Nope! This is not a bash America, pro any political party, point fingers, and play the blame game article. This is a hard look at where we are as a nation and what we can each do to make this place better than the way we found it. But to be clear, I love America. I am proud to be an American. But we can be and are better than the America we are living and portraying today.
Here are my I MIGHT BE WRONG, BUT I DOUBT IT thoughts for this week
I really do not think that the problems reside in Washington DC. I do not think that the primary issues at hand are about party platforms, progressives or conservatives, or right and lefts. I do however believe that we have a very real problem within our two-party system. I’ve written plenty about my beef with both donkeys and elephants. But they are simple-minded, easy targets. The problems run much deeper than those issues. You pick the party and you will find plenty to gripe about and find fault in – either way, every day. So where then is the problem? Because if we can address the problem, we can discover solutions. We solved talking to people around the globe with a piece of plastic the size of our palm. We have sent people to the moon, split atoms, and cooked in air fryers. Come on. How hard can it be to determine the problem and create solutions?
As it turns out, pretty dang hard! Because the problems with America are people problems, not platform and party problems. Here are two problematic areas of American life, and a few potential solutions.
Every study, poll, and experiment points to one fact that is true in every organization, team, or industry. The fact is that servant leaders are the leaders that change the world. Servant leaders are the people that others want to follow. Servant leaders are people that change the temperature of the world. These are people that put others in front of themselves, help others succeed, and revel in seeing someone other than themselves achieve great things. Servant leaders aren’t about pumping up their private brand, they are about making a difference in this world.
Sadly, we elevate those that talk loudest and longest and those that seek the spotlight, not the Light of the World. The real problem is that we continue to elect, hire, and celebrate these folks. The solutions may seem simple, right? But they aren’t. Like all sincere issues in this life, the closer we get to the problem, the more complex the solution. But in this case, I’d like to offer three difficult, but attainable solutions.
- Take a hard look in the mirror and search deep within your soul. Are you that person? I hate to admit it, but I have been and at times, still am that person. The solution is to stop comparing ourselves to others and compare ourselves to our Creator and the design He has within each of us. Simply talk to the Divine and ask for Him to search your heart, point out every selfish attitude or habit. Ask Him to replace them with His wisdom and His will/way, and watch the changes that start in your life. My experience is that when I get less selfish, I get more peaceful and more productive. Funny how that works, huh?
- Choose every day to give a part of you away. Your kindness, your money, your time, your attitude. Whatever you do, become a leader that lives with open hands. The stress will melt away, and the view of the rest of the world will radically change in just 2 weeks of daily servant leadership. I promise!
- Stop complaining about everybody else and their leadership. Get your attitudes in check and your heart in line first and foremost. It’s not fun. It’s not easy. It is necessary. Make servant leadership personal, because it is radically contagious.
When Jesus and His disciples came to the town of Capernaum, He asked them about a dispute they had on the way. They were arguing about who would be the greatest, and Jesus took the opportunity to speak about true leadership — the concept of servant leadership.
And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”Mark 9:35
But what is servant leadership? The concept isn’t fully defined in Jesus’ words or any other simple phrase. It is, however, illustrated and illuminated in Jesus’ life and ministry, and that’s where we should start if we want to become a more impactful leader. By studying other godly men and women who demonstrated the core qualities of a servant leader, you can better appreciate their triumphs and struggles, as well as your own.
I might be wrong, but I doubt it.
THE ALMIGHTY BRAND
In Ulvalde, Texas this past week I experienced something odd. I stood at the memorial in the city park and at the site of Robb Elementary School and saw the outpouring of thousands of individuals. I saw banners and stuffed animals. I saw crosses and flowers. When I spoke with leaders and city workers I heard story after story of companies and non-profits trying to show up and “do something.” I heard of organizations wanting to burn sgae around the city, bikers wanting to “just be there,” and people with chain saws wanting to cut things down. My goodness, such an outpouring of folks wanting to do what they wanted to do.
The one thing I heard a lot of is, “nobody has really asked us what we need.”
It isn’t just Uvalde, or the places of crisis around the world, it is everywhere. Doing good is good for business is a new marketing ploy. Just pay attention to the organizations whose commercials are focused on the “good that they do” while watching any media outlet. It is reportedly 50% of ad space these days.
My point isn’t that they aren’t doing good. It is that they are doing good, BUT, does the good have to come with the obligatory photo opp? I’m not immune from this. Heck, I’m actually writing an article, under my name about this. But, can we not treat needy people and crisis as opportunities to grab a pic for the sake of telling the world what we did? Again, guilty as charged right here, but I felt guilty and sick about even snapping pics at the hallowed ground of Robb Elementary. As for me and our team, we will not be on a promotion tour. We will be the peeps in the dust and sweat, and hopefully nobody there sees us as a people seeking another photo opp on the backs of their burdens and grief.
I realize we have to raise awareness, and money to do some good, but folks the pushing of our brands is in the way of making people our priority. The brand shouldn’t be the key figure here. It should be the motivation to serve, to help, to give and to go. Without fanfare, credit, or photo opp.
A few years ago, I was with a group of folks helping serve a local ministry cooperative. These folks had been toiling for about four hours. They were tired, having worked a full day and then giving there time to serve. No t-shirts, no photo opps, just good people doing good work. Another organization came in about the time these servant leaders were taking a ten minute coffee break with bright yellow t-shirts with there brand emblazoned upon them and said, “let’s get this done.” They burst on the scene, made a mess of what was being done. Stayed 45 minutes, huddled for a photo opp, pushed the others out of the way (quite literally) and left in a blaze of glory.
It’s typically more subtle than that, but the almighty brand has replaced the intention of doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason. And it sickens me.
And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.James 4:3
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.Philippians 2:3
I might be wrong, but I doubt it.
I’d love to hear from you. Email me HERE.
Go in Peace, Chuck