Staying the course while navigating change


Who Moved My Cheese? This was an incredible book when I read it. This is one of those books that really got me to thinking and was the reason for me to challenge myself on my reason for doing and process for doing. Here is a bit from Wikipedia about this book:

“An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life, published in 1998, is a motivational book by Spencer Johnson written in the style of a parable or business fable. It describes change in one’s work and life, and four typical reactions to said change by two mice and two “little people”, during their hunt for cheese. A New York Times business bestseller since release, Who Moved My Cheese? remained on the list for almost five years and spent over 200 weeks on Publishers Weekly’s hardcover nonfiction list.”

So how do you handle change when it happens suddenly, a new situation takes place and creates a new reality for you? What do you do?

You follow a process and move through and with your new reality.
A process offers a set of steps, protocols and principles that go into place in a sensible order. They are designed to restore perspective, functionality, effectiveness, efficiency and life as you have become use to. Regardless of the situation you are facing, defining a process, implementing it and regularly monitoring it can give order and meaning to the results.

A process involves steps and decisions in the way something is accomplished, and may involve a sequence of events. The process that one follows is as important as the results that are produced by the process.”

Are you following a process to keep things moving forward, or are you stuck or drifting?

Here are a few areas (and in no order) that I check to make sure my process stays on track:

1. Making sure that my vision is clear about what I do and what I am supposed to be doing. It makes it easier to stick with it and persevere. This is what my coaching students know as their 20%.

2. Making sure that my values are clear about why I am doing what I am doing.

3. Making sure that the fundamentals are in place and I am after the best practices available today. These best practice tools constantly change.

4. Nurturing and having a mindset and attitude that is positive, and full of kindness.

If I keep these areas clear, on track and working together, then I am better equipped to deal with and manage those external conditions, like my cheese moving. I still may have no control over my cheese moving, but I have a process and a system in place that will aid me greatly in guiding and moving me forward.

Martin Luther King Jr – Did you know

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a United States federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around the time of King’s birthday, January 15. Here are some things about King that you may not have known.

1. In 1964, King became the second African American—and the third black man—to win the Nobel Peace Prize

2. A decade before he was assassinated, King was nearly stabbed to death in Harlem when a mentally ill African-American woman who believed he was conspiring against her with communists, stabbed him in the chest with a letter opener. He underwent emergency surgery, and remained hospitalized for several weeks but made a full recovery. The doctor who performed the operation said, “Had Dr. King sneezed or coughed the weapon would have penetrated the aorta. . . . He was just a sneeze away from death”

3. On April 4, 1968, King was assassinated by the #277 man on the FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitives list. In 1967, James Earl Ray escaped from the Missouri State Penitentiary by hiding in a truck transporting bread from the prison bakery. After being convicted for the murder of King Ray was sentenced to 99 years in Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary. In 1977, Ray became the #351 on the FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitives list after he and six other convicts escaped from the prison. He was recaptured three days later and given another year in prison, bringing his sentence to 100 years.

4. While much of King’s philosophy of nonviolence was derived from Christian—especially Anabaptist—sources, a significant influence was the work of Indian leader Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi. While in seminary King’s gave a presentation he prepared for a class entitled “Christian Theology for Today,” where he included Gandhi as one of a number of figures he identified as “individuals who greatly reveal the working of the Spirit of God.”

5. King is one of three people to have a federal holiday in his honor, according to The other two people with the recognition are George Washington and Christopher Columbus. Although the holiday celebrates King’s birthday, which is Jan. 15, MLK Day is considered a floating holiday, and is always observed on the third Monday of January.

6. Getting all 50 sates on board took until 2000. New Hampshire was the last state to adopt MLK Day as a paid state holiday in 1999, according to Fact Monster. Several states, including Connecticut, Illinois and Massachusetts, celebrated King before the federal holiday was created, only 27 along with the District of Columbia recognized Martin Luther King Jr. Day after the federal law.

7. 17 Minutes: King delivered his most famous address, the “I Have A Dream” speech, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. According to National Public Radio, King spoke for 17 minutes to more than 200,000 supporters, calling for an end to racial discrimination.

Bad habits may be more present than you think

I have invested years into observing great people who really are world changers. Now I am part of a church that has that phrase “World Changers” in their mission statement. This has sparked in me to go back and look at the world changers that I know or have studied and see that their success is built upon great habit after great habit that allows them to experience success. It is through improving systematically one habit at a time that over time will dramatically improve our our own success.

Being one that believes 100% that if you keep doing what you have always done, that you will always get what you have always gotten. So, lets look quickly at some possible bad habits that may be keeping you from living with the success you desire.

1. Not dealing with paper work quickly and efficiently.
2. Being late for meetings and appointments.
3. Handling your mail more than once.
4. Not returning phone calls on time.
5. Talking instead of listening.
6. Poor communications between staff and colleagues.
7. Forgetting someones name 60 seconds after being introduced to them.
8. Hitting the snooze alarm several times in the morning.
9. Not taking enough time off for family and friends – guilt free.
10. Not spending enough time with your kids.
11. Working long days without exercise or enough breaks.
12. Leaving home in the morning without hugging, kissing or saying “I love you” to your spouse or kids.
13. Taking work home with too often. With laptops this has become more common, for me as well.
14. Never unplugging from your cell phone.
15. Controlling every decision especially the small ones that you need to let go.
16. Procrastinating with everything from filing taxes to cleaning your house.
17. Eating at irregular times of the day and night.
18. Not allowing enough travel time for outside appointments.
19. A lack of clarity about expected outcomes, monthly targets, goals etc.

I am going to stop with 19, just because I know it will cause some to break out in a rash to not end on 20.

Now go and take some time to create a list of habits (hopefully the above list of 19 can help spark some ideas) that may be unproductive for you. In order to change anything you must know where you are now and what needs change. Remember if you keep doing the same thing you will keep getting the same results. I have also heard that the true definition of insanity is trying to keep doing the same thing the same way but expecting different results.

No exceptions policy

I just learned this new term called a “No Exceptions Policy”. A no exceptions policy towards habits basically means you will maintain a certain exercise (habit) no matter what happens, because you value the long term benefits of the new habit.

People who will dabble at change will usually quit after just a few weeks or months. You have seen these people or you may be one yourself. A few examples would be the New Year dieters, the new founded “I have got to start saving for my future” people, or the time to continue my schooling and the list goes on and on. These people (and I have been in at least one of these list above myself) usually have a long list of reasons (or excuses) why it didn’t work out for them. It is those who really want to distance themselves from the masses and want to really enjoy the fruits of their new found habits recognize that it is in the “daily” habits that will determine a future. It is in living a “No exceptions policy” that you will continue to invest in let’s say the habit of having good health, that you want to receive the benefit of walking your daughter down the aisle of her wedding so daily you invest in that habit of good health. You go to gym, choose healthy food, don’t stay up all night, don’t work 7 days a week so you can have good health. You do all this with the conviction of staying true, no exceptions!

In closing this thought, I am sure that successful people do not just drift to the top. It requires focused deliberate action, discipline and not to mention a ton of energy every day to make things happen. So what kind of “No Exception” policy do you have? What habits are you investing in no matter what, because the end result is too important for you to give up or just dabble around with?

Book Review- 27 Tough Questions Pastors Ask

I have known Dick Hardy since 1992 and ever since then have come to know Dick as one of the great thinkers and go get em’ type people out there. In part what makes Dick one of those great thinkers is that he knows how to ask great questions in order to continue to grow and stretch his tent stakes further. In his book 27 Tough Questions Pastors Ask he again does a masterful job of collecting in one convenient place questions that are asked and maybe should be asked more frequently.

As you read through this book, it is not filled with dry boring irrelevant questions, but, fact finding, honest, practical, inspiring questions to help every pastor and church leader to grow themselves and their ministries. One of the great things I enjoyed about this book is the way it as written with each chapter only a few pages so you can read the book in a very short time. They are practical and to the point. A lot of the stuff Dick points out are unfortunately missed by churches on a regular basis and it is very refreshing to have someone who really does care about the church who can come in and say with clarity and integrity that only Dick can deliver in his own unique way “you might want to consider a few changes”.

I also know that there can be and are a lot more books than I would like that are written these days that come from a more critical view of the church and spend most of their time bashing the church. That is not the heart that this book has or takes. But it is written from the heart of: Let’s learn what we can to help the whole body of Christ become all we can be in and through our local churches for the purpose of reaching all we can.

In closing another great resource by Dick Hardy is his web site The Hardy Group, see you there.

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