Billy Graham On Leadership

4 Character Tests

Here are four character qualities that Billy Graham spoke about at a Civic Luncheon in Denver, Colorado in 1987. When you consider where Colorado is spiritually today versus when the late Billy Graham spoke these four truths into their life, you realize that God always positions his messengers in strategic places to speak life and goodness.

The first quality that I would like to mention is integrity. Integrity has to do with soundness, completeness, unity and consistency. Wayne Porter wrote in TIME magazine last month, “Integrity has increased steadily in importance as a public issue since 1985.” When we speak of integrity as a moral value, it means a man is the same on the inside as he claims to be on the outside. There’s no discrepancy between what he says and what he does; between his talk and his walk.

The second quality necessary for leadership, it seems to me, during these difficult days is personal security. I do not mean this in the sense of physical security, job security or financial security. Newsweek magazine ran an article some months ago entitled, “Uneasy Men at the Top.” They described the job insecurities of some in the top levels of corporate management in large companies. It set the stage for one newly installed CEO to say in jest; “I didn’t mind it when they wrote my name on the office door in chalk but I did think it was a little unethical to have a wet sponge hanging from the doorknob.”

Besides integrity and personal security, the third quality which is necessary in a leader is a sense of priority. This is the ability to separate the important from the unimportant, the critical from the trivial, the vital from the insignificant, the eternal from the temporary. It is essential for our daily tasks, but it also is true for the overall directions of our lives. Until a man gets his priorities in life straight, everything else is going to be out of order.

Then, there is one final quality that I would mention briefly, the quality of vision. When there’s no vision, the Bible says, the people perish. This is the quality of seeing what can be and ought to be done and how to get there.

So, I challenge you today to be a person of integrity, a person of security, a person with a sense of priority and a person of vision. But most of all, I challenge you to be individuals who are committed to Christ.


The Value of Questions

7 Questions To Ask Others

I want to impart some truth that I have learned on my journey of leadership. The value of asking good questions can increase your learning exponentially. I have read literally hundreds of books attended hundreds of hours in great seminars and conferences. The one thing that I have come to learn is to ask good questions of leaders that are presently influencing my life and those leaders that I have the opportunity to meet each year. This one skill has accelerated my leadership development more than anything else that I could suggest to you. The better the questions that you ask directly equates to your growth, development, and ability.

Here are seven questions to enhance your leadership development when you are around other leaders;

  1. Wisdom – What is the greatest lesson you have learned?
  2. Passion – What are you learning right now?
  3. Attitude – How has failure shaped your life?
  4. Networking – Who do you know that I should know?
  5. Growth – What have you read that I should read?
  6. Experience – What have you done that I should do?
  7. Gratitude – How can I add value to you?

Bonus Question:

If you only had five minutes, what is one thing that you would tell me?

SA Leadership Episode #161

Leadership Culture


Why Do You Need A Leadership Culture?

1.  Culture Eats Vision for lunch by a factor of 10 to 1. Culture is the most powerful factor in any organization – Culture is what you are doing – Vision is where you are going! If you do not get right what you are doing you will never get where you are going. Culture is the visual of the values of the people in an organization. Culture is the sum of the habits of the people. It is what people do on a regular basis. Culture is not what we say so much as it is what we do. We model belief around common convictions.

  1. Leadership puts a lid on an organization. If you have enough leaders in your organization you can scale new heights faster than others. Most organizations have a limiting capacitor called “NOT ENOUGH LEADERS!” Everything rises and falls on leadership. You must develop leaders. If you do not have bench depth you will not have band width. There is a shortage of leaders.
  2. A characteristic of a leadership is they have depth on their team. you have to create a culture of great leaders that can lead at any time. Over 75% of Chik-fil-A’s staff are under 25 years of age. Four things that are required to build a bench
  • Attractive – hire people who are over-qualified
  • Recruiting – attract the right people, leadership minded people, successful in others arenas
  • Training – You have to be passionate and have training as a non-negotiable item
  • Empowerment – if you hire someone that you cannot empower within a reasonable period of time, you do not have a bench player.

