What Happened to Cam?

Cam-NewtonWithout question, Cam Newton is a tremendous talent.  He is a lethal combination of speed and power with a rocket arm paired with the smarts to dismantle the most complex of NFL defenses.

However, Cam’s behavior on the turf at Levi Stadium and especially in the post game press conference was more than just a loss.

Some called it a meltdown, others saw it as bad sportsmanship, while many other commentators have described it as childish.

I would rather like to believe that what we saw was the creation and the IronPhoenix-PhoenixRebornburning of a Phoenix.

Cam, just like the bird in Greek mythology, will emerge stronger as he arises from the ashes of this crushing Super Bowl defeat.

This will happen if he and all of us will learn three valuable “Phoenix lessons” from this situation.

1.Do not let the celebration outshine your talent

Dab

Winning games in the National Football League is hard.  This season the Panthers won more of them than any team in the league (17-1).

Winning all of those games takes talent; which Cam and the Panthers have in abundance.

No doubt every first down, touch down and big play should be celebrated.  However, when the celebration overshadows the talent then something is wrong.

The Phoenix lesson is this: Let your talent speak louder than your celebrations. Tone it down.

2. Superman does not exist in the NFL

CamSuperman

Yes, it takes cockiness and swagger to be an effective NFL quarterback.

The person playing the position must   believe that they are the best player on the field and act accordingly.

However, while the quarterback is and should be the man, he is not superman.

The Phoenix lesson is this:  The best in any field realizes that humility can be your best friend if you are to be a leader and the face of the team.  

3. Being MVP is not being the Most Viewed Pouter

presser4

At 26, Cam Newton has all the trappings of a fully grown man.

  • Career Success
  • Financial Success
  • Fatherhood

Despite the trappings, we saw on display on Sunday a man broken in spirit and publicly humiliated on the field of play which for 17 games he had dominated.

Dr. Martin Luther King said “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Entering the 2016 season, Cam Newton and the Panthers will become the hunted.   Every team will bring their “A” game, every team will be trying to repeat Denver’s success, and every team will be going after the man who wears #1 on his chest.

The Phoenix lesson for Cam is this: When times get difficult in the 2017 season, he must decide which MVP will show up.

Final Thoughts: We can all rise from the ashes

Like Cam Newton, we all have experiences where:

  • We are defeated.
  • We are melted down
  • We are childish

 

However, unlike Cam, our bad sportsmanship moments are not witnessed by half the planet in the biggest sporting event ever.

The Phoenix lesson for all of us is that we must always be ready to become a Phoenix.

The burning down of the old, so that the new can rise from the ashes, will help us:

  • Get over that bad marriage
  • Get that new job after getting fired
  • Get that Super Bowl win after the loss

payton&cam2

I am pulling for Cam not because he is a Panther but because he is Phoenix.  Because in his Super Bowl debacle, I am confident that Cam will emerge stronger, better and this time more capable of completing the task of winning a Super Bowl.

 

 

Is A Great Leader, Leading You?

Leadership makes the difference in all that we do.  Enterprises from businesses, churches, schools and even families thrive when they are being guided by great leaders.

The world suffers from a lack of great leaders, and we followers can easily tell when we are not being lead greatly.   Here are 5 traits to consider in the quest for great leadership.

  1. Great Leaders Really Do Put People First

Enterprises of all types are quick to say that putting people first is a prime directive.  Here are some behaviors indicative of great leadership:

  • Business: The chief HR person reports directly to the CEO with the same title and status as her other direct reports. Does the company pay more than minimum wage? Do they offer health insurance, 401K, employee development opportunities and other benefits?
  • Churches: In a church of up to 150 members does the pastor know you by name? In a church with over 151 members is there a Deacon or small group leader charged with knowing you and your family?
  • Schools: Is the school proactively reaching out to parents? Have you met all of your children’s teachers?
  • Family: Are you eating dinner together at least 4 days per week?  Are these dinners without electronic devices like televisions and cell phones?
  1. Great Leaders Have A Vision

Leaders who lead greatly have a vision for what should be done now and in the future.  The vison is communicate and is shared, agreed to and lived by everyone.   Here are some behaviors indicative of great leadership:

  • Business: As an employee do you feel that you are doing something meaningful beyond collecting a paycheck? Are there clear job descriptions along with accountability systems to monitor performance?
  • Churches: Do members understand their role in realizing The Great Commission?
  • Schools: Are students encouraged to set and meet educational goals?
  • Family: As parents have you set clear standards for the household?
  1. Great Leaders Are Even Greater Communicators

