Leaders Made Here (Oakland: Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc, 2017)

As the Executive Trainer for Chick-fil-A, Mark Miller tells us about some amazing leadership principles set within a story about a new CEO named Blake and Charles, an old trusted friend who attempt to create a strong leadership bench. You are grabbed at the outset by statements that all leaders S.E.R.V.E.;

See The Future

Engage and Develop Others

Reinvent Continuously

Value Results and Relationships

Embody the Values

The essence of the book is about establishing a Leadership Culture. In order for this to occur there must be an agreement on certain key ideas:

  • There must be an agreement on what leadership means
  • Offer varied instructional methods of equipping others
  • Realize the power of opportunity – allow people to lead early and often
  • Establish metrics that matters
  • Leaders must walk the talk

What is at stake if you chose to not follow through on the basics just mentioned? Consider that a majority of organizational leaders cannot articulate and agreed upon definition of what leadership is. Only a very small percentage of current leaders have attended a training program in the last 24 months. One-third of emerging leaders have confidence their organization is on track to make a difference in leadership development. Fewer leaders are even involved in an ongoing coaching relationship to improve themselves. Fewer leaders that are transitioning have confidence in their successors.

If there is to be a strong bench of quality leaders, a quality culture must be created and implemented.

4 Factors In Pursuing Your Dreams

1. God Factor – Your dream needs to be bigger than you – Are you praying for winners? My potential should be the floor of my dream and the rest of the room should be filled with the God factor. This is a journey of significance in which other people will be used. 
2. We are better the third time – Consistency compounds your return. You learn from each experience. You learn from movement – if you are not moving you are not learning or even in the game. Keep trying! Do you improve with evaluated experience?
3. Leadership Matters – Who you give stewardship of your dream to someone else matters.
4. Don’t get distracted – Have an unwavering focus! Keep chasing your dream and do not let others hold you down.

Make Your Life A Master Piece

7 Ingredients for 2018

2018 is waiting for the fullest expression of how God made you! Don’t keep us waiting to see the results!

Here are seven ingredients for making 2018 a huge success!

1. Peace of Mind. This is the first and ultimate ingredient. Peace of mind. It comes from living in integrity with our highest values, choosing our path, and confidently walking it. This needs to be our highest priority.

2. Health and Energy. We’re going to have a hard time maximizing our achievement if we have a hard time getting out of bed. Optimizing our health and energy is key.

3. Loving Relationships. A key attribute of an optimally functioning human is our ability to create and maintain great relationships. A key indicator of how we’re doing on that front? Laughter!

4. Financial Freedom. We don’t need to be set forever to be financially free, but we do need to get to a place where we have enough money so that we’re not constantly worried about it. Therefore, prioritizing this is wise.

5. Worthy Goals and Ideals. We’re not going to be happy without a clear sense of direction. “You need a commitment to something bigger and more important than yourself. You need to feel that your life stands for something, that you are somehow making a valuable contribution to your world.”

6. Self-Knowledge and Self-Awareness. Who are you? What’re your strengths, your weaknesses? What triggers you? What do you do when you’re on? When you’re off? Know thyself in order to grow thyself!

7. Personal Fulfillment. Our seventh ingredient is a sense that we’re actualizing our full potential—that we are becoming all that we are capable of becoming.


Got Excusits?

Is This Gland Inflamed?

Marcus Aurelius was reflecting over 2,000 years ago and stated: “Because a thing is difficult for you, do not therefore suppose it beyond mortal power. On the contrary, if anything is possible and proper for a man to do, assume that it must fall within your own capacity.” The Apostle Paul would add to this discussion by stating, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” 

Is there anyone, anywhere with my problem or limitation who has succeeded in spite of it? If the answer is YES, then your excuses are invalid! When one person overcomes their circumstances, others can overcome as well. Our problem at times is that our “EXCUSITIS GLAND gets inflamed and causes all sorts of problems for us. What? You have never heard about this gland? Let me look it up in my medical dictionary, yes, her it is…….. Excusitis is an inflammation of your excuse-making gland. WARNING: Fatal to success!

That should put a smile on your face! I did say that it was my medical dictionary! Remember, if it has been done, you can get it done! Stop making excuses as you prepare to enter 2018.

Integrity Is Not To Be Confused With Reputation

The circumstances amid which you live determine your reputationUnknown – The truth you believe determines your character… Unknown

Reputation is what you are supposed to be; Character is what you are…

Reputation is the photograph; character is the face…

Reputation comes over one from without; character grows up from within…

Reputation is what you have when you come into a new community; character is what you have when you go away…

Reputation is made in a moment; your character is built in a lifetime…

Your reputation is learned in an hour; your character does not come to light for a year…

Reputation grows like a mushroom; character lasts like eternity…

Reputation makes you rich or makes you poor; character makes you happy or makes you miserable…

Reputation is what men say about you on your tombstone; character is what angels say about you before the throne of God.

Essential Traits for Good Character


Success as a leader is built on the foundation of character


People of good character don’t mind accountability. In fact, they welcome it. The brutal truth is that we have blind spots and need other people to be in close to us so we can advance down the road of success. The need for accountability doesn’t prove lack of character. Rather, it proves the presence of character. G.K. Chesterton said, “Original sin is the only philosophy empirically validated by 3,500 years of human history.” The person of good character knows this and invites others to speak into their life.

