NEW SERIES COMING SOON!

I am excited to announce that I will be starting a new series for my blog. Over the past few years, I have read a multitude of books. As I read, I always have one very important tool with me…a highlighter. As I read, I highlight important ideas or statements that stick out to me or anything that I want to reflect on and remember. As I have been going through these different books, I thought I would begin a series focused on responding to the different parts I have highlighted in the books that I have read.  

I will be giving you the title of the book and the quote that I highlighted. I will then write a response to what I have highlighted. I would love to make this new series as interactive as possible. If you have the time, please leave a comment and respond with your own ideas and thoughts about the quote I share and leave your thoughts about what I have said as well. I do enjoy reading the comments that people leave on the blogs that I write.

I am currently in the process of going back through those books and writing down the parts I have highlighted. This will be a new page that I will be adding to my website within the next few months. It will include the titles to the different books I have read and the highlighted quotes from those books (this is a work in progress).

Stay tuned for the first blog post in this series. I hope you enjoy this new series, and I look forward to reading any comments you leave.

As always, stay humble and serve well!

I Can’t Stress Enough…

I was sitting and talking with a friend the other day, and I was perplexed to listen to her describe her interactions with her upper management. My friend has a fancy title and she tries hard to do what is needed for her team, but she has found it difficult to deal with some of the issues she is having in her building. Whenever she tries to ask for help, or expresses her frustrations to her boss with another fancy title, all she gets is, “That’s nice. I’m sure you’ll figure it out,” or, “Do what you’re told and work with what you’ve been given.” I also have to mention that her boss is rarely seen, and when he calls management meetings, he refuses to listen to the needs of his managers and expects everything to be done his way.

It still amazes me the stories I hear of individuals who are in leadership positions not doing any kind of leading. Either they are absent from the team, closed minded to new ideas, too arrogant to admit they are wrong, or they sit behind a desk and expect people to just fall in line. I cannot stress enough the importance of leadership investing in their team, being present, staying humble, and most importantly leading by example. If you are someone who has a fancy title, this blog is especially for you.

I want you to ask yourself, “What is the most important part of my job?” If your position has any kind of title, I am going to assume the answer is to lead your team. Now I want you to ask yourself, “How am I making my team a priority?”. If you struggle answering this question, you’re a person with a title and nothing more. If your answer is superficial, such as I show up occasionally and give nice bonuses, then you are a person with a title and nothing more. If your answer can be summarized by selfless acts of service, investing in your people, and giving of your time to help your people succeed, then you are a leader that just happens to have a title.

Your job as a leader is to lead. That may sound like a dumb statement, but sadly, it’s that dumb statement that many leaders still don’t follow. Leading people means you are listening, sacrificing your time, engaging with your team, being a part of what’s happening, providing resources that will help your team become even more successful, and much more. Leading is not done from behind a desk, nor is it is not done apathetically. Leading is not a title or position. It is about the people. It is ALWAYS about the people. As Jocko Willink once said, “The mission is a top priority, but it is not THE top priority. People come first.” If you do not engage, support, invest in, and speak life into your team, then there is no leadership taking place. People come first.

If your people come to you expressing their frustrations or need for resources to make their job better, then it is your job to do whatever you can to meet the needs of your people. If all you do is give lip service, or if your answer is to “suck it up and deal with it”, then you’re not a leader. You’re just someone with a fancy title that can’t lead. You are creating more problems by not engaging with your team, not problem solving with your team, and/or not helping your team in the areas that they are struggling most. Your job as a leader is to invest into what matters most…your team. You need to listen and act on the needs and requests of your team. Now, I understand that not everything can be acted on, but it is your job to give them assurance that you hear them and are working to meet their needs. 

I can’t stress enough, never forget, just because you have some special, fancy title, it doesn’t make you a leader. Your actions determine if you are a leader. However, the actions you take will determine your effectiveness as a leader. You must always remember, your people come first. Listen to them, support them, and do what it takes to help your team succeed. Don’t lead from behind a desk. Don’t give lip service. Engage with your team and lead.

