What's Best Next: How The Gospel Transforms How You Get Things Done

This might be the best book on the Theology of Work I've read yet...here's an insert from the What's Best Next blog -

If You Only take 5 Productivity Practices Away from This Book

Learning and especially implementing productivity practices can be hard. It is easy to forget what we learned or forget how to apply it. One remedy is to keep coming back to this book (of course!). But to make this as simple as possible, if you can only take away 5 things from this book, they should be these: 
Foundation: Look to God, in Jesus Christ, for your purpose, security, and guidance in all of life.

Purpose: Give your whole self to God (Romans 12:1-2), and then live for the good of others to his glory to show that he is great in the world.

I've read the book twice and will continue to gain nuggets for a long time to come.

Guiding Principle: Love your neighbor as yourself. Treat others the way you want them to treat you. Be proactive in this and even make plans to do good.

Core Strategy: Know what’s most important and put it first.

Core Tactic: Plan your week, every week! Then, as things come up throughout the day, ask “is this what’s best next?” Then, either do that right away or, if you can’t, slot it in to your calendar or action list that you are confident you will refer back to at the right time.

To that end......

Perception: Reality or Relative?

A friend and client called me yesterday about a problem he was having and wanted my perspective. 

In his telling of the problem, he called it a challenge, he mentioned how unhappy he was with his and another person’s attitude during a sales conversation.

I asked him what he was comparing that emotion of happiness to, to which there was a long pause.
I’ll call him John. John, after the pause, replied “I’m really asking for help here and I don’t appreciate you turning this back on me by getting philosophical.” To which I replied, “John, I’m asking this question so I can understand what’s causing your unhappiness because, right now, I don’t get it and if I don’t get it I can’t give you any advice.”

Our discussion continued for another 20 minutes or so discussing what he was comparing his unhappiness to and in the end, he had a different perception of the matter…his unhappiness.


I used to believe “perception is reality.” But it’s not; perception is relative.

Your perception is relative to what you’re comparing it to.
I asked Cathy one time if she’d consider going to Russia on a missions trip and she emphatically said NO.

The conversation then went something link this….

“But what if you did?”

“I don’t.”

But what if you did?”

I don’t.”

We continued on through that for a few more minutes but I didn’t get anywhere with her. She’d been through this before and she knew that if she started thinking about what it would be like “if she did,” then her feelings could change!

Perception - is – RELATIVE.

What are you not wanting to do?

What if you did want to do it? How would that feel? What would you do?

How would it feel to do it?

To that end...

Change. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

He who rejects change is the architect 
of decay. The only human institution which 
rejects progress is the cemetery.  ~ Harold Wilson

I don't care who you are, change is hard.

It doesn't matter if you're trying to change, or having to changing. It's hard.

Whether you need to change, trying to change or having to change. It's hard.

If you say it's not, I'll say, as my brother Randy is fond of saying "you lie to your friends and I'll lie to mine, but let's not lie to each other."

Embrace the fact that change is hard and you'll be better prepared to handle the tasks it will take to change.

Because it's hard.

To that end....start and finish 2015 STRONG.

And it'll be hard.

But that's ok. It's supposed to be.

Not just 2015, but 2014, 20 and 40.

What VISION do you have for your business, your life? Do you have them tied together?

Reflecting on 2014, I ask "how did that match up with my dream (vision) I have for the rest of my life?

Taking pages from three favorite sources (Michael Gerber, John Maxwell and Michael Hyatt), I think about how I want my life to look like in 25 years.....

Right now...think into that for a minute...before you move on. Were your 2014 goals a reflection of your 2040 dream/vision?

How do your goals for 2015 reflect forward into 2020? 2040? I'll be 85 years old in 2040 and I'm really paying attention to what I'm doing today and tomorrow and in 2015 to insure, with God's blessings, that my 2040 is some version of today's dream.

In "Put Your Dreams to the Test," Maxwell shares Hyatt's vision for Thomas Nelson books (back when Hyatt was the division leader). Here's part of that vision statement -

A baby's hug

A story from an unknown author -

"We were the only family with children in the restaurant.

I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.' He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter.

And his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

Goal setting and achieving happen at a different level of consciousness

Simply put

- Goal setting happens in the conscious mind.

- Goal achieving happens in the subconscious mind.

- The subconscious mind is responsible for maintaining our reality. 

- Our reality is made up of beliefs and habits that leads to activities that lead to the results we obtain.

- Results are a direct reflection of beliefs and actions.

- Thus, we must change our reality, our beliefs, our actions, in order to achieve goals.

We can set goals all day long, but they stay in our consciousness, rejected by our unconsciousness, until we change our thinking as it pertains to those goals.

Goal achieving happens in the subconscious mind and the subconscious is trying to reject any changes. Right now, if this is new to you, it's rejecting it...afraid a change might be coming.

