The 5 Pillars of Authentic Leadership

Source: The 5 Pillars of Authentic Leadership

my favorite pillar is number 4: groundedness. I think great leaders realize that they are made of more than leadership. They hold value in more than what they lead. Groundedness means balance in life. Being a good dad, good husband, good neighbors and caretakers, good tenants, good shoppers and so on.

A good leader understands we are more than 8 hours we put into work. We have all been somewhere, are going somewhere and we are here.

Obscurity 

In the name of obscurity this week, I’m sharing a few thoughts and quotes I have about this topic. 

“If you want to be successful, you have to be willing to disappear for a while”

“Two things comfort me; knowing that I matter, and knowing that I am completely insignificant and disposable to the world”

“Welcome small beginnings, for even God arrived as a baby”

“A seed begins in darkness where no one sees and no one knows. Yet it is the beginning of life and without this necessary and obscure time, apparent growth and glory would not be attained.”

What do you think of obscurity?

Thank you

One of the predictable patterns my family practices is to have thankful time at dinner. This gives each of us a chance to express something we are thankful for today.  

Having three small ones around the table usually means:

1. I forgot to clean and sweep the remains of yesterday’s meal off the table and floor

2. Someone has already pushed another out of their chair. Because yes, you can own a uniform dining room chair. 

3. I am grumpy-tired and have already had to apologize for griping. 

It seems like pausing to tell someone thank you would be off key with the tune of complaints gripes and worries. 

I heard someone say “thankfulness and anxiety cannot occupy the same space”. One will have to yeild as the other moves into your mind. In the past I told God thank you for something because I

1. Didn’t want to appear ungrateful 

2. Wanted to keep good things coming at me. Ha, because God’s love language is words of affirmation. 

3. … I don’t know. What if I’m not sincerely thankful?

Here’s the big idea. Thankfulness when expressed to me usually helps me understand what is appreciated from my actions. And honestly, people forgot to say thank you all the time but I won’t stop doing good. It feels good to receive thanks. However, God telling us to “be thankful always” is not because he needs to know what we appreciate-it is to help us. Thankfulness will displace anxiety! Try it!

Pause now and express what you are thankful for. Imagine thankfulness as away of preventing worries. It is the being thankful that helps. Regardless of where to to whom it is directed. It benefits the giver more than the receiver. 

Now that is something to be thankful for. 

Insight from without 

When you can’t find within what you need, realize this is a lesson in trust. Reach out. Someone has something you need to hear because God is moving us from isolation into trust. 

Here are some morsels of wisdom i needed to hear over the last week, where I encountered a situation where my fears slowly rose over my head. If you have ever had to breathe in fear, you know the quickest place you want to get to is Relief. 
However, I have learned to move in the direction of my fears. Jesus calls from the other side of them. Even though, I can receive help along the way to winning the game. 

Some much needed solace from friends. 

-I’ve been there many times…and I’ve had to resolve to be broken to receive the blessing. –
-He has been Giving you what you need up until this point. Even though you’ve taken a wrong turn here and there it’s never been to complete and utter destruction and he has taught you lessons through it-

-Thanks for being honest and sharing all of that. Since we’re being honest I’ve been wondering and questioning why…-

-Truth sets you free-

-Beware of posing as a profound person: even God became a baby-

-You have what it takes because God’s Spirit is in you.-

 Talking with a patient 

I sat down with a patient of mine. This particular man has Parkinson’s disease. I was needing some help with motivating myself to get my day done so I asked him, “what’s the most challenging part of motivating yourself?”

He sat there, broken body and shining pair of blue eyes behind his poorly fitting glasses. “The hardest part about motivating yourself is loss of mobility. It takes you longer to get things done so people end up doing them for you. Well, then there is also the speech difficulty, where you can’t get your words out right and of course no one really takes the time to listen to you so then decisions start being made without consulting you. I guess I would rather have Alzheimer’s than Parkinson’s because then maybe I wouldn’t know what is happening to me. Because when people start working around you and doing life for you, you begin to feel more like a thing rather than a human being.”