As always, stay humble and serve well!

The Quiet Leader

“Pay less attention to what men say. Just watch what they do” (Dale Carnegie). Who we are is less about what we say and more about what we do. In today’s society, there is a lot of talk. We have become conditioned to always have something to say or respond to things of which we agree or disagree. We live in a noise filled world where talk is abundant and cheaper than most everything in life. People’s words do not support their actions. Many people in our society speak one way, but live contrary to what they preach. We need to learn the ability of being quiet leaders.

Leadership is about influence. Many believe that influence comes from speaking relevant and important things. How this might be a type of influence, it is a cheap form of influence. Anyone can get behind a camera and record nice videos and then post them to social media for thousands to see. However, social media comes with one significant flaw. What was once posted is quickly forgotten. A video is watched by thousands, maybe even millions, of people and is quickly swiped away to be forgotten. Social media may be a form of leadership, but it is impersonal and lacks the accountability to live what one preaches. As the author, Patrick Ness, once said, “You do not write your life with words. You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”

Leadership is not about what is said, but more about what is done. For example, the worst type of leader is someone who uses a lot of words, makes everything sound pretty, but once they’re off the stage, they live completely contrary to everything they just said. This accounts for 99% of politicians. Another example of poor leadership is someone who barks orders or expectations to their team, talks about accountability, sacrifice, and service, and then heads back to the office never to be seen again. You see, words are just noise. If you want to lead loudly, you need to learn how to be a quiet leader.  

So what exactly does it mean to be a quiet leader? To answer simply, “Actions speak louder than words.” A quiet leader is someone whose actions speak for their leadership. They don’t speak unless they need to. They work hard and allow their actions to speak loudly. A quiet leader is seen more than heard. They are the first to arrive and the last to leave. They are the ones who will make the necessary sacrifices to see others succeed. A quiet leader will choose to park in the back parking lot to give the front spaces to their team. They do what needs to be done without complaining or pointing fingers. The quiet leader takes extreme ownership of everything. They lead by example.

Bottom line, if you want your team to perform or act a certain way, you must be the example for your team. Your actions must do the leading. If you want respect from your team, then you must be the first to give it. If you want your team to step up and make sacrifices, then you must be the first to do it. If you are unwilling to do what you are expecting from your team, then you lose all credibility. You can bark orders all day long, but if your actions don’t match the expectations you have for others, then you are an ineffective leader. Quiet leadership is all about action and not words. When others see you walk into a room, walk onto the production floor, walk the halls of the organization, they are watching what you do, how you act, how you respond. Let your actions do the leading. Be a quiet leader.

As always, stay humble and serve well!

The Role of Management in Leadership

The dictionary defines management as, “the process of dealing with or controlling things or people.” I have to be honest, I find this definition to be the exact opposite of the true purpose of leadership. Management is a title and position. Leadership has nothing to do with titles or positions. I might be able to get behind the idea of “dealing” with people, although I wouldn’t use that word, but I hate the word “controlling”. Leadership is about service, which is the very opposite of controlling. So what exactly is the role of management in leadership?

First, we need to deconstruct the idea of “dealing with” and “controlling” people. The idea of “dealing with” people expresses a very passive, unvested role when it comes to leading  people. Without a core belief in “team”, it doesn’t matter the company or organization, there will never be forward progress, nor will said company/organization ever grow to its full potential. “Dealing” with people does not express investing in people. The idea of “dealing” with people conveys a negative connotation about the team. Instead of seeing people as valuable members to the company/organization, it indicates that people are problems that need to be “dealt” with. To combat the idea that management needs to “deal” with people, the focus should be on investing in people. People are not problems that need to be dealt with. Rather, they are the key component to the success of any company/organization.

