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How Exactly did America Break its Two Century Old Covenant with God?

Over fifty years ago this country, in the persons of eight Supreme Court justices, told God to leave our public schools.  Jesus said “bring the children to me” (Mk. 10:14, Luke 16:18) and these men said “No, the government will have them for itself and You can get out.”  God, His divine Majesty grievously offended, withdrew and now three generations of young Americans have spent roughly 30 hours a week for twelve years of their lives in a place where there is no truth, because the Truth has left.  There are subjects useful to the state, but almost nothing about character or morals.  The result of this is evident in our streets and the manifest corruption of virtually every aspect of American popular culture.

 

In 1960 Madalyn Murray O’Hair, founder of American Atheists, sued the Baltimore Public School System for requiring students to read from the Bible and to recite the Lord’s Prayer at school exercises. In a case titled Murray v. Curlett, she argued that such a requirement violated the First Amendment of the US Constitution in that it had the effect of establishing a religion.  Prior to this in 1955,  a man named Steven Engel, who was a founding member of the New York Civil Liberties Union, sued the New York Board of Regents for composing (but not requiring) a prayer to be said in its schools.   Ultimately the case was referred to the US Supreme Court and in 1962 in Engel v. Vitale, the court ruled 8-1 that recitation of prayer in public schools shall be unlawful, the first time God was ever ordered out of a government institution in the United States.

 

This obscenity against God’s majesty was repeated when O’Hair’s case was combined with others in Abington v. Schempp and on June 7, 1963 the Supreme Court decided, by the same 8-1 majority, that the corporate reading of the Bible and recitation of the Lord’s Prayer shall be unlawful in public schools as well.

Ruling to order God out in both cases were Chief Justice Earl Warren, John Harlan, William Brennan (all appointed by Pres. Dwight Eisenhower – R),  Hugo Black, William Douglas (both appt. Franklin Roosevelt – D), Tom Clark (appt. Harry Truman – D), Byron White and Arthur Goldberg (both appt. John Kennedy – D).  The sole dissenting voice was Potter Stewart, appointed by Eisenhower.

 

Since these two blasphemous decisions, America has experienced one tragedy after another over the succeeding years.  Just five months after the second decision, John F. Kennedy was assassinated; in 1964 the Beatles came to America with sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll; in the early 1960’s also Feminism, the institutionalized hatred of men, spread in the United States; in 1968 The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated; in 1969 with the Stonewall Riots the homosexual movement became a nationwide demand for equal rights; on January 22, 1973 in Roe v. Wade the US Supreme Court, by a vote of 7-2,  legalized abortion in all 50 states, leading to the murder, so far, of about 60 million unborn children; two months later, on March 29, 1973 the United States withdrew in defeat from South Viet Nam; in 1981 the AIDS epidemic began; in 1987 the world came within ½ hour of total financial collapse; in 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed and on September 11, 2001 it was brought down.

 

Since then this nation has seen people in authority demanding the end of the rule of law that says a person accused of crime is deemed innocent until proven by due process to be guilty; these same people argue that any speech that is offensive to someone or some group should not be allowed, and the ones making the argument further assert that they should be the ones deciding what is offensive.  Powerful forces are calling for the end of the Electoral College enshrined in our US Constitution, and they have begun an end run around it by a movement called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact which allows state legislatures to ignore that state’s voters and appoint electors in accord with the country’s national popular vote.  So far 14 states and the District of Columbia have signed on to this proposal, and are pledged to enact it once enough states have signed on to control 270 electoral votes.  Once that happens, the Electoral College will for all intents and purposes, be gone in all but name.  The existing signatories control 189 electoral votes already, because they include large states like California, New York, Illinois and New Jersey which by themselves have 118 votes.  It is hard to argue that this is not a direct attack on our founding law of the land.

 

Mass killings have become more numerous and with more casualties.  Most of the colleges in this country have virtually banned free speech, in that anyone who utters an opinion disliked by what amounts to a social media mob can be readily expelled, lose grade point average or, if an employee, fired for daring to express an opinion or even state a fact that makes the mob feel bad.  But it is all one-sided.  The mob can say anything it likes about those it despises and will receive no consequences;  the Scripture is relevant here: “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” (Eccl 8:11)

 

Crony capitalism has indeed created a vast gulf between the rich and the poor, and the middle class is fast disappearing.  The rich have protection, the poor have entitlements and the middle class bears the burden of both.  Again Scripture becomes as relevant as today’s news – “For the love of money is the root of all evil…”  1 Tim 6:10)  A billionaire who is willing to work his employees to exhaustion, seek to insure a large supply of low-skilled labor so as to keep wages down, and claim that he cares about the poor is a perfect example of this.  Such a person loves money, and perhaps only money.