If you do not have a surplus of leaders then you are in a short-fall situation

FIRST you must define what leadership is! This is the benchmark. People need to know if they are in the game and in the correct zip code. Once you have forged a definition within your culture then everyone must speak the same language. You cannot build what you cannot articulate!

Six C’s on defining culture from John Maxwell

  • Character – It is not something that I talk about, I must be a person of Character
  • Clarity – you have to show people what you need. Do not leave them guessing what you want. 5 Minute Manager in which you model your love and appreciation for their service and effort.
  • Communication – Keep saying it! Constantly talk about the culture so others can see, hear, and feel what is in your heart. If the team does not hear the vision often they will drift quickly.
  • Contribution – Own it! I will own this company – this is on me!
  • Consistency – I have to do on a regular basis – daily 5!
  • Celebration – Embrace it together and celebrate the victory of everyone moving in the same direction

Culture is a visual of the values of what leaders want others to see. The only thing that limits an organization is the development of leaders.

5 Keys to Build A Leadership Culture – Template

  1. Define the leadership culture that you want. Forge a consensus in your organization. There are over 6,000 definitions of leadership in the dictionary. You must define it.

Question #1 – “Do we have a common definition of leadership”

SERVE – JMT (John Maxwell Team)

Serve others

Excellence in all that you do

Responsible and accountable to do what we say

Value – we value our people as individuals as our most important asset. Are you properly valuing your team-mates?

Environment – foster a positive environment within the team

These five concepts compromise leadership culture

2.    Teach it – Ensure that everyone knows that your point of view on leadership is being taught to them verbally and behaviorally. Talent is not enough!

Question #2 – “Do your current and emerging leaders have the skills to deliver on the definition?”

  1. Practice it – Do we give people on our team an opportunity to prove themselves? ILL. Spring Training Camp for Baseball

Question #3 – Are we giving ample opportunity for leaders to lead? Are we giving emerging leaders opportunity to lead?

You have to give assignments that people will be stretched and will probably not succeed at. We wear out the heavy hitters and fail to give opportunities for emerging leaders.

  1. Measure it – You can get good at developing leaders. A shortage of leaders is every organizations challenge. What gets measured gets done!

Question #4 – “ Do you have a way to evaluate to metrics of your culture?”

How many leaders are ready for the next level in your organization? This question should guide an annual leadership talent review.

  1. 5. Model It – People do what people see!

Question #5 – “Do our current leaders model the leadership behaviors of our organization?”

How we learn 89% IS VISUAL – Stanford research.

To many leaders tell the vision, too few leaders show the vision!

  1. BONUS – SELL IT – Budget training! Where does your time and money go? You must become passionate about developing people. INVEST!! FREE does not make changes in people and organizations! How great do you want your organization become? How long do you want this organization to exist?


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Music: “Gratitude Mood” by David Arivett. You can learn more about his music by clicking on his name. THANKS DAVID!



My Reason For Waking Up Every Day

“Nobody knows what they’re going to do with their *entire life.* Nobody… Having one giant purpose that you strive toward forever isn’t the goal. What is? An ikigai. A current aim. A reason to get out of bed in the morning. Retirement is a broken concept. It is based on three assumptions that aren’t true: that we enjoy doing nothing instead of being productive, that we can afford to live well while earning no money for decades, and that we can afford to pay others to earn no money for decades.” ~ Neil Pasricha – The Happiness Equation.

In North America while we think of retirement as a golden age of putting greens, staring at the clouds, and cottage decks. Guess what they call retirement in Okinawa? They don’t! There is no word for retirement for Okinawan’s. But there is a word that drives this culture – Ikigai (Icky-guy). It is the reason that I get out of bed everyday. It is the one thing that drives you the most at this stage of life. Okinawans live longer than most other cultures. They out live Americans by 7 heathy years!

Otto von Bismarck instituted mandatory retirement at age 65 in Germany in 1889. He wanted to free up jobs for younger people and guess what the average life expectancy was at that time? 67. Then, in the 20th century, other countries started instituting a mandatory retirement at the arbitrary age of 65 and—get this—marketing gurus spent a ton of money CONVINCING us that leisure was awesome, work was awful, and, well, here we are.

