Sunday, June 26, 2011

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Living a Satisfied Life

A Proverb
"Our anger and annoyance are more detrimental to us than the things themselves which anger or annoy us." 1

A Thought
“I do not claim that I have already succeeded or have already become perfect … the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead.2

A Fairytale Ending
“So Cinderella married the Prince and lived happily ever after.”

To Ponder
I have been thinking about living a satisfied life. Recent events have driven some introspection into what it means to live “happily ever after.”

Poor Cinderella – abandoned, abused, maligned, mistreated – and then, dazzled by her Fairy Godmother, she danced into happiness and satisfaction only to have hopes dashed by the strike of the clock. Now, here’s someone who should be upset about how she was treated! But, in this fairy tale there is nothing about her complaining, or seeking “resolution.” She moved on.

How did she do that? What Cinderella did may be a lesson for all of us: she forgave and forgot. She did not let her mistreatment shape her future. She moved on and lived “happily ever after.” Her glass was half full!

Leaders are to set examples by forgetting what is past and pressing on. “A Thought” (above) was written by a Jewish Rabbi "rock star." Wealthy. A man of influence. Trained at the best schools. Lead the group designated to “clean up” the religious malcontents (Christians) and persecuted people who did not believe as he. Had some of those religious rebels killed. Many jailed. He was a “rock star” in the religious establishment.

But, he too, had an enlightening experience, not with his Fairy Godmother, but with the Creator of the Universe. And this man, who was the scourge of those who followed “The Way,” became its leader, writing a good portion of the New Testament.

He focused on what was before him, not the anguish he had behind him. There are two winners in this story: those who suffered because of the Pharisee named Saul yet were able to accept him as their new leader (talk about forgiveness!); and then Saul, who become the Apostle Paul, who could have been haunted by his past was able to forge a new, happier life. That’s our model. A real Cinderella story.

A Challenge
Are you ready to live “happily ever after?”

Copyright ©2011 by P. Griffith Lindell

1Marcus Aurelius
2Philippians 3:12a;13b (GNT)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Relax. Take it easy…in THIS economy! Yes.

A Proverb
"First pay attention to God, and then relax. Now you can take it easy--you're in good hands”1

A Thought
“Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.”2

To Ponder
Greece’s debt is about to crush them: which makes the EU fragile, making the USA economy unstable. China says we are already in default of their bonds. Moody’s is threatening to downgrade our AAA status. The mid-East is in an uproar. Japan is struggling after the disaster. Volcanoes are spewing ash in various places in the world – crops are affected – the weather patterns are changing. Corn is now trading at nearly $8/bushel (normal is around $2/b) – the impact of that is yet to be felt. Gas prices are high. Real unemployment is around 10%. Tired of governmental regulations, license fees, registrations, people are starting new businesses without notifying any governmental authority - just to survive. A “black-market” economy is emerging.

So, relax. Do life right. Right living - you know, be righteous. Practice righteousness. Become God-absorbed – not news absorbed.

The proverb says to first “Pay attention to God.” Bet you turn on the news first. Or read the paper. I get it – habits. Morning news while flying around the kitchen grabbing breakfast is a habit. Good for stress. Not relaxing.

Becoming absorbed with God is the decision that’s needed: so absorbed that no matter if wars rage; if the economy falls flat; if sickness ravages the family; if the business falls apart; no matter the circumstance, we can relax. We can live without anxiety. And this takes discipline.

Easy words to write. Much harder to do. I understand. And the reason? Here’s what I know about myself: it so much easier to be self-absorbed. It's my nature. I suspect that it might be yours, too.

Self-absorbed equals anxiety. God-absorbed equals relaxation. The choice should be clear.

A Challenge
What will you choose?

1Proverbs 1: 33 MSG; 2 Phil 4:6-7 NLT

Copyright (c) 2011 by P. Griffith Lindell

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Bothered By the Celebration of bin Laden's Death?

Leaders, especially Christian leaders, must respond to the news with a measure of grace, not celebration.

I was going to write about this until a friend's Facebook posting took me to this link.

I could not have said it better - may not have said it as well.

Thank you Nina, for posting Rick's thoughts.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ladder-leaning for Leaders

A Proverb
You may think you are on the right road and still end up dead.

A Thought
What if you get to the top of the ladder of your life and find out you had it leaning against the wrong building.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone about life’s purpose? Asked them “Why are you here? For what were you born? Just what is your purpose in life? Have you asked yourself?

Uncomfortable questions, it turns out.

Perhaps Socrates realized that the pressures of peers, of culture and learning provide false-fronts upon which you lean your ladder of life. He noted that “an unexamined life is a life not worth living.” Questions like that above help bring some clarity to thinking. Especially if one is challenged by the answers.

The toxic culture of the 21st century is numbing minds to ultimate truths that guide life. Life, for many just happens. For others, life finds meaning in self – pulling yourself up, reframing thinking, finding some sort of god in you. To some contestants on American Idol life is about singing and entertaining. Their purpose is wrapped up in their voice. Good to have focus. But is that purpose?

One contestant has a purpose greater than his voice and it even drives his choice of songs – he wants his ladder leaning up the “right wall.”