 

The institution of matrimony has become so perverted that it is a direct slap in God’s face.  An activist US Supreme Court has again done its work.  Most egregiously, strong forces in this culture say that there are not the two genders that God created, but many, and people can be whatever gender they like and will make them feel good.  Moreover, society must accept these aberrations and anyone who objects is un-American.

 

There are other things as well, too numerous to mention.  But it seems clear that since our formal rejection of God, the name of this country is no longer “America the Beautiful” but “Ichabod.”  John Adams, our second president, said this: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” In modern America, the man proves himself a prophet a million times a day.

 

Until there is a massive outpouring of repentance on the part of a sizable portion of the American Christian population over these and other affronts to God’s majesty, it is likely there will be more to come.

 

Continued – – –

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Repentance on Behalf of our Nation

There is only one remedy for covenant-breaking; that is – repentance.  The offended party must be entreated to forgive the breach, to restore the good relationship that existed before the offense was given, to set aside what forms of retribution the offense must bring forth in the absence of heartfelt contrition.  Without repentance, contrition, humility, shame, and abject beseeching of the offended party to again honor the covenant, there can be no healing.

A tribe that broke covenant with a neighboring one could expect swift retribution from them – usually in the form of that tribe coming against the offenders and slaughtering every one of them, with particular attention to their chief.  The offended parties prevailed because, in a way, notwithstanding the violence of their acts, they had justice on their side and they somehow knew that they would prevail and they made war in the strength of that knowledge.

It is the same with God.  Hear the thunder of His Word – “In flaming fire taking vengeance upon them that know not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power.” (2 Thess 1:8).  This is the ultimate violence, yet God commands it because those who come before Him in their sins have rejected the New Covenant that is in Christ.

Repentance on behalf of our nation must be on a scale commensurate with the offense.  Scholars and archaeologists have estimated that there were at least 10,000 residents of the cities Sodom and Gomorrah.  God sought 10 righteous people out of that group and could not find them.  The result is recorded in Genesis 19:24-28.  All 10,000 or more perished for the lack of 10 who were faithful to God.  For a nation of 325 million such as ours, the same scale would call for no less than 325,000 Christians in this country to repent for our covenant-breaking and the tsunami of sin and depravity that have followed.  The strong suggestion of Scripture is that unless at least that many faithful Christians can be found who will take this critical step – to set aside a season of prayer, fasting, and weeping before the Lord for our arrogance and wickedness as a nation – His justice may demand that He do to us as he did to Sodom.

But to repent with knowledge and understanding, we as Americans must take to heart the event that caused us to break God’s Covenant. What could we as a people have done to cause such a catastrophic breach?  How, after all the nearly 200 years of blessing that a loving God had showered upon us, could we pour contempt upon His Name and by extension upon His Person?  If we cannot understand this, then we cannot repent as God would have us do if we are to be saved as a nation and again be what we once were, “a shining city on a hill.”

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24/365 International Prayer Network

Welcome to our Worldwide Prayer Network. This network spans the globe where Ministers, Ministries, Individuals and Congregations are joining in unity to pray for the “Body of Christ” to work together in the spirit of love, harmony and purpose. It is our prayer that this network will pray every hour of every day until Jesus returns.

We invite you and your ministry/church to commit to one specific hour per week to pray and join in this final international prayer gathering of the saints. This is a life commitment that you will pray each and every week for only one hour. There are 168 hours each week and we are expecting every hour to have many leaders and churches praying during each one and every one. Below are a few of the prayer points that we are praying. The list will continue to grow and change over time.

Please sign-up to join the network

Suggested and needed areas for prayer. Leaders are encouraged to select and edit as led by “Holy Spirit”!