Issac Newton’s first Law of Physics says that a body in motion tends to stay in motion until acted upon by a larger force. Here is a daily principle to learn, “It’s easier to act yourself into a new way of thinking than to think yourself into a new way of acting.” Now go forward. Live out your Ikigai today!

Turning PRO (New York: Black Irish Entertainment LLC, 2012)

“The thesis of this book is that what ails you and me has nothing to do with being sick or being wrong. What ails us is that we are living our lives as amateurs. The solution, this book suggests, is that we turn pro.”

Steven Pressfield suggests that Turning Pro is free, but it demands sacrifice. The author suggests that turning pro is not for everyone. He states that we have to be a little crazy to do it or even desire to chase after it. In may ways we do not chose to turn pro – it instead choses us.

What do we get by turning pro? we find our power. We find our will and voice, and we find our self-respect. We become who we always were but had, until now, been afraid to embrace it and to live it out. Do you remember where you were on 9/11? you will remember when you make the choice to turn pro.

The author suggests that many people are working and living in shadow jobs and careers. We do it because we have learned to provide money that in turn pays for the things of life. However, the passion is missing, because this is not who we saw ourselves becoming. We are either living in the past or dreaming of the future, while failing utterly to do the work necessary to progress our life’s purpose in the present.

Something that is boring goes nowhere! It travels in  a circle. It never arrives at any destination. The repetitive nature of the shadow life and of addictions is what makes both so tedious. No traction is ever gained. No progress is ever made. We’re stuck in the same endlessly repeating loop of life.

All addictions according to the author have two primary qualities:

  1. They embody repetition without progress.
  2. They produce incapacity as a payoff.

When you fail you are off the hook to perform…”I tried, but…..I am glad that is over so that i can get back to normal!”

This book is a must read if you desire to accept the challenge of taking your life and goals to the next level. join me as we Turn PRO!

SA Leadership Podcast Episode #160

21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership


The Law of Timing

When To Lead Is As Important As What to Do and Where To Go. Every time a Leader makes a move, there are really only four outcomes.

1.The Wrong Action At The Wrong Time Leads To Disaster. You will experience negative repercussions every time.

2.The Right Action At The Wrong Time Brings Resistance.

3.The Wrong Action At The Right Time Is A Mistake.

4.The Right Action At The Right Time Results In Success.

Good Leadership timing requires a number of factors:

  • Understanding – having a grasp of the situation
  • Maturity – This needs no explanation
  • Confidence – Be confident in God’s calling and leading in your life for others to follow you with confidence
  • Experience – Wisdom is a byproduct, you will have a difficult time leading without it

The Law of Explosive Growth

To Add Growth, Lead Followers To Multiply, Lead Leaders

Becoming a leader who develops leaders requires an entirely different focus and attitude from simply attracting and leading followers. It takes a different mind-set. If you develop yourself, you can experience personal success. If our develop your team, your organization can experience growth. If you develop leaders, your organization can achieve explosive growth.

A Different Focus….

Leaders Who Attract Followers Need To Be Needed

Leaders Who Develop Leaders Want To Be Succeeded


Leaders Who Attract Followers Develop The Bottom 20%

Leaders Who Develop Leaders Develop The Top 20%


Leaders Who Attract Followers Focus on Weaknesses

Leaders Who Develop Leaders Focus on Strengths


Leaders Who Attract Followers Treat Everyone The Same

Leaders Who Attract Leaders Treat Individuals Differently


Leaders Who Attract Followers Spend Time With Others

Leaders Who Attract Leaders Invest Time With Others


Leaders Who Attract Followers Grow By Addition

Leaders Who Attract Leaders Grow By Multiplication


Leaders Who Attract Followers Impact Only People They Touch

Leaders Who Develop Leaders Impact People Beyond Their Reach

Leadership development compounds. The more you invest in people, the greater the growth and the higher the return!

The Law of Legacy

A Leaders Lasting Value Is Measured by Succession

What is your life sentence? I have adopted this one; I want to make a difference with people who make a difference! This mantra came into focus as I began to understand that most people do not lead their lives, they simply accept their lives and call it FATE! You have to be intentional in developing your leadership legacy.

