Archives For Leadership

In the information age, we often get in this constant state of learning. There are many blogs out there including this one, and we can keep looking for new information or information we want to hear. The constant pull for more information can prevent us from making decisions, running our companies, staying healthy, or even being present with our family. We need motivation and sometimes information, but we also need to be conscious whether we are entertaining ourselves or we are being transformed. Transformation is the name of the game, and we need not forget it. That means that new information is moving from our heads to our heart and then to our hands. Transformation only occurs when we have a change in action.

Often we are not in it for transformation. We read something then move on to something new never being transformed. We must first understand. There must be a point that we completely understand this new information. From our mind information must become revelation by flowing down into our heart. It must become real to you and your life. Your heart is where the emotions lie. Emotions can have so much impact to get you to act however it must not stay there. At this point, it must flow from your heart into your hands. A change in action is transformation coming to its fruition. Action happens no matter when we feel like it or not.

In transformation, if we skip a step the change doesn’t last. Skip the understanding in the mind, and we act when we feel like it. Skip the heart, and there is no fire in the belly that pushes you beyond your personal limits. If an action doesn’t take place, we never transform into something new and stay the same before the new information came into our lives.

Here are four tips to help in transformation

Underline and highlight. As you go through books or blogs, underline and highlight the new or valuable information that jumps off the page at you. This will help you remember and quickly look up the crucial things from the blog or book. You can also make notes in the margins that help you to remember. Highlighting and underlining help you pull out details you need.

Reread. Once you are finished with a book or post, reread the information that you have underlined and highlighted multiple times. I go back and look at the book for a month or two, and it helps me to own the information.

Tie it to you. After you have the information in your mind, you must tie it to your heart. How have you experienced what you have read? When have I felt that way? How would the past be different with this information? Make sure that you ask questions that apply the information to you in a personal and real way.

Hands. How will you be different? Will you change and if so how? What is one action that you can do immediately? You must identify ways in which you will be different. Yes, you will fail and not do it all the time, but you must know how you will change. You must have a change in action.

These tips have helped me in my process of transformation, and I know they’ll help you. Be blessed on your journey.

What helps you to make sure information becomes transformation?

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As a small business owner, I have around twenty-five people that I employ. In business, the lower the turnover and the more independently your staff can perform with you the greater profits and freedom you have.

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

My industry of quick serve means that many employees this is their first job. On top of this minimum wage employment is a high turnover industry. Within my restaurants turnover is minuscule compared to the sector average, and I have a few employees that have been with me for ten years.

I have acquired the skill and talent of turning low performers into some of my best workers. It is not easy and requires patience, but it has its rewards that make it worth the effort. There are a lot of diamonds in the rough that with the right heart attitude and training can become the most loyal and awesome employees.

A lot of employers make assumptions with low performers that employees don’t care or aren’t hard workers when the problem and solution look much different. I have found that as employers we think we are much better at communicating than we are. If you have an employee that is a struggle walk through these steps before firing them.

Baseline The first question that needs to get addressed is whether the “problem” employee has a head problem or a heart problem. If you are unsure, you can ask them. Employees will let you know if you have built a rapport. Here is the difference, are they missing the skill and knowledge to do the job or the motivation to do the job?  Do you need to train them or motivate them? Often managers and owners assume an awareness that is not there and the employee doesn’t even know they are nut cutting the mustard. Establish whether it is a head or heart problem and follow the three steps accordingly.

Head:

Winning. What does winning look like? You have taught the skills. However, have you been explicit about the expectations you have? We say a lot of things that aren’t specific such as hard work or clean? Don’t assume common sense and in detail describe what that means to you. Define priorities and how high the bar is set. Being on time, working fast, and independently are things that need to be stated. Make it measurable and measure it often so that there is no doubt if expectations are being met.

Why. The task itself is not enough. You need to explain the why behind the task. The why enables thinking. The why fends off going through the motions and missing the meaning behind the task. When I go into my local Subway, they say, “Welcome to Subway” every time. The problem is they are usually saying it in a monotone voice not giving eye contact. I feel so appreciated. The words have been taught, but the reason is missing. It is to make the customer feel welcomed. Eye contact and tone of voice is way more important than the words. Keep the why first in its proper place.

Growth. Opportunity for growth within the company and growth mentally is crucial to keeping your employees engaged mentally. As humans, we are either growing or shrinking. Make sure that your team members are learning personally and within your organization. Keep an environment of growth to help your employees to stay engaged and to expand their skill and talent.

