This month we will discuss:
- Live Above the Fray and be More Successful
- Chesapeake News
Live Above the Fray and be More Successful:
Several weeks ago, I was interviewing a man for an advisory board position of a nonprofit leadership institute. I really enjoyed the interview, and it was a refreshing conversation. He is a 1992 Naval Academy grad. Linda and I sponsored/mentored midshipmen from classes of 1989-1995 so I am pretty confident once we have the opportunity to spend some time together, we will stir up a boatload of common friends. We discussed how leadership needs to be “apolitical.” I think this is an extremely important characteristic for a leader but unfortunately one that many outwardly reject. It is not that they forget – they just deny it is important. It is important. Let me see if I can explain.
Several decades ago, Chesapeake did a few large projects with the United Methodist Church (UMC). It is one of the two worst corporate cultures I have worked in—the other being higher education. Both of those cultures, in my opinion, have created a hostile work environment for those that are not in alignment with the majority political view. It is so bad in the UMC that the church is splitting. The excuse for splitting is over sexual preference but it is much more than that – they just don’t like one another. Ironically, both institutions (UMC and higher education) claim to be open, creative, and foster open dialogue – they don’t.
The last project we did for the UMC was in the Baltimore-Washington Conference. During that implementation I remember being in conversation with a relatively young pastor who openly in his bio and other documents talked about being a democrat. I suggested that as a leader of a congregation it might be a good idea not to do that. He quickly let me know what he thought of my idea. My thought was that if he was going to minister to a diverse congregation why would you run the risk of alienating a portion of them. He saw nothing wrong with that and in my opinion that is one of the many reasons the UMC is splitting and in my opinion, not as effective as they should be on making disciples. When you eliminate half the market that is a risk you run. The UMC has been unsuccessful in their overall mission of making disciples; for a half a century they have been bleeding membership in the United States.
Over the years I am confident that my employees could guess my political affiliation, however I did not make it obvious. I never would have anything in my office, have a bumper sticker or item of clothing that identified me with a political party. One of my jobs as their leader is to do my best to add value to them – to help them grow. Anything that might stand as an obstacle to that is a negative. Pushing my political beliefs in their face falls into the obstacle category. I need to find common ground, not a battle ground. When a leader puts their own identity ahead of the global goal they are doomed to failure. Unfortunately, it is way too common today. There appears to be no filters.
Cultures are made up of information, purpose, and relationships. Since information flows through relationships, we are down to focusing on relationships and purpose. As a leader, if you do anything to draw attention away from common purpose and developing robust relationship you are damaging your organization.
Today’s leaders need to set the example – watch what you post on social media and how you conduct yourself. Live above the fray and I assure you that you will find greater success.
- God may allow a man to His servants to succeed when He has disciplined them to a point where the man does not need to succeed to be happy. The man who is elated by success and is cast down by failure is still a carnal man. At best his trait has a worm in it.” W. Tozer 1897-1963
- We cannot do great things; only small things with great love. Mother Teresa
- Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are. Malcolm Forbes
- Not what we say about our blessings but how we use them is the true measure of our thanksgiving. W.T. Parker
- I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. Pablo Picasso
- The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude. William James
- Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each is to succeed. Corita Kent
- A dog wags its tail with its heart.
- Some of our greatest historical and artistic treasures we place in museums. Others we take for walks. Roger Caras
- I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult. Rita Rudnet
- Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won’t come in. Alan Alda
- He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Last week, we attended the Alabama Sheriff’s Convention at the beach. Tough duty however someone needs to make the sacrifice. We were very encouraged by the many Sheriffs that were there. We are pleased that we have narrowed our marketing focus to sheriff’s departments. We are excited about helping those that risk their wellbeing to keep us safe.