Risk It! Stay Positioned

Position yourself to succeed.  Often we are standing in a pool of loss when the high ground of a gain is only one step.

Rom:8:37: Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

A winner …. is not afraid of losing.training

A loser …. is secretly afraid of winning.

2Cor:2:14: Now thanks be unto God, which always causes  us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place..

It is always interesting to see the perennial never enough mentality of people.  Our provision in life is so many times dictated by our vision.

The word provision has an interesting etymology.  Pro – before  Videre – to see.  Literally to see beforehand.

Gen22:8: And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. 9: And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. 10: And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 11: And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12: And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. 13: And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and

 Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14: And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. (The Lord Our Provider – Jehovah Jireh)

The Hebrew word, jireh, here means exactly as the Latin, provision.  They are both compounds of “to see before.”  The concept is that God sees what we need before we even get to the point of need and “pro-vides” it.

Winners understand the needs of life are “provided”.  What about the wants?

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.  John 15:7  NIV

Winners remain and position themselves to receive. Remaining in Jesus is a posture of prayer and righteousness.  Our standing in Him is based on His atoning work on the cross.  Dead, buried, and risen with Him, we stand in full stead as a son before the Father of the Universe.  All our needs are met according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  Remaining, abiding, dwelling, habituating….in His city, in His dwelling place, in the courts of our God, in the secret place places us in the constant position of protection and provision through prayer.

Like Abraham they are unafraid to take the challenge because they know that “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.”  They ultimately believe that what they need will be there when they get there.

Winners stay positioned in God, in conversation with God, and believe for victory in God.

This one will take more than one session.  God really is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) God.  The flip side is that winners know they can recover from any loss at any time… Next lesson…Stand Ground. Give Ground.

Take Inventory

Can I really believe that God will pro-vide?

Am I willing to drop my belief that He will only go so far in some area and that He won’t be abundant?

Make Application

Write what you are going to specifically do in the next 30 days about this.

Risk It! Change

Every great innovation began with a resistence to status quo.  The greatest status quo that hinders is personal character.

Phil:4:8: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9: Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

 

A winner …shows he is sorry by acting differently.training

A loser…. says, “I’m sorry”, but continues to do it again.

Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

You would like to get victory over weaknesses, wouldn’t you?  That is what Jesus is all about.  In the book of the Revelation there are many promises to the one who overcomes, stays until the end, “takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin”, keeps moving on.  Our weaknesses, insecurities, nuances of personality haunt us in the path of the winner.  Over and over we will make mistakes, glitch in performance, slip climbing the ladder, fall on our face, get egg on our face, boondoggle……sin.

Yes, one key word used for sin in the Bible is simply to miss the mark.  Shoot at a goal and miss it.  Decide we want to be loving and react with anger.  Decide to keep our minds pure then fill it with trashy books, magazines, and the boob tube.  Promise to a wife or son or daughter or friend or neighbor or coworker or employee or employer and then not follow through.  Sin.

The question is, “What do we do then?”  Do we take a winner’s stance or a loser’s escape.  Do we face up, fess up, and clean the mess up?  Or do we put on a face, say, “I’m sorry”, and fade away only to do it again and again?

Winners change.  Winners find a way to do life differently the next time.

Some years back a famous jewel thief was being interviewed over his life.  He had spent many years in prison.  His modus operandi was to only steal from the rich and famous.  The interviewer asked him what his biggest theft was.  His reply was, “Me.”  The explanation was simple.  He had stolen his own life.  What could have been a great creative mind used productively was used to steal and hurt.    When you refuse to change and use the talents and strengths God gives you, you are stealing from yourself.  Your time, energy, and talent go into actions that only produce hurt and pain for you and others.  Why not change to a better way?  Why not get a new thought process and quit doing what doesn’t work, what only hurts?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12: 1-2  NIV.

Take Inventory

What needs changing in your thought life?

What can you fill your mind with that will cause the old thoughts to go out and new ones come in?

Make a date with destiny.  When are you going to start?

Make Application

Write what you are going to specifically do in the next 30 days about this.

 

 

 

 

 

Pray To Be Changeable

Father, quicken my mind and heart.  I make mistakes everyday.  Help me not repeat them.  Help me overcome the items in life that are so easy to do wrong.  Focus my thoughts on good things, pure, lovely, true, honest, excellent things that cause me to follow through with real change not just being sorry.