Know The Legacy You Want To Leave Behind – Your life is a book. The Title is your name. The Preface is your introduction to the world. The pages are daily journal entries of your activity.

Live The Legacy You Want To Leave – In order to leave something behind, you must first live your legacy

Choose Who Will Carry your Legacy – succession is one of the key responsibilities of leadership(Max Dupree). Great organizations will function well beyond you!

Make Sure You Pass The Baton – any person can make an organization shine for a moment. Leaders who leave a legacy take a different approach. Elton Trueblood stated; “We have made a least a start in discovering the meaning in human life, when we plant shade trees under which we know full well we will never sit.”


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Music: “Gratitude Mood” by David Arivett. You can learn more about his music by clicking on his name. THANKS DAVID!


Your Prior Best – Your New Normal

Establishing A New Baseline

In my previous blog post I wrote about what a World Class Training Camp might like for you. Here’s one way Josh Waitzkin tells us we can go about doing that.

Think about you at your absolute best. And make that your new baseline.

In The Art of Learning, Josh tells us about his quest to be the best Tai Chi Push Hands martial artist in the world. His training videos are inspiring to say the least. He’d film his sparring sessions, reviewing moments when he performed a new move that was better than something he had done before. He’d study it in the finest detail until he figured out how to make that prior best his new baseline — discovering little things like the fact that his opponent was vulnerable at the moment he was blinking.

Think about the most recent film of your life – TODAY! Stop for a moment and journal your thoughts about…

Eating: __________________________________________

Exercise: ________________________________________

Sleeping: ______________________________________

Focusing: _____________________________________

Self-Talking: __________________________________

Relating: _____________________________________

What comes to mind when you think about your daily activity? Journal your thoughts and start here as the new normal of your life. Now you know what to improve!

SA Leadership Podcast Episode #159

21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership


The Law of The Big MO

Momentum Is A Leaders Best Friend

Why is momentum a leaders best friend? Many times momentum is the only thing that makes the difference between losing and winning. When you have no momentum, even the simplest tasks seem impossible. Small problems look insurmountable. Morale is low. The future appears dark.

On the other hand when you have momentum on your side, the future looks bright, obstacles seem small, and troubles seem inconsequential. Here are seven (7) insights about momentum.

Momentum Is The Great Exaggerator

We see this in the sports world many times. It seems when momentum shows up, every shot is made and every obstacle is conquered. In this sense momentum is like a magnifying glass, it makes things seem larger than they really are.

Momentum Makes Leaders Look Better Than They Are

When leaders have momentum on their side, people think they are geniuses. They look past their shortcomings. They forget the mistakes the leader made. Momentum changes everyone’s perspective of a leader. People like associating with a winner.

Momentum Helps Followers Perform Better Than They Are

Average people can perform far above average in an organization with great momentum. When leadership is strong and there is momentum in an organization, people are motivated and inspired to perform at higher levels.

Momentum Is Easier To Steer Than To Start

If you have ever been water-skiing, you know that it is harder to get up on the water than to steer once you are up on top. Getting started is a struggle, once you are moving you can do some amazing things.

Momentum Begins Inside The Leader

It has been said that you cannot kindle a fire in any other heart until it burns within yours. People do what people see! If you are not sold on the idea, no will follow.

Momentum Is The Most Powerful Change Agent

It takes a leader to create momentum! The story of Steve Jobs buying the computer graphics division from Lucasfilm Ltd and renamed Pixar – well the rest is history.

Momentum Is The Leaders Responsibility

It takes a leader to create momentum. Followers can catch it. Management can use it to their benefit. Everyone reaps the benefits. Creating momentum starts with a visionary leader. If th

The Law of Priorities

Leaders Understand That Activity Is Not Necessarily Accomplishment

Stephen Covey once exclaimed, “A leaders is the one who climbs the tallest tree, surveys the entire situation and yells, ‘Wrong jungle!’” There are times that you must evaluate and re-prioritize the direction of your life. John Maxwell gives us a three step process of evaluation.

What is Required?