Ronald Reagan was dubbed as “The Great Communicator.”  The 40th President of the United States earned that title because of his skill at talking persuasively and using folksy anecdotes that ordinary people could understand.   Great leaders are even greater communicators.  Here are some behaviors indicative of great leadership:

  • Business: Are leaders committed to gathering ongoing feedback from all levels of employees via various sources both formal and informal?  Is the state of the business including financials, major decisions and challenges regularly communicated?
  • Church: Is the business of church communicated in a timely, completely and regular fashion? As a member can you recall and explain the sermon topic?
  • Schools: How flexible is the school in communicating with students and parents? Can parents email teachers?
  • Family: Are parents and couples committed to regular, open and honest dialog, creating true trust where any subject can be discussed.
  1. Great Leaders Are Decisive

Being decisive requires making decisions with speed and clarity.  A decisive leader relies on systems and methods to simplify the flow of information required to make the best decision possible.   Here are some behaviors indicative of great leadership:

  • Business: Committed to a constant and consistent free flow of information in all levels of the enterprise. Dedicated to using the performance assessment process to quickly and routinely fire employees for underperformance.
  • Church: Decisive in defense of the core principals of the faith.  
  • Schools: Consistently and decisively enforced rules of student and employee conduct.
  • Family: Parents standing firm in providing consistent rules and norms for the family.
  1. Great Leaders Create A Culture Of Excellence

The culture of a business, church, school or family is a unique identifier. It is composed of things like your products, your strategies your techniques and especially the people.

Culture is a forced multiplier the right culture can propel an enterprise to excellence, the wrong culture can spell doom.

  • Businesses: Embrace active and ongoing feedback, Empower employees by instilling trust and faith in them, Provide timely recognition, Foster innovation, Pay for the performance you seek, Create policies that support the culture you want.
  • Church: Embrace God’s plan for inclusion for all of God’s Children
  • School: Engage all students–not just honor students in powerful learning experiences
  • Family: Get to know your children as people, avoid micromanaging them

 Will You Be My Great Leader?

Are you being led by a great leader?   If not don’t worry great leaders can and are developed all the time.   However, the real point is that while we all are followers we also leaders.

So commit today to becoming a great leader because your workplace, place of worship, school and family need all the things your great leadership can offer.

 

 

How To Become A Leader That Inspires Loyalty

Mother-TeresaGreat leaders not only understand how to get the best from themselves; but, they know how to teach, guide, and empower others to do their best, as well.

Great leaders recognize what a privilege it is to lead; and they view themselves as servants to those they lead.   They are constantly seeking ways to improve; so, they can become even more effective.

Great leaders inspires loyalty; which goes beyond simply following the leader.  A great leader creates an inspired loyalty, generating a partnership where everyone has a stake in the outcomes of the work that is performed.

Rarely, leaders that inspires loyalty are born; however, they can be developed.

Let’s examine three things that great leaders do to inspire loyalty:

  1. Self-Awareness

Massive_KirkLeaders that inspire loyalty have a high degree of self-awareness.  Self-Awareness is having a clear perception of your personality; including strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, motivation, and emotions.

Leaders can increase self-awareness with a deliberate campaign of using several of the established self-awareness tools:

The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator assessment is a psychometric questionnaire; designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.

Roughly, 2 million people a year take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. It has become the gold standard of psychological assessments; used in businesses, government agencies and educational institutions.

Find out more about The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator by going to www.myersbriggs.org

DiSC – DiSC is a personal assessment tool used to improve work productivity, teamwork and communication.

The DiSC measures four areas of leadership interaction:

Dominance Measuring the emphasis leaders place on accomplishing results; the bottom line, confidence.
Influence Measuring the emphasis leaders place on influencing or persuading others, along with openness in relationships.
Steadiness Measuring the emphasis leaders place on cooperation, sincerity, and dependability.
Conscientiousness Measuring the emphasis leaders place on quality and accuracy, expertise and competency.

Find out more about DiSC by going to www.discprofile.com

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT Analysis is a structured project management planning method that is typically used to evaluate the prospect of success of a project or business venture.  However, the principals of the SWOT Analysis can also be converted into an easy to use yet effective self-assessment tool.

The SWOT Analysis will allow you to perform a self-assessment of your:

S Strength Characteristics of your personality, education or experience that give you an advantage over others.
W Weaknesses Characteristics that place you at a disadvantage relative to others.
O Opportunities Elements that you can exploit to your positive advantage.