Anytime people are “controlled” it never ends well for the one doing the “controlling”. There are things that are controlled: remotes, vehicles, lights, etc. What do all of these things have in common? They are all inanimate objects. People are not inanimate objects and should never be treated as such. Leadership should never seek to “control” their team, but rather provide guidance and support for each member of the team. If someone on the team is struggling, leadership needs to come alongside them and find ways to help that individual become successful. On the other hand, if a team member is toxic to the team and is refusing support or help, then it’s time to let that person go. By no means should leadership seek to control their people. Rather, they need to be in the trenches with their team listening, observing, investing, and most importantly, serving. As Jocko Willink stated, “The mission is a top priority, but it is not THE top priority. People come first.”

As I stated before, management is a title and a position. This doesn’t make the person in management a good leader. We need to redefine the definition of management. Instead of “dealing with” and “controlling” people, management needs to focus on the foundational characteristics of leadership: support, guidance, investment, and service. When management lacks these core fundamental characteristics of leadership, they will do more harm than good. If the goal of management is to get positive results and meet goals for the company/organization, then they need to invest and support the people who can meet and provide said results. The team should always come first. 

Let’s go back to the original question, “What is the role of management in leadership?” I believe a better question might be, “What is the most effective style of leadership for management?” If the goal is to get results, then management needs to support and invest in the ones that will help produce those results. Controlling and dealing with a team limits the results that can be produced. However, by investing in and serving their team, a manager can boost morale, help strengthen their team’s weaknesses, and build a positive, team centered mindset within their company/organization. If you are in a management position, be sure to make your people the priority. The goals of the company/organization won’t matter if you don’t have a team helping you reach those goals. 

As always, stay humble and serve well!

Leading With Conviction

The other day, I was watching the Detroit Tigers/Boston Red Sox game, and during the third inning, the announcers were talking with the Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Matt Manning. They asked Matt what he meant when he said that pitchers should pitch with conviction. Matt stated that pitchers need to “have confidence in their pitches – that they will go where they need to.” Matt’s statement led me to think of the idea of leading with conviction. We need to have confidence in our leadership. However, there is a fine line between leading with conviction and leading with humility. 

Webster’s Dictionary defines conviction as, “a strong persuasion or belief.” Leadership is not for the weak. Weak leadership leads to a lack of vision and progress. Weak leadership is easily persuaded, which can take a company/organization in a devastating direction. Leadership needs to be strong. It needs to care less about what people think and more about doing the right thing. Leadership needs to focus on the vision and mission of the company/organization, rather than acquiescing to every public outcry. Leadership needs to stand strong in their beliefs and lead with the conviction of those beliefs. However, here is where the fine line begins. A sign of weak leadership is leadership whose convictions lead to pride and arrogance. These are dangerous and destructive characteristics. Leadership that is not humble or people focused will do more harm than good to any company/organization. 

This leads to asking the question, “With what convictions should we lead?”. Leadership is about serving others and having a positive impact on those we influence. This is why leadership is not a title or a position. Leadership is a way of life, and our convictions are what will determine our quality of leadership. If we are to lead with conviction, we need to make sure our convictions lead to effective, quality leadership.

Convictions to lead by:

  1. People First

First, we need to have the conviction that our team, our people, come first. Simon Sinek said, “Leadership leads people; not results.” This means that we need to focus on our people if we are to gain the results we are looking for. People are the hub of any company/organization, and if people aren’t taken care of, listened to, or invested in, then the company/organization will suffer. Our focus needs to be on supporting, encouraging, and empowering our team. 

  1. Stay Humble

Humility must be the foundation in which we build our leadership. Without humility, struggles are sure to ensue. As the proverb states, “Pride comes before the fall.” If we lead with an arrogant, prideful attitude, we alienate our team and hinder forward progress. If we are unable to admit our faults and failures and be willing to learn from our mistakes, then our leadership will be stiffened, and little progress will be made. Humility is a key component to leadership.