The key question is, “What must I do that no one else can do for me?” If we are doing something that is not necessary, then get rid of it. As you get older your list of things that only you can do should be getting shorter.

What Gives The Greatest Return?

People are more productive and more content when their work is within their natural gifting and strengths. Ideally leadership should get out of their comfort zone and stay in their strength zone.

What Brings The Greatest Reward?

Tim Redmond of the Leadership Institute stated “There are many things that catch my eye, but there are only a few things that will catch my heart.” Life is too short to do things that you do not love or enjoy.

The Law of Sacrifice

A Leader Must Give Up To Go Up

He are four key things to understand about the Law of Sacrifice.

There Is No Success Without Sacrifice

Every person who has ever obtained success in life has made great sacrifice. Ralph Waldo Emerson stated, “For everything you have missed, you have gained something else and for everything you have gained, you lose something.” Life is a series of trade-offs, one thing for another.

Leaders Are Often Asked To Give Up More Than Others

The heart of leadership is putting others ahead of yourself. It’s doing what is best for the team. It has been said that becoming a leader, you lose the right to think about yourself.

You Must Keep Giving Up To Stay Up

If leaders must give up to go up, then they have to give up even more to stay up. Sacrifice is an ongoing process, not a one-time payment. Many times we assume that if we win big once, we can duplicate that win over again.

The Higher The Level of Leadership The Greater The Sacrifice

Think about an auction. The higher the bid the fewer the people that are willing to pay. Think about the highest position of leadership in our nation – the Office of President. Have you considered the sacrifice to be in that office?


Shepherds Advantage Leadership Podcast is now on iTunes – SUBSCRIBE

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FREE GIFT – “The Art of Balancing Candor With Care” – Click on the icon at the bottom of the page

Executive Coaching Service– Private message me for details on this customizable service

Music: “Gratitude Mood” by David Arivett. You can learn more about his music by clicking on his name. THANKS DAVID!


World Champion Training Camp

What Would Your World Look Like If That Was The Standard?

Do you remember the movie, Searching For Bobby Fisher that featured a young prodigy? Josh Waitzkin was that young kid. He conquered the chess world as a kid, but ran into a major defeat at the world championships years later. It was this loose that taught him the most about loving the game or performing for others. Josh would turn his focus to Tai-Chi and has since become a world class champion in this field. He has written about this learning experience in his best-selling book, “The Art of Learning; An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance.” On his web site he offers personal coaching, one-on-one. He suggests that you need not apply if you are unwilling to step into a world class training camp.

Think about this statement for a moment; World Class Training Camp! What if you decided to step into a world class training camp for yourself? What would it look like? To start with with you need to decide if you only want to become DECENT or GOOD or GREAT or AMONG THE BEST, or THE BEST at what you do! If you only desire to become DECENT at your life, you probably could sit on a couch and eat Cheetos for a month or so after having lost your job. But if you desire to become the Best Version of YOU, then you keep moving forward to a goal of becoming the BEST version of yourself as the Almighty Creator has made you, in spite of your loss. In order to go where God has ordered your steps, you cannot stay where you are, you must leave something behind. What are you willing to stop doing in order to start your World Champion Training Camp?

Leadership Axiom: Know thyself in order to grow thyself. Self-awareness is a key step forward into your world class training. Executive Coaching is essential in this journey.


The Heart of Leadership – Becoming A Leader People Want to Follow (San Fransico: Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc, 2013)

This book is filled with awesome quotes. Here is a sample of gems:

  • There is a lot more to leadership than great individual work.
  • You can lead with or without a title. If you wait until you get a title, you could wait forever.
  • If you don’t demonstrate leadership character, your skills and your results will be discounted, if not dismissed.
  • The servant leader constantly works to help others win.
  • Leadership character, like other character traits, once established, is hard to hide.

This is only a sampling of awesome content. The heart of the book is about leadership character. there are three insights into this fact.

  • Without leadership character, no one cares about your skills.
  • There are five core traits that describe leadership character.
    • H unger for Wisdom
    • E xpect the Best
    • A ccept Responsibility
    • R espond with Courage
    • T hink Others First
  • Leadership character can be formed and transformed.

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