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Friday, June 20, 2008

Being and Doing

Somehow I got talked into... sucked into... blindsided actually into being a girls basketball coach this spring and summer for an AAU basketball team. At first I thought this would be great as my daughter is on the team and we could spend some quality time together. Then I thought this would be even better because my wife Rochelle was going to coach with me (she actually played basketball in high school and I am just an avid fan). How much fun I was going to have and what wisdom I thought I could impart to the girls! Hmmm, right.

What I know to be true is that by this point in these girls lives (most have been playing since they were 5) they know more about the game than I do. What they really need is someone to give a little guidance and direction, help them with some fundamentals, and encourage them along the way. I can do this... surely I can.

Problem #1, I am more competitive than I thought. Okay, I knew I was this competitive, I just thought I might have a better handle on it by this point in my life. I want to win and I want the girls to want to win as badly as I do. While this is a good thing it can be detrimental as well.

Problem #2, my daughter is on the team. She is a great player, and as a typical dad I think she should always lead the way and so I tend to put added pressure on her and sometimes take the fun out of the game for her.

Problem #3, I really do believe that the "game" is more important than the "win." I just let my competitiveness get in the way of that sometimes.

Problem #4, I am afraid I have taken out frustration on my new wife, and for that I am deeply sorry as well.

What does all this rambling have to do with anything? Well, as a Christian husband, father, leader, and coach I want the girls to love the game as much as I do. But I also have to work on keeping things in perspective. I am not just their coach, I am a Christian coach. I am not just my daughters coach, I am her dad. I am not just a coach, I am Rochelle's husband. I am not just a coach, I am a role model to the girls on the team, their parents, the referee's and the other teams we play.

This is where "Being" and "Doing" come into play. If I am (a being verb) all these things I have to do (also a verb) all these things. I can not just say I am a Christian coach, husband, dad, leader. I have to act like it as well. It can be tough too. The last tournament things got out of hand with some of our parents and I had to address them. I also had to apologize to the head of the organization and tournament director. The reason it was hard was because in some small sense the parents were right, but how we handled things wasn't. I represent not only myself, but my wife and family, my team, my girls, my parents to those around me and I have to "do" the things I say I am "being."

What does this have to do with you? I wonder if you have a false dichotomy going on in your life too. I cannot say I am something and not live that out at all times. I cannot put things like my Christianity aside when it is inconvenient and pick it back up later. I either am or I am not.

How 'bout you? Any taking off and putting on at your convenience? Are you "being" and "doing" who and what you say you are?

Oh, and here's a helpful hint. If you are asked to coach your own child's basketball team... RUN Forrest, RUN!!

Lead Strong,

Shawn

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

House Hunting

Wow, Rochelle and I have been married 7 months today, June 17. What an amazing 7 months it has been with the rest of our lives in front of us. And now, on our 7 month anniversary we are making that big move that so many newlyweds make, buying our first home together.

When we married Rochelle had recently purchased a phenomenal home, but with the addition of not only me in the home but 3 teenage daughters, and a dog, we are finding the need to stretch out a bit. So we started exploring the possibilities last weekend and last night a sign went up in our front yard. Today the realtor takes pictures for the website and brochures and this Sunday is an open house. All this is exciting and stressful at the same time, but doing it together is wonderful.

We have begun looking at potential homes and have seen at least one that we really liked. The stress kicks in when we think about the amount of travel Rochelle has in the next few weeks and the possibility of selling our home quickly (someone actually drove by last night and parked in front of our house for a while and "scoped us out." We hope that is a good sign! God has been so good to us and so faithful in meeting our needs and we are trusting Him to do the same now. We recently sold my old home in another city within 7 days so we are anxious to see God work in this home.

Pray for us in this process as we experience another "new" for us as newlyweds. When I look back at the last 7 months it has been an amazing journey, and this next phase of the journey is going to be just as exciting!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Courage

212° Courage

Courage is…
Following your conscience instead of “following the crowd.”
Refusing to take part in hurtful or disrespectful behaviors.
Sacrificing personal gain for the benefit of others.
Speaking your mind even though others don’t agree.
Taking complete responsibility for your actions…and your mistakes.
Following the rules – and insisting that others do the same.
Challenging the status quo in search of better ways.
Doing what you know is right – regardless of the risks and potential consequences.

At 211 degrees water is hot.
At 212 degrees water boils.
Boiling water produces steam,
And with steam you can power a train.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Leadership = Relationships + Influence

Leadership is not that difficult, and it is not someone elses responsibility. Leadership is the responsibility of all of us. It is all too easy to look around and wonder, why doesn't someone do something about.... you fill in the blank. The real question is, why don't you and I do something about....?

Being an Executive Director of a non-profit, having served as a college administrator and professor, and having pastored in a major denomination, I have read literally thousands of pages on leadership. I can quote respected leadership guru's and even have some of their sayings posted around my corner of the world. But as I summize these teachings leadership really boils down to a simple equation, "Leadership = Relationships + Influence."

Now, this is where the pressure comes in. I have to be very intentional about building and maintaining relationships. I can no onger overlook people, or fail to pay attention to what is going on in people's lives. And, I have to choose what kind of influence I want to be withini those relationships.

Leaders can have poor relationships fraught with negative influences, or they can choose to build positive relationships with positive influences. But that choice is up to me.

I encourage and invite you to join me in building healthy and positive relationships within your context of the world, and then to become a positive influence in those relationships. Watch how quickly you become a leader within those relationships and how quickly those that you have influenced become leaders in other peoples lives by following the same basic equation.

Lead Strong,

Shawn

Lost, but now I'm found!

Okay, I know I'm playing on religious verbage, but in reality this is more true than not. Yes, I am a Christian who understands what it is to be lost and found. As a newly married husband of a great wife, Rochelle - hi baby, I also know what it is to be lost and found. When marriages dissolve, for whatever reason there is always the fear of losing your kids in the mix. Gratefully I didn't and have a new found love and relationship for my three beautiful daughters; Corinna, Megan, and Emily. And finally, with this new blog I understand what it means to be lost and found. It seems my old blog site, leadstrong.blinmist.net just disappeared and discontinued being for no apparent reason. The real tragedy is that I cannot retrieve anything that was on the site. Not that any of it was of incredible value, other than the personal value some of the site held for me personally.

But, this is a new day and a fresh start to blogging, more of rambling on my part, but hopefully readers will find something of value as well. Each new day is a new opportunity for growth and personal development. Each new day is a fresh chance to bring glory to God. Each new day is another relationship building opportunity and out of those relationship, new and old, to become a positive influence and thus a leader in lives, church, work, and community.

It is good to be found, isn't it?

Lead Strong,

Shawn