Doing Life And Leadership With Others

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Long-journey

John Maxwell teaches the Leadership Gold lesson that people who start with you, seldom finish with you and I have found this to be true.  In fact, as a leader building teams and doing life with people for more than 20 years, I have learned that there are at least 3 types of people we will likely encounter on the journey of life and leadership. 

1)      People Who Are Going To Leave You No Matter What

The first type of person is someone who will start the journey with you, but decide to leave you and never return. Often times, when such a person decides to depart from us, we can feel rejected and hurt, especially if we have genuinely invested ourselves in the relationship.   In studying this type of relational dynamic within my own leadership, I have discovered that there are going to be some people who for whatever reason do not have the same vision and values that I have for building a team and doing life together. This means that their head (vision) and their heart (values) are not with me and there is nothing I can do that will be able to change that fact.  Therefore, even though their departure may hurt deeply, it is inevitable, so I must embrace it and move forward on the journey of life and leadership. For this reason, I have learned to never chase people who do not care to do life and leadership with me.  Instead, I simply trust the Lord to bring the right life partners into my life and leadership.

Among the Lord’s disciples, Judas was an example of this type of person on the journey of life and leadership with Jesus.  In John 6:64-67 the Bible records, “’But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. And He said, ‘Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.’ From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.”

2)      People Who Will Leave You But Decide To Come Back No Matter What

This second type of person is someone who starts the journey with you, but somewhere along the way, they become weak in their convictions and make the decision to leave you.  However, once they have departed for greener grasses and realize that the grass is not greener in their new place, they are willing to do whatever it takes to come back and complete the journey with you. When this situation happens, I believe it is a function of the person’s head (vision) for building a team and doing life together being aligned with you, but for some reason, their heart (values) are weakly aligned with you until they experience the fruit of weak values in a different place.  Once someone like this type of person realizes that they made a poor decision in leaving, they become humbled by their circumstance and are willing to do whatever it takes to build a team and do life together based on a strong foundation of aligned values with you.  Through their experience, their head and their heart become fully aligned with you; therefore, their hands will be able to build with you for the long journey.  As leaders, we would be wise to make room for people who have left us to come back with a change of heart because they could potentially come back as one of your most loyal, dedicated, life building partners. 

Among the Lord’s disciples, Peter was an example of this type of person on the journey of life and leadership with Jesus.  In John 21:17 the Bible records, “He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’ Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’ And he said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed My sheep.’”

3)      People Who Will Never Leave You And Will Remain With You No Matter What

This third type of person starts the journey with you and remains with you to the end. A person such as this fully believes in where you are going and is wholly convicted to go there with you.  Because their head (vision) and their heart (values) are completely aligned with yours from the beginning, they will faithfully build alongside you and always be there with you during the ups and downs of life. When you have people like this to build and do life together, they are like a friend that sticks closer than a brother and you can trust them with the most intimate aspects of your life.

Among the Lord’s disciples, John was an example of this type of person on the journey of life and leadership with Jesus.  In John 19:25-27 the Bible records, “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved [John] standing by, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.”

As I build teams and do life with others, my personal prayer is that I will build and do life with people just like Jesus did – as a friend that sticks closer than a brother – with my head and my heart fully aligned with other brothers and sisters in Christ for the kingdom mission at hand. May it be the same for all people who are called disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ because in John 13:35, the Lord says, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” By the grace, strength, and love of Christ in each of us, we can do it!

Thank you and have a blessed make-it-happen day!

Question:  Can you identify and describe a 4th type of person on the journey of life and leadership NOT mentioned in this post?

Doing Life And Leadership Copyright 2011, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint the leadership article, Doing Life And Leadership With Others, 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 Journey Chapter 1 and 2

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Chapter 1: The Corporate Mindless Robot Factory

Have you ever worked for a company where people, most commonly referred to as “employees,” merely follow instructions dictated by their bosses? In such companies, the working environment is often reduced to a factory of mindless robots that becomes devoid of vision, values, creativity, and innovation. Not surprisingly, performance stagnates and becomes mediocre. And it is simply because the corporate leadership has failed to provide the people inside the company with an environment that inspires them to do more than just their job descriptions and what their bosses tell them to do. Unfortunately, this kind of environment is far too common in corporate America. However, there is a way for people with courage to make a difference and change the corporate mindless robot factory into a corporate Make It Happen adventure land. But to do it, one must embark upon the…Make It Happen Journey.

