SOME FINANCIAL ADVICE

I admit, you might not have asked for this one, but since we’re all in this together I thought I’d share some of my confessions in financial times like these. Take it or leave it, I think you’ll get something…

While chatting with a friend today I was reminded of a strategy nearly 10 years ago, 9-11-01. I can remember rising from bed that morning, turning on the Today Show like I often do and watching the pandemonium taking place. The first plane had hit the towers, the second hadn’t. I was watching when the second plane hit, and it was horrifying.

I immediately headed for our church to get plans in place for public prayers services and grief triage. Even though we were 3,000 miles away preparations were put in place to help us Washingtonians. I contacted some friends who had a church within blocks of the World trade Center to see where we could practically help. I did a lot that day, but probably the most important thing I did was posture my attitude.

I believed, with every fiber of my being, we were going to rise from the ashes. Maybe it was because my own personal life was rising from the loss of my parents on Flight 261, or maybe it was just because I knew that in troubling times an overcoming attitude is the only attitude that makes a difference.

Fast forward a few years and we are in one of the worst recessions in our financial history, even more devastating than the one that followed the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. Unemployment is double-digit, foreclosures are overwhelming the housing market, real estate is in the tank. All in all it’s pretty rough, yet you and I have to endure the loss and hardship.

It is necessary to position attitude! Famines are not new to humanity. Frankly, they are not new at all, so what we are going through others have endured. I am convinced the single most important strategic move you can make right now financially is to position your attitude. Decide, in spite of the circumstances, you will over come!

You not only will endure, but you’ll be better for it in the long run! You’ve got to start speaking to your future, not lamenting your past. What is lost is lost. What is to be gained will not be gained if lamenting the past. The reality is seasons of life deal us what I call “a new normal,” and from our “new normal” comes everything.

Ok, you used to have more business than you knew what to do with, but now you work harder, with less profit and margin than you ever had. Ok, that’s the new normal, now position your attitude for growth from that position.

Ok, there used to be five other people on your payroll, but now your team is smaller. That’s the new normal, now position your attitude to take your small team to the next level.

Ok, you used to pay every bill on time, but in the last 18 months a few have been 30 and 60 days late and you’re all shook up about your credit score and the fact you’ll have to deal with it for the next 7 years. Ok, that’s the new normal, now check your attitude and get after your growth.

Listen, integrity is how you talk to yourself, not how you pay your bills, in most cases. Get your self-talk moving in the growth direction and your bills will get paid.

Ok, you have had to fold the hand, short sale the house and change jobs. As tough as that is there is nothing lamenting what is lost can do to move you forward. I suppose you could spend a bunch of hours talking about what was, or what might have been, but that’ll do nothing for your new normal.

Here’s the deal, there are business leaders, people and otherwise absolutely killing it in this economy, they are winning. Why not you? I heard a speaker, can’t remember who, say one time, “The only way your life will get better is to take action towards making it better. And the only way one can take the right action is to have a plan to make it better.”

If you know and believe your life can be better, even in these times, then you are way ahead of most people, because most people are still lamenting over what they’ve lost. AND if you’ve started building a plan to take actions to make your life better than you are an OVER ACHIEVER in these days!!!!

Seriously, it all starts with attitude. When the planes hit the towers 100 million people turned to faith to help them through the tough times! Have you turned, in these times, to the one thing that can make all the difference? An attitude of Faith!!!

YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU GOT…

…UNTIL YOU DISCOVER IT. Who you need is right around you, right now. You need a friend, there is one. You need support, it’s there. A pastor, there. Everyone you need is around you. You just have to figure out how to find them.

In the last post we were talking about showing those who do what you value how much you value them. In this post let’s talk about those who have a great capacity to do what you value, but sometimes live undiscovered right next door.

Leaders ask, “How many people of great worth am I missing who are surrounding me?” A leaders job is to discover the worth/value of people. Like a miner searching for buried treasure this is our task. Leaders are to dig out the worth of others and show it to the world.

This can only be accomplished when the existing leader (the miner) chooses to…

Stop judging too early.
Stop making assumptions about those around you. So many times weak leaders pass judgment too early and never get the chance to discover the true value of those right next to them.

Stop being threatened by the worth of others.
I see leaders do this in church. Someone is brand new to the church and has a natural gifting to lead. All of a sudden they are moving through the ranks of an already established leadership. Pretty soon and existing leader is threatened, and nothing good comes

Develop people.
Leadership exists because of people. If you are a paid staff member in any people oriented organization like a church/non-profit you will be unemployed if you don’t reach and discover the worth of people. Look for worth, and find out what makes those around you valuable. Then tell them.

YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU GOT…

…UNTIL IT’S GONE. Have you heard that phrase before?

I had a meeting with some dear friends of mine and huge contributors to the vision of The Rock Church. In the meeting we talked about all kinds of stuff, but mainly we talked about how important it is to value one another. After our time together I reflected on a leadership moment I had while talking, “Make sure those you value know you value them while they are there to value.”

When we don’t value those around us there is a very real chance they may not be around us any longer. Wisdom tells us what we value will move toward us, what we take for granted will move away.

Have you told those you value how much you value them? It’s a pretty big deal because when they go you might not get the chance. For instance, my friend Kathryn Tongg was on staff for 9+ years, and just recently she knew the Lord was asking her to be a full-time mom. She prepared to leave the staff position she’d held for nearly a decade. To my amazement it was unbelievable after her transition how many times I wanted to step outside my office and ask Kathryn a question. It was uncanny how much of what I value was resting within Kathryn, and now she is not here. Did I tell her how much I valued her while she was executing that which I value? A good question to ask yourself if your a leader.

Take the time before the end of this year to tell those you value how much you value them. Think about the person on your team or in your life who you really miss when they are absent with the flu or on vacation, this a person of great worth in your life. Take the time to value them!