 

Risk It! The Better Way Mentality

Every progressive effort starts with a step toward change and a holy dissatisfaction with status quo.

Phil:3:13: Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

 A winner …says, “There is a better way.”.

training

 A loser…. says, “That is the way it has always been done around here.”

Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

 Life is full of opportunities to continue to do the same things.  One man defined insanity this way: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  Expectations, persistence of others, voices from the past, and other forces impugn on our ability to think new, creative thoughts about what we do.

How do you get into the “better way” mentality?  A favorite saying of mine is, “If it ain’t broke, break it.”  What?  Don’t you mean, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”   No, I meant what I wrote.  “If it ain’t broke, break it.”   Many times we build traditional barriers around an activity structured on preference and our limited understanding at the time.  A man displayed curiousity about the way his wife cooked a roast beef.  She would always cut the ends off.  Thinking there must be a great culinary secret to this method he asked her why.  “I don’t know,” she replied, “my mother taught me that way.”  Pressed for information on the private process he went to her mother.    “I don’t know,” she replied, “my mother taught me that way.”  Perplexed he drove to the matron of the family’s home and asked again.  “Oh,” she quickly responded, “my roasting pan was too short to hold the full roast.”

Most processes need to be repaired regularly.  Now, you don’t want to tear up a good thing, so there are many other rules of change and improvement like: Always give a change time to go through the curve of lagging productivity until people learn the new way and become adept before implementing the next change. AND  Any change will be resisted in strength in direct proportion to its’ potential for improvement.

Life is full of processes and a “better way” mentality will protect you from foolish failure.  A computer tech went out to resolve a problem one day in an executive secretary’s office.  Seemed that every time she printed a letter she first had to print all the letters she had ever printed.   It took an half a box of paper to print a letter!  The cost and time of doing her job that way finally overcame her embarrassment and she asked for help.  The fix was simple.  She was simply doing what she had been shown.  Open a file, go to the end, type the letter, print it.  Problem was she had only be given one file name and all the letters since she began her job were in one file that she printed each time according to explicit instructions.  Absurd?  Real.  Fortune 500 company.  Executive secretary doing something that needed to be broken.

What about the way we converse with others?  What about how we walk into a meeting?  What about how we greet our friends?  Are those processes that could use some “better way” mentality?

Jesus broke the mold for some in the way they treated their parents in a story related in Matthew 15.  God gave a principle.  Honor your fathers and mothers.  They made a rule that discluded them conveniently.  Tradition overruled wisdom and principle, and Jesus saw through the smoke.   Matt 15:6:  Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12: 1-2  NIV.

Principle is principle is principle.  Relationships, work issues, projects, and hobbies all present problems.  When you allow others to help in the process, you prosper quicker.  Sometimes they have the solution you need.  Always, Jesus has the solution you need.

Take Inventory

Where do you have a process, a way of doing things that really could use some improvement by being broken?

Are you ready to give up personal preferences and do what it takes to “break it and make it better” ?

Can you think of a scripture to apply that can help you into “better way” mentality?

Make Application

Write what you are going to specifically do in the next 30 days about this.

Pray To Be Changeable

Father, quicken my mind and heart.  Life is full of processes.  You know the one that needs breaking and bettering at this moment.  God, I can get so confused with all of the items in life.  What item can I work on today?  What am I doing that really does more damage than good?  Where can I get a lift seeing you touch a new area of my life and give me a creative fresh approach?  Cleanse my thinking, Lord.  Jesus, be my wisdom, be my source, be my life giver.  Holy Spirit release the fresh wind of Your brooding.  Brood over my thoughts and bring order to their chaos that I might see clearly what You want to create.

Manage Well : Go On Through

To go through a problem is to conquer it and create new paths. Go through. Don’t go around it.

Ps:95:8: Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: .

 A winner goes through a problem.

training

  A loser tries to go around a problem.

Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

Problems are life. Sound like the last chapter?  You are right.  It is not the same though.  What makes a winner a conqueror, an overcomer, is the problems they face and conquer.  You will have problems.  1Pt:4:12:” Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:”

The question is will you go through or around?

