Leadership and Main

Bettering Others and the World You Live In

When The Good Leaders Are Gone

What do we do when the good leaders are gone?  Every generation has an inherent fear of who carries the torch.  Will there be someone to carry it? The Last Four Years World-wide pandemic, supply chain disruption, social unrest, global tensions, inflation, and unprecedented labor shortages.  Just a few of the challenges those who have led since January of 2020 have faced.  Tired, stressed, discouraged, criticized, defeated, short-handed, chaotic, disputed, questioned, imbalanced, instability, frustrated, overworked,

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How To Do More

How to do more?  That seems to be a question that we all wrestle with both personally and professionally.  The busyness of life and leadership demands more…but does not provide us with the necessary time to do more.  The world moves fast.  Our aspirations can exceed our abilities.  The intentions we have do not align with our direction.  We desire to do more, we just simply can’t.  Trying to figure out how to do more

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Where We Belong

Knowing where we belong is an important part of leadership.  The perspective puts us in the space and the place we are intended to be.  Coaching For the majority of my adult life, you could find me going from coaching baseball to football to wrestling.  Nonstop, year around.  One season to another.  I hung up my football coach whistle a few years ago.  I had always wanted Grant to play at a young age to

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Leaving Your Shoes

Leaving your shoes laying around is generally not a good practice.  It can spur getting your momma riled up, give dad something to trip over, or provide a snack for a new puppy.  Leaving Your Wrestling Shoes There is one place where the practice of leaving your shoes laying around is fully acceptable.  That location is in the center of a wrestling mat. It is a time-honored tradition for a wrestler to leave their shoes

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Person Behind The Title

There is always a person behind the title.  A job title is temporary in nature, a pathway to a paycheck that provides for our families and our future.  It is an important title, but not the most important one.     Umpires Many of my blog posts expand upon a thought from a random moment.  That moment came yesterday following our disappointing loss in the first round of the Training Legends 42 Classic, a tournament honoring

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Get Lost

Leaders need to get lost sometimes.  Nothing that requires a search and rescue mission…just temporarily lost!  Getting lost means having no plan, no direction, and no structure. If you have led for any period of time, I’m sure you may have been told to “get lost.”  Just not in a good way!  That is not the kind of getting lost I’m talking about.  Fort Payne, Alabama Last Friday I had the opportunity to get lost. 

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Catching Eggs

Catching eggs…an unexpected concept that I read about today.  We are on vacation this week for spring break.  When at the beach, I always try to pick a book to start reading.  This week’s selection, Outlive by Dr. Peter Attia.  I’m just getting into the book, but he leads off with an interesting story about a reoccurring dream that he has.  In the dream, he is on a sidewalk in a big city.  He is

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The Many Hats We Wear

The many hats we wear can determine the versatility of our leadership.  Hats are adaptive in nature.  They can match a uniform, complete an outfit, represent our favorite team, or even cover up messy hair.  They serve a variety of roles and fit a variety of situations. Leadership requires us to have a rack full of hats.  Ones that can be switched out as needed to adapt to the situation at hand.  Hats that help

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You Can Count on Critics

You can count on critics all day, every day. They can be counted on to be consistent and relentless in their efforts. You always know where they stand…on the other side of whatever you do.  Critics are simply Haters. Critics can be found everywhere.  They can be found on the living room couches during college football season, the bleachers of any youth sports activity, in board rooms, in hallways, the backseats of vehicles, the editorial section

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I Am A Winner

“I am a winner, he’s a loser” are the words I heard from the opposing team’s dugout this weekend.  In taking my stroll from the third base dugout to position myself in the first base coach’s box, I heard the opposing coach in a heated conversation on his phone.  Up until that point, I had heard him conversing with his assistant coach in the dugout.  The conversation was regarding another team they were responsible for

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Counting Down

There are moments in life in which the process of counting down can redirect our thoughts and emotions.  Countdowns always start with bigger numbers and work downward.  By the time the countdown is over, not much is left. Counting Down Every once in a while, I have moments that hit me like a ton of bricks.  Where I come to the realization that I have only so much of something left.  This weekend, it was

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Window to the World

There is a window to the world for each of us.  A small opening to a bigger picture.  A viewing pane from what things ARE into what COULD be. Creating Experiences Prior to Christmas, it hit me.  Our daughter Ashtyn is a junior in high school, she is more than halfway through this school year.  That means in less than a year and a half, she graduates. I decided that instead of a bunch of

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Wrestling With Questions

Wrestling with questions is a productive use of time for a leader.  Questions lead us in the direction of answers.  Towards a better place to make good decisions.   Wrestling Several of the last few blog posts have been anchored in the sport of wrestling.  As my son Grant wrapped up his freshman season, it created a lot of connections between the sport and leadership.  While wrestling is in the title this week, this one has

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End of Seasons

End of seasons are inevitable.  In life and leadership, all seasons come to an end.  Someday, somehow, all seasons are certain to end. End of Seasons My son, Grant, wrapped up his freshman high school wrestling season this weekend.  He and seven of his Allatoona High School teammates placed at their regional championships which earned them an opportunity to compete at the Georgia High School Association’s sectional tournament this past weekend.  To advance to the

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A Cup of Coffee

A cup of coffee is a small cost to invest BIG in our leadership journeys.  Coffee is a starter of the day and a starter of conversation.  It can be the great connector of people.  First Cup of Coffee    I did not start drinking coffee until I was twenty-seven years old.  Loved the smell of it, didn’t care much for the taste of it.  On Saturday, August 8, 2009 that all changed.  See…two days

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Place vs Potential

What is more important when selecting a team member, place or potential?  Think about it this way.  Place is where a person is currently AT, potential is where a person could GO. I find this a regular dilemma in the process of selecting team members.  Does experience, i.e. where you are at, outweigh potential of where someone can go?  It is a critically important question to ask oneself.  Selecting a Team Your heart is pounding,

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Creating Extraordinary Experiences

Creating extraordinary experiences should be an important focus for any organization.  The ability to create experiences is something universal to any organization.  The question is, does the organization aim to create ordinary or extraordinary experiences?  Media Play My working career began at the age of 17 at Media Play.  The company is no longer in business.  It featured four major offerings: toys, CD’s, computers, and books.  If you know me or have followed this blog

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A Dream is a Vision

A dream is a vision.  Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream.  That dream was a vision of a better tomorrow…for everyone.  On August 28, 1963 Dr. King shared his dream from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in front of several hundreds of thousands of people.  His I Have a Dream Speech has now been heard by billions around the world over the last sixty years.  It is one of the most influential speeches

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Winning Through Losing

Ever thought it was possible to win through losing?  Seems odd, huh?  Well…it happens in the sport of wrestling. This past weekend my son Grant and the Allatoona Buccaneer Wrestling Team competed in the Georgia High School Association’s Region 6AAAAAA Dual Meet Wrestling Championships. Wrestling Scoring System for Dual Meets For those unfamiliar with the sport, here is a quick breakdown.  There are fourteen weight classes on a wrestling team.  In a dual format, there

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Butch Price

Butch Price is the epitome of community leadership.  He has faithfully served the Acworth Community for sixty years as an educator and elected official.  At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, he officially retired from our Board of Aldermen (city council).  The purpose of This Blog is to help leaders in local communities better others and the worlds they live in.  I firmly believe that leaders at the local level have the opportunity

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The Greatest Leader

We all aspire to be the greatest leader in our own worlds.  A select few attempt to position themselves to be the greatest leader in THE world.  But…how do you become the greatest leader in human history?  Many have tried, but only one can take home the hardware. The world’s standard for leadership can be measured by the amount of territory, wealth, power, and authority that one amasses in a lifetime.  This line of thinking

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Taking the Mat

Taking the mat is a necessary step in competing as a wrestler.  Never has anyone won a wrestling match without first taking the mat.  Wrestling is one of the oldest sports in the world, tracing back to ancient times.  The sport of wrestling requires an extraordinary level of willingness to survive.  So does leadership. The Tournament I spent this past weekend at Allatoona High School watching my son Grant wrestle in the prestigious Cobb County,

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The Land

The land is where I have learned much about life and leadership.  It has helped shape and mold me into the person that I am today.  It is a special place.  The Land In 1996, my grandparents bought nine and a half acres in Canton, Georgia.  The property is divided by a creek that runs through the middle.  From the front of the property to the creek, it is relatively flat.  Past the creek, it

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ReMarkable Pursuit

Being a leader requires a remarkable pursuit of three things:  content, wisdom, and people.  The journey to being a great leader demands that we relentlessly and consistently pursue these three things. This past Wednesday, I had a conversation with a friend and fellow leadership blogger Brian Dodd.  We were in casual conversation prior to the start of a men’s group that we are in.  He asked me about a tablet that I have called a

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In The Arena

Leadership takes place in the arena, not outside of it.  For the last several weeks, I have been tuning into a Jon Meacham Podcast called, It was said.  On the podcast, he analyzes notable speeches from some of history’s greatest leaders. In The Arena There was a particular speech that struck me.  It was President Teddy Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena speech.  He delivered the speech in Paris, France in April of 1910.  He shares

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The Benefits of Being Stubborn

Are there actual benefits of being stubborn? I could be biased on the topic, but I think being stubborn can be an undervalued quality of a leader. For far too long stubbornness has been portrayed as a negative characteristic.  That changes today! None of us are exempt from the stubborn gene. We inherit it, we distribute it. It lies within all of us, some of us more than others! Maybe it’s because I can relate

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Emergency Hugs 2.0

Emergency Hugs is a concept exclusive to Leadership and Main.  I would like to tell you that I drafted this one just for World Kindness Day, but I can’t.  What I can tell you is that between a crazy week at the office, some work-related travel, and the kid’s extra-curricular activities, this week necessitated a remastering of a previous post. Of the 149 posts to date, post number 34 was one of my favorites, Emergency

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Me, My, and I

Me, my, and I are words that speak loudly about the identity of a leader. The frequency of their use in a leader’s vocabulary can be an identifying mark of their leadership style. Generally, I envy those people that can rattle off the year, the day, and the time of a moment that impacted their journey. I cannot remember the specific year, date, or time, but I distinctly remember this moment. My best guess is

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Delayed Dividends

Delayed dividends are received well after the initial investment. Dividends are one of the ways an investor receives a return on their Initial Investment. In life and leadership, delayed dividends are paid out through the person that was initially invested in. Financial investment dividends are returned to the original investor. People investment dividends are paid out through those who were invested in, to benefit others. Young People Investments This past Saturday, I had the opportunity

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Filling the Gap

Filling the gap is what great leaders do. No matter how far, how wide, or how deep…they fill it. Those who lack the necessary leadership ignore the gap, run from it, and/or consider it someone else’s responsibility. Murphy-Harpst This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to speak at a fundraising event for Murphy-Harpst, hosted by the Due West United Methodist Church. Murphy-Harpst is an amazing organization located in Cedartown, Georgia who provides housing, therapeutic, recreational,

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Falling Short

Falling short comes with the territory of high expectations.  The higher the expectations, the longer the fall to reality.  Falls to reality hurt, are sudden, generally are unexpected, and create future fears of repeating them.    Raising Expectations As a life-long Georgian, I am a die-hard Atlanta Braves fan.  I grew up in a generation that watched Greg Maddox, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, and Chipper Jones.  I remember the days prior to their arrival where

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Bad Advice

Want to hear bad advice?  Hang around the batting cages at a youth baseball tournament.  You will find an abundance there!  “Elbow up, swing harder, swing level.”  All bad, extremely bad advice.  I have coached youth baseball at various competitive levels since my son Grant was five years old.  He plays on the team I help coach, the 14U Acworth Warriors.  We played a Sunday only tournament this past weekend in Woodstock, Georgia.  Our team

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The Yo-Yo Effect

The yo-yo effect of leadership is a concept reflective of the ups and downs of leadership. A leader is subject to the upest of ups and the downest of downs, every minute of every day. As most of us are aware, a yo-yo is a toy, basically a wound-up spool of string. It moves as far down as it can go, then rebounds back up. When it returns to the top, back down it goes.

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I Need Help

The three most utilized words in a leader’s vocabulary are, “I need help.”  As a leader, it is easy to subscribe to the false narrative that we should always have it all together.  We can be expected to be all things, to solve all things, and be available to all things.  The pressure to perform can be a heavy burden to bear.  I Need Help Leaders are a magnet for everything.  Problems, decisions, tasks, conflict,

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The Cheapest Seats

Baseball legend Babe Ruth once said, “the loudest boos always come from the cheapest seats.” Those seats are occupied by the best of the best at critiquing others. They are miserable people whose game plan is to drag everyone else into the abyss of misery they dwell in. I love sports, I love developing young athletes even more.  The first twenty or so years of my life, I spent participating in sports. Twenty-four years of

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The Man in the Red Bandana

With every passing September 11 anniversary, I cannot help but to think about the story of the Man in the Red Bandana. “What would you do in the last hour of your life?  Where would you be?  Who would remember you?  What would it look like?” are the questions that the narrator led off with in an ESPN Sports Center (SC) Featured that I watched several years go. The story was about one of the

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Happy Places

Leaders need “Happy Places.”  These places are escapes for all of us. In the movie Happy Gilmore, Adam Sandler plays a character named Happy.  Happy is a hockey player turned professional golfer.  Whenever things got tough on the course, Happy’s caddie “Chub” encouraged him to go to his happy place.  It settled him down and he played better. For me, my specific Happy Places are Ellijay, Georgia and Saint George Island, Florida, mountains, rivers, and

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The Intersections Ahead

The intersections ahead will define our life and leadership. Too often, the rear-view mirror distracts us from all that the windshield has to offer in this world. Learning from our experiences is an extremely valuable tool, but can also leave us stuck at an intersection in life. The windshield offers all the excitement, potential, and possibilities that lie ahead of us. Whenever I speak to groups about leadership, I generally tell the audience that life

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Connected Leaders

Connected leaders have the pulse of an organization and its people. In the medical world, your pulse determines your heart rate.  According to the Mayo Clinic, a healthy resting heart rate should be between sixty and one hundred beats per minute. Heart rates consistently too high are not good, consistently too low are not good, and irregular ones are certainly not good. To be considered healthy, we need to regularly be within a good range.

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The Gratitude Gap

Deep within all of us we can find a gratitude gap. It first appears as a little bitty crack and can quickly widen with enough neglect. Gaps are formed by the absence of gratitude. Whenever gaps exist, they always get filled with something. It is our decision on what fills it. Gratitude is an outward expression of our appreciation and thankfulness for things and others. It is nearly impossible for us to experience anything negative

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Experience or Inexperience

Experience or inexperience, which one is the most valuable? Most people would probably quickly respond with experience, and rightfully so. If we take just a minute to wrestle with this question, maybe it is not as easy to answer as we think. My son Grant turned fourteen this weekend. We celebrated it by heading to Blue Ridge, Georgia for a day of trout fishing. My brother Steven and my nephew Tucker joined Grant and I

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The Path to the Top

The path to the top is full of many different characters.  Most people with any level of ambition desire to get to the pinnacle of their careers.  Whether it is the head of an organization, leading a division within the organization, or being a senior person on the team, we all have/had aspirations to get to the top. If you have followed Leadership and Main for any period of time, one of my escapes is

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Gritty People

Gritty people earn the admiration of others.  That admiration is earned through their ability to arrive at their desired destination regardless of the twists, turns, roadblocks, and detours that laid in the path of their journeys.  It was a far cry from a straight path to be the person they are today. My Friend Ronnie One of the grittiest people I know passed away on Thursday. Ronald (Ronnie) Eugene Thomas retired from our city team

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Driver’s Education

Driver’s education is a necessary step in obtaining one’s license.  It teaches you the ins and outs of how to operate a vehicle.  In a short period of time, you learn the necessities of performing something that you will do for a long period of time. This past weekend, I took my fifteen year, eleven month old daughter to a unique driver’s education experience.  It’s a program called Drive Strong that is located at Atlanta

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The Five W’s of Leadership

Who, what, when, where, and why?  This is an extremely common phrase when asking someone to simplify something complicated.  The question demands a simplistic, nuts and bolts response.  It requires boiling things down to their most basic level.  In that spirit, let’s take a commonly overcomplicated concept of leadership and break it down.  Here are the five W’s of leadership: Who I still find it fascinating that when I speak to groups and poll the

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End of Seasons

In life and leadership, we experience end of seasons. One thing that is certain, seasons are never wasted. We are better for the experience, good or bad.  There is always something to be learned as we wrap up a season. This past weekend we traveled to Destin, Florida to experience an, “end of season,” a baseball season. I serve as an Assistant Coach for the 13U Warrior Baseball Academy, my son Grant is a player

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The Person People Want to Follow

How do we become the person that people want to follow? This past week, I had the opportunity to speak on this critical question at the American Public Power Association’s National Conference in Seattle, Washington. Prior to the pandemic, people needed organizations more than organizations needed people. COVID-19 flipped that script. Now, organizations need people more than people need organizations. Prior to the pandemic, things were booming. Projects and numbers were greater than people. COVID-19

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A Rhythm of Rest

It is critical for leaders to have a rhythm of rest. I can remember when this blog was just an idea inside of James’ heart and mind. Now it is something that I look forward to reading every Monday morning because it helps me to get my week started off with a leadership principle to help me lead at a higher level. Today, I get the opportunity to be a guest blogger and invest in

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Sometimes You Are The Cow

Sometimes you are the cow. Bear with me… There is a great story I heard from speaker and author Kevin Paul Scott about A Cow and a Buffalo. Basically, the story goes that a cow and buffalo both have the instinctive ability to detect an approaching storm. What they do in reaction to those instincts is totally different. The cow moves away from the storm. Editorial note, a cow is slow! So it ends up

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Stuck at Intersections

It is easy for leaders to get Stuck at intersections.  For drivers, intersections serve as points of decisions in our travels.  Most intersections provide us with several options in the decision-making process.  We can decide to turn left, turn right, or continue down the same road.  The one option we cannot afford, is to get stuck at the intersection. Leadership Intersections For leaders, our journeys are a series of critical intersections that continually present themselves. 

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Unfinished Stories

Memorial Day should be a time to reflect on unfinished stories. It is an opportunity to wrestle with the sobering thought that so many individual stories were cut way too short, so that ours can reach final publication. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said that, “Never was so much owed by so many to so few.” That quote embodies the spirit of Memorial Day, a day in which we honor those who made the

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Looking the Part, Being the Part

There is a drastic difference between looking the part and being the part in leadership. We can easily put on the facade of the leader we desire to be, while at the same time falling short of being that leader. Looking the part means nothing without being the part. This time of year, I spend most weekends at the ballpark. In the world of travel baseball, looking the part is a big deal. Teams and

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Reverse Customer Service

Ever heard of the concept of “reverse customer service?” Me neither, until it popped into my head yesterday. Between shopping for a Mother’s Day card and some garden items, I spent most of my morning experiencing customer service, or lack thereof. I watched a store open late, a cashier failed to greet me, and a customer service representative walk away from the counter when most of us had already been standing in line for a

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The Human Advantage

There has been a rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) in this world.  I strongly believe that people still hold a distinct advantage, the human advantage. This past week our city team participated in a simulcast of a world-wide leadership event called Leadercast.  The daylong event features some of the best leadership communicators in the world. Each year has a theme, this year’s was Human Intelligence. The central message was the value of humans in

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Spring Clearing

All of us are due for a good spring clearing occasionally. Spring is a perfect time for renewal of a leader’s mind. Most people get a good spring cleaning in this time of year, whether it’s in the yard, the garage, or the basement. We filter through the clutter, organizing the things that are still good, and ridding ourselves of useless junk. The final product…a nice, neat, and organized space. So, why would we not

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Chasing Paper in the Wind

Have you ever caught yourself chasing paper in the wind?  In a weird way, it is a fear of mine.  Let me explain…  Here is the scenario.  Join me in imagining that you are getting back in your vehicle after doing your grocery shopping.  It’s the day before a big holiday, you name it, the place is a zoo.  On top of the chaos, it is an extremely windy day.  After an hour of wrestling

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Chief Wayne Dennard

Wayne Dennard retired as our Chief of Police in Acworth, Georgia this past week.  Through his twenty years of service, he epitomized what it means to be a Community Leader.  He is someone who uses his influence to better others and the world he lives in. We held his retirement ceremony on Wednesday afternoon to honor him.  It was an hour-long celebration of his accomplishments and service, but more importantly him as a human being. 

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The Presumptive Chair

A beach chair turned into a presumptive chair for me this week. My family and I just got back from our spring break trip to Panama City Beach, Florida. On Vacations, I am generally the first one to wake in the morning. Instead of shuffling around the condo and stirring others on this particular trip, each day I would drive to McDonald’s, grab a cup of coffee, go the beach, set up my beach chair,

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Don’t Bounce It

“Don’t bounce it” are not words of encouragement in a big moment.  This past Thursday was opening day for Major League Baseball.  It is baseball tradition to have an honoree throw out the first pitch of the game.  One of the greatest first pitches of all time was the one that President George W. Bush threw out in game three of the 2001 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks.  The

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Leaders are the Glue

Leaders are the glue that hold things together. Often when developing a topic, I find something random and explore its application to leadership. This week…it’s glue. Glue is a fundamental adhesive that we have learned to utilize since kindergarten. The creative possibilities were limitless then, with one critical exception, DO NOT EAT THE GLUE! We first learned to use it to produce visual masterpieces that would stand the test of time, stored away in our

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Perplexing Perspective

I came across what I would call a “perplexing perspective” this weekend. Sometimes I need mindless activities, which may include scrolling through reels, shorts, and other video sources. As the algorithms have learned me, they produce a lot of content filled with thought provocation, emotion, and laughter. Three things I need. In the face of terminal cancer, Coach Jimmy Valvano delivered one the most inspirational messages I have ever heard at the 1993 ESPY Awards.

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The Molding of a Leader

The molding of a leader parallels to the process of making pottery. I am far from artistic, but do understand and can appreciate that a piece of pottery doesn’t just end up that way. It starts off in its raw form as a block of clay, placed on a spinning wheel, where it is shaped and molded. In this week’s post, we look at the three correlations between making pottery and the molding of a

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The Silent Killer of Organizational Culture

Cultural Monoxide is the silent killer of organizational culture.  This is not a scientific phenomenon, just a looming threat to our abilities to build quality culture in the workplace.  It will suffocate and interrupt the heartbeat of who we are as an organization.    What is Carbon Monoxide? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines its counterpart in the science world as carbon monoxide, “an odorless gas that can kill you.”  Pretty straightforward…right?  Science isn’t my strong

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The Five Elements of Intentionality

Understanding the five elements of intentionality can drastically impact the potential influence that we have on others. Intentionality is an art, one that can easily differentiate between ordinary and extraordinary leaders. It allows leaders to be different, counteracting what the world expects of us. I will share this confession with you, I strongly desire to be an intentional person. In all aspects of my work life, volunteer life, and personal life, I want to be

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Counting Down Time

Counting Down Time Counting down time can cause deep reflection in oneself.  Countdowns are meaningful because they let us know how much of something we have left.  They never increase numerically, they always decrease.  Countdowns always end.  The Bridge For me, the concept of counting down time came in a moment on a bridge.  A moment that drastically changed my perception of time.  My family and I enjoy vacationing in St. George Island, Florida.  It

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Mean and Nasty People

There are mean and nasty people in this world. These individuals are impatient, harsh, rude, and cruel. Their objective is to impart their misery on everyone they come in contact with. The Big Game Let me set the stage for you. It’s late on a Saturday night, a trip to the championship game is on the line. Two undefeated teams clash, vying for one of two spots in the final game. The score remains scoreless

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If A Mirror Could Talk

If a mirror could talk, what would it say?  Each and every day we roll out of bed and face the reality of what the mirror possesses.  It stares right back at us and through us. One of my favorite songs of all time is Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson.  The song can generate emotions and stir souls.  Its lyrics challenge us to start with us, change our ways, and make the world

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Surrounded by Better

Great leaders are surrounded by better.  Early in my career I was told by many others, “hire people smarter than me.”  Like most advice I received at the time, I heard it…but didn’t always put it into action.  As I have grown in my leadership journey, this concept become one of the greatest pieces of advice I have ever received.  The college football season just came to an end.  The Georgia Bulldogs won their second

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Redirect Journeys

There are people and moments in life that redirect journeys.  Good, bad, or indifferent the person or the experience meets you at a critical intersection of your life.  I call these people and moments Interceders…someone or something that has redirected our journeys.      Intersections I operate in the world of government for a career.  Roads are a critical piece to the public infrastructure system that gets people from one place to another.  There are critical

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The Whole Staircase

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said, “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” As humans, we tend to want to know what awaits us at the end of a long, dark staircase. The unknown of what awaits us creates uncertainty in our worlds’ leading to impatience and impulsivity. Both can lead to a costly stumble and fall. This week, we draw four observations between a staircase and

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Fundamentals are Foundational

Fundamentals are foundational to leadership.  They are the basis of which big ideas and dreams are built on.  Lack of fundamentals can build shallow Foundations where those same big ideas and dreams fail to get traction.     I have had the pleasure of coaching youth sports my entire adult life.  Football, baseball, basketball, and wrestling. Regardless of the sport, everything starts with the Fundamentals.   They do not always shine brightest, but they are the foundation

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Earning Our Wings

Earning our wings in leadership has one fundamental requirement, to serve others well. Each of us have had the awesome responsibility of leading people bestowed upon us. We have been entrusted to be the person that gets them where they need to go. My favorite movie of all time is It’s a Wonderful Life. I watch it at the turn of every new year and anytime I need an adjustment in my perspective. If you

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Wonder in Awe

With the passage of time, it is easy to lose our wonder in awe. Christmas morning is a great reminder of this.  It produces Unexpected Moments, Unforgettable Memories.   As a child, we eagerly anticipate the arrival of Christmas morning. I distinctly remember waking up throughout the night, intensely focused on the clock. Trying to will the minutes to pass one by one. When the time came, I would rush out of the bedroom and

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Grappling with Time

Grappling with time is a never-ending battle. Time is our most valuable, yet limited resource we have. We never can, nor will know how much of it we have left.    This past Sunday, I took my son to compete in his first wrestling tournament. Wrestling is a form of grappling. Oddly enough, his first tournament took place at a school only a few miles away from where I wrestled my final high school match

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Grow In Giving

   “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero Grow in Giving    On January 1st when you look back at the holidays, what will you be glad that you prioritized? For our family, the holidays are a time of traditions and family time, but also a wonderful time to prepare our hearts and minds for being grateful and giving back to others. Our children

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The Recipe for Community

The recipe for community starts with one key ingredient…its people.  Without that ingredient, the recipe just doesn’t work. The end product is bland, lacking in flavor. A community is simply a group of people that exist together. In an ideal community, everyone in a leadership position desires to better others and the world they live in. They want the people in their communities to have a great quality of life and will do what it

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Gratitude List

Every Leader should have a gratitude list, comprising of the people and things we are grateful for. One of the key differentiators between ordinary and extraordinary leaders is gratitude. GREAT leaders are GRATEful. In Last week’s post (Giving Away of Oneself) , we talked about the giving part of Thanksgiving. This week we dive into the other portion, gratitude. For me, I desire to be a grateful person. That desire does not always lead to

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Giving Away of Oneself

Giving away of oneself is what great leaders do. Leadership is about bettering others and the world we live in. In order to lead well, giving away of oneself is a necessary function. Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching. The season makes me think of two things, one is gratitude, the other is giving. Today, we settle into the latter…giving. The Struggle I don’t know about you, but leadership can be extremely rewarding while at the same

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Making Regular Deposits

Making regular deposits into relationships is one of the most valuable investments a leader can make.  In the world of banking, there are two types of transactions that can be made, a deposit and a withdrawal.  The same is true for people transactions in leadership. Financial deposits need to be made on a regular basis in order to pay the bills.  For example, your paycheck is deposited on a regular basis.  Your home’s mortgage or

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Leaders are Losers

Leaders are losers.  Odd concept, huh?  While it seems contrary to everything that we are taught about leadership, it’s true.  Leaders are fully capable of being losers.  In fact, it is a requirement of leadership. It is worth noting that this post is being written by one of the most competitive people you will ever meet.  I like to win, hate to lose, always have.  All my life I have participated in sports as a

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Hidden Foundations

All building structures contain hidden foundations. Foundations are the base of anything that is built vertically. They bear the weight of keeping everything on top of it structurally sound while being out of site, out of mind. This past week, we said goodbye to our Chief Building Official at the City of Acworth. Loyd Fasselt retired after twenty-six years of faithful service to our organization. He made a career out of reviewing designs for and

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Crunch Time

Sometimes our best work can be accomplished in crunch time. It’s nothing more than a pressure filled opportunity to do something great! Crunch time separates ordinary people from extraordinary ones. Ninety-four weeks ago I wrote the first Leadership and Main post. After years of staring at a vision that was going nowhere, it was time to buckle down and start writing. Since then, every Monday morning at 7:15 a.m., the subscriber email has gone out

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You Can Count On Critics

You can count on critics all day, every day. They can be counted on to be consistent and relentless in their efforts. You always know where they stand…on the other side of whatever you do.  Critics are simply Haters. Critics can be found everywhere.  They can be found on the living room couches during college football season, the bleachers of any youth sports activity, in board rooms, in hallways, the backseats of vehicles, the editorial

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That’s My Bad

“That’s my bad” can be commonly said when a person declares to others that they have made a mistake .  Being able to willingly admit that we made a mistake is a mark of a great leader. The National Football League and Major League Baseball are all in full swing right now. The guys who play these games are the elite of the elite in their professions. As you tune into the games, watch what

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Lowering Your Level

Lowering your level is an effective form of leadership.  President Abraham Lincoln once said, “No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.”  This is such a powerful statement.  I have spent my entire adult life coaching youth sports.  Whenever I felt it was necessary to connect with a player from a communication standpoint, I would always physically get down on their level to deliver the message.  It was a strategy

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Your Final Message

What would your final message be to those you love?  This conclusive message is the greatest piece of work that you will ever have the opportunity to produce.  It is a culmination of every decision, every experience, and the result of every single moment of your life. Your entire existence on earth, summed up in only thirty minutes. Imagine this scenario for just one moment with me. The stage is set, the big moment has

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The 3 Enemies of Empathy

There are three enemies of empathy that lie deep within all of us that can significantly impair our ability to connect with other human beings.  If asked, most people could not articulate the difference between the words sympathy and empathy.  While they align in some ways, there are a few degrees of separation that drastically change the intended impacts of their use.   Sympathy vs Empathy I have always believed that sympathy is when you have

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Unforeseen Conditions

Unforeseen conditions are unexpected and unavoidable.  They happen without our permission. Every leader WILL experience these conditions at some point in their journeys. I was Nineteen years old, a sophomore in college, working parks maintenance for the city, and venturing into adulthood when the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 happened. It was the most notable of unforeseen conditions in my lifetime. I got up that morning like every other American, got prepared for my

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Eight Qualities of Human Leaders

There are eight qualities of human leaders that separate ordinary leaders from extraordinary ones.  There are countless books, podcasts, videos, and articles on the subject of leadership.  The key component to any leadership style is the human element.  The human element may be the easiest to look over, but the most important overall.  When I think about those individuals that taught me true, genuine leadership, I first think about the quality human beings they are. 

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Clarity Above the Fog

There is always clarity above the fog. In the world of meteorology, fog is a collection of dense water particles that accumulates near the ground. The word fog can also be associated with a state of mind, one that leads to confusion and disorientation. Either way you look at it, fog makes it difficult to see and think clearly. Recently, I was headed for my weekend hike at Kennesaw Mountain. As I drove towards the

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Unlikeliest of Friendships

We can develop the unlikeliest of friendships in our lives.  These are people that intercede our journeys.  We connect with them, not because of our similarities, but mostly our differences.  A unique arrangement that can develop the strongest of bonds.       My friend Shirley passed away almost a year ago today at the age of eight-seven. The memorial service was delayed due to COVD-19. This past Saturday, her family honored her and her husband Red

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The Gravitational Pull Towards Ordinary

Every leader faces a constant gravitational pull towards ordinary. The existence of these opposing forces is undeniable and at times unstoppable. These daily forces can actively work against our ability to be extraordinary. The pull towards ordinary disrupts our intentions to do more and be more. Intention vs Direction I’ve heard it said two ways. Andy Stanley said, “Direction, not intention determines your destination” and Kyle Idleman said, “intention doesn’t determine direction.” Both statements draw

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The Full Story Helps

Whenever a leader receives information, the full story helps. Receiving a portion of the story, missing an underlying point, or being communicated to vaguely does not help a leader in their decision making. Having the full story helps, always. The Big Game The scene is a highly anticipated first round matchup between the defending Super Bowl Champion Acworth Warriors and the undefeated Hillgrove Hawks. An early season loss had impacted our seeding headed into the

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A Willingness to Better Others

Difference makers in local communities display the ability and willingness to better others and the worlds they live in. Everyone has the ABILITY TO, the key differentiator is WILLINGNESS. A select group of the willing are about to take the stage and assume their starring role in making their communities better. Their stage is the classroom. A Front Row Seat While I am not an educator, I have a solid perspective on the work they

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Every Jersey Tells A Story

On the sports field, every jersey tells a story. I grew up playing America’s past time, the great sport of baseball. The rules of the game required us to wear jerseys. The jersey usually had to contain the team’s name, the player’s last name, and the player’s number. The contents of a jersey can tell you a lot about the player. The stories are told through each meticulous stitch of fabric that displays their name,

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No Rain, No Flowers

Where there is no rain, no flowers grow, pretty simple.  Water is a necessary nutrient for any plant to grow.  When it comes to certain varieties of plants, their flower sets them apart. My family and I are at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida this week.  Sometimes, I will head into writing days with no topic.  I either pick one from a list in my Evernote or something comes to me that day.  While I

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Little Known Heroes

Little known heroes are hidden in the fabric of communities throughout this world. They operate in the smallest places and make the biggest difference. These little known heroes are the backbone of a community’s success…past, present, and future. The world would look a lot different if they didn’t exist. I Planted the Flag on my writing journey on January 6, 2021. Seventy-eight weekly posts and more than 100,000 words later, I can easily find myself

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Unexpected Moments, Unforgettable Memories

Unexpected moments, unforgettable memories. All of us work so hard in life to plan for those perfect moments with our favorite people. We spend extensive time and large amounts of money planning vacations, cruises, camping trips, and other memorable experiences just to fall short of unforgettable. The unforgettable memories are created in those experiences which are unplanned and unexpected.  Last Tuesday, I decided to text the kids towards the end of my workday and told

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Square Peg, Round Hole

Square peg, round hole is one of my go to phrases in moments of frustration.  It enters my mind and accelerates to the tip of my tongue in those moments.  I am grateful that it tends to stay there…most of the time!  There was a toy that most of us played with in our infancy.  It was a simple, wooden toy.  The toy set included a wooden mallet, three different shaped pegs, and three correlating

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Shortcuts Can Bypass

Shortcuts can bypass so many valuable lessons in a leader’s journey. One of my Father’s Day gifts to myself was a little solitude in the form of exercise.  I got up early before the rest of the fam did and hiked Kennesaw Mountain.  I hadn’t made the climb in a while, but it didn’t take long to see a new feature to the trail.  Shortly into the hike I saw a newly installed split rail fence. 

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Growing Tomatoes and People

The process of growing tomatoes and people have a lot in common. Yes, tomatoes and leadership! A gardener tends to the growth of plant, a leader tends to the growth of people. The intentions of a gardener and a leader are the same, growth of what they care for. There are nine and a half acres in Canton, Georgia that are extremely special to me. It is a piece of property that my Maw Maw

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The Dark Seasons of Leadership

No leader is exempt from dark seasons of leadership.  There are only two types of leaders, the ones who have walked through a dark season and the ones who are about to. That doesn’t sound very inspirational, does it? No matter how strong of a leader you are, consistently great is not realistic. There will be speed bumps and hurdles that create dark periods in our leadership journey. Darkness can invoke a lot of emotions: fear,

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Would I Give My Life for Others?

Would I give my life for others? That is a question I wrestle with internally every Memorial Day. In a weekend that can be dominated by sports tournaments, cookouts, and vacations it can be difficult to find the space and solitude to adequately reflect on the magnitude of this question. If you asked this question to most people regarding their immediate family and dear friends, the answer would be yes. But what if it was

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The Great Gift of Grace

We tend to lack the willingness to give the great gift of grace in this world. People are tired, stressed, and burned out. They are leaving the workforce in record numbers.  Energy, patience, and resilience are depleted with no time for replenishment.  This concept was placed on my heart through a discussion with our leadership team recently. We had just watched an episode of the Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast titled Leading Out of a Crisis.

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Playing the Long Game

Playing the long game is a good leadership strategy. My entire adult life has been spent coaching youth sports. Over those twenty-two years, I have learned that it’s not about winning early, it’s about winning later. I coach my son Grant’s 12U recreation baseball team.  We just wrapped up our spring baseball season this past Saturday by winning the Acworth Baseball League Championship.  We made an impressive run in the end of season tournament outscoring

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Fear Less

Throughout our lives we are told to be fearless, but isn’t it more attainable to fear less?  When I think of fearless, I think of the complete absence of fear.  That just doesn’t exist.  Regardless of how strong we may think we are, we will never be absent of it.  When I think of fear less, I think of minimizing it in our lives.  The same eight letters form each of these concepts, but one

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Aim or Fire?

Aim or fire?  Which one is it? Back in 2010, I served as the President of the Acworth Business Association.  As President, you are responsible for the recruitment of board members to serve during your presidency. Networking is a critical piece to the success of any local business association or chamber of commerce.  So, during the process of recruitment I reached out to a friend of mine, Parnick Jennings. He is a master networker.  Parnick

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Our Initial Investors

People who are the initial investors in something new are always positioned for a higher rate of return. Imagine what it would have been like to be an initial investor in Coca-Cola, Amazon, Google, Tesla, or any other company that has done extremely well in the stock market. You would probably be reading this post from your own island somewhere and not preparing to go to work!  I think I would be a professional beach

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Sustainable, Competitive Advantage

What is your sustainable, competitive advantage? That is a question I have been wrestling with for the last several days. Last Tuesday, we had the privilege of hosting Chick-fil-A Chairman Dan Cathy in Acworth, Georgia. He was gracious enough to come speak to our community as a part of a “Lunch and Learn” to raise funds for our Expanding Horizons Program. Thanks to the efforts of some community leaders in Ira and Kim Blumenthal, our

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Playing Catch

Playing catch can tell us more about leadership than one could ever imagine. There really isn’t anything in sports like a good old-fashioned game of catch. I have had the opportunity to experience the process as a player, coach, and now a father. Out of the three, the position of father is by far the best vantage point. Yesterday, our family wrapped up our spring break vacation in St. George Island, Florida.  I believe whole

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Building Leaders

Building leaders is what I will be doing this week.  Lots and lots of them.  Leaders of fluorocarbon complete with floats, beads, swivels, and circle hooks.  Fishing leaders!     My family and I will be visiting our favorite vacation spot, St. George Island, Florida. Direct subscribers to the blog received this post in their inbox at 7:15 a.m. Monday morning. About that time, I will be watching the sun rise over the Gulf of Mexico

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The Vantage Points of Mountains

The vantage points of mountains are comparable to those along our leadership journeys. Here in Georgia, we are experiencing the transition from winter to spring. That transition signifies warmer weather and the ability to get outdoors more often I tend to be a creature of habit. The same person, Katianne White, has cut my hair for around fourteen years. I prefer to schedule my haircuts early on Saturday mornings. Floyd’s Barber Shop is conveniently located

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What if Leadership

What if leadership leads to endless possibilities.  A sentence beginning with these two simple words, “what if,” can change the trajectory of a leader and an organization.  There are many great questions that can guide a discussion, but this may be the greatest of all.  You do not need me to explain how divided we are in the political world.  Watching the news or hanging out on social media for a few minutes can provide

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A Seat at the Table

All people desire a seat at the table.  When I think about this concept, I cannot help but think about a conference room table and the seats surrounding it.  There can be deep meanings behind the seats and characteristics of those that occupy them. First Things First Start with earning a seat, any seat. I firmly believe that if you want a seat at the table, you must position yourself to be essential to the

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Burdened By Others

Great leaders are burdened by others. At first glance, that appears negative, but in fact it is positive. When it comes to people, great leaders have a sixth sense for others. They have an innate ability to read people, produce gut feelings, and just plain “get it” when it comes to people. Here is the thing about these gifted leaders, they put the needs of others above their own. They place themselves second. In a

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