"Proverbial" thoughts on leadership.

[excerpt from my newest book – in final publishing stages:  Driving Change dIFFERENTLY with a Serving Leader Attitude.]

The saying “practice makes perfect” is not exactly correct. Actually, it’s “perfect practice that makes ‘perfect.’”

When I think of practice, I think of the Olympics as the quintessential representation of the commitment to the thousands of hours needed for those athletes to perfect a skill. Especially in gymnastics where virtuosity counts for so much in the routines: virtuosity is that quality of execution that evokes the observation that “I’ve seen that done a hundred times, but never so effortlessly and with such great precision.” Passion fuels the engine of commitment to persist in practicing over and over again until the skill becomes part of the soul of the performer. The technical ability is woven into the pastPASSIONfabric of the performance despite the many mistakes that produced the kind of learning needed to conquer.

The past can damage passion as illustrated.  If your past looks like this to you, then, Read the rest of this entry »


This Little Light of Mine

A Proverb

Eyes lifted high (haughtiness) and a proud heart is sin and is the lamp of the sinful..1

A Thought

This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine!

To Ponder

I have been struck by the two chapel services I’ve had the privilege to experience at Corban University this past week.  What an exercise in humble worship both times. And very different forms of worship each time.  Perhaps the best way to describe those experiences is by pointing to this proverb which is polar opposite of the leaders who facilitated our opportunity to experience God. Unlike the proud heart that is filled with the darkness of preening pride, the workshop team and the campus pastor led students, faculty and staff to “lift our eyes high” in worship of the living God. They led in ways that allowed us to “turn [our] eyes on Jesus, look full into his wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.”2 Leadership shows up in often unexpected ways and we all want to be led by leaders who inspire us.

Goffee and Jones had asked a question several years ago (“Why Should Anyone Be Lead by You?” ) and published the results of their ten-year study in the Sept-Oct 2000 HBR, They discovered four “unexpected” traits of “inspirational” leaders and the first is that these kinds of leaders “reveal their weaknesses.”

In each chapel service “revealing” set the tone. Proud people would shun away from that kind of leading. The only “light” for their path is themselves. No one else can do it better, think in through better or explain it better. It is all about them. As Coffee and Jones point out, people who try to communicate that “there will be no need for anyone to help them with anything…. signal that they can do it themselves.”

That is not leading: preening, maybe. Leading no! Vision is needed. Sense of command is important. Passion. Strategic thinking vital. But as important as these traits are to leaders, they will fail to lead if they try to from a position of pride.

No matter where we are and no matter what we do, we lead. As students, parents, chapel worship team members, professors, as study group members, as friends, each role offers an opportunity to lead. Leading – or just plain living – can best be accomplished with a light that clearly illuminates the path. Those who choose self are limited in their light.

Those who chose God, as revealed in Christ, have the “light of the world.”  This light attracts. This light, when shining through us, illuminates all who fall under its beams.

Who is your light source?

Copyright ® 2012 by P. Griffith Lindell


1.Proverbs 21:4

2. Helen H. Lemmel’s beautiful hymn

A ProverbIs your anchor set?

When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.(2)

Some Thoughts

It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.

St. Francis of Assisi

Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.

Margaret Thatcher

Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.

William Faulkner

To Ponder

The attitude for becoming an effective serving-leader includes three principles:

1)  Being self-aware;

2)  Having the ability to understand the traits of the team and adapt the communication and productivity approaches to best fit those styles; and, Read the rest of this entry »


A Proverb

“[A good leader] will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.[i]Knowing the right path

Some Thoughts

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.[ii]

Peter Drucker

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office[iii].

Dwight D. Eisenhower

 To Ponder

The acquiring of wisdom for leadership is a journey, not an event. The journey is not only revealing about “self” but also about the shape and expression of a leader’s ethics. Our progress in life is a result Read the rest of this entry »


A Proverb

The prudent understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves.[1]

Some Ancient Thoughts

Leaders must feel shame when “their words are better than their deeds”[2]

Exemplary persons first accomplish what they are going to say, then they say it.”[3]

To Ponder

Understanding your target audience is both a good marketing principle and a good writing guideline. Mine, for these leadership blogs, is for in one word – Christians – but not religious people.

I draw a distinction. Committed followers of Christ understand where they are going; religious people often deceive themselves.

It is that later group to whom Jesus was speaking in the Sermon on the Mount[4] when He made some startling comments. Read the rest of this entry »


A Proverb

“You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (1)TRUTH. Are you really free?

Some Thoughts

If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor. (2)

Reason is the natural order of truth; but imagination is the organ of meaning. (3)

To Ponder

Committed, serving leaders have a personal set of moral imperatives (what is) and Read the rest of this entry »


A Proverb

Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.(1)Words have power


Speech is the mirror of the soul; as a man speaks, so he is. (2)

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. (3)

To Ponder

This political season, we have seen the impact of words, especially in our “politically correct” culture.  The core of truth behind that facade of “correctness” is that our words, written or Read the rest of this entry »


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