 

T Threats Elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business or project.

Click here to download a SWOT Analysis Template.

  1. Achievement Via Goals

 

Hand underlining Set Goals with red marker isolated on white.

Great leaders know the importance of goal setting.  More importantly, great leaders understand that goals can help them:

  • Get teams and people focused on what is truly important
  • Transform the hard to the easy
  • Establish a culture of accountability

Leaders use the SMARTER method to set and keep powerful and inspiring goals:

S Specific A clear thing to be accomplished
M Measurable Actionable identifiable items
A Agreed Upon Announced and accountable
R Realistic Can be done
T Time Framed Scheduled with a start and stop
E Evaluate Redo, reload for success
R Rewrite Adjust the goal to meet the new need

A leader who establishes clear and concise goals can create the energy and drive needed to push teams and people to new heights.  This type of high accountability, and high performance in the workplace inspires the type of loyalty that will drive long term success.

For more on goal setting read:

3 Ways to Dramatically Increase Your Work Productivity

How to Manage Time, Especially When You Think You Don’t Have Any

5 Ways to Become More Powerful at Work

  1. Building Solid Relationships

kids-sharing-ice-creamGreat leaders understand that they can’t just boss people around from the corner office. Building solid relationships mean that they need to have a sense of who you are, and know what is your definition of success.

Mary Shapiro, a professor of Organizational Behavior at Simmons College and the author of the Harvard Business Review Guide to Leading Teams, has the following suggestions for building rapport with your team:

Communicate Your Values

While you are building relationships with your employees, you also need to impart your values, the way you think, how you will measure performance, how you make decisions, and how you expect them to work.

Overcommunicate

Employees feel good when the leader takes the time to talk with them.  Great leaders make regular communication, both formal and informal a key part of the way they do business.

Know Your Employees

As much as we extol the ventures of democracy, the work place is not democratic.  Your role as leader is to be in charge and your subordinate’s role is to adapt to your style.

However, great leaders can inspire employees with the simple act of getting to know them.   Keith Ferrazzi, the bestselling author of the business networking book Never Eat Alone suggest that leaders should at least know these things about their employees:

  • Your employees birthday
  • The names and ages of your employees children
  • Hobbies and other non-work interests

While some may want to shy away from the personal lives of employees, great leaders know how to walk the fine line and show the real interest that inspire them to new heights of loyalty.

For more on relationships read the post:

Are You Leading Your Boss?

 Are You a Leader Who Inspires Loyalty?

george-c-scott2

 

The cost to replace an employee can range from 11% of annual salary to over 21% and above, based on the complexity of the job.

According to statistics compiled by Americanprogress, over 50% of all respondes indicated that they did not leave a jobs, they left a leader.  Therefore, a key competent of leadership is to inspire loyalty.

Great leaders inspires loyalty by being self-aware, setting goals that are challenging, building solid relationships and much more.  However, the real key is continued investment in oneself and the employees that they lead.

The author, salesman, and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said it best: “The only thing worse than training employees and losing them is to not train them and keep them.”

With more than 10 million satisfied customers Fred Pryor Seminars and CareerTrack provides high-quality, convenient, and practical business-skills training around the world, in every industry and sector.  Go to www.FredPryor.com to discover more about the inspiring training opportunities available.  Use the Customer Appreciation Code 2378 at checkout.

 

The 10 Traits of Fantastic Leaders

 

 

 

Fantastic and leader; perhaps, these two concepts together are foreign to most of us. However, fantastic leadership is possible, probable and potential in our lives.

Are fantastic leader born or made? Regardless of where the ability comes from there are traits that have made them fantastic.   Here are 10 of them:

1. Honesty – A commitment to go beyond just telling the truth. The burning desire to make your word golden in the world.

2. Humble – An understanding that it is never all about you.

3. Humor – The ability to always find something to laugh about in almost any situation.

4. Persistence – A relentless focus on the possibilities; instead of what can’t be done. Resisting the “we tried that before” syndrome that keeps us form innovating a better solution.

5. Vision – Looking beyond the day to day; while still being grounded in the necessity of the now.

6. Resiliency – The capability to take a punch and get back up again…and again.

7. Listening – The wellness to block out distractions, perceptions and the noise. A personal commitment to be fully present for and to the person who is communicating with you.

8. Self-Awareness – An unswerving desire to understand your capabilities and how you affect others.

9. Self-Development – Acknowledging the need to never stop learning.

10. Servant Leader – The wiliness to place the desires, well-being, and success of those that you lead over your own.

We can all be fantastic leaders, and these traits are the road map to get us there.

