To Be "Great"


I hear a lot of people who express their desire to be successful. To have a position of leadership at work. To be "great." They have a vision of being at the top of the hill. Are we aiming at the wrong goal?

Legendary men's basketball coach at UCLA, John Wooden, coined the phrase, "competitive greatness." What Coach Wooden means by this is striving to be the best WE can be, not trying to be the best. It means being the best YOU, not measuring yourself against the successes or accolades of others. It means we have a great love for the battle. That we have an excitement for the journey and not just a desire for a trophy.

My goal today is to be the best I can be. Not to be better than Phil, or Dick, or Donna. But to be a better me

My goal today is to embrace the battle of self improvement and celebrate the little victories over the hurdles that hold me back like pride, envy, or being lazy.

My goal today is to find joy in the journey and to find something to be thankful for this morning!

Parched For Community

Below is an excerpt from an article a friend sent me this weekend,  It reiterates the theme that in a world of uber cyber connectedness, we are increasingly starved for genuine relationship! 

What has come to count as connectedness is displacing the real thing. And matters might quickly become dramatically worse.

Loneliness in “epidemic proportions” is producing a “loneliness literature” of sociological and medical findings about the effect of loneliness on individuals’ brains and bodies, and on communities. Sasse says “there is a growing consensus” that loneliness — not obesity, cancer, or heart disease — is the nation’s “number one health crisis.” “Persistent loneliness” reduces average longevity more than twice as much as does heavy drinking and more than three times as much as obesity, which often is a consequence of loneliness. Research demonstrates that loneliness is as physically dangerous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and contributes to cognitive decline, including more rapid advance of Alzheimer’s disease. Sasse says, “We’re literally dying of despair,” of the failure “to fill the hole millions of Americans feel in their lives.”

Symptoms large and small are everywhere... In the last quarter of the 20th century, the average number of times Americans entertained at home declined almost 50 percent. Americans are hyperconnected but disconnected, with “fewer non-virtual friends than at any point in decades.” With the median American checking (according to a Pew survey) a smartphone every 4.3 minutes, and with nearly 40 percent of those 18 to 29 online almost every waking minute, we are “addicted to distraction” and “parched for genuine community.” 

(Full article can be found at here)

We are, “parched for genuine community.”  We know that the PX groups we are involved with can be one piece of the solution. We know that the relationship with God we have is the ultimate solution.  I encourage you to lean into both our horizontal (peers) and vertical (God) relationships to continue to be, or to get, healthy.  Let's continue to create spaces where we can grow, heal, process and find joy in the midst of our, often times, crazy schedules.  And let's remember, that the man or woman in the office next to us probably needs a similar outlet!


I read these comments from leadership guru John Maxwell's long time Executive Assistant, about leadership.

1. You set the atmosphere.

Having the right personnel and the right principles in an organization sets the right atmosphere. This is the leader’s responsibility. You cannot delegate atmosphere to someone else as the leader. You set the tone.

2. You are secure.

Be the first to apologize. Be the first to forgive. Be humble. Be vulnerable. Unrealistic views of yourself create unrealistic views of success for others.

3. You connect.

Who wants to have a relationship where connection only happens when something is wrong? Connect frequently and connect on common ground. Continually move from your world to others, and allow others to move into yours.

4. You are generous.

Be generous with your time; be generous with your recognitions; and be generous with your communication.

5. You are teachable.

You must know your weaknesses and ask for accountability in those areas. If there is a better way, then adopt that way! Andrew Carnegie said, “I owe whatever success I have attained by and large to my ability to surround myself with people who are smarter than I am.”

6. You know what is important to you.

Know your priorities in life and put them in order. This allows you to set expectations for yourself and others. Good leaders know where they are going and have plans to get there.

A great list!  But a recurring theme for my life and work the past year has been, "Put something in play."  In this age of "thought leaders" and "influencers," it seems to me there is a tendency to talk about how things should be more than being an implementer.  Putting a plan or action into play.  If we want to grow as leaders, it will take more than reading a book and discussing it.  What will we do? What will I do?

For me, #6 above stands out.  I say God is first, family and friends are second, and I am third.  I have realized my time usage doesn't always reflect that.  I am building in some specifics on my calendar that will help assure the way I spend my time is more relective of what I claim is most important to me.

How about you?  What are you putting into play? Let me know if I can help.