Sacrifices Every Leader Makes

If something is gained by personal sacrifice, how much more valuable is it to you?

An athlete crossing the finish line for their first marathon appreciates that all the time and effort put in to training has been worth it. The same can be said for life. While the idea of sacrifice especially on a personal level makes most people uncomfortable, it is essential if you are to build strong character.


As a leader you will have many responsibilities and be faced with many challenges. It will require a depth of character to achieve your goals.  Character is often molded through challenges. As a leader there are three common areas of your life that you may need to sacrifice. Think of them as character building exercises rather than sacrifices and you can become an influential leader.

 As a Leader you sacrifice your Time.

A true leader will sacrifice their personal agenda for the sake of an organization’s goals. People will require meetings with you. They will need your input when making decisions and all of this demands your time. Many CEO’s are in the habit of working long hours. They know that they have to sacrifice their time in order to help the organization succeed. Of course a wise leader will balance this with a need for rest. But as a general rule a leader often has to sacrifice their personal time for an organization.

In addition to sacrificing your time, on my next post I’ll share the second sacrifice leaders must make – their energy.  Stay tuned!

Have you ever had to sacrifice your time?  If so, how?

Hello world!

Welcome back to my blog!

This is my personal blog. It is focused on “empowering people to live an abundant life.” My mission is to help you connect life’s dots while passionately pursuing your purpose. I write on personal development, leadership, finance, relationships, inspiration, and motivation. On occasion, I write about stuff that doesn’t fit neatly into one of these categories.

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My goal is to create insightful, relevant content that you can put to work in your personal and professional life. If you are in a position of leadership—or aspire to be—then this blog is for you. I typically post two to three times a week. To make sure you don’t miss my newest posts, you can subscribe via RSS feed

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REPOST: The Best Kept Leadership Secret – Be a Servant

I’m excited to share some thoughts regarding leadership.  Recently, I googled the word “leadership” and it reavealed 141 million hits!  Wow!  Now I understand why many are confused when it comes to defining leadership.  Since this is our first session, I’d like to begin by sharing the “best kept” leadership secret – BE A SERVANT.

The phrase “Servant Leadership” was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in The Servant as Leader, an essay that he first published in 1970.  In that essay, he said:

The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.

The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived? (Source: Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership)

The ONE Mistake Nearly All Leaders Make – Pt. 3

Happy Friday!

Last week I shared “The ONE Mistake Nearly All Leaders Make” (failing to discern their culture).  Failing to discern your culture could prove fatal.  Yesterday, I shared how “A Culture of Service Makes a Great Leader.” You can read more about it HERE. Today, I conclude this series sharing the characteristics that reflect a true leadership culture.

What Characteristics reflect a True Leadership Culture?

The ONE Mistake That Nearly All Leaders Make

I’m BACK!!!

Since I’ve been away, I’ve been extremely busy launching an online Bible Study, planning a Praise & Worship Concert (March 25-27, 2011) at Mars Hill Baptist Church of Chicago, pouring into our men, and leading a thriving and growing church.  The greatest blessing while being away is I took time to work on creative content to share with my blog family.  Thanks for your patience.


Laying hands on our men during an altar call – Sunday, March 20, 2011

It’s officially conference season and like any other industry, Christendom has plenty to offer.  Before you run off and attend this year’s bevy of conferences, I suggest you spend time clearly defining and understanding the culture of your church, business, or ministry.  Why?  One of the deadliest mistakes leaders make is failing to understand the existing organizational culture.  Often new leaders work diligently to transplant their heart and vision into people who ultimately reject it.  Why…failure to take time and discern and understand the culture.

I define culture as the beliefs and behaviors of an organization.  In short, every organization has a “certain way” of doing things and that way is ultimately determined by that organization’s culture.  For this reason change is often difficult to embrace because it pushes against that organization’s culture.

“Culture – not vision or strategy is the most important factor in organization” according to leadership consultant Samuel Chand (Source: Cracking Your Church’s Culture).  He goes on to share how “it determines the receptivity of the staff and volunteers to new ideas, unleashes or dampens creativity, builds or erodes enthusiasm, and creates a sense of pride or deep discouragement about working or being involved.”

