Friday, October 24, 2008

Time to study!

Due to the intensity of my PhD coursework, I am taking a brief hiatus. I plan to be back in early December. Please check back then, and remember to vote on November 4.

Though some may argue that the power of a president is quite limited. I would argue that, at minimum, the president's role as a symbolic leader is unparalleled in America or the world. Right now, America needs a level of leadership unlike any it has needed in a long time.

Likewise, some will argue that the electoral college system relegates the vote of an individual to meaninglessness. I disagree. The popular vote sends an important message.

Blessings to you and to our nation during this important season.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Presidential Beliefs

Wow. What a week. I suggest that Americans are thinking more about presidential leadership this election year than they have in a while. I don't have any "idea leaders" to post this week. I'm brain-dead from attempting to teach myself both statistical theory and statistical software (SPSS), so I'm going to share some interesting web postings.

No matter what you may think of them politically, I suggest that NPR is a great resource for thoughtful and thought-provoking programming. I especially enjoy their "This I Believe" series of audio essays. This week, they posted two essays from two former presidents. Click here to check it out.

Second, from Christianity Today.

I'm a big fan of Christianity Today. It is another major media resource for me. This week they posted articles on both Obama and McCain. Today they posted an article from Chuck Colson about voting. Good stuff.

Third, from Jeremie Kubicek.

You probably have not heard of Jeremie. He graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University a year ahead of me. He is a good guy with a passion for leadership. This week he posted an interesting article on the president as a "merchant of hope."

We have an important election before us, friends. Let's make sure we know why we are voting for whom we are voting. Blessings.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Searching for the perfect job?

Are you tired of your current employment? Do you feel like you aren't making a difference? Are you looking for new opportunities? Let me suggest a great search engine. Try using your imagination.

Does that sound trite? Certainly. But is it correct? You bet. There are two reasons why. First, there is no perfect job (remember, we live in a fallen world), so your imagination is the only place you will find such. Thankfully my second suggestion is more constructive: your imagination can become a tool to help you reshape your current job. Two particular skills will help.
  • First, think about what you actually like about your job. What are its positives? What part of it energizes you? Think about where you can maximize these opportunities. Admittedly, if there is nothing about your job that energizes you, then you probably should think about finding something else to do.
  • Second, think about where you can make a difference in your current position.
Middle-management readers may think, "Yeah, right. My job is all responsibility and no freedom. There is nothing I can do differently without my bosses permission." I sympathize. I've been in middle management. Yet I did find one place where I could make a difference - I chose to treat people like they were human beings made in God's image. The amazing thing about that was how most people seemed to really appreciate it. (I had a supervisor once tell me that I had to make a choice between being a nice guy and being an effective leader. I rejected that dichotomy - and I left that job.)

From my first formal job (at 16) until today, I've worked for non-profit organizations. There were times when I focused on what I wasn't getting in benefits, and those times were miserable. There were times when I focused on how I could make a real difference, and those times were much more enjoyable. The difference: to what end I used my imagination.

IDEA LEADERS: (1) What role does imagination play in your life? (2) On what part of your job do you focus? (3) How can you make a real difference at your work?

Friday, October 3, 2008

More on Machiavelli

Several months ago I mentioned Machiavelli's oft-quoted question: is it better to be loved or feared.  Click here for a recent article on Machiavelli, "The Florentine."