Not Another Resolution

AA017935Ah, New Years. It’s that lovely time of year where well intentioned resolutions, die a slow (or truthfully, fast) death as life rolls on. Can you relate?

I wish I could tell you that as I look back over the many years, I see nothing but completed objectives and fulfilled dreams. I wish I could say that every time I set my mind to it, I was able to change this habit or that behavior. Unfortunately, I know all too well the regret of leaving something incomplete.

What starts as a truly motivating desire to see improvement in a relationship, a project, a personal goal…ends in a “oh well, maybe next year” or worse “I wish I had stuck with it“.

Have I depressed you? I think I just depressed myself!

So, what are we going to do about it? Are we going to let 2017 be another year of the same old thing? Or, are we going to take this annual “reset” and be greater than our 2016 self?

If you’re reading this post and thinking, “I never keep the resolutions I set“, then let me throwout some ideas so you can tell your subconscious “it wasn’t my idea“…”I’m just doing what someone else suggested“. (Note: if that sounds ridiculous, then you haven’t ever had the internal dialogues that plague so many of us when it comes to motivating ourselves. I can motivate others, but sometimes motivating me to exercise or read a book or whatever, is like coaxing a donkey to climb up the Himalayas)

Alright, here are some suggestions that may help you on your way to becoming a better you in this new year:

  • Exercise 3-5 times per week. Everything stems from your health. If you are in better shape, you will think better, relate with people better, sleep better, etc etc.
  • Read 1 book every month. Might be easy for some, but for many it’s a daunting thought. Reading is a fantastic way to increase your mental capabilities, vocabulary, stimulate creativity, etc. (extra credit: read the bible weekly, if not daily. no other book can encourage you and challenge you all at the same time. the time spent in this activity is invaluable.)
  • Spend more time with good people. I mean the people that “give” life, not suck it out of you. Don’t surround yourself with gossips, negative thinkers, etc. Place yourself in an environment that lifts you up and gets the most out of you.
  • Speak life. In every situation, you have the opportunity to change the atmosphere. Speaking life into other people’s lives will encourage them (and you).
  • Give away money. Yeah, that’s what I said. Tithe at your church, give to missions organizations, donate to folks trying to adopt, etc. Giving away a portion of what you worked hard to earn is a transforming exercise in seeing the world beyond your small part of it.
  • Be a better leader. Whether you are a boss or an employee, you have the opportunity to be a leader. Start this year by being intentional with what you say, how you act, etc in the workplace.
  • Remember to breathe. Working hard is great, it’s awesome to accomplish a ton of stuff. However, that is not all that life is about. Take time (on a very regular basis) to chill out. Go for a walk, take a nap, go to the movies, roll around on the floor with your kids, take your spouse on a date…breathe.

Certainly not an exhaustive list, but hopefully one or a few of them have sparked something in you. (I know they have in me)

I wish you luck as you begin this year, desiring to live intentional. May the grace and peace of God be with you everyday.

Written by Andrew Pino

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Becoming A Great Leader

AA018357If you’ve been a leader for any amount of time (at work, at church, wherever), you’ve probably come to realize that your habits and beliefs play a pivotal role in the success of not only your business but also your individual team members. You are the one who can, and should, set the tone of the working atmosphere.

To help you figure out how to go about doing this, I’ve listed a few points below from an article I read some time ago on the topic. Also, at the bottom of the post is a link to the full article.

They Collaborate Rather Than Grandstand
Great leaders realize that success doesn’t have to entail only individual accomplishment. They redefine that emotionally-packed word “success” so that wealth, position, and fame are no longer what really matters. They realize that group success is entirely consistent with individual accomplishment.

They Laugh At Problems (and themselves)
Great leaders use humor to put worries into perspective, so that we can laugh at ourselves and the situation before tackling hard work. The ability to tell the right joke at the right time reduces office stress and builds camaraderie, which is a real advantage in today’s intense, fast-paced work environments.

They Help Others Visualize A Better Future
Great leaders don’t just have a vision of the future. They also have a rare ability to understand and channel the desires and needs of other people. They listen as much as they talk and thus create a shared vision that motivates everybody, not just the boss. They point to a place that we know is better and give us the courage to get there.

They Mentor & Coach
Great leaders know how to listen and give good advice at just the right time. Because they haven’t sailed through life, they know what it’s like to overcome intense obstacles and challenges. Most importantly, they’re willing to let go when you’re competent to make your own decisions without them.