Needless to say, tears ran down his face as he was finally able to say this. My eyes were blistering with tears as well.  I’m not sure which motivating lesson I received, but I did leave his home understanding this:

Sometimes and some days, people are so unused to being attended to with a open pair of ears, that when finally attention is given, the first thing that will surface is pain. 

We must understand this. In healing there is a principle that before it gets better, it looks worse. Be prepared when offering your understanding that a person will hand you the most painful feeling first, before the joy, before the laughter, before the pleasure. 

I’m sure that today, he is looking out his window at this foggy morning, talking himself up to get out of bed one more day, to make it count, to live. The Lord bless you man, for helping me understand. 

Going in circles?


Reminder for this week, life can seem off balance if you are. Email me at jonathan.hardin.82@gmail.com for a educational session on how your mind works.
45 minute phone call with me and I can show you how to use your minds best tools at learning information and making decisions. It’s good for understanding yourself and how you relate to the world around you. 

You will be satisfied when you learn something about yourself. Have a good day!

Murky waters


I hope you have had the experience of fishing for Crayfish, also known as crawfish, crawdads, freshwater lobsters, mountain lobsters, or mudbugs. If not, then know that it’s a wonderful experience, especially with little ones rooting for you to fight away the pinchers and collect the prize.

The hunt all started with my family stream walking, dipping our feet in a cool riverbed in the middle of summer. It wasn’t long before I sensed some curious pinches grasping for my toes. Soon, all of the kids were gathered around the shore to spot the little monster lobsters darting around underneath the glassy pool.

One thing we learned quickly is that it is impossible to catch crawfish with your hands unless the water is clear. It would go like this, we would spot one, slowly gain ground towards it, reach in and snatch them up. (No, we didn’t eat them, but later returned them to their home). Although, I totally can dig into Louisiana style boiled crawfish, shrimp, potatoes, corn on the cob with a couple ice cold beers holding out in the cooler. That’s summertime.

This is what I learned. We could never see the little critters unless we waited for the muddy water to rest and become clear. The restful period of waiting was important and if we got impatient and stirred the waters too early, only murky water could we reach into blindly.

 

 

The rest. The active anticipation. The calm. All of it made the successful catch possible. And it was the stirring and the hunt which created the opportunity for rest possible. 

 

We live between the balance between work and rest, activity and stillness, sabbath and toil. Both are required to produce things we long for; peace, contentment and joy.

What about you? Are you experiencing clarity? Then go for it! Reach into the cold spring waters and succeed! Are you attempting to peer through murky waters? Rest. Allow the clarity to come as you remain still. Nothing else needs to be done but wait patiently for the murky waters to become clear.

I’m currently enjoying a good read:

The Sabbath by Wayne Muller. 

 

Why you need a Mr. Rogers in your life. 

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“It’s such a good feeling to know that I’ll be back when the day is new”

Have you heard of Mr. Roger’s neighborhood? Was he your neighbor? Do you remember him, his zip up and zip down sweater routine, the way he crossed one leg over the other as he politely removed his shoes?

Do you remember the way he uttered, “feed the fish” and then I knew as a child, exactly how much fish food to pinch because I saw him do it. 

Do you remember him telling you that thunderstorms gave you no reason to be afraid? I remember trusting his word because he never gave me a reason to doubt him.

He said what he meant and meant what he said. “I always felt I didn’t need to put on a funny hat or jump through a hoop to have a relationship with a child.”

If a child can read a phony, it only served to show up honestly. He helped each child understand with sincerity, when he said, ” I like you just the way you are”. I believed it because he was there – just the way he was.

Here are a few reasons why we all need someone like Fred Rogers in our life.

