Posts Tagged ‘success’

Evaluating Leadership By The Wake It Leaves

November 4, 2016

Dr. Henry Cloud was recently asked about success and how to achieve it.

Although there is much room for definition of the word, Cloud noted that you need to be competent at something. Go out and learn a skill at something. Then there is the ability for forge and maintain relationships. Building a network of people you can call on.

And he talked about character. He mentioned the Hebrew word translated as virtue in the Bible has the connotations of force. It is as if a leader is a force in the organization.


It’s like a boat going through a lake. It leaves a wake. There are two sides to the wake as it fans out if the boat is moving correctly.

Just so, a successful person is a force leaving behind results and relationships in its wake.

Think of leaders you’ve known who perhaps show results but leave behind a trail of broken relationships. It is symptomatic of a boat going around in circles. Where lies success?

Sometimes we work on building relationships but have no results. Once again this is an unbalanced situation. The organization will fail. The business will close.  But you’ll all be happy–for a while.

Worse is the situation where results are poor and relationships broken. It’s like a boat “dead in the water.” Success is but a dream.

Show me a person of strong moral character who leaves good results and firm relationships in the wake, and I’ll show you success.

Success Is (Not) Cheap

January 26, 2016

“Success is Cheap” screamed the billboard.

OK, they were trying to say that if you went to that school, the price is low for the success you’ll surely receive.

This is not a “growth and success” blog. My friend Jim Pinto wrote one of those (as well as columns for my magazine) for years.

Pursuing spiritual disciplines is not really a success or failure sort of thing. We may not achieve perfect study, worship, prayer, and so on, but it’s the work that is the reward.

There is probably a definition of success for these future college graduates, but it won’t come cheaply.

Success requires work. Work that is unseen by the crowds. Preparation. Study. Repetition. Grunge work.

Then success comes–maybe in the form of accolades–and people say, “Wow that all happened overnight.” No. Things don’t happen overnight.

Cheap? Is investing years of your life mastering a subject matter cheap?

I think of the preparation of people in the Bible put there for our edification. Joseph prepared and was ready when his time came. Daniel, same thing. Study, prepare, be ready to act when called upon. Jesus. Peter. John. Paul. Barnabas.

The marketers were trying to get attention. But don’t buy into it. Even beyond my usual philosophy that you get what you pay for, success isn’t cheap. It requires work, dedication, discipline.

Pattern Recognition for Growth and Success

September 3, 2014

Our brains are excellent at pattern recognition. Except, that is, when we’re looking at the patterns of our own lives.

The premise of Henry Cloud’s latest book, “Never Go Back”, is that successful people come to a point where they see a pattern in their lives that is not working out. When they see that pattern “they go through a door and never go back.”

Or, to state the inverse, Proverbs contains a statement, “A fool returns to his folly.”

It seems like every time I’m in some sort of transition period, Cloud releases a new book that speaks directly to my condition.

It was four years ago this week when I found myself in the hospital for the first time since I was born with a painfully torn quadriceps muscle.

That event seemed to be the start of some necessary transformations, and Cloud released “Necessary Endings” which spoke directly to the situation. I needed to find a end game and start something new.

But then I repeated a pattern by getting drawn into another dysfunctional business relationship. Andy Stanley recently talked about decision-making–if you feel a tension stop and reflect. I felt the tension, but I didn’t stop. That was a pattern repeating. It had happened several times before.

I’ve gone through that door, hopefully to never return.

Sometimes the pattern is breaking a habit–more properly stated as replacing a dysfunctional habit with a new, healthier one.

There is a spiritual pattern we can fall into where we sort of “lose” the spirit. We can leave that situation through intentional spiritual practices–reading the Bible, prayer, join a small study group.

Others we break when we realize the dysfunction and never go back.

You Can Choose Your Attitude

July 31, 2014

Are there people who annoy you, but it is impossible to disassociate yourself from them?

Did life just hand you a setback?

Do you feel that other people get all the luck?

Humans have know for thousands of years that what you have power over is the power to choose your attitude in these and all other incidents.

Often people reflect back to you the attitude you show. If your attitude is always negative, you’ll attract negative people. You can all sit around and complain to each other. That’s because people with a positive attitude are out creating their “luck” and avoiding you.

I’ve discovered that you cannot force other people to change. You can only change your attitude toward them. If someone you must see regularly is self-centered for example, then you won’t be able to get them to change to becoming more others centered. At least not quickly. But you can change your attitude toward them so as not to reflect back their negative attitude. You can reflect back to them the humble (other-centered) life attitude that Jesus taught than revolutionized the world.

Your attitude will see you through tough times and you’ll be an inspiration to others. Your attitude will keep you studying and praying through whatever happens.

Your attitude will bring you success–maybe not riches, but success in life which is more important.

Maybe you need a reminder taped to your bathroom wall, or the wall paper on your computer, or a “reminder” notification that pops up on your iPhone at various times to check your attitude and make sure it is the right one.