Heart:

Their passion. What are the goals of their life and how can your company help them? Change the training as much as possible to their inner cry of their heart. One of my employees wants to be a missionary. Everything at the point of sale we teach her as it will help her in the mission field. Even food cost numbers can be shown as far as controlling finances for a small budget. Teach with the understanding of their passion to get the heart engaged.

Their skill. Put the people in the right places on the bus as Jim Collins states. You need to set up your employees into a position to win. They need to operate with their talent and skills. There is nothing worse than doing a job you are bad at. One that you never can thrive in.  If you don’t have a spot to let your employee work in their skill, you need to let them go. Skill is an area you should hire slow and fire fast.

Your heart. Your staff needs to know you care. Caring can be faked temporarily but in the long run it can’t. If you don’t care for people and their future, you will never be great at leading. If you do care, you need to show them. You need to reward them and encourage them to be the best version of yourself. In supporting them and caring for them, they will care for you. You will be more than just a boss but a leader and friend how they will come to long after they work for you.

Engage your employee’s mind and heart if you do your business will never be the same. It will be so much more than making money. Money is a byproduct of having rock star employees that care for your company almost as much as you do. Don’t put the pressure of caring on the same level as you. But do demand excellence. Teach your employees heart and mind and you and your business will be blessed on your journey.

How do you guide your employees into being great?

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Heart Of Service

Zechariah Newman —  October 14, 2014 — 10 Comments

In life we can either live a life of service or one of self-service. I struggle often with actually living a life of service. One that comes from the heart, not just the right actions. Not some mask of service, but authentically serving those I touch in my everyday life. When I am focused on my wants and desires I struggle with depression. Thoughts of self-service succumb to self-pity. Why me? Why is everything hard for me? I do the right thing and never get a good result! These are some of the negative thoughts I have when I focus on my life instead of living a life for others. At the time it feels like the truth although it is the furthest thing from the actual truth.

Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

When we focus our lives on helping and serving, we will be fulfilled. However, when we focus on when we will get a harvest, we will be depressed and frustrated. Our eyes have fallen on our wants and fixated on the negative things in life. I could spend ten minutes telling you how blessed I am. I could also spend ten minutes telling you why my life sucks. Sometimes in the same hour. It is all about where we choose to focus.

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

Zig Zigglar has a great quote. It says, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” I love this quote. I have one issue with it though that has led me astray. If in our hearts we are helping others to fulfill our wants, it will not work.

Studying Zigglar’s work, I believe he was exhorting us to get our minds off of ourselves and on serving others. This will lead to success! Only when we lay down our wants do we actually receive our true desires. Unfortunately, I at times have manipulated others; helping them with the intent to get what I want. The problem is then I am unconsciously or consciously still fixated on myself.

This week let’s be proactive in helping others. Let’s detach the strings that we put on “favors.” Serve just to serve. Sow seeds of love, peace and joy into others by focusing on the cross and God’s love for you. Love because Christ loved, serve because Christ served. Be the light that believers are called to. Use your dream that God put into you to serve and that after all is why He gave it to you to strengthen and exhort the body. Be blessed on your journey.

How do you focus your life into being one of service?

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Recognition is something we don’t talk about enough. It takes intentional living to often tell people in your life how much you mean to them. A sincere heart-felt compliment is so unusual that it can totally switch the direction of someone’s life. I still remember many compliments I had in my youth that continued me on the path I was going or made me rise to a new level. Remember that our words are so powerful; they bring life and death. Here are three things that will help you to tell those in your life what they mean to you.

“Leaders are brokers of hope.”~ Napoleon

1. Constructive criticism. Our society is so focused on constructive criticism that we fail to help people excel in their strengths. Be careful here. Most people don’t have a problem letting you know when something is wrong. When something is right we barely here about it. The best example I think of is as a parent. If your child brought home a report card full of A’s and one D, what would you focus on? It is natural to focus on the bad grade. We want them to come up higher. The problem with this is that we are reinforcing the child that if you just try harder you will be good enough. Obviously we need to correct, but let’s spend more time praising the A’s. Take more time to tell loved ones how awesome they are.

