Focal Point Blog

2)  Repect and appreciate people.  We are all FRAGILE – Handle with care.  Remember, everyone is a volunteer at a certain level.  When you are respected you give your best energy.  Character based leadership is connecting with my personhood, not position or performance, to the personhood of another person – creating energy and change.  MK

“IF YOU ARE NOT CHANGING SOMETHING YOU DON’T NEED A LEADER. WE DON’T NEED ANYBODY TO LEAD ‘SAME‘ “.  A quote taken from Mike Henry’s Forum talk on Energizing Change.

One factor for Energizing Change is to Elevate our Purpose for which Mike offers four components.


1) “Focus on the Best, highest objective.  Aim for the pinnacle, not just the mountain.  Go for the Bull’s eye, not just the target!  When we focus on THE BEST it causes us to be more careful about what we do.



4058785476_6a7fd860fd_m“Hey, I’m only human.” Ever heard that excuse? Sure. Everybody has failures. Screw-ups are part of the human condition. On the other hand, there’s no reason for us to make all the mistakes in life. So, since forewarned is forearmed, it might be helpful to consider a few proverbs that warn of potential causes of failure in order that we may take steps to avoid these pitfalls.

One sure way to fail, according to Proverbs, is to inadequately plan: “A sensible man watches for problems ahead and prepares to meet them. The simpleton never looks and suffers the consequences” (27:12).

“Selfishness only causes trouble…” – Proverbs 28:25

Googling “self“ turned up all sorts of categories: self-directed, self-reliance, self-centered, self-serving, and self-important, to name a few. There’s even a “Self Magazine.” It turns out we’re a deeply “self”-conscious society. I’m shocked! Aren’t you? Not!

You may recall Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It’s still a very popular framework in sociology research, management training and secondary and higher psychology instruction. What’s the pinnacle of Maslow’s hierarchy, i.e., mankind’s greatest ambition? Would you believe self-actualization? You bet. (more…)

“A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree”  – Proverbs 11:28


Values drive behavior. What we decide is most important in life will control and direct us. Jesus said it best: “Where your treasure is, that’s where your heart’s going to be.” It follows then that nothing is more important to a leader’s effectiveness than values, and that makes where we find our values critical.

Surveys indicate that as many as 80% of Americans believe that our society’s values are in transition, that in fact our culture is suffering a morals meltdown. Ya think maybe this perception has anything to do with the fact that for years now there’s been an explosive growth of Hollywood’s endorsement of infidelity and divorce as the norm, of internet smut, of “the ends justify the means” politics, of an entitlement mentality, of “just make sure it doesn’t make the papers” business ethics, etc.? (more…)

“He who answers before listening – that is his folly and his shame” -Proverbs 18:13


In his 2002 best-selling book “The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership,” former University of Southern California president Steven Sample observes that the average person suffers from the delusion that he’s a good listener. “Most people, however, including many leaders,” Sample writes, “are terrible listeners; they think talking is more important than listening. But leaders know it is better to listen first and talk later.” He suggests not only that we make the effort to listen, but also that we do so “artfully,” practicing what he calls “listening gray.”

Sample describes listening gray as taking in information and suspending judgment about whether it’s true or not for as long as possible. If delaying decisions until the eleventh hour seems counterintuitive, that’s because, according to Sample, it is. Most of us, he says, tend to take what he calls a binary approach to listening and thinking: when we hear something, we are inclined to categorize it immediately as good or bad, true or false, black or white. To suspend judgment demands a concerted effort. (more…)

An Article, written by Michael Shermer in the Wall Street Journal, Sept 2014, quoted the Admiral as saying “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”

It all starts with the little things in life that make for the biggest differences!  Be encouraged about your possibilities of changing this world as you listen to this 19 minute commencement talk.

“Those who will not be moved from doing right will live, but those who pursue evil will bring about their own death” – Proverbs 11:19

*What is a leader’s greatest fear? Failure? Mutiny? Criticism? All are possibilities, but I would suggest that the leader’s greatest fear is, or ought to be, not something that we do, which is recoverable, but something that can happen inside us. Let me explain.

Jim Collins in his monumental book, “Good to Great,” describes several characteristics of CEO’s who took their companies to the highest level of excellence. He calls these rare individuals “Level 5 Leaders.” Collins’ research revealed that Level 5 leaders “are ambitious, to be sure, but ambitious first and foremost for the company, not themselves…Level 5 leaders display a compelling modesty, are self-effacing and understated…” We might well conclude that exhibiting these qualities is a leader’s true mission. (more…)

“The evil man gets rich for the moment, but the good man’s reward lasts forever” – Proverbs 11:18
In “LeadershipLessons from West Point,” a collection of essays published by The Leader to Leader Institute, Lt. Col. Sean Hannah, at the time Director of leadership and management studies for the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at West Point, writes, “Authentic leadership occurs when followers idealize their leader and internalize the leader’s vision and ideals.” (more…)

“She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life” – Proverbs 31:12

*Proverbs 31 is a verbal portrait a mother paints for her son the king to help him in his choice of a wife. The woman depicted in this passage embodies the core behavior of fanatical discipline. Every day, day after day, this wife brings her husband good, not harm. The context describes a virtuous woman motivated by her love for God to “march 20-miles” (see below), i.e., to be industrious, frugal, efficient and productive with tremendous consistency. As a result she achieves a truly great enterprise: the perfect wife, worthy of all praise. (more…)

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