Sep
9
2016

“I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion. By me kings reign and rulers make laws that are just” – Proverbs 8:12, 15

My favorite definition of “leadership” is John Maxwell’s. In “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” Maxwell writes, “The true meaning of leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less.” (more…)

Mar
16
2016

“A servant cannot be corrected by mere words; though he understands, he will not respond”– Proverbs 29:19

Why is it that some leaders can capture their people’s best efforts while others get only compliance? In his book “Integrity,” psychologist and business consultant Henry Cloud maintains that engaging others’ will is a function of the leader’s character. (more…)

Sep
21
2015

“When the righteous triumph, there is great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, men go into hiding” – Proverbs 28:12

At the close of WWII the Allies brought war crimes charges against former Nazi leaders. Many of the accused maintained in their defense that since they were simply following lawful orders, it would be unjust to convict them. What the Nuremburg judges had to decide was, is it ever not only right but necessary to disobey authority.

The dictionary defines “authority” as “one who has power to influence or command thought, opinion or behavior.” Authority is of course integral to government; the military; the business, academic and ecclesiastical worlds; and the family. In all of these areas power is exercised with the expectation of obedience. Are there exceptions (more…)

Sep
16
2015

“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts” – Proverbs 4:23

Growing up, we learned about the tooth fairy, Santa Clause and the Easter bunny. These fables are part of American culture and of course generally harmless. There are, however, other myths we may have absorbed from the culture that can be hazardous to our health and happiness. (more…)

Sep
5
2015

“My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands…. Then you will…find the right way to go. For wisdom and truth will enter the very center of your being…” – Proverbs 2:1, 9-10

*We know that if something is alive, it’s doing two things simultaneously, growing and dying. Usually one of these processes is more dominant, or at least more visible. When our young children were developing their motor skills that would serve them well in life, the last thing we noticed was that they were also getting older and moving toward death. (more…)

Aug
31
2015

I think most of us would agree that the right equipment can spell the difference between success and failure. You wouldn’t want your surgeon using a chain saw or your dentist a woodworking drill. I’ve noticed that professionals are quite particular about their tools. Whether it’s a surgeon, a dentist, a fisherman, or a mountain climber, professionals know that their success depends on using the right equipment.

I’d like to suggest for your consideration that it also takes using the right equipment if we are to experience the kind of successful, satisfying life we all long for. (more…)

Aug
26
2015

 

The DNA of a Genuine Friend

“A friend loves at all times…” – Proverbs 17:17

In a chapter on “The Discipline of Friendship,”* Kent Hughes writes, “Few men have good friends, much less deep friendships.” Hughes notes that America’s leading psychologists and therapists estimate that only 10% of all men ever have any real friends.

The problem, Hughes says, stems from the way men are wired. Unlike women, men are more into doing than talking. Because we gear ourselves for the marketplace, we men understand friendships more as acquaintances than as relationships. Adding to our deficiency, Hughes notes, is our bent to buy into the Hollywood delusion that “real men don’t need other people.” (more…)

Jul
16
2015

“A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?” – Proverbs 20:24

*It’s been a decade now since the young couple buried his parents and their only child, Abigail, victims of a fiery private plane crash here in Tulsa. The pilot, Rick, and his wife Debbie, both acquaintances of mine, were off to vacation in Canada. The first leg of their journey would take them to Missouri to return Abigail, their weekend guest, to her parents. Shortly after takeoff, Rick radioed the tower about an engine problem and their emergency return to the airfield. Tragically, moments later the Cessna dropped from the sky.

(more…)

Jun
8
2015

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).
(more…)

Apr
24
2015

“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…)

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