  • Pastors will work together in their community to save the lost and make disciples
  • For all Christian Churches and pastors in their community regardless of their race or denomination
  • Pastors will establish relationships of love and trust between themselves
  • Local churches and Pastors will stop criticizing one another and start loving one another
  • Leaders of the denominations to work together with purpose to reach every community for Christ
  • Pastors to have a Kingdom attitude and heart
  • Pastors marriages and families to be strong, healthy and holy. To be examples of Christ.
  • Pastors to pray with their spouse every day
  • That strong Pastors will step forward to establish “Champion Tables” as leaders in every community
  • The Body of Christ, the Church, to become passionate about praying and will develop the discipline to pray each day with intensity and intentionally
  • That Pastors “Fast and Pray” with accountability and encouragement to one another with confidentiality
  • That anyone who calls themselves a Christian will serve and honor God with their life, words, actions, thoughts, attitudes and above all “love”
  • Our National leaders will turn to Jesus and become committed Christians
  • All Presidents, Prime Ministers and Heads of State will use the Bible as the standard for governing
  • That our Governmental leaders will call for fasts and prayers to be held at their governmental headquarters
  • For Pastors to be called to every country’s capital to pray in unity repenting and worshiping Jesus
  • That Christians will vote where and when allowed for candidates who are committed Christians
  • For Israel and their people to accept Jesus as their Messiah and Savior
  • For All Pro Pastors International and The Pastors Prayer Center to fulfill it’s Mission and Vision
  • For provision to come into this ministry so that there is more than enough to reach the entire world with this mission and for the gospel of Jesus Christ to be shared to all people
  • That the 24/365 Prayer Network will have pastors and leaders sign-up quickly and honestly to faithfully pray
  • That our hearts will have forgiveness for one another for years of racial and cultural division and criticism
  • For a great move of the Holy Spirit to move through the land with a great demonstration of power
  • For all Christian Married couples to pray together every day showing compassion for each other before God
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“A 15-minute Vision checkup”

Ask your core leaders these seven questions. If they answer no or show hesitation you are overdue for a vision checkup.

If your core leaders show any doubt rest assured the team members on the outer edge don’t have a clue. It’s the “outer-edge” team members that have the initial and most frequent contact with those you serve or are trying to reach.

1. IMAGINABLE: Does our vision convey a compelling picture of our future?
2. DESIRABLE: Does our vision appeal and grab the attention of at least two generations?
3. FEASIBLE: Is our vision built on reasonable, stretchable and achievable goals?
4. FOCUSED: Does our vision guide and dominate our decision making process?
5. FLEXIBLE: Does our vision allow for individual creativity and changing conditions?
6. COMMUNICABLE: Can all of our core leaders “Tell our story” and describe our vision in 100 words or less?
7. EXECUTABLE: Is our strategy (action plan) well-conceived, understood and embraced by all team members?

You get the best results when your team members feel they can be brutally honest, especially with their leader. Great leaders keep drilling down until they discover what every team member really thinks, not just what they think the leader wants to hear.

Until you have that degree of openness and honesty by everyone on the team you have not taped into the full potential of your team. Until you ask your team for just a little more than they think they can give, you won’t get all they can give. That takes commitment, trust and honest answers to these seven questions.

When’s the last time you and your team had a vision checkup? Poor attitudes, low energy and lack of engagement may indicate its time.

Busy But Not Productive

 “The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings.”                                                 Thomas Sowell
Great leaders constantly monitor their core values, core strengths and critical resources. All three are vital. They make sure these line up and create forward momentum every day.
Doing many things’ means you are busy. Doing the right things on a timely basis means you are productive and create measurable value. This is what creates long-term employment and personal satisfaction.
Here are five signs you are busy but probably not productive:
First, attending too many non-productive meetings.  Most meetings are poorly planned, over-managed and usually cost more than they are worth.
Second, doing other people’s work instead of your own. Non-producers are always looking for someone else to cover for their own lack of effort.
Third, living for the daily “fire drill,” doing the urgent and ignoring the important. Top producers do the important when its seldom urgent. Nonproductive people are always busy, seem to live in a constant state of urgency and accomplish little.
Fourth, majoring on the trivial in order to avoid doing the uncomfortable.  Great leaders make a living doing what poor leaders find uncomfortable and find every excuse to avoid.
Fifth, you’re constantly stuck in “social media” and information overload. You don’t have to respond to every Email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to name a few.
There is an alternative to busyness.  It’s called creating a reality beyond the urgent.  If you desire focused productivity over busyness and urgency, ask yourself the following four questions:
What do I really want in my limited time on earth? What am I doing today that supports my deepest passions?  If I knew the number of my days, what would I stop doing and start doing? Am I spending more time with people who celebrate me or tolerate me? Before you create your daily “To Do” list, answer these four questions.
It’s very difficult to measure busyness—activity without results. Productivity is the result of focused efforts with measurable goals. Is it really valuable and worth doing if it cannot be measured?  Compensation and reward should be given based on measurable results not how hard you work. 
“The man on the top of the mountain didn’t fall there.” Vince Lombardi 
Many are busy and working hard going around the mountain but forget the goal is to make it to the top!

