Empathy

Business people

It’s a Martian word, so you probably don’t hear it a lot down here, unless you move in some hipster or techie circles. It’s a darkly guttural word that sounds something like a bullfrog in a fight with a cat, so it lacks a certain sense of poetry.

But it’s an important word to describe a unique and powerful ability that can separate:

  • leaders from posers,
  • successful marketers from annoying advertisers,
  • elected officials from also-rans,
  • spiritual shepherds from obnoxious preachers,
  • faithful, lifelong friends or marriage partners from relational flame-outs,
  • Oprah from, well, anybody (okay, just kidding… a little).

I’m referring, of course, to grokking. [click to continue…]

{ 3 comments }

Compassion

Most Christians live as if Jesus doesn’t get it.

Sure, He can create the universe and conquer unseen demon hordes.

But apparently He’s clueless about your money, relationships, or dreams.

Forget the fact that He called Himself the “Son of Man” 81 times.

When it comes to really understanding, Jesus appears out of touch at best…

Stupid at worst. [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

Compassionate Leader

After surveying more than 10,000 people, the Gallup organization learned that people want four things from their leaders: trust, compassion, stability, and hope.  Whether you consider yourself as the “touchy-feely type” or not, you can greatly influence others by showing you care and are willing to take action on the concerns and joys of somebody else.  In short, regardless of your position, your influence rises and falls with the level of your compassion.

So how’s your level of compassion?  Here are eleven questions to help you explore that: [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

I spend a lot of time trying to think up new things, or new ways to say the familiar things.  I’m a big believer in singing a new song to the Lord and the exquisite beauty that comes from being completely random every once in a while.

That said, our brains were build to learn by repetition, and our hearts were made to be renewed by reminders.  That’s why the Bible has four gospels, Kings and Chronicles, and the books of Deuteronomy and 1 John. All built on some form of repetition.  That’s why the early church met daily from house to house or had a regular assembly on the first day of the week.  To be reminded.  To be renewed.

I know I accidentally repeat myself plenty of times, but today I thought it may be time for a little deliberate renewal – some purpose-driven (sorry, Rick) reminders of the big stuff – a harvested collection of some of the good stuff.  Not my stuff, but those themes that keep us going and keep going themselves long after we’re gone.  So here goes… [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

Tucked inside a rapid-fire to-do list in the Bible is a simply-carved roadmap into the hearts of other people.  After Paul suggests how believers can get along with their persecutors, and before he suggests how we can get along with other believers (that’s a much longer suggestion), he gives this encouragement:

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep”(Romans 12:15).

A simple phrase.  But a world of meaning packed in these simple instructions. [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

The Unselfish Leader

by Andy Wood on October 8, 2011

in Leadership, Life Currency

Disciple:  Oh wise one, why do people put others up on a pedestal?

Guru:  Target practice.

+++++++

Leadership is in the crosshairs these days, and it sure seems as though everybody has an itchy trigger finger.  The most hated man in the world is the President of the United States – whoever he is.  Change the name and face, we just paint new targets.

And Congress?  Ha.  First of all, they aren’t elected leaders; they’re elected representatives.  Second, until we can vote for all 435 offices, we’ll always love ours and hate everybody else’s.

But our hostility to leaders isn’t limited to government.  Whether in business and banking, sports and entertainment, churches and nonprofits, or pretty much any other endeavor, leaders are perceived as self-serving – even at the expense of employees and the good of the organization itself.

Is that fair?  No and yes. [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

When it comes to relationships, are you a builder or a buster?  I’ve known both, and I’m sure you have, too.

Relationship builders are liked.  Respected.  Trusted.  They believe in the deep, abiding value of relationships with others, and invest their lives in nurturing them.  But they also seem to go about relationship building in an almost-effortless way.

Relationship busters are different.  They may get along with anybody for a season, but sooner or later their relationships tend to blow up or fall apart.  Or they live in constant relationship drama.

One of the things I have learned about relationships is that a large part of them are an inside job.  That is, there is a difference between the way builders and busters think.  And whatever controls your thinking right now establishes the course of your relationships for a long time.

In his letter to the Colossians, Paul writes from a Roman prison and encourages them to engage in linking thinking: [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

(A Turning Point Story)

On Highway 43 North in Jackson, Alabama, the  Joe C. McCorquodale, Jr. Bridge crosses the Tombigbee River and lands at the base of a mile-long bluff or hill that probably has some name I don’t know.  All I knew at the time was that Ed’s Drive-In (formerly Troy’s) was at the top of it, and that’s where we stopped for a couple of cokes for the road.  Next stop:  Mobile.  A hospital visit or two was surely on the agenda.  Most likely a stop by Bel Air Mall or the Baptist Bookstore as well.

We turned south and started down the monstrous hill.  Highway 43 is a nice, wide, divided highway, and the view south toward the river is really nice.

And long.

Which explains how ridiculous it was that just as I approached the Highway 69 intersection, a lady pulled out in the left lane, right in front of me.

Good.  Stinkin’.  Grief. [click to continue…]

{ 2 comments }