Mars Hill is currently transitioning to a church that focuses on Worship and The Word.  Consequently, as leaders we worked long and hard to discern our culture before we transitioned our church.  First, we had to establish a true leadership culture of service.

What is True Leadership Culture?

Leadership culture takes on many forms. Many theories on leadership talk about natural leadership styles that are linked to your personality type.  Indeed, personality does play quite a big part in leadership. Some people are simply more natural leaders than others. The question is: Is there a culture that can be adopted by leaders that will make them more efficient? Is a successful leadership culture something that can be learned and applied? The answer is yes – A Culture of Service makes a Great Leader.  Stay with me for the next few days as we discover this powerful leadership principle.


When you hear words like “culture” or “a culture of service,” what comes to mind?






The Power of Being A Servant-Leader: Pt. 3

Happy Monday & welcome to Monday’s Online School of Leadership!

I’m enjoying our time together as we discuss and discover leadership from a servant’s perspective.  If this is your first time with us, check out Session One: “The Best Kept Leadership Secret” by reading Part 1Part 2, and Part 3 .

Last week I began Session 2 – The Power of Being a Servant-Leader. If you haven’t read it, you can do so HERE.  Friday’s session ended with me sharing the consequences of not having a servant-leader attitude.  Again, if you haven’t read it, you can CLICK HERE and read it NOW.  Today, let’s take a look at David’s heart – the right attitude towards servant-leadership.

The Power of Being a Servant–Leader: Pt. 2

Personally, I’m enjoying sharing my thoughts on servant-leadership. I know it’s counter-cultural to what we know about leadership. However, if you desire to lead God’s way, then servant-leadership is the way to go. Yesterday I began the conversation sharing The Power of Being a Servant-Leader. If you haven’t read it, you can read it HERE.  Today, I’d like to continue the conversation by sharing the consequences of not having a servant-leader attitude.

The Power of Being a Servant–Leader

Welcome to Session 2: The Power of Being a Servant-Leader.  I’m excited about the concept of hosting an Online School of Leadership.  What’s great about this school is that no matter where you are in the world, all you need to do is log on to this blog and elevate your leadership skills.  Last week we learned how being a servant is the best kept leadership secret.  If you missed it, you can read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 now.

The Power of Being a Servant-Leader

The term servant-leader probably conjures up images of someone who is always walking behind others, picking up after them and simply playing a supporting role. But just because you support and serve those you lead, doesn’t mean you are a doormat or any less of leader. It is probably the idea that a leader should have an elevated rather than serving position that hinders us from really understanding what being a servant-leader is about.

Think about epic stories like Braveheart. In the movie you see Mel Gibson as the lead character who is spurring his followers on to fight for freedom. But he doesn’t sit back and direct the battle from a distant hill. He is there in the front lines with his men, serving them in battle, fighting alongside them and yet still leading them. This is a powerful image of a servant-leader.  Because of his servant heart, his men stood toe-toe with him until the very end.

Did you enjoy today’s session?

Join me tomorrow as I discuss King Saul who vividly portrays the consequences of not having a Servant-Leader’s attitude.

The Best Kept Leadership Secret – Be a Servant Pt. 3

Happy Monday!  Welcome to Monday’s edition of The Online School of Leadership.

Today marks the beginning of another week and I trust that you decided start the week strong. Last week I defined servant leadership and shared how leaders can lead and serve simultaneously.  You can read more about it HERE and HERE.  Today we conclude Session One: The Best Kept Leadership Secret discovering the characteristics of a servant leader.

The Best Kept Leadership Secret – Be a Servant Pt. 2

Welcome to The Online School of Leadership session on servant-leadership.  Two days ago the first lesson defined leadership from a biblical perspective.  Jesus’ servant leader model continues to work thousands of years later while producing billions of Christians worldwide.  If you did not get a chance to read it, you can CLICK HERE.

Let’s begin today’s session with this question:

How can a Leader be a Servant at the same time?