“People say motivation doesn’t last, well neither does bathing, that is why we recommend both daily.” ~ Zig Ziglar

2. Be specific. A general praise is great as it is much better than saying nothing. If you want to get the most out of praising people be specific in the action or personality trait that you want to encourage. We are specific with correction so let’s be specific with our praise. Here is a quick example. My wife partners with me to chase my dreams. She talks highly of me to others and is a great mom because she is patient and loving to our kids. These are just the first four things that came into my mind this morning even though there is so much more that I appreciate about her. The point is I could say, “I love you.”, which I do many times a day. However, I also need to praise that which is so cool about her. I know I married up so I need to let her know. Let’s make a goal to let those we care about know it.

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Photo By http://kcnewmanphotography.zenfolio.com/

3. Be intentional. Praising and recognition is not something that happens naturally so we need to be intentional about it. Look for things daily. A compliment has to be real. Look for opportunities to give honor to people. I talked about perspective here, but it bares reminding that we will delete things so if you are looking for good things you will see them. If you are looking for things to correct you will see those too. Catch someone doing something that you admire today and encourage it. Otherwise they could stop doing the things you admire.

These are just some quick things to think about. Let’s speak life and hope into those around us. You will see them walk a little bit taller today. Make the world a better place one word at a time. I will leave you with this. I appreciate that you have chosen to take the time to read my post. Thank you for taking what I am doing seriously. Be blessed, restoring those around you.

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When there is a bend in the road we need to slow down. The only way the road ends is if we don’t turn with it. I love country drives when I don’t know where the road goes. Simple turns take the road in a direction that I never imagined. Jon Acuff refers to these moments as “hinge moments.” When we look for huge changes in life we miss the small things that will really change our world. Most of us want to believe that we run along and jump onto another road. This is not how effective change usually happens. The only way to be able to see these hinges is if we are not rushing through life. I need to slow down. Do you? I get into the doing in life instead of the being. I can be extremely task oriented, pushing harder and faster until I run off the road. These 4 things help me to slow down so I see the “hinge moments” in my life.

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1. Be still. It is hard for me to sit at the feet of God with no agenda. No praying or music. The amount of time is not as significant as just some time. If you are like me two minutes feels like two hours. Just sit and listen. If God brings something up, put it at the foot of the cross and go back to listening. He is the still small voice. We need to plan in time to just listen. Most of the time we give Him our requests and praise instead of listening. Maybe He wants to say something?

  “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”~ Psalm 46:10

2. Turn off technology. It is sad how hard this is for me and many others. No computer, phone, and t.v. Schedule it in if you have to. The world will get along just fine without you for an hour. Be present with your kids, spouse, friends. Nothing is more obnoxious than pouring your heart out to someone and they look at their phone.

3. Exercise. Sometimes you need to do some intensive cardio to free up your mind. If you exercise regularly it will change you mentally more than physically. This decompresses my mind so I can relax. I look at the world more confidently and see things I didn’t see before.

“Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.”~ Thomas Jefferson

4. Margin. We need to plan margin into our day. Some days I’m rushing from the moment I wake up to the second I go to bed at night. How are we going to hear or see any whispers from our heavenly Father or turns in the road with no space in our schedule? Plan time of space into your day.

Slow down and enjoy your life. Stop doing and start being. If you don’t find healthy ways to slow down, your body will eventually make you slow down. Life changes too fast so we need to be in the moment. We need to flex and turn with life by adding stillness and margin. Caution: there are curves ahead.

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The way circus elephants are trained demonstrates why we struggle with breakthrough. When young, they are attached by heavy chains to large stakes driven deep into the ground. They pull, yank, strain and struggle, but the chain is too strong. One day they give up, having learned that they cannot pull free. From that day forward they can be chained with a slender rope. When this large animal feels any resistance it stops trying because it believes it cannot break free. How often are we like this? We have failed, therefore we don’t get back up. We are defeated before we start. I heard someone put it this way. We don’t fully believe we can attain that which we are working towards so we give half effort and get half results resulting in a stronger belief that we cannot.                         Photo By:      http://kcnewmanphotography.zenfolio.com/1069189_120665741437120_47305734_n

Belief is so important because our minds are always deleting things. I have said this before but it bares mentioning again. Have you noticed when you buy a new car, all of a sudden you see your car everywhere? How did you not see this before? Because our minds are constantly deleting things. It is important to have an attitude of HOPE for this reason. The reason why most of us don’t accomplish our dreams is because we set our goals inside our mental barriers where it’s safe. What if you stretch out to new thoughts of possibilities? A sure-fire way to know you are headed in the right direction is if you are doing something beyond yourself. Something that needs divine help and other people to come alongside you.

