Play Ball! What We Can Learn From Baseball


A couple of weeks ago began another year of the great American past time of baseball. Players have finished training camp and have polished their skills in hopes of making it to the World Series in the fall.  Over the past few years major league baseball has taken one on the chin because of the steroid use controversy surrounding Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Jason Giambi, Jose Conseco and Barry Bonds. Still, all across America little boys will be suiting up in Little League’s all across our land in hopes of making it to the majors. Baseball is still America’s sport and regardless of what has happened  in the past, the very large majority of players are those who love the game and are purists and want to do what is right.

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Crafting A Personal Vision Statement

Info Graphics have been gaining in popularity as a simple visual to help communicate ideas. I have created a info graphic that outlines visually how to write a personal vision statement.

vision infographic

Writing things down is so important in life. For us men, how many times has our wives given us a task that we have quickly forgotten about because we failed to actually write it on the honey-do list? Big mistake! Most people think they don’t need to write things down because they have a great memory or it isn’t that important in the first place. I have learned that writing things down makes things a lot easier in life, especially the things that are important to my wife.

I have had the opportunity to attend many conferences during my adult life, in both the business world and also as a pastor. Nearly every one I’ve attended has dealt with vision, goals, etc., and all have made it a point that one of the keys to knowing where you are going is to write out your life/church vision or mission statement. In May of 2004, I attended Ken Davis’s “Dynamic Communication Workshop” in Colorado. There, I met Cheryl Dick, the director of operations for Chick-fil-A restaurants. As we exchanged business cards, I was pleasantly surprised to see Chick-fil-A’s corporate purpose statement on their business cards: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” It didn’t impress me that much that the fast food chain had a purpose statement printed on their business cards, as this is rather common. What did impress me, though, was that they had the audacity to start their statement with their purpose, “to glorify God,” Followed by their vision, “to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”

The vision statement is what God wants you to do. What you are going to do next is work on the reasons for the vision to begin to take shape.

Be a Risk Taker

IMG_0047Back in 2013, Julie and I took the opportunity to visit our close friends, Wally and Rhonda Kesling in their new home in Ocala, FL. We were looking forward to a few days of R&R laying by the pool and soaking up some rays. That was until Wally texted me to see if we would be open to going zip lining. Always up to the challenge I immediately text back to Wally, “Sure!” Then he wanted to know if Rhonda went would Julie go and of course I said, “Sure!” It’s never a good thing to answer for your wife when it comes to something as risky like that. Once at the zip line course there was trepidation on both Julie and Rhonda’s part, but after the first zip line they performed like pros. We had a blast traversing back and forth over an old quarry filled with water and through the central Florida forests. I highly recommend spending three hours at The Canyons Zip Line in Ocala if you get the chance.

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The Leadership Test

If you want to know whether or not you are passing the leadership test, it is very simple — Look over your shoulder. Jesus said in John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice and I know them and they follow me.”I Cor. 11:1 Paul said, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.” We all need human models. Sure we’re to follow Christ, but we need human models to follow.

John Maxwell’s parable of leadership, “He who thinketh he leadeth and hath no one following him is only taking a walk.” Or in my words, you failed the leadership test. 

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The Danger of Electronic Miscommunication

With the advent of texting and email, I would venture to say that you have sent out or received a message where the content was taken the wrong way. When this happens, you experience all kinds of emotions ranging from hurt, anger, confusion, and frustration. The art of communication, especially face to face communication is quickly disappearing in an world driven by electronic communication.

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Questions Good Coaches Ask

A key part of the coaching process is asking questions. Avoid “courtroom” questions that require only a “yes” or “no” answer. Instead, ask open-ended questions that lead to reflection and solutions. Proper questions can enhance relationships and add value to others, especially when coupled with perceptive listening.

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Leadership Lessons From Phineas and Ferb

If you are unfamiliar with the Disney animated series Phineas and Ferb, you are missing some great leadership material to use in your organization. The storyline of the show is that Phineas and Ferb are two brothers who are on a seemingly continuous summer vacation and each day brings a new opportunity. Before I continue, I have to give the disclaimer that I am familiar with this show because we have a four year old grandson who has attached himself to all episodes we can find on Netflix. While I don’t have time to go into the entire plot of this show, it does  beg to mention that both of these brothers have high IQ levels and build things that of course can only be done in cartoon land. For more information on the show please visit –

What can we learn from these cartoon characters that has anything to do with leadership you might ask? I believe there is one great lesson that can be learned form these two enjoyable, good natured brothers. Follow along after the break.

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Learning Leadership Multiplication From Great Leaders

I did not consider myself a leader when I was young nor did I have aspirations to be a leader, but I became a leader. Leadership is contagious. When you are around a great leader, you learn, you grow, and you want to become like that leader. You know when you are around a great leader as others seek to be around that leader as well. Hopefully you have had the opportunity to be mentored by someone like I am describing. That person could be your parent, a teacher, a pastor, or a supervisor, manager or executive at the company you work or have worked for. 

There is a very simple but profound leadership principle that I am not sure who to give credit to, but goes like this, “I do, you watch. I do, you help. You do, I help. You do, I watch. You do, someone else watches.” I want to unpack that into three steps. Follow along below the image to learn how to recognize a great leader.

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Five Ways To Build Balance Into Your Life

Remember as kid trying to walk across one of those beams in a playground at school or a park and doing your best to hold your balance? Or the image of an Olympic gymnast on the balance beam is probably etched in your mind. An object that is not naturally a part of the beam works to maintain balance from beginning to the end. Our lives are much like the kid on a beam in the playground or the Olympian on a balance beam. It takes lots of energy to balance and stay on the beam and not fall off. Thats how it is with life that is going on within and around you. How in the world do we do that on an consistent basis that doesn’t literally wear us out?

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How A Good Leader Organizes – Part 2

This is part two of How A Good Leader Organizes. In this post I highlight four other principles good leaders execute to be good organizers. Examine part one along with the list in this post and make a plan of action of how you as a leader will be more organized in 2014.

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