Going around.  The children of Israel spent 40 years going around their problems.  When they were offered the land of opportunity, they chose to stay away and not deal with their problems.  What was their problem?  Discord, lack of submission to leadership, unbelief, selfishness… basically just a lot of reliance on themselves and little on God.

Going through.  After that 40 year phase, a new set of children rose up and went through their problems.  They stuck together, defended each other, and took the blessings by going through their problems.

Going around.  The United States is full of men and women going around their problems.  Insecurity, lack of knowledge on how to be a dad/mom/husband/wife, lack of commitment, irresponsibility, self fulfillment keeps them from sticking with their families and spouses and friends.  It’s easier to go around.

Going through.  My heroes are the ones who overcome their insecurities, lack of knowledge, lack of commitment, irresponsibility, and self fulfillment, replace it with security in Jesus, knowledge from the Word, commitment to what counts, responsibility even when it hurts, and other fulfillment, and stick with the program.  It is not easy.  It is incredibly rewarding.

Hebrews 4:14: Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.15: For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.16: Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Principle is principle is principle.  Relationships, work issues, projects, and hobbies all present problems.  When you allow others to help in the process, you prosper quicker.  Sometimes they have the solution you need.  Always, Jesus has the solution you need.

Take Inventory

Where do you have a problem that you have circumvented but not solved?

Are you ready to do what it takes to solve it?

Have you ever felt like getting mad at God because of a problem?  Did you go around the problem or through it?

Overcoming.  As I write this I am praying for five relationships where someone has come to me in the last week and asked for prayer.  They are GOING THROUGH!.  Anger, alcohol, and accusations make for hard lives. You can GO THROUGH.  You can overcome.  It takes both involved in the relationship, but it can be done.  Who are you praying for?

 Make Application

Write what you are going to specifically do in the next 30 days about this.

Risk It! Find A Way

A winner says, “Let’s find a way.”     A Loser says, “There is no way”

Rv:2:7: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.training

A winner says, “Let’s find a way.”

A Loser says, “There is no way”

Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

 Problems are life.  A great book written some years back is entitled, “Eating Problems For Breakfast.”  Another great book published years ago was “Lateral Thinking”.  Both of these books challenge us to remember that problem solving requires getting outside our normal boxes of thought and thinking different thoughts.  When we are ready to do that, we can see incredible solutions to plaguing problems.

Recently in the children’s department of a large church, the problem of space for growth came up.  The main area for elementary kids would only hold about 150 chairs, crammed uncomfortably with bad visibility.  There had to be a way.  After 15 years of looking at the problem, no one had a real viable solution.  It took getting outside the box.

Walking through another room planned for remodel a worker struck on an old idea with a new twist.  A choir loft seating about 75 adults was going to be torn out.  Why not split the loft and reassemble it in the kids area as bleachers?  The new use of an old item would make room for 100 new kids.  Not only that, but it took up little used space in the room and changed the room to a more exciting place for the kids and allowed over 250 kids to be in the room with all of them having good visibility.  Add to that another idea of doubling the lumens in the lighting and the whole idea gelled.  Unusable, dim space was turned into light, great space because some folks though outside the box against 15 years of  “no way”.  (Sunbonnet: The cost was only a few dollars as the labor was volunteered along with some great carpet to cover the bleachers. The cost of purchasing bleachers and installing a new lighting system would have been over $10,000.)

 1 Pt:1:7: That the trial (testing by presenting of problems)of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

This principle applies in all areas of life.  Tests, trials, opportunities, problems, glitches, frustrations, whatever you call them come up. Persistent prayer and thought can bring new light (couldn’t resist) and a different way to attack the problemFaith pushes through to solutions.  Fear stares at the problem and gives up.

Take Inventory

Do you have a long term problem that needs fixing?    How can you persist again and say, “There has to be a way!”?

What can you do today to get past the idea that you have to live with that old problem?

Make Application

Write what you are going to specifically do in the next 30 days about this.

 Pray To Be A Problem Solver

 Father, quicken my mind and heart.  Encourage faith in me to believe again for something on which I have given up hope.  You are so real and alive and active in everything that is.  Stretch my faith.  Let me be like the one who said to Jesus, “Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief.”.  Give me the courage to try a new approach and see Your had displayed.