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“Energizing your team for change, is your greatest leadership challenge.”

Astronaut James Irwin said, “You think going to the moon was the most scientific project ever, but they literally threw us in the direction of the moon. We had to adjust course every ten minutes and landed only 50 feet inside a 500-mile radius of our target.”
On that mission every change, no matter how small, was essential to success. So it is with yours. If you resist even the slightest change long enough, you may find yourself off course, too late to adjust, and have to abort the mission.
What causes a lack of behavioral or organizational change? Team members are seldom the problem but get most of the blame. Senior leaders create most of their own problems by their lack of leadership in one or more of the following four areas:
First, lack of clarity about the rationale not only for the daily action plan, but more so for the long-term goals and strategy for change. People seldom buy into what they cannot see and understand.
Second, lack of commitment and passion for change by the core leadership team. Passion, or the lack of it, is contagious. There must be consensus and one hundred percent buy in by the core team. If not, delay the change or change players on the team.
Third, lack of accountability on a regular basis to reinforce positive sustainable change. Without accountability there is no improvement of what already exists much less changing it.
Fourth, lack of trust by the team in their Leaders’ decision-making skill in leading change. Trust is the glue that holds teams together when they face the unknown and the lubricant that enables them to flow together till the needed change becomes a way of life.  
Average leaders can keep the car between the guardrails most of the time. However, it takes outstanding leaders to lead when the way forward is no longer on the map and current conditions demand a change of direction.
“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” George Bernard Shaw
Why not ask your leadership team which of the four areas above challenge them the most. Great leaders constantly ask this question and many others that make their leadership vulnerable and open for inspection. Weak leaders avoid questions about their leadership at all costs.
Technology-driven smart phones, tablets and laptops, microwave ovens, computer-flown airplanes, robots that can do just about anything, most kids toys and big box stores filled gadgets unheard-of a generation ago. 
They are today’s reality as a result of that first trip to the moon led by men and women not threatened by change. The wealthiest corporations on earth today were founded and continue to be led by leaders who declare war on the status quo every day.
Remember, without change your organization has no future. Without you personally changing your team remains stuck in “today” and only dreams about a better tomorrow.

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Pastor’s Resource Tool Kit

The Resource Tool Kit is what every Pastor needs. What you will find here will make your life and ministry much easier and also flourish like never before! This “Tool Kit” provides you information about People and Ministries that have excelled with great success across the country. The links and videos below provide resources and training that will increase church attendance, bring in more tithes and offerings, strengthen and refresh marriages, teach tactical leadership skills, provide free legal counsel, cutting edge sermon material, complimentary pastor vacations and much more. Click on the names and videos below to learn more.

Scroll down to watch a short introductory video from each. 

BlessEveryHome.com  is the premier tool for any pastor who wants to get his church praying. This powerful ministry tool is unlike any other. Watch the video to see what thousands of pastors are doing to get many of their people working for the kingdom without ever leaving the house.

Saturate USA is providing FREE OF CHARGE any church in America the tools to EASILY get the gospel into every household in their city. This ministry is reaching every city with the gospel and inviting every church to get involved. Watch their video for detail.

Game Plan for Life is a ministry founded by re-known(3) Super Bowl winning and (4) NASCAR Championships Coach Joe Gibbs. Every Pastor we talk to states that they need more men involved and need them discipled to be faithful leaders. This unique and powerful ministry reaches into the heart of most men and is designed to reach men for Christ. The GPFL discipleship material is second to none. This ministry is a premier partner with All Pro Pastors International and provides many unique benefits to the pastors who join us.

National Center for Life and Liberty provides free legal counsel, legal documents, and educational seminars. Attorney David Gibbs, III represents the Christian community every day against the legal attacks in America, going all the way to the Supreme Court on several occasions.

