September Blog

This month we will discuss:

  • Leading when things go wrong.
  • Quotes
  • Chesapeake News


Leading When Things Go Wrong:


Leading in troubled times does not develop leadership, it exposes it. I recall many years ago I attended a Distinguished Alumni ceremony at the United States Naval Academy. One of my classmates was being honored. Each of the honorees has an opportunity to address the audience which includes the entire brigade of midshipmen. One of the speakers said something that resonated; “Your job is to fight and win your countries wars. And understand; there will be wars.” He was challenging them to lead well in bad times.


There are going to be hard times. We have all heard the joke when one says, “John, can’t you be more positive?” And we reply, “Okay. I am positive you are going to have some hard times.”


We spend very little time on the mountain top. Most of our time is on the inclines either up or down or in the valley. Here are a few items that pop into my head – things you may want to ponder when you find yourself on the inclines or in the valley:


  • Don’t forget to do the important things. If you fail to do the important things you are running a high risk of the effects of ignoring them causes a crises that may have been avoidable. Individually important things would include getting enough sleep, staying on your physical fitness routine, eating, and drinking properly, maintain somewhat of a social life, and spend time doing whatever spiritual development you do. As a corporation continue to invest in training and adding value to your employees. Do not take any shortcuts on service and quality.
  • There will always be plenty of fires to fight. There is no need to start more through neglect.
  • Keep a proper perspective. Whatever you are dealing with is probably not life threatening. It will pass. Although you need to be in the moment you must have a longer-term perspective. When I look back over my career – many of the companies and institutions I was once a member of are gone. What really mattered were the people. How did I add value to those people? During the crisis was I a source of strength and learning or one of added stress?
  • Do not focus on what is happening to you. Focus on what is happening in you.
  • When bad things seem to happen to you perhaps you are doing some really good stuff and you are being knocked off course. Discern what that might be and double down on what you are doing good. Giving up or giving in isn’t going to


work anyway. Might as well intensify your efforts and make a positive difference.

  • Rely on your support network. You have many good friends who want to help. Let them.
  • Major problems can either belong to you or to God – not both. Choose wisely.
  • Those friends in your network? Listen to them. They may be the vessel by which God is trying to help you.
  • Those friends – they probably do not live in your house. You must commit to engaging with them – go to a meeting, grab some coffee or lunch, a tennis match or a round of gold.  Go do something.


Some of these bullets may be a tad unusual for some of you. That is okay. At one time they were a tad unusual for me. Not now. I want to give you my best advice based on my current understanding. This is it.





  1. You cannot always control what happens to you, but you can control what happens in you.  John Maxwell
  2. I never did anything great for God, I just did something every day. Lester Sumrall
  3. The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? Psalm 27:1
  4. You and you alone determine whether you will be a person of integrity. Tony Dungy
  5. When was the last time you did something for the first time?
  6. If dogs could reason and criticize us they’d be sure to find just as much that would be funny to them, if not far more.  Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  7. The man who concentrates on the root system of his life is going to bear fruit upward, but if he concentrates on the eye-appealing foliage he may end up a rootless failure.  Robert Foster
  8. A dream worth pursuing is a picture and blueprint of a person’s purpose and potential. John Maxwell
  9. The suffering that those who have surrendered their lives to God may have to endure can have a very positive effect. These difficult trials will teach us lessons to help us in the future. But for those who deny the truth, there will be no learning and no purification. Through our openness, honesty, and self- examination, God can use our trials and suffering to purify our faith and make us the people he wants us to be.
  10. Get to know two things about a man – how he earns his money and how he spends it –and you will have a clue to his character, for you have a search light that shows up the inmost recesses of his soul. You know all you need to know about his standards, his motives, his driving desires, and his real religion. Robert McCracken


  1. You cannot enjoy others until you enjoy yourself, because you cannot give to others what you do not have.  John Maxwell
  2. Show me your checkbook and your calendar and I will know who you are.
  3. Our spirit can take the lead only if we feed it more than our soul and our body.
  4. If you wouldn’t follow yourself, why should anyone else? John Maxwell


Chesapeake News:


Many of you routinely ask how Leigh is doing. She has been in the hospital for over two months now and has been making steady improvement. At least once per week I send out an update on her progress by email. If you have not been getting those and would like to, just pop me a note.


We are cosponsoring our next “Community Unity” event October 20th at the McDonald Hughes Center. We are excited. If you want more information, pop us a note and we will send you a brochure and the agenda. There is no charge to attend the event.


We are progressing on setting up our nonprofit, “Chesapeake Unity Foundation.” One of our goals is to provide leadership development and assessments to law enforcement and corrections. We are very excited about the possibilities.


I hope your business is experiencing some positive activity. We are seeing some very positive signs of growth. We would love to help you meet your job profiling and leadership development needs.


John Covington