On the Make It Happen Journey, positive attitudes reign supreme and optimism abounds. Vision is the motivating force behind every action. Service enthusiasm is the only acceptable mode of operation. High expectations define the standards of excellence. Innovation and calculated risk-taking are the fuel that powers adventure. Bold planning provides the road map to every treasure. Performance measurements are always used to light the paths. Exciting celebrations are orchestrated for every accomplishment. And lastly, people are the catalysts that make all of it happen. As the journey progresses, people are transformed from mere mindless robot employees into Make It Happen people with passion and zeal for the services and products they create. The Make It Happen Journey is an adventure where only leaders with courage and a strong desire to make a difference should enter, because once you do, there is no way out and no turning back!

Helen Keller stated, “Life is an adventure, or nothing at all.”1 If Helen Keller, in her deafness and blindness, could approach all of the challenges and adversities in her life with such a positive attitude and turn life into an adventure, then a leader in corporate America, with enough vision and capability to evaluate and assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of their business environment, most definitely ought to be able to turn work life into an adventure for themselves and their team. If not, perhaps the leader does not fully appreciate the value that his or her company brings to life. A leader who is blind in this fashion unfortunately does not fully understand the difference he or she can make in the lives of customers and, more importantly, the lives of team members. As a result, work for them and for their people sadly becomes nothing more than just a job and a paycheck.

Leaders who fully appreciate the services and products their companies create know their work is so much more than just a job with a paycheck. Leaders who believe in their company and themselves take their work and their leadership responsibility so seriously that they consistently bring commitment, enthusiasm, and passion to work. With such leadership qualities, they have the ability and potential to create an exciting adventure for their teams by maximizing strengths, minimizing weaknesses, exploiting opportunities, and diminishing threats within their internal as well as external business environments. And when leaders combine commitment, enthusiasm, and passion with a set of universal Make It Happen Team Values, they can create a Make It Happen adventure in their company that could last a lifetime.

So, read on, and learn how you, too, can create a Make It Happen adventure for your team with a culture of empowerment that unleashes each person’s extraordinary God-given potential to make a difference in life. With a spirit of wisdom and excellence, you can play a pivotal role in revolutionizing the way business is done both in your company and the next generation of business leaders, through the Make It Happen Team Values shared in this book.

Chapter 2: The Make It Happen Adventure Begins

The Make It Happen Journey begins with a person who possesses an aptitude for leadership, growth, and development, who travels their life journey with character, and who serves others with passion and commitment. A person who decides to embark upon the Make It Happen Journey and the adventures beyond must transform himself or herself from being just an employee, manager, or executive by choosing to embrace their leadership responsibilities with a positive Make It Happen attitude and possessing a leadership vision inspired by Make It Happen Team Values.

Generally speaking, anyone in an organization can choose to lead their team on the Make It Happen Journey as a Chief Make It Happen Leader as long as they are respected as a leader with a positive attitude and possess a strong desire to make a positive difference in the lives of people. Additionally, a Chief Make It Happen Leader—also known as a CMIHL—must wholeheartedly believe in, foster, support, and live Make It Happen Team Values each and every day as the leader of their respective team.

William Ouchi, in his book, Theory Z, states, “That small spark of desire to change typically comes from a key person who cares sufficiently about the organization to invest the time, energy, and risk in taking leadership. A manager who chooses to lead his or her department, division, or company in a new direction can produce sufficient trust and sufficient incentive for change to sustain the process for some period, perhaps a year. If during this period, some signs of progress can be discerned by the followers, then the process of change will become self sustaining.”1 Leading a team as a Chief Make It Happen Leader is all about a personal desire to move an organization in a new positive direction. To do so, a Chief Make It Happen Leader must have the personal commitment and fortitude to persevere long enough for the people on the team to begin truly believing in Make It Happen Team Values such that the journey, with all its adventure, becomes self-perpetuating. This takes a significant investment in time, energy, and leadership because belief in Make It Happen Team Values can only grow at the pace of one person, one encounter at a time.

Please leave a comment below and share these 2 FREE chapters of The Make It Happen Journey with your friends and colleagues! Many thanks and blessings!

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The Make It Happen Journey by Gary Borgstede

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