Leadership Attribute – #16

Responsibility:  If You Won’t Carry The Ball, You Can’t Lead The Team

A leader can give up anything – except final responsibility.
– John C. Maxwell

Today, people focus more on their rights than on their responsibilities.   Good leaders never embrace a victim mentality.  They recognize that who and where they are remain their responsibility – not that of their parents, their spouses, their children, the government, their bosses, or their coworkers.  They face whatever life throws at them and give it their best, knowing that they will get an opportunity to lead the team only if they’ve proved that they can carry the ball.  Take a look at the following characteristics of people who embrace responsibility:

  • They Get the Job Done – In a study of self-made millionaires, one thing they all had in common:  they work hard.  No one can do the minimum and reach his / her maximum potential.  How do people maintain a get-it-done attitude?  They think of themselves as self-employed.  If you want to achieve more and build your credibility with followers, adopt that mind-set. 
  • They Are Willing to Go the Extra Mile – Responsible people never protest, “That’s not my job.”  They’re willing to do whatever it takes to complete the work needed by the organization. If you want to succeed, be willing to put the organization ahead of your agenda.
  • They Are Driven by Excellence – Excellence is a great motivator.  People who desire excellence- and work hard to achieve it- are almost always responsible.  And when they give their all, they live at peace.  Make high quality your goal, and responsibility will naturally follow.
  • They Produce Regardless of the Situation – The ultimate quality of a responsible person is the ability to finish.  It is priceless to find a person who will take responsibility, who will finish and follow through to the final detail – to know when someone has accepted an assignment that it will be effectively, conscientiously completed.”  If you want to lead, you’ve got to produce.


Are you on target when it comes to responsibility?  Do others see you as a finisher?  Do people look to you to carry the ball in pressure situations?  Are you known for excellence?  If you haven’t been performing at the highest level, you may need to cultivate a stronger sense of responsibility.

Action Steps

To improve your responsibility, do the following:

  • Keep Hanging In There – Sometimes an inability to deliver despite difficult circumstances can be due to a persistence problem.  The next time you find yourself in a situation where you’re going to miss a deadline, lose a deal, or fail to get a program off the ground, stop and figure out how to succeed.  Think outside the lines.  Can you work through the night?  Can you call a colleague to help you?  Can you hire a staff member or find a volunteer to help?  Creativity can bring responsibility to life.
  •  Admit What’s Not Good Enough – If you have trouble achieving excellence, maybe you’ve lowered your standards.  Look at your personal life for place where you’ve let things slip.  Then make changes to set higher standards.  It will help you to reset the bar of excellence for yourself. 
  • Find Better Tools – If you find that your standards are high, your attitude is good, and you consistently work hard – and you still don’t achieve the way you’d like – get better equipped.  Improve your skills by taking classes, reading books, and listening to tapes.  Find a mentor.  Do whatever it takes to become better at what you do.

Take Away

In inmate at Butte County Jail in California explained his absence from jail to sheriff’s deputies in this manner:  “I was playing pole vault and I got too close to the wall and I fell over the wall.  When I regained my senses, I ran around to try and find a way back in, but being unfamiliar with the area, got lost.  Next thing I knew I was in Chico.”  People seldom realize how weak their excuses are until they hear some from others.

If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. (Galatians 6:3-5)

Fleece Blanket Servolution Project

On Saturday, August 28, about a dozen folks got together to make fleece blankets for the nursing home residents.  It was a great time of connecting as well as working on a project that will be such a blessing to the recipients.  Here are a few photos from the day.  After all the blankets were finished, a few of the girls went out and checked out the new equipment for Chelsey’s Park.  It was a great day!  Friends, fun, food & Jesus! 

Chelsey’s Park – Mitch Grandy Eagle Scout Project

On August 21, 2010, Boy Scout Troop 255 partnered with The Tree of Life Church and Kris Murphy to help build Chelsey’s Park as Mitch Grandy’s Eagle Scout Project.  It was a hot, hard day of work, but a huge success!  Thank you Troop 255 for all your hard work!  You Guys Rock!

