Emotions At Work

Traditional approaches to improving your performance at work put an emphasis on changing behavior. They teach that if someone tries hard enough that they can alter their actions.  All the emphasis is on evaluating past actions, planning for future actions, and correcting wrong actions. We know from experience that simply “trying harder” is not sufficient. Think about the last time you tried a diet, to develop a new productivity habit, or start a new routine at work. How did it go?

Often times we realize that we “know” the right thing to do but we still make the wrong choice. Focusing on the “action” and trying harder is not sufficient. Emotions matter. Emotions influence our actions.

What’s your motivation? [video]

What motivates you to obey God?

In our faith, it’s easy to fall into the trap of conditional obedience. We follow God’s plans and desires for our life as long as they’re convenient, not too difficult, and produce the results we want. However, this is the wrong reason. It points to a deeper issue of our heart. Check out this message I did this week at Life Church that is sure to challenge you in your faith.

trueU App: Leadership Lessons

Download it today!

Have you downloaded the trueU app yet? I partnered with trueU and released eight Leadership Lessons that are rolling out over the next several weeks. This week we released “Finding Your Sweet Spot.” It’s a great, short video to consider what you’ll focus on going into the new year.
– Search for trueU in the iOS App Store or Google Play Store and check them out!


The First 30 Days At Your New Job

I’m a month into my role as a Leadership Coach with Dulead. It’s been a great start and has reminded me how important it is to get off to a good start. If you spend your first 30 days well it will propel you into the future. A slow or negative start can take months to recover from. What is important to do in your first 30 days at a new job?

  1. Learn your boss’s style. Make getting to know your boss one of your top priorities. Get to know them personally, but even more importantly understand their leadership style. Are they a big picture guy or do they like to dig into the details? Do they want daily updates, multiple updates per day, or will a weekly update suffice? Do they prefer email, phone calls, or to talk in person? Do they care more about when you punch-in and out the clock or that you just get your job done? What is the dress code they expect? These are just a few of the details you want to figure out about your boss as soon as possible. Many of these you get from observing your boss and how they interact with your coworkers, not peppering him/her with questions.
  2. Clarify your responsibilities. Shortly into your job, you’ll discover expectations and demands on you that may not fit with your original understanding of the role. These aren’t necessarily good or bad, but they need to be clarified. Are they your responsibility? Should you devote time to them? Or will they distract you from activities that your boss thinks are more important?
  3. Discover your boss’s priorities and pressures. Put yourself in your boss’s shoes. What is most important to your boss? What pressures are they facing? What are they being measured on? The more quickly you can discover these and help with them the better. If you make your boss’s priorities your priorities, then you will help them succeed. If you help your boss succeed, you will succeed. It’s a win-win!
  4. Build relationships with others. Get to know your team. I’ve made it a personal goal to have lunch or an in-depth 1:1 conversation with a different co-worker each week for the first two months. You never know the connections you’ll form, friends you’ll discover, or common interests you’ll have. This makes work more enjoyable and your team more effective.
  5. Ask for feedback. I asked Eric, my new boss, for feedback after two weeks and plan to again at six weeks. While I think I’m doing a good job, I want to make sure he thinks that. Is there anything I’m missing? Any disappointments or points of frustration? Anything else he’d like to see? I always want to be learning and growing. Feedback is a great way to make that happen!
  6. Pray for your work. As followers of Jesus, we should always be praying for those around us. However, sometimes we forget to pray for our work, especially if things are difficult or frustrating. Pray for your boss, coworkers, and the organization. Pray for why God has you there. Pray for yourself and opportunities to grow, develop, and make meaningful contributions.

Starting a new job can be overwhelming. Adjusting to a new culture, team, organization, and schedule can be a lot. However, it’s not good enough to just survive the first month, you want to thrive. By doing the above five things you’ll set yourself up for long-term success!

Question: As you’ve started new jobs, what have you learned is most important to do in the first month? You can leave a comment by clicking here.


The Art of Listening

As a culture, we have forgotten how to listen well. With all the noise, interruptions, and activity the art of listening is being lost. To lead well we must listen well. Listening creates connection and understanding which is necessary to lead others.

This post is being written from personal experience. I have found myself guilty of poor listening more often then I’d like to admit. See if you can relate to one of the following situations that have happened to me:

If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on it, I would use the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.

Albert Einstein

Can’t Stand Your Boss?

5 strategies for dealing with a difficult boss.

Do you like your boss? Are you thinking about quitting your job because of your boss? According to Gallup, 50% of people in the United States have quit their job at some point in their career to get away from their boss. What do we do when we work for a difficult boss?

The Harvard Business Review recently wrote a great article titled “Do You Hate Your Boss?” They lay out steps you should take if you work for a difficult boss. As Christians, we have a unique view of the world and work. While HBR’s article outlines some great steps, they left some out that we should pursue as people of faith. Here are my suggestions on what to do when you can’t stand your boss.

Video: The Need For Control

Over the last two weeks, I spoke at Life Church about our need for control. We try to control the people or the circumstances around us. Many of the things we try to control are not ours to control. When our efforts fail, it leads us into a cycle of fear: the more we try to control something, the more afraid we are of losing control. The more afraid we are of losing control, the more we try to control something.

A few key points:

  • When we get impatient with God we often will step over God’s promises in an attempt to make something happen.
  • Many of the things we try to control really aren’t worth our concern. Will we even remember the situation a month from now?
  • Surrendering control is not the same thing as relinquishing responsibility.
  • Anxiety, worry, and fear are warning signs that we’re trying to control something that is not ours to control.
  • When we surrender control of that which we want most, we will see the miraculous provision of God in our life.
  • Key scriptures: Proverbs 3:5-6, Genesis 16:1-4, Philippians 4:6-7

Watch the entire message below:

Practicing an Attitude of Gratitude


Life can be hard. Perhaps you’ve had a hard week, month or even year. Maybe right now you’re overwhelmed, stressed or moving from one crisis to another. So often we can be overwhelmed by life. However, gratitude, or being thankful, can help bring context and a fuller perspective to our lives. Gratitude is a counterbalance to stress and worry. Gratitude reminds us that even in the midst of difficulties and storms in life, that there is good and we have much to be thankful for. Gratitude helps us refocus on what is truly important in our lives.

Thanksgiving is a good time of the year to remind us of the power of gratitude. However, don’t fall in the trap of just being thankful once a year. Gratitude is a powerful force in our life any time of the year! So how do we get better at being grateful and being reminded of what is most important?