Risk It! Explain

Explain

Romans 14:11: For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12: So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 13: Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way

 A winner. explains;training a loser explains away

Early in life I found it profitable to have solutions.  Managers, directors, executives all seemed to be unconcerned with my problems and mistakes.   What they wanted was solutions.  Explain the problems and offer a solution.  It really did not make a difference whether I caused the problem or not.  A winner goes for the solution not the excuse.

God is the same way.  He really is not so much interested in punishing us.  He is interested in our growth.

This trait of offering honest explanations with solutions is called faithfulness.  When we trust a person, we are honest.  When we value their opinion in the long term, we are honest.  Being that way adds up to being loyal and faithful and it is so returned.

In the computer industry of big systems, there are sometimes some real messes.  Blaming it on the computer never flies.  It always seems profitable to simply tell people, “We are researching the problem and will get back with you.”  and then do it.

A certain hospital had a horrible reputation.  Systems crashed daily, sometimes 3 times a day.  Nurses screamed.  Doctors threatened to throw equipment out the window.  One doctor would come in the computer room and bang on the equipment.  When the system went down, all the technicians took off their badges and hid from the hospital staff.

As a new manager, Newbie was perplexed.  How do you handle this mess?  First, he instructed his technicians to get their badges back on and get into the hallways.  Take the heat.  Own up to the problems and offer assistance.  Next, he called all the head nurses and gave them an estimate of when they could expect systems so they could go back to work.  Then he called the chief technicians and wanted answers.  Real answers.  When it was all over he would update the executives to the causes.

It was tough.  The reputation of the department was horrid. Over time the nurses began to trust the reports.  Even when it was bad news, it was trustworthy news.  Systems started getting fixed and executives agreed to spend the right monies to fix the problems.  Everyone turned out winners.  Eventually the systems that were only up 50% of the time were up 98% of the time.  Winners explain.

I Corinthians 4:1: Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2: Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

A story is told about Thomas Watson, then chief of IBM.  Seems an executive spent a few  million dollars on a project that was a total failure.  He went in to Watson thinking he would be terminated.  Watson looked and him and assured him that he was not about to loose the millions he had invested in the man’s training.

What if he had offered excuses and blamed others?  What if he had not been honest with his mistakes.

Adam had that type opportunity.  He blamed Eve.  What if he had just told God he miffed it and needed forgiveness?

David, king of Israel, committed murder, adultery, and things we don’t even know about.  But when it came time to face it, he was honest and simply explained.  God forgave and restored him each time.  David wasn’t perfect, he just would not try and explain away.

Heb:13:17: Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

This principle applies in all areas.  We all make mistakes.  We all have failures.  (Failure is an event, not a person.)  We all are required to show faithfulness and loyalty by being honest and helping those around us deal with the situation.  They need the full scoop so they can work out any side issues, not so they can punish or dig it in.

Take Inventory

Do you have problem that needs fixing?  Can you explain?  Will you explain?

How can you get past the fear of failure through honest explanations?

Make Application

Write what you are going to specifically do in the next 30 days about this.

 

  

 

Pray To Be Honest In Explanation

Father, open my eyes.  Let me see any hindrances to winning with Jesus.  So many times in life lessons go unlearned when I don’t hear Your voice.  Speak clearly, Lord.  Let me hear and act speedily.  Open my heart, Father, to give real, honest explanations so I can stay on the road to winning. 

Risk It! Respect Authority – Power Insight

Take ancient authority into your workplace.  Truths that transcend culture, industry, and size of business.

Respect Authority

Psalm 19:1: The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament reveals openly his handywork.2: Day unto day cries out loudly with speech, and night unto night displays and reveals knowledge. 3: There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

 training

A winner… respects those who are superior to him and tries to learn something from them;

 a Loser resents those who are superior and rationalizes their achievements.

 

In 1980 a young student began to loose his ability to learn.  The key instructor just did not seem to be passing anything on.  What was the problem.  The student had left home and job to study under this learned man.  Travelling 500 miles, he had risked everything, and now he seemed to be learning nothing.

 

Self examination revealed a loser’s attitude toward the instructor.  The student had begun to rationalize, see himself better than he was.  Since he wasn’t singled out and acknowledged, he began internally to tear at the credibility of the instructor.  The door to knowledge closed.  The gateway of learning is only opened when respect is in place.