They Integrate Pieces Into Wholeness
Great leaders have the ability to see all sides of a situation and allow conflicting parties to not only be heard but acknowledged. They can gather a group and find ways that individuals can work together. They have an uncanny way of “slicing the pie” so that while every piece may not be identical, everyone feels treated with fairness and respect.

They Create A Climate of Trust
Great leaders know that trust is the glue that holds an organization together. Their commitment to build trust creates a counter force to the deception and political game-playing that makes so many offices difficult places to work. They know that trusting, and being trusted, is the best way to ensure that everyone in the organizations wins.

They Make Peace Between Factions
Great leaders cannot be swayed to side with one group or individual against another but instead work to preserve the integrity of the whole system. Peacemakers teach us that peace is a state of mind and that it’s still possible to be happy even in the midst of turmoil and chaos.

Interested in reading the full article? Click Here

Posted by Andrew Pino

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Engaging People

Up Close and PersonalWow, I wonder what’s wrong with her? Man, he looks like he’s going through it! Are these phrases that have crossed your mind when looking at a coworker, neighbor, cashier, etc? Seeing the weight of the world on their shoulders…eyes puffy and red, posture shrunken down, hanging their head. Sound familiar?

Question: Did you stop and say or do anything?

So many people are struggling, lonely, isolated, withdrawn; thinking no one knows they even exist. That feeling of despair can overshadow every area of their life. What was once a singular problem has metastasized into their whole being. Depression, fear, anger, all consume their emotional state. It’s an awful way to live and certainly not what was intended for us.

Question: Did you know you have the power to change their atmosphere?

There is no magic formula, no special list of things to do when you see someone like this. Instead, it’s simple: engage. In our head down, face in the cell phone world, it’s very easy to move right through life glazing over every interaction, every circumstance, and every struggling soul.

No more. Don’t let that be the way you move through life…self focused, absorbed in the superficial, slave to the immediate. (yes, I’m preaching to me too)

Lets change the environment around us. Lets engage with those we cross paths with. Just an acknowledgement and exchange of a few words from you could mean the difference in a person’s entire day. Imagine if you took it even further and looked for ways to help them in their journey. What an impact you could have on the trajectory of someone else’s life!

There are open doors of relational opportunity all around you. Disengage from the fruitless distractions and engage where true value lies…in people.

Written by Andrew Pino

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Become An Influential Leader

I was recently going back through some leadership articles I have shared with my team over the years and found several that I’ll share with you all over the coming weeks. Today’s focuses on gaining respect and becoming an influential leader.

Below are a few of the points that stood out to me, and at the bottom is a link to the full article for you to read.

Find Your Style & Inspire
One of the most important things you can do as a leader is cultivate self-awareness. Knowing your leadership style will help you to be more intentional about using it well and managing its shortcomings. Do you lead with expertise? Charisma? Caring? Armed with this awareness, you can leverage your unique style to become more influential and inspire others.

Demonstrate Integrity
Nothing can ruin your influence and respect faster than a lack of integrity. Integrity, however, is not just avoiding unethical choices and situations. Integrity is intentionally molding a culture of values and service.

Invest In Yourself
Leaders invest in learning. Grow your expertise. Get certified. Cross train. The more you know, the more you can help. The greater your competence, the more others will respect you and the effort you made to learn about what they do.

Understand People Personally
Great leaders get to know their people. What are their hobbies? What are their kids’ names? What are they good at? What motivates them? Demonstrate a genuine interest in people. Care about them. Create a culture where people feel supported personally, not just professionally.

Praise Liberally
When people do a good job, make sure they know it. Some will want an email, others an announcement in a meeting, still others a monetary reward. Whatever the case, if it lies within your power, grant it. There is no such thing as too much sincere appreciation for a job well done.

Coach & Advocate
Help people. Be a resource, a sounding board, a safe place to talk. If you want the people you lead to respect you, they need to know you are on their side. Advocate for them; help them get the promotion they’ve been hoping for. Leverage your influence on their behalf.

Anticipate & Optimize
Always think ahead. Ask yourself: “What could go wrong here?” “What if the market changes?” “Is there anything else we can do to make success more likely?” These questions help leaders create the best possible plan. Once executed, be sure to revisit, using the feedback you gain to optimize and tweak where necessary.

Expect Greatness
Never settle. Leaders persist toward perfection. They remain steadfast in the belief that our best days are ahead of us, and work toward making that true. Paint the picture of what it will look like when we get there.

Interested in reading the full article? Click Here

Posted by Andrew Pino

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