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Initiative: The Not-So-Secret Secret to Leadership
By Chris Brady
You may have heard the old line that there are three types of people in the world: 1) those who make things happen, 2) those who watch things happen and 3) those who wonder what happened. I think it might be time to talk about the role that initiative plays in the world of leadership. One trait common to all leaders is the initiative they show toward their vision.
Leaders don't have to be told to do something. Leaders don't need managers above them. Leaders don't wait for the lights to all turn green before taking off on a trip. Leaders take action, they take responsibility, and they don't take their time waiting and wondering if they should act. At the end of the day, it is the go-getters that seem to become the biggest leaders. Time after time I have seen people with less talent, less of a head start, less connections, and less information absolutely outperform others simply because they got moving! Even if a person is not effective, the very fact that he or she is taking action usually forces an improvement in effectiveness. Even if a person heads in the wrong direction, sooner or later he or she will get on track.
Conversely, those who deliberate, dilly-dally, hesitate, ponder, get bogged down in analysis, or have to be sure everything is perfect before taking action generally do a very good job at what they do, they just don't get much of it accomplished. They have beautifully detailed goals printed out in multi-colors but don't ever seem to hit them, and they...
163 Miles North
By Terri Brady
The steering wheel was wet. I could barely hold on, but the anger inside seethed and prevented me from stopping, despite my blurred vision from the tears that jumped from my face. I ranted and raved in my head. The injustice! The money lost! The months waiting! The painful nights! The fervent prayers…all for nothing!
I drove north from the fertility doctor’s office in Ann Arbor, Michigan in a silent car that was full of noise. In 45 minutes I would be telling Chris that it didn’t work. It was the end of the line. “You can wait a year and try again,” the nurse consoled.
Does she know how long 12 months is?!!!
We were at the end of the line of treatments. Four years into marriage, and nine years into female issues, I had tried the pills, the surgeries, the shots and now a mixture of them all. “Your best bet is to do this procedure within six months of the surgery,” the doctor had said. We had saved the $10,000 needed for a chance to have our own child; it would be worth it! We had only spent $2,000 (in meds), when they told me my body wasn’t responding like a 26-yr-old’s should. “Take the shots for one more month, and it will do ‘the trick’,” they said. After another yearlong month of being a chemist mixing meds at home and waking Chris so he could administer them before I left for my engineering job, I guess “the trick” wasn’t done. The ultrasound showed only one egg. “There’s not enough of a chance of in-vitro working with just one egg to extract. You can save your $8,000, and we can try again in a year,” the specialist said.
As I drove, it was as if the devil sat on my shoulder and whispered in my ear. My anger turned into a deep sadness. Negative thoughts enveloped me.
“You are unworthy of being a mom.”
“Don’t you remember the things you have done?”
“Other women would raise children better; God is leaving the job to them.”
Parenting...Easy or Hard ?
By Bill Lewis
Have you ever been walking through a store and noticed the many different ways that parents react to their children? The younger children create many situations that are down right hilarious, but as they become older you see a lot of reactions that are streamed from the roots they grew up with. Ever notice that kids seem to react and handle situations the same way the parents do? The unfortunate part is that those reactions could have been different if we just had the right tools at our disposal when they were younger. Now, I am not saying that it is too late to turn things around, but it is much easier to establish good principles and habits when they are younger. As parents it is hard to admit that we have created the roots that are producing the fruit.
The story goes – There is an apple tree in the backyard. Every year the apples start to grow but then they fall off the tree before they become ripe and able to be picked. The wife ask the husband if he can do something about this. He thinks for a minute and then says, ” I got it.” He goes to the store and comes home with some ripe, red, luscious looking apples. He grabs a ladder, the fresh apples and a staple gun. After he attaches the apples to the tree he goes into his wife and says, ” Look, I fixed the tree.”
Obviously, a silly story but the point is good. You can't just fix the appearance or the surface issues. You have to fix the root system that is feeding the fruit. Yes, kids are born with a natural sinful nature, but we determine a lot of what the root structure will be. Let's dig into a couple different areas that will help us develop better roots.
The first area we must look at is ourselves. Being a parent is the hardest job on the planet but it can also be the most fulfilling. One day you wonder if you could leave them at the grandparents for about 20 years and the day after that you couldn’t ever imagine not having them. To be the
GREAT LEADERS - GONE - NOT FORGOTTEN - RUTHERFORD
By George Guzzardo
I don't find it very funny that just about every civil liberties organization today couldn't recall the name of the man who has coined the phrase, "All men are created equal." This man's name who influenced our country's founders on civil and religious liberty is basically obscure today. Samuel Rutherford has been called the greatest theologian of the "Scottish Reformation", and given credit for influencing the concept of connecting natural law and Scriptural Revelation to limited government. Yet, his name is virtually unknown.
Samuel Rutherford was born in Nisbet Scotland in 1600. He attended the University of Edinburgh in 1617. In 1623 he became regent of Humanity (professor of Latin). Because of his non conformity to King Charles I regulations against the doctrines of the Reformation, he was banished from this position in 1627. He went on to become professor of Divinity at St. Andrews in 1638 after religious liberties were established by parliament. Rutherford was also appointed to the Westminster Assembly in 1643 and was a major influence on the Shorter Catechism.
He has been most influential for his writings although he also had a flourishing ministry. 'The Letters of Samuel Rutherford' have become a religious classic and should be a staple in the library for every student of great theological writings. The letters were a result of his caring for his ailing wife and his children's lengthy illness. His enduring suffering and sorrow developed strength of character and a deepened communion with Christ. Of his Letters, Charles Spurgeon wrote, "When we are dead and gone let the world know that Spurgeon held Rutherford's letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere men." His most influential work toward the thinking of rule of natural law and Scripture was "Lex Rex" subtitled, "The Law and the Prince." In that writing he presented the theory of limited government and
Who are you?
By Claude Hamilton
Building my business was hard. At times, it was overwhelming, discouraging, and frustrating. But it was worth every bit of work, energy, and sleepless night. Because if it weren’t for my business, I may not have ever learned who I really am.
Lana and I really struggled to get through what leadership expert Ken Blanchard called "the Dissatisfaction stage". It took us quite awhile to develop the attitude that we needed to get through that phase, but we did it. And, oddly enough, I think one of my biggest motivators was a statistic that I heard on television one day. The show said that the person who stays home with his or her kids will spend more time with them by the time the child is three, than someone who has a nine-to-five job will over eighteen years. When I heard that data, I just sat there, stunned, thinking about the implications.
Later that day, I told Lana that I really felt like we had to make a change. I told her about the findings, and that I couldn’t stand the idea of missing out on so much of my children’s lives. In the end, we decided that the answer was to continue building my business. If we succeeded, it offered the best of both worlds—time with my family and the financial freedom to do many of the things we wanted to be able to do together.
So Lana and I decided to reapply ourselves and really go for it. We refocused and pushed through the Dissatisfaction stage. And it wasn’t easy. We didn’t see much success in the first couple of years, and throughout the third and fourth years, we were still constantly learning lessons.
But I’m grateful for those lessons, because they made me who I am. As I struggled to make important business decisions, I would often find myself asking, “who am I?”. And at times, that was a difficult question to answer. But eventually I figured it out. I knew that, in a perfect world, I would spend all day at home, with my wife and children. But I also kn