 

Being a quick learner the student adjusted.  The next day he cornered the instructor and asked forgiveness.  What?  Ask forgiveness for a sin not committed?  Yes.  He asked for forgiveness from the instructor for holding anything between them.  The gentle instructor forgave and forgot.

 

Ps:86:5: You, Lord, are good and gracious and kind , and ready to forgive; and abundant in mercy to everyone that calls on you in their time of need.

 

Learning quickly returned.  Now the wisdom of life flowed from instructor to student.  The student went on to glean many critical lessons from this instructor which prospered him in life.

 

Proverbs 1:5: A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

 

Prov:1:7: The fear (respect andconsideration of position and authority and person) of the LORD  is the beginning (the opening of the doorway)of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

 

This principle applies not just to respecting the Lord but to respecting anyone.

 

Take Inventory

Do you have a lack of respect standing the way of knowledge in a relationship?

 

How can we be sensitive to remove the blocks to receiving knowledge and remove them quickly?

 

Make Application

Write what you are going to specifically do in the next 30 days about this.

The Day You Launch a Product You Begin to Lose Ground

http://americanprinter.com/columnists/phil-larson/022515-phil-larson-grow-sustain

Every product enhancement must continue to be enhanced.  There is always a better mousetrap.  Better does not mean changed.  Better means it meets a customer need in fresh ways that help them achieve their goals.  That is better.

What about the internals that make that happen.  Here are a few tips focused on the print services industry as they adapt to changing volumes, order types, and media integration. The principles apply to any and all businesses and organizations.

Build A Better Business – Build  A Better Life Forward

Where is the Blue Sheet?

IMG_1146 (2)Pursuit of excellence demands detail attention.  Audit trail, decision criteria, review stats, goal progress, and historical databases seem like a plague that plugs up progress.  Not really.  Only if they are not consistent with the flow of the organization engine and customer demand do they interfere.  They are necessary actions that meet legal requirements, compliance mandates, risk mitigation, and goals tracking.

Delegation in a clear format is one of those pesky details.  An abrupt email rarely captures all the specifics needed for good delegation.  A text is a waste.  A phone call will result in missed pieces.  When it is a matter of substance, take some time to write it out in discussion.  Hallway interruptions need to be recorded and followed up.

For one financial organization, I worked with multiple unlike departments.   Each had a separate form of management flow.  The corporation had a loose knit, meeting driven mode of management.  Confusion reigned.  Fear of failure walked the hallways.  Authoritarian dictates were the norm.  Power brokers and politicians love this environment.  They can manipulate in back rooms.  But the customer and the owners suffer most when a sales support piece hits the streets and does not work in the sales process due to unclear objectives.   All the fingernail flying meetings won’t fix a new software rollout for accounting that lacks key compliance fields for entry.

As a manager of a few service areas, this was always a challenge.  Our departmental customers were politics driven and would change a request after we had moved forward at significant expense.  We learned to use a “Blue Sheet” to contain the chaos.

Really, the Blue Sheet was a problem, request, and change capture instrument.  Later, our team convinced the organization over a series of years to move in the IT areas to online capture and communication in these areas.  That left many areas untended.  So the service departments I managed used Blue Sheets.

In the early days of small computers, I remember pleading with my senior executive for a desktop to keep track of our service areas.  His reply was absolute wisdom.  “All you need, Phil, is a good pencil and a piece of paper.”  That reply made me angry.  But, he was right.  I went back and invented my first “Blue Sheet” and gave a pocket sized version to every team member for working directly with customers.  It worked.  Our service reliability improved and I could sift through a month’s pencil capture and note trends and take action that made big differences.  Later, we put it all on a desktop database for deeper analysis.

When a team member came into my office, they became accustomed to, “Where’s the Blue Sheet?”  Working with hundreds of requests, service orders, problems, and changes a day, the Blue Sheet gave us specific guidance on single issues.  Regular work orders had an online capture system.  Irregular needed something, too.

A Blue Sheet (we used blue paper) captured critical contact information, issue symptoms, probable cause, delegated action approach, expectations and any due dates and times,  and assignment.  With that, a team member could run without continually looking behind and asking questions.  There were no needs for continual meetings after that was captured.  When one or two or more needed to meet on the issue for a decision and direction, we pulled the Blue sheet to ensure we were continuing on target.  Improved information could be added and directional changes could be noted.  The holder of the sheet owned responsibility for accomplishment until handed off.  If resolution or service provision lingered beyond a few days, a more formal project definition and action plan could be drafted.

