Loving the Ones You Lead

Why love in the workplace is a good thing

At the risk of my employer firing me, or my wife leaving me, let me explain.

The world is enamored with love…but it lacks a good working definition.  In its cheapened form love amounts to like, lust, and feelings.  Popular media bombards us with artists, musicians, and movie-makers watering it down with empty words, immature feelings, and meaningless sex.

Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish. —Sam Walton


Comment on the insights you’ve discovered for building the esteem of the people you lead.  Feel free to share your slip-ups too…as there’s great learning to be found in our mistakes.

This is your life and today is all you’ve got now
And today is all you’ll ever have
Don’t close your eyes
Don’t close your eyes
This is your life
Are you who you want to be?




The band Switchfoot poses the age-old question “Are you who you want to be?” in their compelling song This is Your Life.

Take a few minutes to close your eyes (even though the lyrics suggest you not do that) and enjoy a few minutes of personal reflection.  If you’re not who you want to be…when are you going to do something about that?

The Beautiful Letdown (Columbia/Red Ink, Sparrow (CCM), February 25, 2003)

Strangers in a Foreign Land

Maybe it's time to embrace your misfit

Hermey the Elf

After 25 years in the workforce, I awoke recently and realized…I’m a stranger in a foreign land.

How could it be that after all these years…all the hard work, politics, tough lessons, long hours, good leaders, bad leaders, successes and failures…the workplace still seems so foreign?  Almost like Hermey the Elf in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer who longed to be a dentist…I awoke a misfit.

Sculler b&wThe master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.

Author debatable (likely L.P. Jacks...but possibly James Michener or Zen Master)

Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2016)

If you haven’t invested the time to create a life plan for yourself…do it now! 

Nobody else can do it for you…but this book gives you an easy-to-follow blueprint.  I’ve done it.  I have friends who’ve done it.  And we all agree there’s great clarity, focus and freedom that flows from a life plan.

Question: Have you created a life plan of your own? If so…please take a moment to share some encouraging words about what living more intentionally has meant to you. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

The One Thing

2048 - Michael's High ScoreOn October 1, 2014 I was sitting at a Starbucks in India, when my good friend, Bill, shared something profound. Well, let me clarify. I wasn’t in India. I was in downtown San Diego at the corner of Hawthorne and India. But Bill did share something profound.

By way of background, Bill and I have a long history of playing iPhone games. Upon besting the other’s high score we text screen shots as proof. Call it what you want. Essentially we’re 2 pathetic middle-aged men attempting to compete without physically injuring ourselves (as we’ve both done more than once).

Our latest obsession is 2048. It’s been a top game since it’s introduction in March. Simply put, the object is to slide numeric tiles around a 4X4 grid, pairing up numbers, doubling in size each time a match is found, until no more moves are possible. The object is to pair two 1024 tiles, yielding a single 2048 tile.

Fantasy or Reality…Buyer Beware

Disneyland-29This past October my wife and I took our boys to Disneyland.  One afternoon as I returned from the Thunder Mountain Railroad Fastpass station, I scurried across the moat, over the drawbridge and through the gates of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. I was en route to It’s a Small World to rejoin my family.

My body tensed as I collided with the wall of humanity inside Fantasyland.  I sidestepped princesses, tuned out screaming children, and scanned the queue for Peter Pan’s Flight.  Shocked at the depth of the line, I skirted an oblivious stroller-pushing mom and shimmied past a dad corralling his kids.

Glancing at the camera-toting parents chasing their kids around King Arthur Carousel it struck me that the word “Fantasyland” is a misnomer. 

The Stomach Flu and Thanksgiving

With kids…the WHAT isn’t a matter of IF – it’s a matter of WHEN.Sick Kid

And the WHEN is rarely convenient.


September 2, 2014 about 20 minutes after midnight.  It was my wife’s Second night home after major surgery and I’d been asleep for 15 minutes.


My youngest son came into our room, woke me, and announced, “Dad I feel like I might get sick.”

Normally my son lingers at my bedside until I wake up and offer instructions.  For nightmares, it’s usually, “Go climb back in bed and I’ll lie with you for a few minutes.”  For headaches it’s, “Meet me in the bathroom and I’ll give you some Motrin.” For, “I feel sick,” I usually ask a series of questions and conclude he just ate too much before bedtime.

On this night, my son merely turned and scurried away. As he hit the hallway I heard that awful sound we all dread as parents.  That deep convulsion from within followed by a grand release, and then a ceremonial splash.  Not once. But twice. (My wife later informed me there was actually a third which I blocked from my memory).