Enjoy the leadership.

© 2015 Marben Bland

How To Lead Like An Alpha Dog

In the animal kingdom the Alpha Dog set the rules and boundaries for the rest of the pack. The Alpha Dog doles out correction to members of the pack when rules are broken.

There are Alpha Dogs in the business world as well. They develop the strategy. They set the tone; and they direct the activities of the other members of the pack.

I understand Alpha Dogs. I am honored to say I have seen some of the best Alpha Dogs in operation; up close in the military, the faith community and in business. I understand Alpha Dogs; because I happen to be one.

As a self-acknowledged Alpha Dog, I know that there is a delicate balance between the good we can do as leaders; and the bad things our dominate attitude can bring as leaders to the pack.

Clearly there are bad Alpha Dogs; however, in this post let’s take a moment to focus on the higher qualities and thinking of great Alpha Dogs.

Therefore if you are an Alpha Dog or being led by one here are some things to consider:

  1.  Know that there are other Alpha Dogs out there

Top dogs must be acutely aware that there are others out there who have equal or perhaps greater status; and they should learn how to work with them. Alpha Dogs who can make things happen with their fellow top dogs have developed a skill that isn’t easily shared by most Alphas. However, when they can join and lead as a team it is beneficial to all in the group.

  1. Protect the non-Alpha Dogs

An Alpha Dog is only as good as the others in the pack. For many times they are the one doing most of the hard work. Therefore, Alpha Dogs are not only the leader; but are the protectors and promoters of the pack.

Empower, share the credit and demand accountability; but, take the heat when needed. Remember, your duty as the Alpha Dog is to preserve, serve and defend the pack.

  1. Understand the sound of your bark and the effects of your bite

Leaders must know the power that they bring to the position. The things that they do and the things that they say have an impact.

Alpha Dogs should not be afraid to use their bark and bite to praise, cajole, motivate and move the pack to action. However, the Alpha Dogs must be strategic with their words and careful with their actions. For regardless of what they do, the pack will be watching; and even more importantly, they will react to the bark and the bite.

  1. Never forget the days when you were not the Alpha Dog

Alpha Dogs may not have started at the top; and the memories of those days of apprenticeship should not be forgotten. Remember to respect the role of leadership; because it is a level and role of honor. Yes, you are the leader; but, not necessarily the smartest, the fastest or the best in the pack. But you are the leader; and this is your pack. So, set the goals, communicate the expectations, understand the capabilities and lead the pack.

  1. Realize that every Alpha Dog will have its day

You will not and should lead the pack forever. Your time as leader is limited. So, use it wisely. Be a fearless listener. Be bold in the execution of your duties; even when the tasks seem mundane. Remember to be endless in your service to the pack. However, know that your time as Alpha Dog will end; therefore one of your most important service to the pack will be to find, develop and coach a diverse number of dogs to take over as the Alpha Dog.

We are all Alpha Dogs

Great Alpha Dogs are needed to lead our military, businesses, churches and nation. Moreover, we need to develop the inner Alpha Dog within us to meet the greatest leadership challenge of all; that is, leading ourselves.

©Copyright 2015 Marben Bland

Did You Enjoy This Article?

I would love to learn about your time as an Alpha Dog or other Alpha Dogs that you have been exposed to. Write a comment below or send me an email: marben@marbenbland.com

Brian Williams And The One That Got Away

Embellishment! The whopper! The big lie! I have done it; perhaps you have too. We have all done it. We have told our friends, co-workers and even our family an account of the “one that got away”. A story that started in truth. However, over time with every added twist and turn, it becomes an outright fabrication; or, as my mother would call it… “A Bald-Faced Lie.”

We are seeing the results of “telling the one that got away” play out in the saga of Brian Williams; the anchor of the top rated NBC Nightly News. For years, Williams has been making the rounds with a story claiming that his helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade while reporting from Iraq. Now, after a decade of soaking in the accolades reserved for a war hero the story has proven not to be true.

Williams issued an apology saying that over the years he unfortunately, conflated the account of the helicopter that was hit with rocket fire, with the account of his helicopter; which actually was not.   This was the explanation given to us from a man who the nation trusted for accurate reporting; and he has done very little to clear the air. Williams, who has the job of reporting the news has now become the news; which resulted in him voluntarily removing himself off the air for a few days.

So, what can we learn from this, besides the obvious? If we are the most “trusted” news reporter in the United States, should we jeopardize our career by telling the one that got away?

