostle Paul clearly understood this wisdom principle when he encouraged his disciples to diligently observe him, learn from him, and do like him as a qualified wise mentor of faith who imitated his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  In fact, through his secure personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Paul confidently states in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”  Wow, this is real life mentorship at its best!  Therefore, with a spirit of wisdom and humility, may we be like Paul – qualified wise mentors of faith and revelation who freely give others life lessons that we have freely received from the Lord and other qualified wise mentors of faith.

The Make It Happen Training And Development Value: “Make It Happen” People Invest And Participate In Training And Development!

Have a blessed “Make It Happen” day!

Edited by The Make It Happen Moment ® Editorial Team

The Make It Happen Moment ® Life Coach Copyright 2009, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint The Make It Happen Moment ® Life Coach, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Building People – A Big Holy Awesome Goal

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When I first joined the leadership team at Church of the King in Mandeville, Louisiana my Senior Pastor asked me a very important question. “Gary, what do we do at Church of the King?” Because I knew this was a very important question and I didn’t want to be the shortest tenured staff person ever on the leadership team, I was nervous as I carefully thought about my answer.  “We build people Pastor Steve”, I responded.  “That’s right Gary! We build people!” exclaimed Pastor Steve. “And I want you to help put in place the professional development processes needed for people to fulfill their potential on our team.”  And with that Big Holy Awesome Goal, I began to work with the members of our team to develop and implement a formal professional development process to support our corporate vision of reaching people and building lives, including the people on our staff.

Leadership Principle #1: Building People Requires Great Coaching Leaders  

Recently, I heard of the Vivian Maier story where a young man discovered that over the course of Vivian’s life, she had taken over 100,000 street pictures which were never developed. As I contemplated this true story, I wondered to myself why would someone take over 100,000 pictures and never share them with anyone.  Could it be that she was afraid of the critique from others?  I’m not sure, but it would not surprise me.  In fact, in the parable of the talents, there was a servant who hid his talents in the ground because he was afraid that his master would be a hard man of critique [Matt 25:24-25].  Or perhaps Vivian Maier suffered the experience of having someone in her life wound her in a way that caused her to never want to risk the vulnerability of sharing her most extraordinary gift and talent – capturing the authentic essence of street life through photography. Either way, it seems sad to me that she would live her whole life and never really share her talent for the benefit of others while she lived.

In an interview, I heard Coach Tony Dungy share a bad experience that he once had with a poor coach when he was a young football player in high school. Being terribly discouraged with his coach, he made the decision to quit the team and never return to football; however, fortunately for him and us, his high school principal took a real interest in him.  So when the principal found out that Tony had quit the team, the principal took the time to speak with Tony and encourage him to never quit on account of someone else, but rather, get back in the game and do what he loved to do – playing football. Just imagine what may have never happened in Coach Tony’s life and ours if his principal didn’t take the time to care about him and be a real genuine life coach to him at a crucial point in his young developing life.  The world may have never seen Coach Tony Dungy become one of the best super bowl world champion football coaches of our time. How thankful we should be for great coaching leaders like Coach Tony Dungy’s principal and Coach Tony Dungy himself!

Leadership Principle #2: Building People Requires A Great Coaching Process

In his book, Becoming A Coaching Leader, Daniel Harkavy states that “Coaching leaders want great people to develop in great ways, and they want to be an integral part of the process.”  To me, that is exactly what it means to be a great coaching leader and is also the reason why it is so important for organizations to have a big holy awesome goal of sincerely developing people through an effective performance review process.  However, to have an effective performance review and people development process, the process must first begin with the establishment of goals and objectives – personal goals that support a person’s life plan and team goals that support their team’s strategic plan.

In Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Alice asks Cheshire Cat, “Can you tell me which way I should walk from here?” “Well, that depends a good deal on where you want to get to” said Cheshire Cat.  “I don’t much care where” said Alice.  “Then it doesn’t really matter which way you walk” said Cheshire Cat.  Without having to say much more, this little famous tale rings so true in our own lives when it comes to life planning and strategic planning.  If we don’t care where we are going, then it doesn’t really matter if we develop a plan to get there or not.  However, if we have a destiny and a purpose to fulfill in our lives and in our organizations, then it would be very wise to take the time to write down the vision and establish the necessary goals and objectives that will help us get there just as the Bible commands in Habakkuk 2:2.  Unfortunately though, most people don’t like to do this and therefore they don’t.

To me, it’s kind of like choosing to take the stairs or to take the escalators when going to another level in a department store.  I’m told that less than 10% of people will actually take the stairs when there are escalators available because people prefer to take the easy way to the top. When it comes to our goals, people are the same way because less than 10% of people will actually take the time to write down their goals and objectives that support their personal life plans and organizational strategic plans.  But unlike the case of taking the stairs or the escalators to the next level in a department store, there is no escalator or easy way to the top of the next level with our life purposes and our organizational missions.  Writing down our goals and objectives is actually part of the escalator that will take us to the next level and there isn’t really any other intentional practical way to do it.  In fact, it has been shown that people who write down their goals and objectives are much more likely to achieve their goals than those that do not develop such simple discipline and accountability.

Leadership Principle #3: Building People Requires Great Coaching Feedback

Therefore, in order for a person and a team to achieve their goals and objectives, leaders must be intentional about what they want to accomplish in any given year which is why we include a goal setting process for personal and team goals to be reviewed weekly, monthly, and annually through our reporting and professional development process.  To help us do this, we have created the following simple tools to facilitate an effective process:

1)      Goal Templates for Personal and Team Goals

2)      Annual Performance Review and Professional Development Plan Document

3)      Organizational Core Values and Team Values

As it relates to core values, Ken Blanchard teaches that “values are to be lived; not framed”, therefore, it is very important that an annual performance review and professional development process also include a component of review for behavioral alignment with an organization’s values.  In fact, if we don’t include the practical living out of our values in the coaching and development process, but rather only address the technical aspects of people’s personal growth and development, it would be as if we expected people to fly a plane with one wing.  It’s not until we have the courage as leaders to address people’s behavioral development in relationship to our values as well as their technical development in relationship to their job responsibilities that we actually help them grow and develop in a well-rounded way that empowers and equips them to achieve their fullest potential.

Leadership Principle #4: Building People Requires Great Coaching Love For People

And lastly, because Colossians 3:14 (CEV) states, “Love is more important than anything else and it ties everything else together”, we believe the fundamental purpose of any performance evaluation is to speak the truth in love in order to sincerely help people grow and develop.  It’s certainly not to give a pass or fail grade that values and devalues people through a numerical rating system, but rather, an effective life-giving performance evaluation offers the opportunity for great coaching leaders to provide genuine feedback that will help people learn, grow, and develop their extraordinary God-given potential to make a real difference in life.

Question: How does your organization help coach people in developing their extraordinary God-given potential to make a real difference in life?

Building People – A Big Holy Awesome Goal Copyright 2011, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint the leadership article, Building People – A Big Holy Awesome Goal, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

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