A Light In The Darkness

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16

This morning I was awaken earlier than usual.  I think it was before 6:00 am, I’m not really sure if I looked at the clock or not, but it was still very dark outside.  I woke up because a light was on in the kitchen and it was causing light to spread into my bedroom.  Bobby had left the light on when he went to work.

It’s funny.  No other time of the day would I ever notice that light on in the kitchen from my bedroom, except in the black of night.  Any other time, the light would just blend in with all the other light around it.

But when everything else was black, boy, the light that came from the kitchen really lit up the house!

I started thinking about how important it is for us to be the light of Jesus in a dark and dying world.  I pray that for the boys’ every night before they go to sleep; that they will be Jesus’ light in their school.  And before I go to work, that I will be Jesus’ light to the people I encounter during my day.

It’s fun to hang out with my friends from church and I like nothing better than being in a room full of people who love Jesus, but honestly, they don’t need the light, they already have it. 

The darkness is where the light is needed …  ummmm … makes you think a bit doesn’t it? 

Father, it is so much easier to hang out in the light, but give me the courage and the strength to step out into the darkness Lord, so that Your light shines forth!

I Love You Jesus.
     In Your Name I Pray,

God’s Blessings Upon You!


The Choices You Make Today …
Will Affect Your Tomorrow!

Leadership Attributes – #15

Relationships:  If You Get Along, They’ll Go Along

The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.
– Theodore Roosevelt

The ability to work with people and develop relationships is absolutely indispensable to effective leadership.  People truly do want to go along with people they get along with.  And while someone can have people skills and not be a good leader, he cannot be a good leader without people skills.  What can a person do to manage and cultivate good relationships as a leader?  It requires three things:

  •  Have a Leader’s Head – Understand People – the first quality of a relational leader is the ability to understand how people think and feel.  As you work with the others, recognize that all people, whether leaders or followers, have some things in common.
  1. They want to feel special, so sincerely compliment them.
  2. They want a better tomorrow, so show them hope.
  3. They desire direction, so navigate for them.
  4. They are selfish, so speak to their needs first.
  5. They get low emotionally, so encourage them.
  6. They want success, so help them win.

Recognizing these truths, a leader must still be able to treat people as individuals.  The ability to look at each person, understand him, and connect with him is a major factor in relational success.  That means treating people differently, not all the same as one another.  This sensitivity can be called the soft factor in leadership.  You have to be able to adapt your leadership style to the person you’re leading.

  •  Have a Leader’s Heart – Love People – Being a leader is more than just wanting to lead.  Leaders have empathy for others and a keen ability to find the best in people … not the worst … by truly caring for others.  You cannot be a truly effective leader, the kind that people want to follow, unless you love people.
  • Extend a Leader’s Hand – Help People – People respect a leader who keeps their interests in mind.  If your focus is on what you can put into people rather than what you can get out of them, they’ll
    love and respect you – and these create a great foundation for building relationships.


How are your people skills?  Do you mix well with strangers?  Do you interact well with all kinds of people?  What about long-term interaction?  Are you able to sustain relationships?  If you relational skills are weak, your leadership will always suffer.

Action Steps

To improve your relationships, do the following:

  •  Improve your mind – If your ability to understand people needs improvement, jump-start it by reading several books on the subject.  Then spend more time observing people and talking to them to apply what you’ve learned.
  •  Strengthen your heart – If you’re not as caring toward others as you could be, you need to get the focus off yourself.  Make a list of little things you could do to add value to friends and colleagues.  Then try to do one of them every day.  Don’t wait until you feel like it to help others.  Act your way into feeling.
  • Repair a hurting relationship – Think of a valued long-term relationship that has faded.  Do what you can to rebuild it.  Get in touch with the person and try to reconnect.  If you had a falling out, take responsibility for your part in it, and apologize.  Try to better understand, love, and serve that person.

