Friday, October 29, 2021

12 Tips In Managing People

I worked in retail management for over twenty two years. I was manager of a grocery store, supervisor over eight fast food restaurants, and manager of an IT department in a computer store. In each of these positions, I applied the lessons below that helped me to lead my team members and our employers to greater sales, growth, and bigger profits. Here are twelve tips that I believe anyone can use when managing people. 

Manage yourself first

Before you can manage others, you first need to take care of yourself. Make your own schedule a priority and guard your time, setting aside a block of time each day that you dedicate to completing your own work without interruptions. And to further expand this thought, you need to prioritize your own mental, physical, and spiritual health as it is impossible to lead well when your own fuel gauges are on empty.

Get to know your team

The first step to effective management is understanding the people you are managing. Depending on their personality type, people respond differently to various leadership styles. And remember, there are no shortcuts to getting to know your team members, it requires time and commitment on your part to cultivate those relationships. 

Delegate tasks

Learning how to trust others with key tasks allows you to focus on high-level management duties instead of micromanaging each responsibility on a project. Once you learn about each team member's strengths, weaknesses, experiences and skills, you will be able to accurately delegate jobs to the people who are likely to do them well within the given time frame. One of the phrases that still sticks with me years later is if you are a 25 cent person, don't constantly be doing 5 cent jobs. Yes, of course there will be times when you need to put on an apron and jump in to help your team, but if you find yourself doing this on a regular basis you have a major problem. You are being paid to work on 25 cent jobs, hire and delegate your team to do the 5 cent tasks. 

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Atlanta Braves are in the World Series!

For the first time since 1999, the Braves are going back to the World Series!!

One season after the Braves lost to the Dodgers in a seven-game National League Championship Series, Atlanta knocked off the defending champions in six. The loss ends the title defense of the Dodgers, who won the World Series after last year's pandemic-shortened season. 

Instead, it's the 88-win Braves who take the NL pennant during a season in which they did not climb over the .500 mark until Aug. 6. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that's the latest first-day-over-.500 date ever for a team that reached the World Series. The previous record was Aug. 3, held by another version of the franchise -- the 1914 Boston Braves, known to history as the "Miracle Braves."

Friday, October 22, 2021

Choosing Gratitude

Bold claim, I have never met an unhappy person who was a person of gratitude. A heart, devoted to ruthlessly pursuing thankfulness, throughout their day, inspired by the small and great, is the foundation to a life well lived. 

Most of us know cultivating a grateful heart is good for us. But do we know just how good? Full confession, for most of my life I've battled worry and fear, which generally led me into the land of doubt. The first thing that I usually found myself doubting was the goodness of God. At that point, gratitude was usually devoid in my heart.

So trust me when I say that this is a choice that I still struggle with in my daily life. But by the grace of God I'm getting more consistent with choosing gratitude over fear when life throws me a curveball.

Having said that, here are three reasons I've discovered why I should embrace the choice of being grateful:

Friday, October 15, 2021

Walking Across Dry Land

We recently received a well-needed respite from our drought like conditions this summer. After a full day of steady rainfall, large parts of our lawn turned into a mud pile, as evidenced after our daughter's dog returned from doing his business. And I know this may sound weird, but everytime I walk through mud, or have to clean mud from my shoes or boots, I'm reminded of this story from the book of Exodus.

The people of Israel, God's chosen people, are fleeing their former captors in Egypt, and are complaining to their leader, Moses, about their dire situation. Which is sort of crazy because in Exodus, Chapter 14, God had instructed Moses to tell his people that Pharaoh was going to pursue them, and that God would get glory over Pharaoh and all his armies, so that the Egyptians would learn that He is the LORD.  In other words, God told them this was going to happen! Yet, it's one thing to be told of a situation, it's another altogether to experience it in person. When the Israelites saw the enormous dust cloud on the horizon, generated by all of Pharaoh's chariots, his horsemen, and all his army, they were struck with fear. And they cried out, "Have you taken us away from Egypt just to die in the wilderness?" 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Atlanta Braves are Headed Back to the Championship Series!

The Atlanta Braves are headed back to the National League Championship Series for the second straight season, and they go there in dramatic fashion.

The Braves' Freddie Freeman hammered a two-out, first-pitch homer to center field in the bottom of the eighth off Josh Hader, the Milwaukee Brewers' All-Star closer, lifting Atlanta to a 5-4 come-from-behind win on Tuesday, closing out the NL division series in four games.

"I've had a lot of cool moments in my career, but so far I think that's going to top them right there," Freeman said. "But hopefully that's not the last cool one."

Freeman's heroics ended a back-and-forth affair in which the Braves and Brewers combined for nine runs -- the total number of runs they scored together during the first three games of a well-pitched series.

Though Freeman is the face of the Braves franchise, the reigning NL MVP and possibly a future Hall of Famer, his homer off Hader was a stunner.

Friday, October 08, 2021

The Mystery of Suffering

"It is the most ungodly and dangerous business to abandon the certain and revealed will of God in order to search in to the hidden mysteries of God." - Martin Luther

"The secret of the mystery is: God is always greater. No matter how great we think Him to be, His love is always greater." - Brennan Manning

"It is easier to gaze into the sun, than into the face of the mystery of God. Such is its beauty and its radiance." -  Hildegard Of Bingen

With deepest regards to Martin Luther, today I would like to visit one of the puzzles of Christian theology, represented in this famous syllogism.

1) God is omnipotent and omniscient.

2) God is perfectly good.

3) Bad things happen to good people.

At the outset, we must acknowledge three things, 1) This is a mystery that has withstood centuries of thought and investigation, it cannot be fully explored in a blog post. 2) That human beings, who are not eternal, infinite, or omniscient, cannot expect to fully understand God’s purposes and ways. 3) It is arguably impossible for human beings to even properly evaluate what is good and bad in regard to their life experiences.

Friday, October 01, 2021

"How Are We To Live In An Atomic Age?"

Today I'd like to address your attention toward two articles written by C.S. Lewis. His writing has always been a source of personal comfort throughout the years and I have especially found the articles listed below to be sources of wisdom that I keep returning to, year after year, because they encourage me to live with eyes focused upward. (“Onward and Upward! To Narnia and the North!” a quote from the Narnia series, "The Horse and His Boy.")

Yes, we live in trying times and there is a lot to fear if we allow our minds to wander in that direction. But we are reminded in Scripture, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). So how do we reprogram our minds to reflect this truth?

A spirit of fearfulness and timidity does not come from God. Sometimes this “spirit of fear” overcomes us, and to overcome it we need to trust in and love God more completely. “There is no fear in love. To help us be complete in love, God has liberally sprinkled encouragement against fear throughout the Bible. God tells us not to be afraid of being alone, of being too weak, of not being heard in our prayers, or of being destitute of physical necessities. These admonishments cover many different aspects of the “spirit of fear.”