Last week my Father-in-law, Andy, passed away. I plan to reflect a little more on his passing in a future post, but for today I want to take a different approach.
Over the course of the past year our family has walked an interesting path. Andy was diagnosed with Stage 4 Esophagus and Stomach cancer, and the outlook wasn’t positive. He chose to try chemo, so my wife spent a considerable amount of time helping take care of him over the past 12 months.
As I slow down this week to reflect on the past 12 months, one thought rises above the rest: Support Counts.
We have a wonderful church family who has supported us through the journey. They offered to help lighten my load while my wife was gone. They encouraged my wife. They have walked alongside us through it.
At the end of the day, their support meant the world to our family.
The leadership lesson here is two-fold:
So, what relationship can you build on today to help provide support? To whom do you need to reach out and offer some support? Be an encouragement today!
“I accidentally lost 50 pounds this year!”
“I accidentally read 20 books this month!”
“I accidentally lead our church to grow by 300%!”
There are some things we will never hear. Accidents happen, but rarely do accidents happen for the positive. People unknowingly gain weight, but only occassionally does anyone lose significant weight without any thought put into it (unless it’s a stomach bug, in which the thought is “I wish I were dead.”)
I’ve been listening to Dave Ramsey lately. His realm of influence is money. He wants his listeners to get out of debt and to live lives of generosity. One of his keys pieces of advice is to stop wondering where your money went and tell it where to go with a zero sum budget. He encourages his listeners to be intentional with their money, and the stories of people whose lives are changed are remarkable.
Leadership is the same way. Leadership rarely happens by accident. Let me rephrase that. Great leadership rarely happens by accident.
In fact, if you were to truly study the most influential leaders you know (whether it be ministry, thought, electronics, etc.), I truly believe there will be one constant in each of their lives: intentionality.
Intentionality in leadership takes many shapes and many forms, but the simplest beginning is this: deciding how you are going to be intentional. We can all say we are going to do something, but until we decide how we are going to do it, it won’t happen.
Diets are the same. “I’m not going to each as much” pales in comparison to “I’m going to do the Keto diet.” When we give our intentions boundaries, we move in the direction of progress.
Today I want you to fill in the blanks for this statement: I am going to intentionally ___________ today by (doing) ____________.
Now, follow through with it!
I have been blogging for almost 2 full years. First of all, let me say that if you’re hanging in there with me, thank you so much. I cannot describe how much it means to me to have people who click to read my incoherent ramblings.
My goal in starting this blog was to help you grow as a leader. Sometimes, that growth comes in growing and developing others around you (student leaders, in my case). Sometimes, that growth comes when you expand your own leadership influence. But, in the end, every keystroke I make is intended to help you grow.
So, once again, thank you for joining me.
Now, I’m going to get a little numbers nerdy.
In 2017, when I started my blog, I wrote a total of 28,010 words. Take Time to Say Thank You registered the most views. And August was my most viewed month, averaging 14 views per day.
In 2018 I wrote a total of around 32,750 (depending on the final word count of this post). 3 Fundraising Tips registered the most views. And November was my most viewed month, averaging 10 views per day.
Because the “view” stats can be superficially inflated (redesigning my site registers as views), I usually measure visitors instead. In 2018, I surpassed my 2017 visitor number in early November, so more people are at least clicking.
Facebook is my biggest traffic driver. Because of this, if you haven’t liked 3QL on Facebook, you can click here and do that right now! Also, if you ever read a post that is helpful to you, please share it.
Email subscribes have gone up 25% in 2018. I know everyone processes content differently, but email is the most consistent way to make sure you receive the 3QL posts. Every Tuesday and Thursday, the email goes out at 10am Central with a new post for the day.
Finally, one last thing. Of course I want 3QL to reach more people in 2019. Of course, I would love to surpass my 2018 visitor total in the summer of 2019. But the truth of the matter is this: I will continue what I’m doing for one person that engages. I intend to grow as a leader and I want you to do the same. Along the way, if other people join us, that’s great. But for now, let’s expand our leadership influence.
I’m going to take a couple weeks off and will pick back up in January 2019. I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
But, if you have the time, I invite you to read this post–one that seemed to resonate with a large number of people, and a message I think still applies well.
Oh, and if you have the time, take some time to admire nature, and here’s a video to help.
I hope you have a great day today, and thanks for joining me on this journey.
A few weeks ago I had the honor of speaking with a group of student leaders. Their leader is someone I respect, and I was grateful for the opportunity in and of itself.
Then, I was blown out of the water. About a week later, I got a handwritten note in the mail. The note immediately went up on my bulletin board as a reminder of being appreciated.
So, this week, let’s talk about writing notes. Here are 3 reasons to hand write a note today and make someone’s life a little brighter:
Snail mail is the new personal touch. Think about it: who doesn’t love getting something in the mail that is not a bill or a credit card offer? I love getting mail that is hand addressed to me because it’s usually someone who took time on me!
I see this with my kids. My girls LOVE getting cards in the mail. One of them even pouts when someone else gets something and she doesn’t. And honestly, I do too!
My handwritten thank you note went on my bulletin board not for people to see when they come in, but because it’s something I love seeing and remembering. I feel valued every time I look at it. I have thank you notes from graduates that will not get thrown away (especially ones with a personal touch), because a handwritten notes communicates value.
A few weeks ago my oldest daughter forgot her lunch. We have a rule that if she forgets her lunch, she has to deal with the consequences, but I decided to make an exception that day. So, I wrote a note, put it in her lunch box, and dropped it off at school for her. A few days later, I put a note in my youngest’s lunch box. I don’t remember a follow up conversation with either.
Last night, however, my wife told me our youngest told her she wants notes in her lunch box, that it was special and made her feel good.
If I can take a few moments to surprise my child with a note, why wouldn’t I do that? At the same time, if you take time today to write a note of some sort, what’s the most you have to lose?
So, there you go. Today’s challenge is to simply hand write a note to someone. Tell them thanks, or that you’re thinking about them, or wishing them luck.
Grab a stamp and make a difference today!