Followers grow tired of leaders who will have nothing to do with accountability. They don’t mind leaders who make mistakes, but they do mind leaders who don’t take responsibility for their mistakes by being accountable. When we allow ourselves to be held accountable, our followers know that we are serious about keeping our own house in order, and thus will do a good job in leading the rest of the organization.

Does the Bible speak of Christian accountability? First of all, the Bible says that God holds us accountable. Romans 14:12 says, “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” This is personal accountability.

Christians are also accountable to one another. In 1 Corinthians chapter 12, we read that Christians are all part of the same body – the body of Christ – and each member needs or belongs to the other. This Scripture suggests the importance of strong accountability between Believers. It is important for every Believer to have at least one other person in which to confide, pray with, listen to, and encourage.

Essential Traits of Good Character



Success as a leader is built on the foundation of character

LOYALTY unknown

People of good character are loyal people. They have a “stick-to-it” attitude when it comes to others. Anybody who knows human nature knows that people fail. It’s just a matter of time, no matter how talented someone is. A person of good character stays with their friends even in the downtimes. Anyone can be a friend with others when times are good. People of good character stay with their friends when they need them most. How this translates into making you a good leader is this: People want to follow a leader who will stretch them beyond where they are now, but who’ll also allow them to try—and to fail. When we are loyal to our followers, they’ll be loyal to us and make every effort to succeed on our behalf and on behalf of the organization. There are few things that strengthen the leader-follower bond more than when a leader shows loyalty to a follower in need. (Jim Rohn)

Essentiel Traits of Good Character


Success as a leader is built on the foundation of character


Have you ever heard the old adage, “Honesty is the best policy!” May I suggest that when it comes to faith-based leadership that HONESTY is the only policy! When you take the adage at face value, what are the alternatives to honesty? Are there alternatives worthy of consideration? I suppose the answer to this question depends upon what you are attempting to build and whom you want to invite. honesty-is-an-expensive-gift-dont-expect-it-from-cheap-people-2

Let’s be clear, dishonesty destroys the trust your followers will give you. Even if you tell the truth and yet you have lied to others, people will not trust and they will not follow. Here is an axiom that trumps all others; “If you do not trust the leader you will not listen to the message!”

A quick cursory review of the “Benefits of Dishonesty” shows an article from the NY Times, 9/29/15 that says dishonesty gives short-term benefits. In a Forbes article, 10/24/05, discusses how lying is good for you. I could keep sighting such articles. I’ve never understood what people hope to accomplish by being dishonest. Eventually people come to know that you’re not honest in your dealings, and that is what you become known for. Your reputation is what your leadership is based on, though. When we’re honest and live transparently before our followers, they’re able to see us for who we are and make solid decisions to follow.

For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:10-12 ESV.

Essential Traits of Good Character


Significance Begins HERE

Success as a leader is built on the foundation of character


Integrity is a good catchword for character, but there are nuance’s that opens up a wider view of character. When you chase the etymological meaning of the word through the French and Latin origins you find this emphasis; “soundness, wholeness, completeness,” figuratively “purity, correctness, blamelessness”[1]. As you reflect upon this insight you realize that a life built upon Integrity is a life that is whole and undivided. There is a consistency about your leadership. You do not behave one way on an issue and then flip to the opposite end of thinking at a different time. You become trustworthy. People can count on your consistency of action and thinking.integrity

When you apply these words to the building trades, we say that a building has integrity. This means that a building is sound in structure and function otherwise we would say the building’s integrity has been compromised. The craftsmanship, materials, and codes have been met and exceeded. As non-profit faith-based leaders we desire to build into our leading INTEGRITY. After all it is not about my house, my program, my dreams or my passions.

May I remind you of ancient conversation; “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail.” (Matthew 16:18 ESV).

[1] http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=integrity. Accessed 13, October 2016.

Worthy Idea

Webster defines “ideal” as a standard of perfection, beauty or excellence; an ultimate object or aim of endeavor. A worthy ideal is more than a goal – it is that which inspires the soul to move onward and upward to a greater awareness of the sheer beauty and abundance of life – real life.

How do we develop this? What is the process to define our own personal worthy ideal?

The first step is to allow ourselves to be completely free, relaxed and quiet. Our minds need to be quieted from all the endless chatter it experiences throughout the day and night. Even in our sleep our minds are working.

Meditation is an age-old practice to quiet one’s mind. There are many ways to meditate – laying still, focusing on breathing, walking, sitting, standing, holding a yoga pose, soaking in a tub… the main ingredient is to be in a place of quietness and safety; a place where one can allow the mind to wander.

When this is achieved, the next step is to begin the creative process of imagining. What is that one thing you want to accomplish before you leave this world? What is that idea you have been thinking about since you were a child but were told it was impossible? What is that one idea that is so far out, so out of the norm, so “pie in the sky” that you have suppressed it and only dreamt of it as an unrealistic fantasy? Begin there.

Through visualization, become emotionally involved with your worthy ideal. Be one with this thought, this idea, this fantasy of yours. Make the decision to take time everyday to meditate on your worthy ideal. Commit this to paper – write out in full detail what this looks like, how you feel, who you are. Define your worthy ideal and refer to it frequently throughout the day.

Emotional attachment to your worthy ideal will energize you to change your behavior. As your behaviors change, your results change and your worthy ideal, your standard of perfection and ultimate object or aim of endeavor will become your reality.