  1. Work Hard

I read a post the other day that said, “Work in silence and let your results do the talking.” In leadership, working hard is a must. It is crucial that leadership stay focused, work hard, and make sacrifices to ensure success for their team. Leadership should never be looking for the easy road or to find shortcuts. If we want our team to work hard and stay focused, then we must be the example we want to see in our team. Hard work is key to success.

  1. Be Disciplined 

Jocko Willink says, “Discipline equals freedom.” When it comes to leadership, without discipline there is no mission or vision. There is no forward progress. Discipline is about doing the hard stuff even when you don’t want to do it. Discipline is about setting goals for ourselves and our team and doing everything in our power to obtain said goals. Leadership needs to be disciplined in doing what’s right, leading with integrity, being humble, and working hard. Be disciplined in leading with conviction.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of convictions to lead by. However, these are, what I believe to be, the foundational convictions with which we should start. Selfless leadership is purposeful leadership, and unless we have a strong foundation of convictions from which to lead from, our leadership will be ineffective. Lead with convictions that focus on bettering others and yourself.

As always, stay humble and serve well!

Communication Is Key

Tim emailed his supervisor to ask their thoughts on a project he and his team were working on. He was looking to get ideas, thoughts, and possible considerations to think about. He asked specific questions with the hopes of gaining more insight or information. However, when his supervisor emailed him back, he received little to no help and was left with more questions than answers. He started to wonder if his supervisor even read his email. The lack of support and communication from his supervisor left him disheartened and frustrated. It is essential that leadership takes communication seriously. 

Communication is the backbone to success. How we communicate with our team determines the success of our team and how well our team operates. If we do not give attention to questions, concerns, thoughts, and ideas from our team and write them off as trivial inconveniences, because we are too busy or have more important things to take care of, then I would argue that we have lost sight of what leadership means and what it should look like. A leader’s job is to serve, be available, invest, and sacrifice for their team. If we feel inconvenienced by questions, concerns, or ideas from our team, then we may need to do some self reflecting and reconsider our priorities. 

“Yeah, but Wallaert, you don’t understand. I get asked questions ALL THE TIME, people are ALWAYS coming to me to share concerns and ideas, and to be honest, I am behind on the work I need to get done due to dealing with the ‘communication’ of my team.” I hear you, but let me ask you this, if people are always asking questions and sharing concerns and ideas, how well are you communicating and investing in your team? Do they always have to seek you out, or do you spend time in the trenches with your team? If all we do is sit in our office answering emails with simple responses and little care, then we have done a poor job supporting our team. If we do not invest the time to provide thorough, thoughtful feedback, then our team is left with more questions. You see, if our communication with our team is ineffective, then our team will always have more questions, comments, and concerns that they need to share. 

As leaders, we need to take the time and invest in the questions, concerns, and thoughts of our team. What’s even more important is setting aside our own feelings and insecurities to allow our team to freely and safely express their own. We also need to put away our selfish desires, and  truly invest in those we are leading. We all have something to do, but the bottom line is that nothing can be more important than the people we lead. Simon Sinek once said, “Leaders lead people, not results.” If we want the results we are looking for, we must first lead our team, and one of the ways we can do that is by allowing for open, safe communication. 

Earlier, I asked if you were in the trenches with your team. Being present is two fold. Leadership must not only be physically present, but mentally present as well. This is a critical step in effective leadership. If leaders are never seen, then leadership is never happening. Leadership is not done from behind the desk. It is done in the presence of the team. The more present we are with our team, the more understanding we gain from the questions, concerns, and ideas of our team. Instead of the team always having to come to leadership, leadership should be found among the team – listening, observing, and helping wherever possible. This simple action not only strengthens the team, but also opens the door to better communication throughout the team. 

