What makes a person have influence? Don’t mistake status for influence. Status is a measure of accomplishment, competence or financial success. Influence is something much deeper with greater consequences. Influence changes behavior, ideals and opinions. If you have it, use it wisely. If you don’t let’s figure out how you can gain it. Leaderships is influence and if you want to have greater meaning to your life, regardless of your role, take the time to learn more.
When do people fail in having influence? Here’s an example. Yesterday I met with a highly successful famous businessman who has invested a million dollars in a product with a terrible user interface yet wonders why no one will use his product and service. What he’s really dealing with, is not just a sales problem but an influence problem. He has no influence in his chosen market.
While we can’t make people buy our products or services, we can influence nearly everyone. Influence is the essence of true leadership. By this definition Jesus was the greatest leader ever lived. What did Jesus have to say about having great influence?
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.
Your family is precious. It is amazing to witness the passion and devotion that parents have for their children. Your spiritual growth as a family is your responsibility as a parent, are you passionate about it? I often wonder how to experience spiritual growth for my family. With over 400 hours of waking time, not spent at work each year, we all have a lot of spare time. But how do we make the most of it?
Learning and growing together as a family can be accomplished in ways that are enjoyable and maximize the use of your time with your children. Since 70 – 80% of people have a preference to oral learning, why not learn through listening? Sit back, relax and enjoy a fictional story that has a lot of wisdom to share.
King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived said it this way:
He who walks with the wise grows wise.
Can you think of something that we all avoid, that is actually good for us? No, it’s not exercise, or diets….it’s hardship! Growing up, I often heard from my father, that enduring hard things would be “good for me”. Hearing it regularly didn’t make it any easier to accept. But, have you noticed that we often intuitively root for the underdog? Many well loved movies and famous stories are ones where perceived weakness triumphs.
Often we see ourselves as the underdog where we think we are too tall, too small too short ….the list of shortcomings is seemingly endless. Fears and doubts can rule our lives. What makes some people succeed and others fail? When could a perceived disadvantage actually help us in the long run?
Understand the battle of the underdog by reading or listening to; David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell begins with the biblical story of David and Goliath. Gladwell historically explains how it is entirely reasonable that David could have easily won and why. All battles are not what they seem. This is important because conflicts, obstacles and disadvantages can actually serve to spur people on to success.
In the Biblical account of the story,
the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’
1 Samuel 16:7
It is commonly understood that when you make an investment you expect a return. Just like investing, giving has its returns…..or rewards. Does that surprise or offend you? Many of us believe that since “you can’t take it with you” our giving should be done with abandonment. Give it and forget it!
But what if we had a more intentional giving strategy, one with deeper convictions and greater consequences? If you are a Christian and believe in God and heaven, the rewards are for you. The Bible is full of instruction and examples of how our giving and stewardship in this life will be rewarded in heaven. Think of your giving as sending it ahead to be rewarded. Randy Alcorn, in The Law Of Rewards helps us understand how this is done. Don’t miss out on the best investment!
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Matthew 6:20 NIV
Imagine running a relay race. Each person has to be individually competent but the thing that can trump the whole race is the hand off. Drop the baton and the team is disqualified. If you have a family business you are in a unique position to hand off to the next generation a great opportunity. Sadly, many experience heartache when passing the business on to their children: businesses fail but more importantly families are ruined, broken apart by unrealized expectations and misunderstanding.
Family business succession is an important topic because it affects many of us, indirectly. In the United States, family businesses employ 60% of workforce. In Canada the number is closer to 50%. Worldwide, in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries – including France, Mexico and Sweden – more than 90% of businesses now have fewer than ten employees and are family businesses.
As Thomas William Deans says in Every Family’s Business, handing off a business is largely about setting realistic expectations, avoiding surprises and just plain communicating, and this can happen many, many years prior to the turnover of the business. Through this fictional story based on the real life events in 3 generations of the author’s family, you can discover some essential steps.
Movies, novels, and folklore have all influenced what you think about heaven. If you believe in heaven or not, you have some ideas about what it will be like. Every major religion has a view of heaven, but what about Christians? What do they think heaven will be like?
John Eldridge describes in The Journey of Desire, an image I can relate to.
“Nearly every Christian I have spoken with has some idea that eternity is an un-ending church service… We have settled on an image of the never-ending sing –along in the sky,….. And our heart sinks. Forever and ever? That’s it? That’s the good news? And then we sigh and feel guilty that we are not more ‘spiritual.’ We lose heart, and we turn once more to the present to find what life we can.”
Is that true? What will Heaven be like? Where do we go when we die? We all want to know what the destination after this life will be like.
I believe God has placed within all humans an understanding of the eternal. We all have a sense that we will live forever somewhere. But what specifically happens after death? Where do we go?
Jesus provides illumination in his words of comfort to his disciples before his death.
My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
In the movie Pay It Forward a fictional social studies teacher gives an assignment to his junior high class to think of an idea to change the world for the better. Then put it in action.
One student passionately contrives a plan of paying forward good deeds for 3 other people. Choose the people do the good deeds. The story unfolds his actions which not only affects the life of his struggling single mother, but also starts a wave of human kindness that grows into a national movement to change the world.
A feel good movie that stirs in everyone who watches it the good intentions to put the concept into practice. It’s exciting to think that a small act on our part can have big and far reaching impact. But for many that intention just fizzles – it gets parked along with the other “someday” to-dos. That’s how it used to be for me. But I’ve learned something.
Few things shock me anymore, when it comes to finances. More than two thirds of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Only 42% of Canadians can answer 3 simple financial literacy questions. Let’s start teaching our youth that financial planning is essential because you can either learn to control money or money will control you.
In homebuilding, God blessed the work of our hands. Now I mentor and teach others about personal finance. I acquired my wisdom the slow steady way over many years. I have no financial services product to sell or vested interest. But where do you turn to encourage, motivate and inspire your kids before they feel lost, hopeless, or in over their heads?
For me the wisest and richest man who ever lived, King Solomon provides illumination.
In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil but a foolish man devours all he has.
When you watch a movie or read a book it summons a response from you. Some you either love, hate or are unaffected by. You’re engaged by the characters and themes or disenchanted with who they are and the lives they live. What if your life was unveiled as a “story”?
Did you know the most impactful and memorable are based on true-life stories? As Joseph Campbell mentions in The Hero With a Thousand Faces it’s human nature to relate to story.
Up until this year my life story was concealed, shared only with those who lived it alongside me. Most of us share safe “bullet points” – basically demographic information that keeps us in a safe zone because we fail to understand the impact of our own story or know how to live a better story. If you think that you are watching a badly lived life unfold before you watch this 2-minute video called A Better Story.
Learning to live and tell a better story are skills we can learn.
Swimming upstream; going against the grain and thinking outside the box! Confronting issues by stepping outside my comfort zone has helped me find new solutions to the many problems I face. Problems often mask opportunities. But thinking differently has risks and we often are fearful of the unexpected outcomes.
But what if there was a way to learn how to think outside the box to help you succeed? Is it possible to take risks, think differently, be an individual and stand out from the crowd – even when faced with the same problems as others?
Jesus talked about standing out ….
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.