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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Even leaders resist change

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. All social networking tools that have invaded our culture and are now invading business life as well as personal life. Truth of the matter is that those of us in business or who are responsible for organizations cannot avoid the inevitable truth that these three social networking giants are now social marketing tools. No longer is print media, or even print and radio/tv enough. Today's market is driven by social networks, and Twitter is alarmingly popular.

Now I'm fairly conversant in Facebook having worked in college life for so long, so I have little problem navigating Facebook and can see its value in marketing your organization. I have 3 daughters so texting is not an issue, but Twitter takes texting to the Nth degree. The Twitter phenomenon is amazing and probably holds the most value in social marketing of the three. LinkedIn is a powerful professional social network that has great possibility as well, but this Twitter thing remains to me the most curious and possibility laden.

With Twitter I can post something relevant (or not) and all who follow me can read it. But understanding that Twitter is still a "social network" and not a strictly marketing tool seems to be difficult for some. Twitter is used to draw people to yourself, to build relationships, and to inform. As I increase my Twitterability I notice more and more skipping of the relationship building stage and jumping right to trying to "sell" something. I know that approach turns me off, no matter how good a product your marketing.

I take you back to the premise that Leadership=Relationships+Influence. I cannot influence you without building a relationship first. Twitter is another tool in doing that. I know new technology is frightening, but I keep running into leaders, strong leaders who reject the trends. I contend that we either adapt to new marketing techniques or we get left behind with our businesses or organizations. Old school marketing will get you old school results. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn offer alternatives that people are adhering to for the moment.

Trends seem to come and go, but for the time these three social networks are here, and they appear to be here for the long haul. My advice to leaders... learn to use these. Build relationships and embrace the future. Besides, it's kind of fun.

Lead Strong through Social Networks,
Shawn

Monday, May 18, 2009

Make your home in Him, John 14:23

Our pastor has been preaching from John 14 and yesterday he taught on the Holy Spirit. As I was listening I started reading ahead and noticed this wonderful truth in John 14:23 (sorry John, I really was paying attention yesterday).

John 14 is an awesome passage of scripture in which Jesus is teaching us about the Holy Spirit. Within this passage is a small passage that if not careful can be quite honestly, but completely overlooked. "we will come to him and make our home with Him (John 14:23 NIV)." Jesus is teaching us about knowing the Father because we know Jesus the Son. He's telling us that he will not leave us as orphans, but leaving is for our benefit because He must leave in order for the Holy Spirit to come in all His fullness. And, Jesus is telling us that if we obey His commandments He will abide with us and we will abide with Him.

But what is so striking is that Jesus says, "we will come and make our home with (some translations say... make our him in...) Him." We? Who is this We Jesus is referring to if not Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit and us making our home in God the Father. Wow! Where is your home made today?

Some folks make their homes in the abundance of their wealth. Some in their toys or their home. Some make their home in the careers or even their families. But Christ teaches that if we obey his commandments we can make our home in God the Father. That is where I want to make my home, with and in God.

Now, granted, I have not taken the time to do a complete exegesis on this little passage, but the simple truth seems to stand on its own... to make our home with and in the Father. What an awesome realization that is ours because of our faith in Jesus and His presence in us through the Holy Spirit.

Where are you making your home? Something to think about this week.

God bless your faith journey,
Shawn

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wow, am I tired!

I know, I know. We all feel tired on occasion and "burn the candle at both ends" from time to time. My fear is though that if we do this for too long we run the risk of not just falling behind, but completely "dropping the ball" on important people and projects in the process (my greatest fear is dropping the ball on important people).

In the scheme of things I probably do not have any more "irons in the fire" then you do (you just have to love all these metaphors, don't you?) but this last weekend finally caught me. It was a great weekend with my brother, whom I hadn't seen for 4 years, watching Emily play some of the best basketball I have ever seen her play, touring the Amarillo area, hitting the Cadillac Ranch, Big Texan Steak House, The Cross in Groom, and Palo Duro Canyon. Not to mention church and enjoying family. Maybe it was staying up till midnight and 1:00 am that really did me in, especially since I am usually in bed by 10:00, but yesterday I could hardly function. Today is better, but I've been reminded that you really cannot manage time, you can only manage yourself within the time allotted.

I am determined that if anything has to "fall through the cracks" (there's another metaphor for you) that it will not be people in my life. How about you? Tired? Are you trying to manage time instead of managing yourself within your time allotted? This past weekend got my attention, and while I would not trade it for anything, it did remind me of the need to better manage myself.

Okay now, work, family, church... Rochelle, where did I put that law book I was reading for class?

Lead Strong by beginning with yourself,

Shawn