I believe that there are additional things that we can learn from this story: Trust, Integrity and Second Chances

Here are my thoughts.

1, We All Lie

In John, chapter 8 a woman who was caught committing adultery was brought to Jesus before being stone to death. The Jewish leaders, attempting to trick Jesus asked Him what should they do with the woman. He said “Anyone here who has never sinned should throw the first stone at her.”

As we stand here with stone in hand, ready to throw them at Brian Williams, we need to reflect on ourselves, first. Have we ever embellished? Have we also conflated? Have we ever lied? The answer for me is yes. I love stories, one about myself, and others and as a writer and speaker, I have fallen to the temptation to inflate, to over hype and to lie.

From what I know now, there is no question; Williams’ actions were wrong. He may not be able to retain his current job; if accounts are true and he told the story many times, including to a national audience on David Letterman. However, that decision belongs to his employer, NBC.

The Bottom line for me: But for the grace of God go I; and therefore the stone of this writer, speaker, human resource executive and humble servant of God will remain in his pocket.

2. Money and Power are Blinding  

Brian Williams anchors the top rated nightly news broadcast in America. The program rakes in millions of dollars for NBC. Williams has been given enormous power as anchor of the News and managing editor.

Williams’ fused account of the helicopter rocket fire, has been known by many at NBC for years. There was an NBC crew with him on the helicopter; and let us not forget the executives that signed him to a 10 million dollar per year contract. However, no one challenged Williams about the lie and the possible consequences. Could money and power be the cause of the blindness?

The credibility of the network, the hardworking staff and the other reporters who are actually in the war zone were placed in danger by those that chose to keep quiet.

David the powerful and rich King of Israel involves himself in an adulterous, murderous affair with Bathsheba. David believes that his actions have gone unnoticed until Nathan was sent by God and in a dramatic encounter in 2nd Samuel 12 declares to the King. “You are that Man”

The Bottom line for me: Power and money can blind us from the truth. All leaders, teachers, human resource executives, preachers and anchormen need Nathan’s in our lives. We need people with the courage to withstand the pressure that the money and the power bring. So that we can mount the power to reveal the truth to those in power.

 3. Everyone Deserves A Second Chance

We all know that trust is hard to earn; but easy to lose. In nearly a decade in the nightly news anchor chair Brian Williams has earned our trust. In the days and weeks that follow, we will see if he can keep or regain that trust.

However, if that is not the case and Brian Williams lose his job as anchor of the NBC Nightly News, he deserves more than a second chance. He deserves our forgiveness.

Jesus Christ died on the cross so that our sins would be forgiven. Forgiveness is giving pardon, acquittal and mercy for our sinful acts. Jesus forgives us regardless of what we have done.

Luke 7:36-48 tells the story of a sinful woman who crashes a dinner party attended by Jesus asking forgiveness by washing his feet with her own teas and drying them with her hair. The outraged party host demanded to know why Jesus would even allow such a sinful woman in his presence. Jesus responds by saying “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But, a person who is forgiven little, shows only little love.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”

The Bottom line for me: Brian your sins are forgiven. Your second chance is now; regardless of your job status at NBC. You are a talented reporter and broadcaster and I look forward to seeing you on the air again.

The one that did not get away

The teachable moment for all of us is not about the conflations of Brian Williams.

We should take this moment and think about how we acknowledge our own sinful nature and reframe from throwing stones. How can we become Nathans and resist being blinded from the truth, money and power? Additionally, how do we give second chances and forgive?

For if we truly love our neighbor as ourselves, we would want nothing less, when we find ourselves as Brian Williams has with the one that got away.

©Copyright 2015 Marben Bland

What is your take on Brian Williams?

Write a comment below or send me an email: marben@marbenbland.com

 

When Presidents Gather….Legacies Follow

5 Living PresidentsThis April in Dallas, five presidents–four former and one currently in office, gathered as George W. Bush dedicated a library to document his presidency.   The Presidents gather on these extraordinary occasions, not only to share in the pride of a new member of their exclusive club getting a shiny new monument; but because they understand the concept of legacy.  From the moment they leave office, the primary mission of the former commander in chief is to become his legacy guardian in chief.

As mere citizens, we aren’t afforded the opportunity to have a library built in our honor with curators devoted to crafting our legacy.   Actually, we have a much more powerful tool available to spread our legacy, that is, the people we touch and the lives we are able to change.