Think of how many other barriers have turned out to be only mental obstacles:

  • “Landing and moving about on the moon offers so many serious problems for human beings that it may take science another 200 years to lick them.”~Science Digest, 1948
  • “Rail travel at high-speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.”~Dr. Dionysus Lardner, 1793-1859
  • “Heavier than air, flying machines are impossible.”~ Lord Kelvin

Restore your mind. Stretch what is possible. Don’t be like the trained elephant. Open your mind to how big the possibilities God has for you may be. Our attitudes should be; if God can bless anyone and make anything happen, He can make it happen for me. I choose to believe that God has a destiny for me. I refuse to feel tension and shrink back. I will continue to hold tight to that which He is calling me. Will you hold tight to where He is calling you?

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I had one goal when I entered marriage. Make it through the honeymoon without fighting. Lofty I know. Didn’t make it. I didn’t get directions to the spa where I had planned a massage for her. I knew how to get to the town, but not the spa. To make matters worse I stopped to see a waterfall and we were running late. She exclaimed, “My dad would have gotten directions!” To which I said, “WHAT!” Then it started. Who was wrong? Both of us. When we marry someone, it is easy to forget that we have two different personalities, wills, and emotions. I’m a command type personality, spur of the moment, have huge dreams and my follow through has been terrible. My wife is steady, wants most things planned, finishes what she starts, just got to get her to start. We are different, yet we are one. These 5 things will make your marriage awesome!

1. God is at the center. God comes before my wife. Since this changed, the love I show her is limitless. To move her down the totumpole has taken time. There are still parts of my heart that probably put her first, but the more she moves to second the more loving and sacrificial I become.

 “We judge ourselves by our intentions. We judge our spouses by their actions. No wonder we think we’re better.” ~Anne Moodie

2. Honor your spouse. Do you honor your partner? You should not be talking to your buddies guys or your girlfriends ladies about how much your wife or husband sucks. This should be common sense but alas it’s not. It really shows what is in your heart and a lack of control over the mouth. This is a huge problem. Instead talk about God in them. There has to be something that shines through; talk about that.

My beautiful wife!

3. Work at it. Growth doesn’t just happen. We read marriage books now, not when we are struggling. Everything is growing or dying. Growth requires a focus and a priority. Turn off the T.V. and read something about growing together.

“Give your man a break. Let him be who God designed him to be.”~Hot, Holy and Humorous

4. Focus on YOU. What can you do? If you have been reading this thinking, “Oh my husband needs to read this or my wife needs to read this.” Start over and focus on what you don’t do. We all need to come up a little. Do not be your spouse’s Holy Spirit.

“What you do EVERY DAY matters more than what you do ONCE IN A WHILE.”~Simple Marriage

5. You are his or her one shot. I am Rachel’s only shot at having what she desires in a husband. If I love her, I have to give her the best gift she could ask for. A better me. I hope she looks back today and goes, “Wow the man I’m married to is ten times better than the man he was when I married him.” I pray that in the future she will say that of today. Don’t wait until you’re divorced to workout, dress-up, do the dishes, get close to God, read your Bible, etc. Do it now.

Chase your spouse and win them over day after day. If things have gotten rocky it will not change overnight, but you didn’t get here overnight either. Love God, pursue your spouse, see God in them, and be a better you. (Tweet that)

What are things that you do to make your marriage awesome?

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1 Corinthians 13:4 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” It is sad that three words into the verse I struggle. I’m good with love, I’m good with is, then patient. Wham sucker punch! Patient? Come on. Why not love works a lot, or love kills the spiders? Love is patient. You mean love doesn’t sit by the door with his shoes on him-hauing about being late for church. My bad. Patience is one of my biggest struggles. Sometimes I feel about as patient as a 2-year-old when they are denied something they want. I may not flop on the ground on the outside, but inside it kind of looks the same. When I am more patient I have noticed a pattern, so here it is. These 4 things help me with patience so that I show love to my wife.https://www.facebook.com/KCNewmanPhotography?ref=ts&fref=ts

1. Plug into the vine. What I mean by this is submit our will to the spirit of God. I wrote about this more in His Yoke Is Easy. How do we know when we are submitted to Him? We spend time with Him. Reading the Bible, praying, and studying the Word. We need to know what God stands for so we can submit our lives to Him.

2. Proper sleep. I don’t know about you but I’m much more irritable without proper sleep. For me that’s eight hours. Some people will need more and some less. Listen to your body. If you’re like me with three kids ages four and under sometimes sleep doesn’t really happen. My point is make it a priority. We should work out of our rest not rest from our work. Sleep affects so many areas and pretty much every part of physical and mental health.