 

  • We all need someone to understand that we are not the random snapshot of our life, but the sum total of experiences, past, present and future. With this thought, no one is beyond help or understanding. This kind of thinking begs to wait for more light to be shown on the situation before a judgement is made.

  • We all need someone to be there. Right where we left them. It’s almost as if they are a faithful undeveloped side character in the story of our lives, and they are not going anywhere. Uncertainty brings such a restlessness to our hearts as we wait nervously for our next affirmation or validation. These people are always found stationary and subtle, but heals our most misunderstood wounds.

  • We all need someone who is proud of us. Personality Hacker types Fred Rogers as “Memory Harmony” in the Genius style assessment. These wonderful people demonstrate a much needed characteristic in our world – pride. They clap when your recitals sound terrible, they cheer when you get taken to the sidelines, they smile and find a reason to celebrate in the C- you brought home from school. And they keep biding time for you to become the person you are meant to be, holding their breath while you learn to breathe.

Mr. Rogers was on the path of becoming a minister when he watched children’s televisions for the first time at his parents house while on break. Registering disgust as he watched the cartoons unfold, he decided he would take another path and began to work as a lower level employee with NBC. Eventually, he moved up to creating his own television program that reached into so many hearts around the country.

A person like Fred Rogers understood that we are made up of the people who have invested the most in us. Maybe it is a parent, maybe a friend. Maybe someone further along in life, whether one year or twenty ahead of you that reminded you “it’s going to get better”. If Mr. Rogers were still here with us, he would ask you to take a moment, let that person know you appreciate them. Would you do that now?

Thanks for reading today, and remember, there are many ways to say

“I love you” there are many ways to say, “I care about you.”

 

Seasons

Photo cred: Calie Garret
Lately I have been thinking a lot about seasons and their purpose. When we talk about seasons, we refer to the leaves blooming flowers, changing color, and falling off, leaving their home to rest into the dirt beneath. 

Really, it’s the cycle that we are taking about. There are a lot of effective ways to communicate life using circles. One of my favorite is the circle of continuous breakthrough referenced in Mike Breen’s book Choosing to Learn from Life 

What I like about this model is that we can learn from our moments, in almost a post game Conferance sort of way, where we can observe, reflect, discuss our actions in order to learn from them. 

Of course, this means we have to be willing for the next opportunity before we can choose to grow. Rather than simply correcting a mistake, error, or undesirable I observe, life requires patience from me as I wait for that moment, or season to come around again so I can arrive with a new skill set, alternate mindset to change my behavior. 

Train stations, harvest time, full moons, meteor showers, hunting deer, open enrollment, most of our life involves taking the opportunity to better yourself or to wait until the next opportunity comes around. 

Patience and understanding yourself brings the preparation necessary for me to grow into a better version of myself, all the while I am waiting for the season to arrive. 

And I think that’s what we can become more skilled in doing: waiting actively. Waiting, not in an idle way, but purposeful, intentional, understanding this: that the universe operates in seasons and so should we. 

So, here’s to your season! 

Motivational Wednesday 

Check out Zach Anner!

I watched the video (see below) with my 3 kids, 6 5 & 2 years old. 
Some of the comments they made, 

Wow, he talks a lot” (the video is spliced “vine style”. 

Why can’t he stand?” (he has muscular dystrophy)

I can do that on the monkey bars!“(Zach performed pull ups in the video)

Of course, immediately after this I set up my pull up bar and my son goes to work on his pull ups. 

What I notice in watching this video with my kids is that they are not afraid to ask awkward questions, and they really aren’t afraid to upset anyone with their comments. 

We watched a video of Zach Anner climbing steps in a blue shirt. Zach mentioned something about “the white guy” and my son commented, “and he’s the blue guy”, referring to the most distinguishing point about a guy with muscular dystrophy climbing stairs — his t shirt color. 

I’m not sure if this incriminates me as a parent, but hey, I’m just along for the ride. I love hearing my kids unfiltered comments to the world around them, and they provide for me a refreshing sense of wonder.