Earthquakes and tsunamis have a way of changing focus. If your world is about you and you only – what you do (how well you sing or entertain, engineer, build, project manage, whatever) - what happens if you “lose your voice – your world is washed away?” Have you lost your purpose? Is living over?

My purpose is to glorify God by expressing His love as a communicator, adviser and mentor, especially to those in the business community.
A Proverb

What’s your purpose?

©Copyright 2011 P. Grifffith Lindell

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Leadership Wholehearted in Purpose

Plato made an interesting observation in The Republic:
“When we say that a man desires something, do we say he desires all that pertains to it or only one part and not another?...Then any student who is half-hearted in his studies-especially when he is you and lacks the understanding to judge between what is useful and what is not-cannot be called…a lover of wisdom. He is like one who picks at his food. We say that he is not really hungry and has no appetite. We say that he is a poor eater and no lover of the table….”

Leaders must have a purpose to which they are committed. Completely. Wholeheartedness powerfully moves people. Followers love leaders who are committed. Passion coupled with knowledge mixed in the cauldron of experience provides confidence to those being led.

As I was writing today on one of my future books - The Jericho Principle – Overcoming Impediments to Success - I was struck again with the story’s hero, Joshua who inherited the leadership reigns from Moses. What caught by attention was his side-kick Caleb of whom it is said by God, “…because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.” In fact, that is said of him at least three times. What a tribute!

That's exactly what we – leaders and followers – are called to do in the workplace: “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people…”

Christian leader: are you wholehearted in your studies of God’s way? Or do you pick and choose what works for you when you need or want it. If you are picking and choosing, Plato and I would agree – “you are no lover of wisdom.”

 A Challenge
Do you have the appetite for leadership based on Eternal Principles?

©Copyright 2011 by P. Griffith Lindell

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Growing In Leadership: the Pain of Exploring “Deep Waters”

“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.”

A Thought
“What's it all about, Alfie?”

Burt Bacharach asked an important question in his Alfie lyrics: does his answer help the leader know, control and give her/himself as a leader?

Is the answer to purpose – to love?

Just what does it mean “to love” anyway?

If you live your life and you "can't get no satisfaction," then your personal insight to the question does matter: Is love something you are in? Or is it something you do? Is it a bundle of nice feelings or a set of refreshing behaviors?

If love is about you then, is it really love? Might be lust. If It’s all about you, it is not love!

What's it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
What's it all about when you sort it out, Alfie?
Are we meant to take more than we give
or are we meant to be kind?
And if only fools are kind, Alfie,
then I guess it's wise to be cruel.
And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie,
what will you lend on an old golden rule?
As sure as I believe there's a heaven above, Alfie,
I know there's something much more,
something even non-believers can believe in.
I believe in love, Alfie.
Without true love we just exist, Alfie.
Until you find the love you've missed you're nothing, Alfie.
When you walk let your heart lead the way
and you'll find love any day, Alfie, Alfie.

Wrestling with purpose is critical for the leader:
  • Do you know why you are here?
  • For what have you been created?
  • How do you define your reason for being in this “moment we live?”

A Challenge
Have you taken the time to “sort it out?”

Lyrics copyright property of holder of that copyright: See

Copyright 2011 ©P. Griffith Lindell

Monday, March 21, 2011

No Shortcuts to Leadership

A Proverb
Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.

A Thought
The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

Shortcuts in life, and in business, are doomed to certain poverty. Do you believe that?

In our culture, diligence is out. Blatant self-promotion, even looking silly, is in.

Looking for the shortcuts has become the grist of reality TV and a way of American life. Planning has become confused with scheming, alliances, lying, quick decisions, "winning" at all costs.

Howard Shultz, founder of Starbucks, relates, “A phrase used by one of the most organized and successful companies I ever worked for….Proper planning and preparation prevents poor performance!"

Planning, preparation, performance, prosperity - No short cuts in that list!

What defines your path to prosperity?

Copyright ©2011 by P. Griffith Lindell

1. Proverbs 21:5 (NLT)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Leaders Who Chase Success Chase the Wind.

A Proverb
"...most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind."1

A Thought

"Business success is good: personal significance is what matters."2

A History

Figure 1

Sometimes the pursuit of success gets in the way of achieving personal significance. This is not any kind of significance - I mean the kind of life that adds meaning to other’s lives, is a positive force with those we “touch” and gives energy and does not take energy from others.

You may be driven, in some subtle way, to achieve some sort of status - success. You behave in ways that will yield the recognition you consciously, or unconsciously seek.

Relationship-building people, unlike status-driven people, respond to different modes of behavior – behaviors that seek to serve others - significance. The concepts surrounding the principles of servant-leadership are based more on relationships (personal significance) than status (success), for example.

The “things” that hinder our progress on our journey to significance often are hidden simply because we don’t move with intentionality toward the kind of significance that adds meaning to others. Our culture stimulates our drive for success. Scriptural culture drives individuals to achieve humility – the ultimate in personal significance.

Which are your chasing?

Copyright © 2011, P. Griffith Lindell.
1 Eccl. 4:4

Figure 1 "significance." Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 08 Mar. 2011.

2 Lindell, P. (2011). Struggling With Your Business? 10 Questions to Consider Before Investing A(nother) Dime. (pg. x). Woodburn, OR: Lindell Associates, LLC.