Everyone of us has a litany of lingering items that need “Blue Sheets”.  They won’t get resolved to satisfaction of the stakeholders without taking a few moments to capture key information items.

Sit down today with an outline that works for you that can capture quick information and thoughts.  Sometimes a simple piece of paper and a pen suffice.  Where’s your Blue Sheet?

Do One Thing

A few years ago, a transition occurred in my life.  They happen. Life is full of transitions.  It was a catalyst for a life change for me that I will never regret.  God took a normal  evil and produces good for me and others every day.  Life is good.  Friend and family are wonderful.  There are more transitions ahead.

How did friends handle this moment of transition?Image

One asked me, “Are you okay?”  But, he was unprepared to follow through and doesn’t return phone calls.

One asked me, “How can I help?”  And, encourages regularly and  faithfully.

One asked me, “What happened?”  But only wanted gossip.

One looked at me told me to get back and refuses my phone calls.

One denied all knowledge and deferred to others.

One listened and only responds at whim.

One thanked me for my service and faithfulness and expressed genuine regret.

One listened and asked for money from me for their business and offered no support.

One listened and asked me to join their multi-level marketing organization.

One looked at me, accused me, threatened me, and looked away.

One  listened, extended compassion, extended support, and continues to followup.

One listened, connected me with meaningful service alongside them, and continues.

One spoke at me and refused to raise head or eye to make contact.

One never did anything.

One remains silent, not knowing what to say, but staying faithful in love and friendship.

It is interesting how people treat you in moments of change.  All of these were “friends”, a few still are.

In all these cases, there is really more than one that responded this way.

As a friend, how do you respond?  How do you support others?  What is your motivation?

I’ve supported many transitions in organizations and families over 3 decades of management and community service.  Some were my transition, some were transitions of others.  Truthfully, these responses are typical in each transition.  People like change and transition on their terms and their timing.  People act all sorts of weird ways when they don’t understand or have demanding motivations driving them.  They  are normal ways people respond to change.

Each of these responses comes from either a motivation of self preservation, greed, control, power, loyalty, gratefulness, disinterest, encouragement, or compassion.

Each of these represents a person, to whom  many hours and years of service and support and encouragement were extended and prior to the transition called me, “Friend”.  How do you support your friends in transitions?

How should I respond to others in transition?

The golden rule still applies.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Though people may treat you many different ways, choose how you will treat others, now.  Who in your sphere of influence has gone through a transition and could use a helping word or action to move forward?  Don’t let the machinations of selfish desire dictate who you will be.  Be the best of responders.  Overcome normal evil with good.

Why do I say, “Normal evil?”  Well, many times we categorize transition or change as something bad.  It is not bad.  It just is what it is.  Without transition and change, we would stay the same.  BORING!  You can always put good interpretation or bad interpretation on a situation.  You can always choose to accent the good or the bad.  Choose.

Don’t be silent.  People need to hear your voice and see you.  How wonderful it was one day, when visiting a company to have one of those from a transition run up, hug me, and say how much they missed me.  Yes, that is a grown adult response.  A face to face handshake is powerful.  A card in the mail is marvelous.  An email of concern and encouragement is powerful.  Silence communicates fear and distrust.  Make a noise.

Don’t go away after you do one thing.  How lonely you must be to only value a person when you see them in your space every day.  That is not friendship, but convenience.

How should I respond to my transitions?

Close the Book: Today, I am closing the book on one particular series of events.  I am putting it in my past.  It has taken many months of processing and consideration.  The people involved are important to me.  They are more important than any event.  Every day I have risen to the day, accepted new challenges, faced demons of disloyalty and dishonesty, and enjoyed company of compassion and concern.  Today, I bury the history and have a memorial service.  I’ll light a candle, raise a toast to blessing and health, and move on with life, love, and laughter.  Someday, you need to grieve and go on.  Don’t live in the past.

Celebrate: Today, I celebrate the freshness of friendships that encourage, support, listen, and walk alongside.  There are some great people in the world, who understand and value friendship.   There are some not so great people in the world, who only understand what they can get out of you for the moment.  Be one of the greats in the face of the not so greats.  Don’t let them get you down.  There is too much of life to enjoy.