3. Eat throughout the day. When my blood sugars get low, I have a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type experience. It’s bad enough that if I am cranky my wife knows that I need to eat. She will ask me, “Do you need to eat?” aka code for cool your jets. So do what I struggle with and eat small meals throughout the day. It is good for your health and your temper.

4. Opportunity cost. This means the cost of an alternative that must be forgone in order to pursue certain action. With my example in the beginning, waiting by the door, my opportunity cost for losing my patience is pretty large. I lose the opportunity for a nice drive to church without tension. Also if I’m extra ridiculous it could pour into the rest of the day. Getting on the crazy cycle is pretty easy.

So my challenge is, let’s be intentional with our love by working on our patience. Walk with God and take care of our body so that we can live a life of patience, a life of love.

His Yoke Is Easy

zechariahnewman —  May 29, 2013 — 8 Comments

Mathew 11:30 30 “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I remember the first several times I read this and thought “bull.” Maybe this is not “spiritual,” but it’s the truth. Living the way God wanted me to did not seem easy and light. Still doesn’t sometimes. Out of pure frustration I looked into this more, praying for insight and direction. Nothing I was doing felt light and easy, rather straining. What was I doing wrong? When God are you going to make it easy? Those were my questions then and the following explains what it means to me now.

Yoke is defined as a device for joining together a pair of draft animals.

In John 15:5 it says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” So we need to be joined up and remain into God then our burden is light and His yoke easy.

So how do we remain in God? We submit our will to the spirit of God.

Augustine wrote, “Without God we cannot, without us God will not.”

An illustration of the two verses listed above came to me; it’s like driving a screw into a board with a drill. All we have to do is plug it in and our torque goes way up making it easy. The drill has been there the whole time but it’s true power only exists while it is plugged into an electrical outlet. Have you tried to use a drill without power? Of course not, but that is what I do with my life sometimes which is just as useless while I’m unplugged.

This is what I have done in the past and do not recommend:

I have plugged the power cord into myself. Epic fail! All this leads to is self-condemnation and frustration. I have plugged the power cord into others. Talk about disappointment. Expectations for others are a big way to feel jaded. I most often do the on/off method. Plug-in, unplug, plug-in, unplug. This gets exhausting. I try my own will and effort then give up, plug into God then life’s burdens get easy (well at least the straining stops). Then I slowly place the burdens back on my own shoulders until I have had enough again.

“On our knees we are the most powerful force on earth.” ~Billy Graham

So if you have unplugged, plug into God our source. All else is vanity leading to death. Partner with Him, yoke together with the creator of the universe and He will give you peace, joy, strength, and fulfillment. He does not promise no problems, but a new lightness comes in when you remain in the vine.

On Memorial Day I wanted to take a few minutes to honor the people who have died for our freedom. I can’t relate to this sacrifice since I have never served in the armed forces. It is way too easy to gloss over the day and not realize there are individuals that died and families left behind. It is easy to say Memorial Day instead of saying the day that men and women died so I didn’t have to. In honor of this day that we remember our fallen freedom fighters, I decided to ask an active serviceman his thoughts about what Memorial Day means to him.

Sniper Daniel Pina, my brother in-law, has served in the United States Army since right after the towers fell on 9/11. He saw a need that day to defend our country and left college to fight for you and I. He has served several tours and has courageously earned two purple hearts. So here is a warrior’s view about this day.

What does Memorial Day mean to you? “Remembrance, anniversary, and honor.”

What do you love about serving? “War brings out the best and the worst in people. You will never feel more alive, or more lonesome. I serve for the guy to the left and right of me. That’s it and that is all that matters when the bullets start to fly. It is great to honestly say that you will lay your life down for someone and back the talk.”

What do you like least about serving? Being shot, losing brothers, feeling lonesome. Giving into anger and war lusts rage. Being away from family.”

“Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.”  -Dwight D. Eisenhower

So let’s take one day at least to really think about those that paved the way for our freedom. Thank you to all who have spilled blood. All that have given the ultimate sacrifice. To all that have buried a grandfather, grandmother, husband, Wife, father, mother, brother, sister, daughter, or son. I am sorry for your loss and thank you from the bottom of my heart for living a life of sacrifice and for seeing a world beyond you; one of freedom.

“The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree.”  -Thomas Campbell