Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wet Oatmeal Kisses
By: Erma Bombeck
taken from All Pro Dad

One of these days you’ll explode and shout to all the kids,
“Why don’t you just grow up and act your age!”
And they will…

Or, “You guys get outside and find something to do –
without hurting each other. And don’t slam the door!”
And they don’t.

You’ll straighten their bedrooms
until it’s all neat and tidy,
toys displayed on the shelf,
hangers in the closet, animals caged.
You’ll yell, “Now I want it to stay this way!”
And it will…

You will prepare a perfect dinner
with a salad that hasn’t had all the olives picked out
and a cake with no finger traces in the icing
and you’ll say, “Now this is a meal for company.”
And you will eat it alone…

You’ll yell, “I want complete privacy on the phone.
No screaming, Do you hear me?”
And no one will answer.

No more plastic tablecloths stained
No more dandelion bouquets.
No more iron-on patches.
No more wet, knotted shoelaces,
muddy boots or rubber bands for ponytails.

Imagine…. a lipstick with a point,
no babysitters for New Years Eve,
washing clothes only once a week,
no PTA meetings or silly school plays where your child is a tree,
no car pools, blaring stereos or forgotten lunch money.

No more Christmas presents made of library paste and toothpicks,
no wet oatmeal kisses,
no more tooth fairy,
no more giggles in the dark,
scraped knees to kiss or sticky fingers to clean
Only a voice asking, “Why don’t you grow up?”
And the silence echoes: “I did.”

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spotting a New Leader
Understanding the traits that can identify an effective leader.

The most gifted athletes rarely make good coaches. The best violinist will not necessarily make the best conductor. Nor will the best teacher necessarily make the best head of the department.

So it's critical to distinguish between the skill of performance and the skill of leading the performance, two entirely different skills.

It's also important to determine whether a person is capable of learning leadership. The natural leader will stand out. The trick is identifying those who are capable of learning leadership over time.

Here are several traits to help identify whether someone is capable of learning to lead.

1. Leadership in the past. The best predictor of the future is the past. When I was in business, I took note of any worker who told me he was superintendent of a Sunday school or a deacon in his church or a Boy Scout leader. If he showed leadership outside of the job, I wanted to find out if he had some leadership potential on the job.

2. The capacity to create or catch vision. When I talk to people about the future, I want their eyes to light up. I want them to ask the right questions about what I'm talking about. The founder of Jefferson Standard built a successful insurance company from scratch. He assembled some of the greatest insurance people by simply asking, "Why don't you come and help me build something great?"

A person who doesn't feel the thrill of challenge is not a potential leader.

3. A constructive spirit of discontent. Some people would call this criticism, but there's a big difference in being constructively discontent and being critical. If somebody says, "There's got to be a better way to do this," I see if there's leadership potential by asking, "Have you ever thought about what that better way might be?"

If he says no, he is being critical, not constructive.

But if he says yes, he's challenged by a constructive spirit of discontent. That's the unscratchable itch. It is always in the leader.

People locked in the status quo are not leaders. I ask of a potential leader, Does this person believe there is always a better way to do something?

Read more at Building Church Leaders