Restoring Hope Global  Ever feel tired, exhausted with your job?  Where do you turn?  What do you do to refuel, to keep going in your mission?  Think about it pastor; where do you turn?  Where do you get to escape to?  The good news is there is “Restoration House”, a place for pastors and leaders to turn when work has exhausted you. Call today!

Mike Williams Ministry The 2017 Dove Award winner is known for his brilliance as a comedian and also as one of America’s leaders in bringing your congregation on board your ministry as an “All In” giver.  Mike’s new book “Reboot Church Giving” is a handbook for pastors.

Liberty Pastors/Reclaiming America for Christ is teaching the heritage of Pastors in America and how to get their church back to the evangelistic roots we were founded on. Learning the truth can sometimes be hard and it is these hard places that God opens our hearts and minds to change and grow. Pastor Paul Blair shares why we all need to look in the past to back on the straight road.

SkywatchTV is a new paradigm in Christian broadcasting, examining everything from ghosts, UFO’s, giants, demons, artificial intelligence, trans-humanism, the occult, evolution and many other subjects that are often uncomfortable to discuss in the average church environment. This is critical information when teaching discipleship and preparing yourself to face the enemy.  Warning: The video below is an example of what SkywatchTV investigates.

Time to Revive is the discipleship training ministry that is bringing revival across the country. Every church that engages in their teaching and follows their instructions will see an immediate impact on their church/community.

Please take a moment now and watch the videos below to learn more:

BlessEveryHome.com

Saturate USA

Game Plan for Life

 

National Center for Life and Liberty

Restoring Hope Global This is an All Pro Pastors “Premier Partner” for APP Pastors who need a Free place to get away to be refreshed, relax and recharged. 

 

Mike Williams Ministry

Liberty Pastors/Reclaiming America for Christ

SkywatchTV  

 

Time to Revive

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Are You an All “Pro” Pastor?

In America when you see something that says “All Pro” we quickly make the assessment that they or it must be really good at what they do. Just as you may think of an “All Star” in sports or business. This represents the very best.

Today however, I invite you to consider that an All ‘Pro” Pastor is a pastor who is very positive in speech, attitude and heart. They are Pro-Jesus, Pro-Holy Spirit, Pro-family, Pro-marriage, Pro-church, Pro-unity, Pro-Kingdom, Pro-community, Pro-forgiveness, Pro-encouragement, Pro-accountability, Pro-freedom, Pro-Bible and the list goes on. Yes we must face many challenges and predators also the storms that come and the frequent battles, yet we will always find the “Pro”.

The sheep we care for need a “Pro” shepherd in order survive and thrive. The “Pro” Pastor/Shepherd takes a type of ownership of each sheep, because that comes with the expectation from our “Shepherd” Jesus.

An All Pro Pastor is the Pastor who speaks life into people not death. He speaks encouragement not criticism. He teaches God’s word as the words of hope and victory. The All “Pro” Pastor is a Warrior and a Shepherd who fights for the flock he cares for. He loves each one as his own because he represents Jesus as His Ambassador in every way. He nourishes the flock as a “Son” and not a hireling. He takes them “his flock” through the Valley of Shadows and danger, protecting them with his very life. He brings them to fresh clean springs to drink from and protects them from the polluted and poisonous. He teaches them with all diligence and understanding. He recognizes the infants and the mature. He walks with them through all of life showing each one where to walk where to avoid. The All “Pro” Pastor has the heart of a shepherd just like Jesus, the “Shepherd”! He knows each one by name and they know his voice. He loves all and loves them each. When he speaks they listen because they know his words bring life and blessings.

Who is an All Pro Pastor? It is the ones who are called by Jesus himself to be his representatives, His ambassadors His faithful ones who live to serve His flock as their very own.

Being a Shepherd is very tiresome and so is being a Pastor. Pastors, we need each other to lean on and to rely on. Join “All Pro Pastors” and start your Champions Table. Experience these life savers for yourself.

Today is the day every Pastor should ask, am I an All Pro Pastor?

 

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Soaring Like Eagles

Soaring on wings like the Eagles

Although I haven’t had much opportunity to watch eagles soar, it is a beautiful thing.  Soaring is by definition gliding high, and anyone who has ever seen eagles know they do so with spectacular ease.  Perhaps this is why God chose them as our model.