If your team asks questions, shares concerns, or voices ideas, are you listening? Are you giving your full attention to what they are saying? Are you present in the conversation and communicating in a way that allows for clear, safe communication? If you find that your team is always coming to you, then it’s time for you to get out from behind the desk and start being present among your team. If you are not providing thoughtful, meaningful feedback to your team, then you are setting your team up for failure. Invest in your team through intentional communication.

As always, stay humble and serve well! 

Motives

What drives your decision making? Let me ask that again. What REALLY drives your decision making? What are your motives when it comes to making choices in your life? Whether it’s as simple as, “What should I eat?”, to something as complicated as, “Should I move my family across the continent for a new position in my company?”, the motives we base our decisions on have the power to make us or break us. It is crucial that we reflect and self analyze the real motives that are driving our decision making. Perhaps we are making decisions on false motives that we are not being honest about.

For the past three years I have been wanting to change my position in my career. I went to school, obtained more degrees than I need, and finally achieved certification to move into different levels within my career. It’s been three years of applying and getting rejected. They say rejection gets easier over time, but the truth is, rejection hurts the hundredth time as much as it does the first. After so many rejections, one might think to stop and reconsider their motives and decisions for wanting to make changes or move into a different position. However, here lies the trap we all set. We have good intentions and desires, and we make those our motives, but in reality, there is a good chance that we have a subconscious motive that is truly driving our passion and desire. 

I wanted to move up in my career to be more hands on and helpful for teachers. I wanted to move into administration and have a role that works more directly with teachers and support them in their roles by encouraging them to be amazing educators. I wanted to empower teachers to try new things, come alongside them and help revitalize them as they start feeling burnt out, and I wanted to encourage them on their path to becoming even better educators. All of these things, I thought, were my motives. However, after applying for a recent position and being denied, again, I took time to stop and reflect. 

I started by asking myself questions, which, to be honest, were not easy to answer. A good friend of mine also asked me questions, and one of the questions she asked me was, “Why did you want the job?”. I answered the same way I started this blog; because I wanted to be an administrator. She then said, “Yes, but why?”. What she was really asking me was, “What are your motives for wanting to be an administrator?” My answer was the same as previously mentioned: I want to support and encourage teachers in a more direct role. This is where things got interesting for me. She then proceeded to ask, “Can you do that in your current role?” When I read that question, I was speechless. After thinking about it, the answer to her question was, “Yes!”. Admitting this forced me to reconsider my motives.

Through deeper reflection, and being enlightened to the fact that my intentions for wanting to be  an administrator could be done as a teacher, I discovered that my subconscious motives for wanting to be an administrator was…money. Moving into an administrative role brought more money. With the stresses of higher prices in our country and being the only one bringing in income for my family, I subconsciously started thinking about the need for more money. Now, let’s go back to the driving question, “What is the REAL motive for wanting to be an administrator?”. Underneath all of the positive intentions, the real reason for wanting to change my job was money. 

 Would more money be nice? Of course, but I don’t need more money to support, encourage, and help my current colleagues. I can do that right now by making the choice to invest in the people around me. Sometimes, being in the trenches gives me a better opportunity to invest in and support my fellow colleagues than stepping into an administrative role. I have learned that money can be a good motivator, but it should never be the sole motivator in decision making.

We need to be careful not to allow our good intentions to overshadow our motives. We may have great intentions, but our motives might be selfish, greedy, egomaniacal, insensitive, and much more. We must spend time truly reflecting on what our motives are for the decisions we make. We may come to find out that our intentions can be played out right where we are, and our motives for wanting change may be to cover up issues, run from problems we are avoiding, or to chase selfish ambitions. As a leader, it is crucial that we are always keeping our true motives in check. We need to be honest with ourselves, and if we see any motives within us that lean toward selfishness or selfish ambition, we need to reassess our “Why?” and focus on the mission of selfless leadership.

As always, stay humble and serve well!

