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Archive for March, 2012

My wife works at the airport here in Northwest Arkansas (XNA).  She said yesterday was probably one of the worst days she has ever had and she has worked there for almost four years.  It was a combination of things that made it difficult, but the hardest was having to tell people who had bought their tickets sometimes months ago that there were no more seats available.   Anyway, I spent a large chunk of the afternoon waiting around for her and my daughter to fly out for a quick spring break trip.  As I waited, it was interesting to observe the people, especially the business travelers looking not at all thrilled to be flying with all these families, kids, etc.  I know that  many of you can totally relate.

As I observed many of these people trying to get out of here yesterday, it made me think about the challenges that go with jobs requiring constant business travel.  I know this may be fun or exciting for some, especially at the beginning, but most report this wears off quickly and they would love to be able to stay home.  The constant travel hassles, hotel life and being away from friends and family really take their toll over time.  Often times we find ourselves in uncomfortable situations with constant temptation to let down our guard when traveling.  I have talked to several over the years that gave in to those temptations and ended up terribly regretting what it cost them.

Most of you probably know someone who headed out on the road yesterday or this morning.  Pray for these co-workers and for the situations they may encounter this week.  It would probably be a tremendous encouragement to them if you texted or emailed them a note letting them know that they are in your prayers today.  Most likely they never got a message like that and it may be just what they need to get through another business trip this week.

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We are an activity-based culture in the United States today. We are busy. Some of us complain about our busyness…some of us wear it as a badge of honor. Regardless, we need help. We need solutions. Try this on…I think it will give you a new vision (literally) for living your life with purpose, not busyness.

Do you know how this woman keeps her balance? She maintains her balance by looking not at her feet, but at the other end of the line!

When I first started driving, I would exhaust myself trying to stay in my lane. I was constantly adjusting the car in relation to the center line. But then my Dad told me to not look at the center line, but far down the road and trust myself to make the adjustments needed. I can still remember the revelation that was to my daughter when she was learning to drive.

It’s the same for us in keeping balance in our lives:  when we have our eyes on the end — where we want to arrive — then we begin to automatically make small adjustments all day long to keep on track.  Sure, the occasional squirrel will dart into the road and we’ll have to make some sudden course adjustments, but we know where we want to return.

Balance can be a tricky business, but when we’re sure of our center of gravity, and our end goal, then adjustments start to become automatic.

WorkMatters is the original brainchild of Tom Frase. He is a 20 year veteran of the advertising industry, and an ordained Methodist Pastor. He’s been there done that…he gets it.

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Overwhelmed.  I hear this word or something like it so often these days.  The feeling that there is just so much to do that we constantly feel under great pressure accompanied by anxiety and feelings of failure because we just can’t get it all done.  This seems to be especially true in the working world.  How many times have you heard people express something of that sort.  Probably more than you even realize as it seems to be said so often that you don’t really even “hear” it.

I have experienced this feeling so many times in my life and work that I think I have allowed myself to be deceived into almost thinking that if  I am NOT feeling this way, then I must not be DOING enough.  What a crock!  Jesus does not want us to live perpetually in this state which is entirely inconsistent with the teachings of the Prince of PEACE.

The only way I have found my way out of this state is giving up the illusion that I am in control of hardly anything.  Only through prayer am I able to mysteriously let go of the worry and anxiety that so often accompanies these times of feeling overwhelmed.  I don’t really understand how it works, I just KNOW that it does.

If you are feeling overwhelmed at work today, stop for a moment and give it to Jesus.  Lay it in His hands and he will gladly accept it and you will not only experience a sense of relief, but often times you will experience insight and new directions that, if you will be honest, you know could only have come from the Lord.

I love how Philippians 4:6-7 is stated in The Message.  It says, “Don’t fret or worry.  Instead of worrying, pray…….Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good will come and settle you down.  It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry as the center of your life.

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All of us want to be humble leaders. It sounds good. It sounds right. But pride is a mighty warrior. It fights for the enemy. And we so easily fall prey to the enemy.

Some of us seem to be born with more humility than others. Some of us have great mothers or fathers that modeled humility. But most of us get out in the world, especially out in the marketplace…and humility doesn’t seem to win. It doesn’t seem to get promoted. It doesn’t seem to get talked about or noticed.

So pride drives until we GET humbled. Then, we begin to open our eyes. We develop a vision for a greater purpose for our lives and our work. The Bible begins to show us that humility has value!

Our friends at Catalyst have shared some great ideas on working to become a humble leader. If you are intrigued with these ideas, click over and read the Catablog for the details.

10 ATTRIBUTES OF A HUMBLE LEADER

  1. Dangerous trust
  2. Sincere investment
  3. Gentle, but strong
  4. Readily admits mistakes
  5. Forgives easily
  6. Quickly diverts attention
  7. Remains thankful
  8. Recognizes limitations
  9. Shares authority
  10. Invites feedback
Marketplace Scripture:
“For those who make themselves great will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be made great.”
Luke 14:11

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Today our team started off the day/week doing something that I know most do not have the opportunity to do.  We begin each week with a staff meeting, but we kick off the staff meeting spending some time in prayer for our work.  It is a rich experience and one that we do not take for granted.  We should probably start more days off with prayer, but at least once a week we take the time to lift up our work in prayer.

When I was employed out in the marketplace more where most of you are, it certainly was not something that was routinely done.  I was fortunate enough however, to work with a couple of Christian bosses along the way that included me in some early morning, before work prayer times.   Every couple of weeks we would get to the office early, before most others arrived, we would close the door to his office or conference room and spend thirty minutes or so together praying for our work.  It was such a blessing and even though things did not always go our way, it just felt good to pray about them.  There is no doubt in my mind that God wired us in such a way that when pray, we are doing one of the things we were designed to do.  That is why it always feels like the right thing to do.

Maybe you could find a few like minded people at work and commit to starting the work week off in prayer.  If not, you can at least be more intentional about praying for your meetings, for the people God will allow to cross your path as well as other work matters.

Let me encourage those who are in positions of leadership to organize opportunities from time to time for your team to pray together.  It can be a tremendous opportunity for growth and blessings for all concerned.

Paul taught us in Ephesians 6:18 to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayer and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always praying.”

“All occasions” sounds to me like it could include those occasions when I am at work!

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Is it possible to change your life in one day? Absolutely! I know because it happened to me.

Nine years ago I made a choice. I chose to attend a leadership simulcast at my church. I did it because I love to learn and grow as a leader. I was VP of Sales/Marketing at J.B. Hunt Transport in northwest Arkansas and I needed all of the leadership wisdom and insight I could get. What I didn’t realize was that God had a bigger agenda for me that day.

At the close of the leadership simulcast, an announcement was made. A new marketplace ministry, focused on bridging the gap between faith and work,  was launched. Approximately 18 months later, I became the first employee of this new non-profit organization called WorkMatters!

Since that day, WorkMatters has remained committed to this ONE DAY of leadership development. Because we believe that this one day can make an impact in your life and in the lives of those you work with.

Welcome to the 9th annual WorkMatters Chick-fil-A Leadercast. If you have attended before, you know that the 10 speakers are extraordinary leaders.

Yes…ONE DAY can change (and will) change your life. I hope you will take advantage of this rare opportunity for you and your team. It will likely be the best investment you will make this year.

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