Aerodynamics of Soaring

To soar, an eagle needs a headwind, but this seems to be opposite of what they should need. An airline pilot was asked to explain.  He said that eagles must face into the wind to experience lift.  The air currents flow over and under their uniquely formed wings, creating an air pressure difference.  As the higher pressure below tries to equalize the lower above, the gliding bird is lifted up. Gradually, though, the eagle will lose altitude, forcing it to land, if not for the added boost of rising air currents, such as warm air and updrafts, or increased wind.  When assisted by these air currents or winds, a gliding eagle can then soar.

God Helps Us Soar Like an Eagle

When God says that we can soar on wings like an eagle, He is not suggesting that we attempt unassisted aerials.  He wants us to soar spiritually in our daily walk with Him.

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar with wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

Waiting on the Lord for renewed strength is often difficult.  In the midst of hardships, the concept of soaring above them can seem impossible.  Without God’s help, it is.  He reminded me, though, that all birds, even eagles, must learn to fly.

With His help, we can learn to soar

 

  • We Must Face the Headwinds

 

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil for You are with me” Psalm 23:4

Storms and difficulties are like headwinds that blow in upon our lives, sometimes with gale-forced strength.  As eagles face headwinds, we must learn to face ours head-on, knowing that God is with us as we do.

 

  • We Must Rest on God’s Strength

 

…Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” – Ephesians 6:10

Although we do not have literal wings, we can rest upon God.  He stretched out His arms on the cross to conquer the gravitational pull of sin’s curse on our behalf.  We can rest secure in the shadow of His wings, knowing His arms are capable of lifting us up above any problem we face.

 

  • We Must Let God Lift Us

 

“Lord, I will exalt you and lift you high, for you have lifted me up on high!” Psalm 30:1

Just as lift results from air pressure changes, God lifts us by changing our perspective in the storm, and reversing the dynamics of our situations for good.  Rather than allowing the pressures of our problems to sink us, we can trust in God, who is greater.  With His power and love under-girding us, we can with renewed hope and courage rise up, even when things look their bleakest.

 

  • We Must Allow God To Sustain Us

 

Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me” – Psalm 54:4

Just as an eagle needs the assistance of air currents and winds to maintain altitude, we need God’s help to continue soaring.  With the wind of His Spirit in us, and the warmth of His love surrounding us, we can rise above any problem.  We can soar. Rather than grovel in the dust of your problems, wouldn’t you rather soar above them with God?

“Managers have a plan, Leaders have a dream.”

 

I am often asked, “What is the difference between managers and leaders?” Libraries’ are filled with books about the subject. Here are three ways that will help you understand the difference.

First, are you counting value or creating value? If you are managing people you are counting value, not adding value. Only managers count value. Some even reduce value by trying to micro-manage those who add value.

Distracting a diamond cutter by asking him to report every 15 minutes how many stones he has cut his “manager” is subtracting value. In the end people do not want managed, they want led. You manage things, not people!

By contrast, leaders focus on creating value by saying, “I’d like you to handle “A” while I deal with “B.” Leaders generate value over and above that which the team creates, and is as much a value-creator as are the team members. Leading by example and leading by enabling and empowering people are the hallmarks of great action-inspired leadership.

Second, are you creating circles of influence or circles of power? Just as managers have “direct-reports” and leaders have “direct-supports,” managers create circles of power while leaders create circles of influence. Influence trumps power every time.

The quickest way to figure out whether you are a manager or a leader is to count the number of people outside your reporting hierarchy who come to you for advice. The more people that do, the more likely you are a leader and not a manager. Managers provide answers and directions, leaders provide opportunities and options.

Third, are you leading people or managing the work? Management consists of controlling a group of people and a set of challenges to accomplish a goal. Leadership is the ability to influence, inspire and enable others to contribute toward the teams’ ultimate success. Influence and inspiration separate leaders from managers, not power and control.

In India, M.K. Gandhi inspired millions of people to fight for their rights while he walked shoulder to shoulder with them so India could achieve independence in 1947. His vision became everyone’s dream and ensured that the country’s push for independence was unstoppable.

Martin Luther King did not give an “I have a plan speech” he gave an “I have a dream speech” and the future of The USA changed forever. The world needs leaders like Gandhi and King who think beyond problems, have a vision and inspire people to convert challenges into opportunities. Leaders never let the managers stifle their dream, they ask them to come up with a plan to make it happen.