Serving and Responsibility

On a ride home with a buddy of mine the other day, he and I started talking about serving others and what that looks like. The conversation led him to reveal that he has a hard time not taking on the responsibility of the individuals that he is serving. He stated that while he wants to serve others, he finds himself wanting to take ownership of people’s needs and responsibilities. He told me that he knows it is not his responsibility to work things out for others or to get things completed for others, but he struggles with taking on ownership that isn’t his to take. After hearing this, it led me to question the line between serving others and taking responsibility for others.

Anyone who has followed my blog knows that I believe service to be the key element to leadership, that selfless leadership is about serving those around us, and that service is the highest form of leadership.  However, there is a fine line between serving others and taking responsibility for others. If we do not set clear boundaries between the two, then we can begin to build resentment and frustration toward the people we should be serving.

Service is about supporting, helping, and encouraging others through action and word. Serving others can take on a multitude of forms. Some acts of service may be small; others can be life changing or life altering. For example, seeing an individual struggling to pay for the groceries in the check out line and volunteering to pay for their groceries is an act of service. Or it could be as big as the service given by C. S. Lewis to his late friend whom he lost in World War II. He took in his late friend’s mother and cared for her until her dying day. Some acts of service will hardly have an impact on our lives, while others might completely change how we live. 

Serving others should never be about enabling or allowing for poor decision making. It should never be about taking the responsibility of others as our own. Paying for someone’s groceries at the check-out line, because they didn’t have the means to do it themselves at that time, is not taking on that individual’s responsibility nor is it enabling them. Rather, you are providing an act of service for someone in need at a specific time. This changes when you continue to give them money for groceries while they do nothing to try and earn their own income to provide for themselves. That is when you have taken on their responsibility and have enabled them to continue living without taking on personal responsibility. 

Selfless leadership means we serve those we influence. We do not enable, make excuses for, or fail to hold others accountable. Serving others should be our aim every day. We should be looking for ways to help others and provide support and encouragement where needed. We do not take on the responsibilities of others, but rather help others complete or accomplish their responsibilities. Ultimately, it is still the other person’s job to complete or fulfill their own responsibilities. But let’s admit it, getting help when our responsibilities seem overwhelming allows us time to take a breath and feel more confident in taking ownership of our responsibilities.

Live a life of leadership through service. We all need help from time to time, and seeking out ways to serve others is a way to enrich our own life. Help, support, and encourage others in their responsibilities, but do not take on other’s responsibilities for them.

As always, stay humble and serve well!

A Problem That Doesn’t Exist…

I read a post the other day where a group blamed a political party for, “solving a problem that doesn’t exist.” This statement seems to be going around a lot these days. What’s interesting is that it is leadership’s responsibility to mitigate potential problems before they exist, or to mitigate unseen issues that are currently happening. Good leadership does not react. Instead, they are proactive, looking to solve potential issues before they become reality. It doesn’t matter the company or organization, if leadership is reactive, rather than proactive, then the company/organization will always be a few steps behind. It will also wreak havoc on the staff. Just because a problem doesn’t exist now, doesn’t mean one won’t exist in the future.

A good organization has leadership that is able to head off problems as they come. A great organization has leadership that looks to mitigate issues before they happen. Leadership should be focused on seeing the potential issues that could come their way. They need to be able to focus on seeing possible issues they may have with the public, staff, other organizations, and so on. When all signs lead to failure, you don’t wait until failure happens to deal with said failure. It is important to be cognizant of the warning signs that point to anticipated problems. Leadership should be so in tune with what’s going on within and around their organization that nothing will surprise them. The question then becomes, how does leadership do this?

Leadership must have a sense of awareness. They need to keep a birds eye view of every aspect within their organization. If leaders become tunnel visioned, they will miss the warning signs of looming issues. Instead of zeroing in on problems, leadership must take a step back and ask, “How did this happen?”, and, “What can we do to avoid this in the future?” Blame is never the answer when problems need solving. Action is what is necessary. Being aware and in tune with the organization can only happen when leadership takes on a very specific role – being present.