To that end, don't let your subconscious reject something before understanding it.

Roadblocks and blind spots, and an assessment's view

I wonder about what's blocking me from reaching my potential and it's unnerving to think there's things in my way I'm not aware of! The whole "what-I-don't-know-that-I-don't-know" syndrome can cause the deep ponderer some real problems.

But....it should also cause one to search the matter out, to ask questions, to go deeper.

Do you try to think into your results? Think about it, if you believe the Bible you have to wonder about these statements -

You are made in the image of God.
Seek out the kingdom within you.

I do believe the Bible is relevant and the period-the-end Word of God, but....I also believe all the truths are not readily apparent. This that causes me to really wonder what I'm missing? How do I bring out that image in me? What am I missing that's causing me not to move on? What character flaw do I not see? What competence do a strengthen and what weakness do I just drop? What I'm I not seeing that others see? What's keeping me from getting past a recurring problem? What's.......

To see something in your blind spot, you have to either move around, or, have someone point it out to you. Otherwise it's not a blind spot. Correct? Normally, I need someone to point it out to me, or to utilize some sort of device.

A device to eliminate blind spots, and roadblocks, are good assessments. I've been using assessments for over 20 years. This began when I read an article about the top 20 loan officers in the U.S. and was struck by all the commonalities. Not necessarily in their marketing and customer base, but other aspects of the people themselves. The search for those commonalities led me to the utilization of over 3,000 assessments as I've worked to help individuals and teams increase their performance and results.

A good assessment will help.....
  • give a clear and accurate depiction of where the individual is today
  • prepare the individuals for the path and create a map to insure the individual's success
  • identify key areas in which the individual needs development
  • an individual choose or change careers
  • equip teams to function at a highly collaborative level
  • manage employee development
  • leadership development
  • with job fit (whether you're looking for a job, or interviewing others)
  • succession planning and talent management
What an assessment is not - an assessment doesn't put you in a box. An assessment helps you learn the talents, attitudes, skills and knowledge already in your box. That realization can then be used to improve and get better results in the years ahead.

To that end...... what "lid" is keeping you from rising to your potential?

What blind spots have kept you from your potential in 2014?

What blind spots will keep you from your potential in 2015?

Pushing a rope. But then there's the prize

I've been in a head down, not-so-much smiling, but dialing mode lately. Cold calling.

Cold calling, and it's not my sweet-spot. Actually, I spend a lot of time getting ready to call, and getting ready to get ready.

It's a bit like when I finally KNOW I have to get my taxes done...a lot of other stuff seems to get done first. I'll do almost anything to keep from doing my taxes. All kinds of stuff seems to become not-so-hard.

And then, I see this..it's a tip I get weekly from Marcus Buckingham's Standout program. The tip is spun off an assessment I did a couple of years ago.

Now, it's not that I didn't already know that, but it sure helps!

Do you know what I mean? Here I've been making the calls, and it is like pushing a rope, but part of the prize is getting the appointment and getting in the room.

And at the end of a not so good in the results category day, I see this.

Great reminder. Tomorrow's coming!

Follow Well to Lead Well

A leader leading leader is not the only one leading. A leader leading leader attracts people that follow and lead well and empowers both to take action.

Courageous Follower: pg 35 - "leaders want their staff to assume more responsibility, initiate ideas, and take action of their own."

Some positive examples this week of a leader leading leader; Curtis staying after me for a meeting (it took 2 tries to get me in the meeting) about settings on a new piece of software that we're trying to implement, Jamie going beyond her normal responsibilities to get a problem fixed, and Austen developing a new market awareness program.

This is type of work that energizes a leader and leaves him refreshed at the end of a hard day instead of worn down.

We must all learn to do the job we're hired to do and accept that the job is not all laid out on a policy or a checklist. We have to think and take action; ask questions, insure we have the knowledge and keep asking ourselves and others questions until we do.

Don't be the weakest link, take action and be a leader leading leader.

This is also a great example of good Character, Competence and Chemistry as described by Bill Hybels in Courageous Leadership and Dan Cathy of Chic-Fil-A.

Follow well.

This is a partial repost from 7/29/2009

Trust. It's even profitable.

Trust is to success as influence is to leadership. You can't have one without the other. Stephen M. R. Covey, in his book Speed of Trust, tells us that we'll get deals done faster as our trust increases; us trusting others and others trusting us.

Covey outlines trust as Character and Competence.

Character is made up of Integrity and Intent.

Competence is about Capabilities and Results.

As he further breaks each of these down he identifies Integrity, Intent, Capabilities, and Results as the four cores of credibility.  Increase each of these and "deals" will get done faster. Increase the speed of getting business done and expenses go down. We know that as expenses go down, profits will go up.

The more you're trusted, the more you'll profit.

Simple. Huh?