God has given us many innate traits to build our legacy.  An examination of the intersection of presidential and biblical history reveals three traits that are at the heart of what it means to be human and a leader.

 Transparency

“Personal and professional transparency is freeing it is the key for me to live a better life.”   Dave Kerpen, New York Times Bestselling Author of Likeable Social Media.

 Richard Nixon

Richard NixonThe presidency and legacy of Richard Nixon will be forever stained by Watergate. While what was termed as a “third rate burglary” was not committed by the president, he was held responsible for the cover-up.  Mr. Nixon’s lack of transparency denied him the opportunity to come clean and seek the forgiveness of the American people.  Thus, by becoming the first president to resign the office, marring the brilliant work he accomplished in opening up China and laying the groundwork for the ending the war in Vietnam.

King David

From his humble beginnings as a giant killing shepherd boy to the king of Israel, David was a “friend of God.”  However, David’s strong relationship with the Father did not exempt him from sin and a lack of transparency.  David’s torrid affair with Bathsheba lead to her pregnancy.  To cover up his misdeeds David schemed to have Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, killed in battle.   Thinking he got away from his crime, David made Bathsheba one of his wives.  However, God sent the prophet Nathan to bring transparency back to David’s life.  In a dramatic conversation chronicled in 2nd Samuel 12:1-24, Nathan tells David the story of a rich man with plenty of sheep taking the only sheep of a poor man. Burning with rage, David proclaims that any man who would do such a thing deserves to die. Nathan then says to David…”you are that man!”

To have a legacy of transparency in our lives requires more than just a personal commitment to honest dealings.  It requires having “Nathans” in our lives; family, friends, and customers who will hold us accountable for our actions, allowing us to live free and full lives.

Adaptability

When you’re finished changing, you’re finished   – Benjamin Franklin

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas-JeffersonIn 1803, President Thomas Jefferson was presented with an opportunity to fulfill a dream cloaked in a principled dilemma. The dream: Thomas Jefferson imagined that the land mass of the United States should expand from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.   The opportunity:  Desperate for cash, France wanted to sell its Louisiana territory from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific. The dilemma:  Mr. Jefferson believed in a strict interpretation of the constitution and the constitution said nothing about the purchase of land.     President Jefferson solved this paradox adapting his principles for the good of the country and accomplishing his dream of expanding the United States to the Pacific by purchasing the Louisiana territory.

Joseph

coat of many colorsThe life of Joseph is a study of a dream and adaptability.  As the favorite son of Jacob, Joseph infuriated his older brothers with his dream that one day they would bow down to him.   Incensed, the brothers threw him into a pit, where he found himself sold into slavery in Egypt and unjustly jailed.   In jail, he was recognized as an interpreter of dreams. The Pharaoh, struggling with the meaning of his dream, asked Joseph for an interpretation.   The interpretation: Egypt will have seven years of record harvest followed by seven years of famine. Impressed with his explanation, the Pharaoh appointed Joseph to lead Egypt during the harvest and the famine.   During the time of famine, Joseph’s brothers, who thought he was dead, came to the Pharaoh’s regent Joseph for help.  Unrecognized by his brothers, Joseph provided food along with a series of challenges that ultimately led to a reunion with his beloved father and the fulfillment of the dream of the brothers bowing down to him.

Many think adaptability is about the ability to change. However, as Jefferson and Joseph have shown, adaptability is truly about the ability to pivot.  In other words, maintain fidelity with our core principles with adaptability to our dreams.

Simplicity

The Buck Stops Here – Harry S. Truman

Harry Truman

Harry TrumanBy his own account, Harry Truman was a simple man.  But, simple does not mean that he was not complicated.  The last president without a college degree was faced with a host of intricate issues including the atomic bomb drop, the rebuilding of Europe and the integration of the Armed Forces.  President Truman governed with a simple motto that reflected his view of his role as a fair player for all: The Buck Stops Here!

 John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

This simple declaration in John 3:16: is God’s powerful promise to take care of the complexities of our lives when we simply give our lives to Him.

In this complex world, humans are drawn to simplicity.  We crave it and need it to make sense out of things.  Presidents are wise to bring issues to the American people in simple terms. God simply wants us to accept His love, protection, and peace.

The Bottom Line:  Leave a Brilliant Legacy

Congratulations, Mr. President!  The library is a brilliant testament to your legacy.  Our brilliant legacy testaments are built when we live our lives in God’s will with Transparency, Adaptability, Simplicity, and the other traits given to us by the Father.   For when the people of God gather…..legacies follow.