Leadership that sits behind a desk will never be fully aware of the issues and problems that may be manifesting within the organization. Leadership that leads from the top will never know the real issues and problems that are affecting the organization. To be intune and aware of potential issues and problems, leadership must be present and lead from within their organization. Leadership needs to be among their staff. They need to listen, observe, ask questions, and spend time investing in their people. A leader who is rarely seen is a leader who is clueless to what is happening within and among their staff and organization. A clueless leader is a reactive leader, not a proactive leader. It is crucial that leadership spends the majority of their time among their staff; serving. 

Problems arise when we lack knowledge or are too consumed with our own ego that we neglect the needs of others. Leaders must be servants first. We must come alongside our staff and invest in them by giving up our time to ensure our staff is taken care of. The more we engage and invest in our staff, the more knowledge we gain about the problems and issues that may be plaguing our organization. It also gives us a better understanding of what we can do to mitigate issues and plan for the future. Being fully present with our staff gives us the opportunity to be proactive rather than reactive when problems and issues may arise. It is leadership’s job to solve problems that don’t exist. After all, just because they don’t exist today, doesn’t mean they won’t exist tomorrow. Be present, be aware, and be engaged.

As always, stay humble and serve well!

Not Conformed, But Transformed

It’s easy to look at what’s happening around the country, or even the world, and jump on a bandwagon. It’s easy to conform to the ideologies of the masses for fear of being different, causing rifts, or simply not wanting to feel alone. The problem with conforming so easily is that we forfeit our courage and integrity. We lose sight of what is right and true for the sake of comfort and acceptance. Do not conform to this world, but rather be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Be strong and courageous. Stand for what is right, rather than conform to the masses. Do not allow yourself to be pushed by every wind of doctrine that comes your way. Lead in a way that will never compromise your character or integrity. 

The ways of the world are as changing as the currents of the ocean. If we are always looking to conform to the ways of the world, then we will never stand for what is right, know truth from lie, or even know who we are.  The world should not be the one to tell us what to think, how to act, or what to do. We must be the ones who build personal moral and ethical codes that are based on facts and truth. Instead of seeking acceptance from the world, we should be looking at what is morally and ethically right to accept from the world. Choosing to conform to impulsive ideologies that change in an instant proves our ignorance and lack of self-confidence and courage. Conforming builds a foundation of sand that will ultimately crumble and cause us more anguish in the end.

We are called to be strong and courageous. We are called to stand for what is morally and ethically right. We are called to be lions in the midst of jackals. We are called to protect those who cannot protect themselves. We are called to take care of the orphans and widows. If we are called to do and be all of these things, then the last thing we want to do is conform to the ways of this world. The world teaches the opposite of everything we are called to be. As leaders, we must stand tall in the midst of chaos and confusion. We must be the light that others can see in the midst of the darkness that surrounds them. If we are constantly swayed by the ways of the world, we will become the darkness that surrounds others rather than the light that brings hope, strength, and encouragement. 

We must be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We must set aside the ways of this world and traverse the narrow path. Truth doesn’t become less true because people refuse to accept it. Facts don’t stop being facts because people refuse to accept them. We need to seek truth, stand for what is right, lead with integrity, and never compromise moral and ethical standards for personal gain and public acceptance. To renew our mind, we must do what is opposite of what this world finds acceptable. We must remove ourselves from the equation and seek to be servant leaders. While serving, we must protect the weak and stand for truth all the while holding ourselves to higher morals and ethics. 

Lead in a selfless way, but stand for what is right. Serve, but never compromise. Stay humble, but be assertive. Don’t conform to the ways of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Transform your mind to to be a leader that stands for what is right, protects the weak, leads with integrity, and will never compromise their character for the approval of the world. 

As always, stay humble and serve well!

%d bloggers like this: