A Bodey in Motion

Building momentum, one step at a time

The Humility of Leadership

Outstanding by John G. MillerI believe that humility is the cornerstone of leadership. Others do, too. Russ Gasdia, vice president of sales and marketing for Purdue Pharma, sums it up well. When asked to list three characteristics of an “effective leader,” he said, “Humility, humility, and humility. They know they make mistakes, accept feedback from others in order to learn, admit they don’t always know what’s right, and recognize it’s not ‘all about them.’ When they succeed, they are humble. When they fail, they are humble. And lastly, they never think they are more important than the customer!”

     Humility is a key trait of outstanding organizations – and of individuals. Humility helps people be more likable and approachable, work better with others, and give better service to customers. It enables departments and teams to collaborate with other departments and teams. Perhaps most important, it allows people to communicate more freely, creating a culture of authenticity and accountability that every outstanding organization requires.

John G Miller, Outstanding

The most persuasive leader is the one who you know has your best interest at heart. Don’t be the leader who knows everything, can handle every problem, and is constantly double-checking the efforts of their team. That arrogance will cost you. By hiding behind that inauthentic facade, you miss the opportunity for true success.


March 21, 2013 Posted by | Read and Reviewed, Work and Money | , , , | Comments Off on The Humility of Leadership

Quick Hits of the Week

  • Being a politically active Christian can equal an open door to some of the worst kinds of sin. Not worst because they’re extra grotesque or heinous, but because they’re the ones that are pernicious and go unchallenged. “Not only are believers excused for their political indiscretions, but they are often applauded for committing them.” It’s time for us to stop living the lie that every Christian follows one political party. We each have been formed differently and are moved by different kinds of pain and injustice. We should each follow those ways that God has called us, while finding common ground with each other in the church.
  • Bicycles became popular after the automobile did. That seems backwards (as simple, man powered locomotion should have preceded the complex combustion engine) until you realize that for bicycles to be popular they need smooth roads and inflated rubber tires, both of which were brought on by the advent of the automotive age. The lesson is that inventions and innovation become accepted and popular spontaneously, when the world is ready for them. We shouldn’t look for inventions before their time. What does that say about new energy technologies?

Is there something valuable or important or cool or funny or weird or awesome out there I missed this week? I can’t hit it all, but you should let me know about it by dropping me a line or sharing it in the comments below! I’d appreciate the heads up.

September 20, 2012 Posted by | Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Quick Hits of the Week

Quick Hits of the Week

  • I set an annual goal of reading, on average, two non-fiction books every month. It usually ends up being 25 to 30 books every year when I’m done. Harry Truman said, “Not every reader is a leader, but all leaders are readers.” Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones said, “You’re the same today as you’ll be in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read.” If you are seeking to influence the people around you, you need to be reading books that will grow you into the leader that you want to become. I just recently finished Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, which is a little poignant since he died a couple of days later.  The world needs more leaders like Covey.
  • Ever since we began planting and growing our food, we’ve been tinkering with it. Gregor Mendel is considered the father of modern genetics, and he did most of his research by modifying pea plants. Apples are no exception. What we eat today has been modified through natural gene exchange that occurred as a part of the process of millennia of agriculture. Today we have a company that has modified apples by introducing a synthetic version of a gene already found in the fruit. They simply want to grow apples that are resistant to browning caused by cuts and bruises. This will allow more of the apple crop to make it to market (because grocers will reject bruised fruit) and could increase apple consumption (which has fallen by 20% in recent decades). I don’t see the problem with it, but then again I’m one of those freaks who think that people should be able to consume raw milk, too.
  • Everyone knows that they need to be saving and investing for their future. We need savings to protect us against the unexpected. We need investments to provide us with options, and allow us to finish our lives strong. The problem is that most of us do neither consistently. We don’t make it a priority. That has to change. Seek out strategies for saving money, so you can build a foundation to grow wealth from. Don’t guess when it comes to investing, instead follow the habits of successful investors. You can’t put it off any longer.

Is there something valuable or important or cool or funny or weird or awesome out there I missed this week? I can’t hit it all, but you should let me know about it by dropping me a line or sharing it in the comments below! I’d appreciate the heads up.

July 19, 2012 Posted by | Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Quick Hits of the Week

Are You Ready?

I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew. I would say that I’ve been meditating on it or contemplating over it during my quiet time, but using the words ‘the Gospel of’ makes me sound more religious than I’m normally comfortable with anyway, so I’ll just stick with thinking about it. I’m not some heavyweight spiritual guru, just a guy trying to do his best to love his savior.

Matthew 25 is broken up into three sections:

  • The Parable of the Ten Virgins (v.1-13)
  • The Parable of the Talents (v.14-30)
  • The Final Judgement (v.31-46)

Each one of these is a description of what it will ostensibly be like when Christ returns, especially in regard to those who claim to love and follow him. They also supply the reader with some direct application, i.e. what loving and following Jesus should look like every day. In my opinion, these messages interleave and build on one another, and together they paint a pretty clear picture of how, as a Christian, we should approach and handle our resources.

Today, I’m covering the first section, The Parable of the Ten Virgins.

Strangely, it's a lot easier to find a public domain image of an open bible than of ten virgins. No, really. Google it, you'll see.

Have you ever read the Parable of the Ten Virgins? I’m not going to paste the whole thing here, because there are plenty of sites where you can go to read it, but let me quickly paraphrase it for the sake of those who are unfamiliar with it.

There are ten virgins (I’m as shocked as you are) who are all waiting for their future husband to show up. Because there’s a good chance he’s going to show up after dark, they all pack lamps. Only five of them, though, are wise enough to pack extra oil for their lamps. The other five don’t.

Sure enough, at the stroke of midnight, the call goes out that he’s on his way. The girls wake up and get their lamps going, but, wouldn’t you know it, five of them are having a rough time of it. They ask the others for some of their oil, but there isn’t enough for all of them. The five without are forced to make a trip to the local lamp-oil dealer.

While they’re gone, he arrives. The five who thought ahead go with him and the others get shut out. When they finally arrive, he won’t let them in, and denies even knowing them.

Matthew 25:1-13 BPV (Bodey Paraphrased Version)

Now, obviously there is a bunch of cultural stuff in here that those of us living in the 21st century won’t immediately get. For example, it’s not a widely accepted interpretation that the parable is condoning polygamy, but only for people with excellent planning skills. I could cross-reference the commentaries and discussions explaining the actual context of the passage, but that takes me back to the whole ‘sounding religious’ problem. I just want to focus on one core point:

A call was made. Five were ready. Five weren’t. Their results varied greatly.

That’s it. Here’s the actual, non-paraphrased verse that struck me the first time I read through it:

And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.

Matthew 25:10 ESV

If you’ve chosen to follow Christ, if you love your savior, you will eventually feel the call from God to respond to what breaks his heart. Just like in the parable, it won’t come at a convenient time. It’ll require a sacrifice from you, putting some or all of your life and livelihood at risk.

That can make it hard to answer. While you may know that serving him will be unbelievably rewarding, you’re just not ready to go. You hold back.

Is it your family? You can’t go where God wants until your kids are older. It wouldn’t be safe for them. You’re not ready.

Is it your finances? Your debts need to be paid, and you have to stay in that less-than-perfect job to keep them current. If you leave it, you’ll be bankrupt and destitute. You’re not ready.

Is it your health? You’ve not taken good care of yourself, so you need the insurance. Traveling is difficult and expensive. Before you can do anything for God, you have to get in shape. You’re not ready.

It can be anything. A few things. Maybe even everything. If we’re not handling the resources that we’ve been given well, it’s easy to find excuses and say “I can’t” when the time comes. And that’s too bad, because he knows the desires of our hearts. The plans he calls us to are as much for the impact they’ll have on each of us as they are for the impact they’ll have on the world. Not being ready means that we are missing out on the best for us.

So, why aren’t you ready? What keeps you from following the dreams he’s planted in you? Figure it out. Give yourself the freedom to respond without having to scramble for more lamp-oil.

If you could change one thing so you’d be more available to God, what would it be? What goals have you set and accomplished that have later helped you respond to God? Do you think that midnight lamp-oil sales was a lucrative business model in the time of Christ? 

[image from publicdomainpictures.net]

July 9, 2012 Posted by | Christ and Church, Marriage and Family, Past and Future, Work and Money | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments