Posts By: Craig Wagganer

Leadership Or leader?

DSN9118-2-MLeadership is never about the leader.

Bold statement but give it a think…

I was listening to some leadership seminars and they seemed to have a common theme – how important leaders are. I was, at first, uneasy with this. But the dissatisfaction grew. As I wrestled I couldn’t quite put my finger on where my ill feelings were coming from. After a while, and the speakers’ repetitions, I came to a realization. Leadership is important, but the leader?

I have seen it over and over again. Leaders who lead by their example. Their cause or purpose is the issue. They’re never about being in front or in charge; it’s always about the duty, the purpose, the cause.

Yesterday I was at a restaurant enjoying lunch with a friend. It was not particularly busy and so the employees were busy doing a lot of other things, as well as attending to the cliental. One person was the manager but, by observation, it wasn’t clear who it was. No distinguishing uniform or nametag.  They were all going about the business of the restaurant with no observable hierarchy.

This went on until a problem arose. When a dissatisfied customer began complaining it became clear who was in charge. The manager (leader) appropriately stepped in; took charge and responsibility. They handled the situation and the problem was solved. Everyone was happy and all went back to their duties. It was clear that this manager was about leadership, not just being the leader.

When leadership trumps the leader then the purpose is served.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

The Good News of Next To

DSN9158-2-LReading through the book of Nehemiah I came across one of those chapters easily skimmed through. It’s chapter 3 that has a list of names of people who are rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. It lists the names and their responsibilities in the reconstruction effort.

It’s not really a fascinating chapter until you notice a few words that become repetitious; “next to them” and “after him.” Here is a list of people recognized by name, or family, or hometown, or tribe. After each identifier is named the section of the wall, or work, for which each is responsible.

The fascinating part is that each group is connected to the next group by either the phrase “next to them,” or after him.”

This is a great picture of the people of God. Each given different and specific ministries; with various gifts, talents and abilities to accomplish the tasks. But the picture is never about individuals, it is about the body. We are standing next to each other. We are side by side. We are connected. We form an unbroken chain of love, joy, peace, patience kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Church is where we find community; being ‘next to’ and ‘after’. The unbroken chain is not arm in arm, but rather hearts welded together in the love and unity of the Father who planned it and the Son who purchased it. I love being next to you.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

Idea Starters

“If at first you don’t succeed, find out if the loser gets anything.”
William Lyon Phelps
It’s always about the effort/reward ratio. CSW

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“Never put a sock in a toaster.”
Eddie Izzard
Some lessons must be learned the hard way. CSW

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“I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”
Will Rogers
This quote is definitely dated. Organization requires careful thought and contemplation; it now applies to all political parties. CSW

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“The superfluous, a very necessary thing.”
Voltaire
The superfluous must exist so as to define the fluous” CSW

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“If at first you don’t succeed… so much for skydiving.”
Henny Youngman
Some lessons learned the hard way can’t be repeated. CSW

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

CSW

CSW

Presentation Stress

DSN9118-2-MI’ve been asked to give the keynote address at a convention of long-term care providers. The presentation is about a month away and I’ve begun doing some research. The subject matter is stress.

Researching what stress is, what are the causes, and remedies has been eye-opening. It seems there are a lot of definitions, a lot of causes and even more cures. Which made me wonder, why so much stress if there are so many solutions?

Then I noticed something about the solutions… seemed like everyone who wrote about managing stress had at least 8 things to do, some as many as 15! I thought, “How upsetting, when feeling stressed I need to remember all these things and then have time to do them.” It increased my stress level.

It also seems like most of the things I should do to relieve stress would only get my mind off it for a while. They were more distractions that remedies. The stress would still be there after I returned from my short emotional vacation. Maybe I would be better calmed and able to handle the stress better, but it really wouldn’t solve anything, just delay facing the issues.

That’s when I realized that the best way to handle stress is to face it. It’s true that there are things you can do to help relieve stressful feelings. But if there is a particularly stressful circumstance you are facing, then deal with it quickly and directly, don’t practice some avoidance technique that will ease your situation for a moment but then allow the stress to return full force when necessary to readdress the issue.

Researching for this address has already been a learning and beneficial experience. I look forward to the presentation and will provide real solutions beyond coping mechanisms.

Leaders face stress. We all do. Part of the leadership test is handling stress in way that not only manages the circumstances effectively and positively, but also provides an example for others to follow.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

Idea Starters

“I wanna make a jigsaw puzzle that’s 40,000 pieces. And when you finish it, it says ‘go outside.’”
Demetri Martin
How about doing a smaller jigsaw puzzle on the patio? CSW

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“Housework can’t kill you, but why take a chance?”
Phyllis Diller
Some risks are worth taking, other seem unnecessary.”

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“I have tried to know absolutely nothing about a great many things, and I have succeeded fairly well.”
Robert Benchley
Celebrate success no matter how unworthy. CSW

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“I’ve always wanted to go to Switzerland to see what the army does with those wee red knives.
Billy Connolly
And they come in different sizes. Are the big ones for officers, or the little ones? CSW

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“Cure for an obsession: get another one.”
Mason Cooley
A preoccupation with obsessions is fixating. CSW

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

CSW

CSW