I encourage you to invite your team for a talk. When they stop discussing the problems and tasks and start talking about vision, purpose and aspirations instead, that is when you know you have become a leader. When your dream becomes the team’s dream great things will happen!

Every organization needs great managers, those who watch the radar, react and execute the plan. However, without great leaders who create what gets on the radar and lead the way into the unknown, there is no future—only a rerun of yesterday.

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“Vision: is it received, developed, or discovered?”

Father Theodore Hesburgh, former president of Notre Dame University said, “Vision is the essence of leadership.”

Visionary leadership is knowing where you want to go, how to get there, and the three things required to make it happen: First, having a clear and compelling vision. Second, articulating and modeling it well. Third, getting your team focused and excited about pursuing it.

Above all, you must be confident and consistent, no one follows an uncertain or faint trumpet. Great leaders develop a clear and compelling vision by using one of the following three approaches. You can impose it, buy it, or forge it through persuasive consensus.

One, imposing a vision can be either by demand or persuasion. Teledyne founder, Henry Singleton, believes an organization is built around a mind with an idea that is aware of the key issues of his generation.

Great leaders stay ahead of the curve and lead from the future, not to the future. They are seasoned visionaries, sharpened by their image of the future. Their ability to empower and connect their teams’ everyday efforts to the vision is without question. They guide their organization with confidence and humility, not as overbearing power brokers.

Poor leaders impose their vision through demands often disguised as motivation, but in reality is manipulation. Great leaders’ caste their vision until it becomes the common vision of the team through communication that is vivid and compelling.

Second, you can buy a vision. Consultants will happily create a fashionable mission statement that creates a lot of energy, but few sustainable results. The problem with these “off-the-rack” solutions is they are so generic that they are usually worthless.

Visions can’t be bought like a McDonald’s burger or Starbucks latte. They can’t be a Burger King vision where everyone has it their way. Your team and stakeholders know immediately that you’re trying to sell them a second-hand, cut-and-paste dream that they reject immediately. If they don’t they are naive and of no real value, you need to release them.

Third, forging a vision. This happens through leadership consensus by encouraging broad contributions in putting flesh on the skeleton you provide. This produces a vision that’s the most enduring and effective for long term sustainable results.

At the end of the process you want a vision that is not only compelling, but energizes great buy-in by the core leaders and all the stakeholders. You don’t forge a vision overnight, but through patience, perseverance, and passion.

If you can’t get your team’s energized buy-in to the vision, ask yourself the following questions. How passionate am I about it? How often do I show it to them, not just in locker room pep talks, but through my daily actions? How much did I ask the team to contribute in the process

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How to avoid being overworked and feeling overwhelmed.”

Poor leaders find themselves running out of time while their direct reports lack motivation and are running out of productive work.  Great leadership is not about your personal production but your team’s production, especially when you are not around.
Delegation and deferring are two of your most important strengths as a leader. Doing them well is a must for providing effective leadership and significant success.  Great leaders spend less time “doing” and invest most of their time planning, organizing resources and coaching their team to do the “doing.”
There is a major difference between delegating and deferring.  Delegating means you still own some responsibility for the results, deferring means you give the task away without any further responsibility.  Great leaders use both and know when and how to use them.
Some warning signs you need to improve your delegating skills:
1. Your in-box is always full with work only YOU can do.
2. Delegated assignments are often incomplete and deadlines missed.
3. Direct reports feel they lack authority, resources and empowerment.
4. You constantly second guess your team members’ decisions.
5. Team morale is low, turnover rates rising and people lack motivation.
6. You frequently intervene in work you previously delegated or deferred.
7. Team members feel unprepared and are not taking full responsibility.
Tips for delegating effectively:
1. Recognize and affirm the capabilities of your team for their assignments.
2. Focus on results, not how tasks should be accomplished.
3. Use delegation to develop the skills of your team members and position them for advancement.
4. Always delegate or defer to the lowest level possible.
5. Explain assignments clearly and provide necessary resources.
6. Provide consistent feedback, emotional support during tough times and celebrate all wins, big or small.
7. Defer more, give away responsibility for results and avoid the comebacks.
Overworked and overwhelmed leaders are leaders who failed to learn how to delegate and defer effectively.
As a result your best people leave you because they are bored, you hold back the development of your good people and your average team members are burned up, or burned out because of trying to do it all.
How are you feeling as you start a new week?