Take Away

In a short story titled “The Capitol of the World,” Nobel prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway tells about a father and a teenage son, Paco, whose relationship breaks down.  After the son runs away from home, the father begins a long journey in search of him.  Finally, as a last resort, the man puts an ad in the local newspaper in Madrid.  It reads, “Dear Paco, meet me in front of the newspaper office tomorrow at noon … all is forgiven … I love you.”  The next morning in front of the newspaper office were eight hundred men named Paco, desiring to restore a broken relationship.  Never underestimate the power of relationships on people’s lives.

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love makes up for many of your faults.  (1 Peter 4:8)

Leadership Attribute – #14

Problem Solving:  You Can’t Let Your Problems Be A Problem

You can measure a leader by the problems he tackles.  He always looks for ones his own size.
– John C. Maxwell


Effective leaders always rise to a challenge.  That’s one of the things that separates winners from whiners.  No matter what field a leader is in, he will face problems.  They are inevitable for three reasons.  First, we live in a world of growing complexity and diversity.  Second, we interact with people.  And third, we cannot control all the situations we face.  Leaders with good problem-solving ability demonstrate five qualities:

  • They Anticipate Problems – Since problems are inevitable, good leaders anticipate them.  Anyone who expects the road to be easy will continually find himself in trouble.  If you keep your attitude positive but plan for the worst, you’ll find yourself in a good position to solve problems that come your way.
  • They Accept The Truth – People respond to problems in these ways:  they refuse to accept them; they accept them and then put up with them; or they accept them and try to make things better.  Leaders must always do the latter.  No leader can simultaneously have his head in the sand and navigate his people through troubled waters.  Effective leaders face up to the reality of a situation.
  • They See The Big Picture – Leaders must continually see the big picture.  They cannot afford to be overwhelmed by emotion.  Nor can they allow themselves to get so bogged down in the details that they lose sight of what’s important. 
  • They Handle One Thing at a Time – The leaders who get into trouble most often are the ones who are overwhelmed by the sheer size or volume of their troubles and then dabble at problem solving.  If you’re faced with lots of problems, make sure you really solve the one you’re working on before moving on to the next one.
  •  They Don’t Give Up a Major Goal When They’re Down – Effective leaders understand the peak-to-peak principle.  They make major decisions when they are experiencing a positive swing in their leadership, not during the dark times. 


What you think means more than anything else in your life.  More than what you earn, more than where you live, more than your social position, and more than what anyone else may think about you.  Every problem introduces you to yourself.  It shows you how you think and what you’re made of.  

When you come face to face with a problem, how do you react?  Do you ignore it and hope it will go away?  Do you feel powerless to solve it?  Have you had such bad experiences trying to solve problems in the past that you’ve just given up?  Or do you tackle them willingly?  The ability to solve problems effectively comes from experience facing and overcoming obstacles.  Each time you solve another problem, you get a little better at the process.  But if you never try, fail or fail to try again, you’ll never be good at it.

Action Steps

To improve your problem solving, do the following:  

  •  Look for trouble – If you’ve been avoiding problems, go out looking for them.  You’ll only get better if you gain experience dealing with them.  Find situations that need fixing, come up with several viable solutions, and then take them to a leader with good problem-solving experience.  You’ll learn from his decisions how he thinks when handling difficulties.
  • Develop a method – Some people have a hard time solving problems because they don’t know how to tackle them.  Try using the TEACH process:
                        Time – spend time to discover the real issue.
                        Exposure – find out what others have done.
                        Assistance – have your team study all angles.
                        Creativity – brainstorm multiple solutions.
                        Hit it – implement the best solution.
  •  Surround yourself with problem solvers – If you aren’t a good problem solver, bring others onto your team who are.  They will immediately complement your weaknesses, and you will also learn from them.

Take Away

Never allow others to put obstacles in the pathway to your dreams.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)

White-Out For Life

I was at the bank the other day, and the girl messed up the paper that she was working on.  I asked her if it was serious and she laughed and said, “Nope, I’ll white it out.”  And the mistake was gone.  We laughed and I said, “Boy, wouldn’t it be nice if we could white-out parts of our life that easily?”

As I drove away, I started thinking, always the thinking.  We do have white-out for our life.  Jesus Christ.  God sent his son, to die for us, to wash away all our sins, all our mistakes.

David tells us,  As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.  (Psalm 103:12)

Isaiah confirms the white-out concept, Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord;  Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.  (Isaiah 1:18)  

And John brings it all home, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (I John 1:9) 

I don’t want to live with the sins of my past staining my life, I am so thankful that I have a Savior who has cleansed me from it all – Jesus is my white-out!

Father, thank you for taking the junk of my life, for cleaning me up, and setting me on your path to life eternal with you. 

I Love You Jesus.
       In Your Name I Pray,

God’s Blessings Upon You!

The Choices You Make Today …
Will Affect Your Tomorrow!

Attributes of a Leader – #13

Positive Attitude:  If You Believe you Can, You Can

The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude of mind. 
– William James, Psychologist

If you look at the lives of people in any profession who achieve lasting success, you will find that they almost always possess a positive outlook on life.  If you desire to be an effective leader, having a positive attitude is essential.  It not only determines your level of contentment as a person, but it also has an impact on how others interact with you.  To learn more about what it means to be positive, think on these things:

  • Your Attitude Is A Choice – The average person wants to wait for someone else to motivate him.  He perceives that his circumstances are responsible for the way he thinks.  But which comes first – the attitude or the circumstances?  That’s really a chicken-or-the-egg kind of question.  The truth is that it doesn’t matter which came first.  No matter what happened to you yesterday, your attitude is your choice today. 
  • Your Attitude Determines Your Actions – The winner’s edge is not in a gifted birth, a high IQ, or in talent.  The winner’s edge is all in the attitude, not aptitude.  Attitude is the criterion for success.  Your attitude is crucial because it determines how you act.
  • Your People Are a Mirror of Your Attitude – Who you are is who you attract.  Our positive attitude and enthusiasm not only fuels us, but inspires the people we lead to keep pressing on.  If all we  have is enthusiasm, we have all we need to succeed!
  • Maintaining a Good Attitude is Easier Than Regaining One –  If you have a positive attitude, keep it up … if you have a difficult time expecting the best of yourself and others, don’t despair.  Because you choose your attitude, you can change it.


Most unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself rather than talking to yourself.  What kind of voices do you hear?  When you meet people, do you tell yourself they’ll let you down?  When you face new experiences, does a voice in your head say you’re going to fail?  If you’re hearing negative messages, you need to learn to give yourself positive mental pep talks.  The best way to retrain your attitude is to prevent your mind from going down any negative forks in the road.

Action Steps

To improve your attitude, do the following:

  • Feed yourself the right “food” – If you’ve been starved of anything positive, then you need to start feeding yourself a regular diet of motivational material.  Read books that encourage a positive attitude.  Listen to motivational tapes.  The more negative you are, the longer it will take to turn your attitude around.  But if you consume a steady diet of the right “food”, you can become a positive thinker.
  • Achieve a goal every day – Some people get into a rut of negativity because they feel they’re not making progress.  If that describes you, then begin setting achievable daily goals for yourself.  A pattern of positive achievement will help you develop a pattern of positive thinking.
  •  Write it on your wall – We all need reminders to help us keep thinking right.  As incentives, people put up awards they’ve won, inspirational posters, or letters they’ve received.  Find something that will work for you and put it on your wall.

Take Away

The mind is what elevates the best to the highest level.   The thing that separates good from great is mental attitude.  If the mind is strong, you can do almost anything you want.  Is your mind conditioned to win?

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 2:5)

Tree of Life Birthday Bash – August 8, 2010

On August 8th, The Tree of Life celebrated it’s 10 year anniversary.  A decade of sharing God’s love with the community!  It also happened to be Pastor Andrew’s birthday.  We enjoyed a great worship service, message and then birthday cake!  God has impacted so many lives in the past ten years, it will be so exciting to watch what He does the next ten!