Archives For September 2015

Edwin Gabriel Vargas

Here are two questions I’ve been meditating on the last couple of months:

How do some leaders stay fresh and relevant, while others live at the cutting edge of mediocrity?

Who will tell me truths I need to hear?

We all have blind spots. One of the attributes of a good leader is that he/she has someone in his life who is willing to:

Tell the truth

Stand by you and help you grow.

Public success does not always mean pure intentions. Lies may get you to the top faster, but only the pure unadulterated truth will take you AND keep you there.

We need people that have our best intentions in mind to keep us honest in our professional journey. If you don’t, you will suffer from three things:

*You will coast instead of soar.

*You will repeat mistakes instead of improve.

*You will grow irrelevant instead of impactful.

Here are three principles:

  1. Understand the difference between harmful critic and helpful truth-teller

Both tell you something you may not want to hear, a hard uncomfortable truth. The difference is between them is that the harmful critic throws a stone at you and stands back. The helpful truth teller will throw a stone at the problem and stays until the issue improves, however long it takes. We need to be able to distinguish between the two.

  1. The more successful you become, the less truth tellers you will have.

This is called the CEO disease. People around you will hesitate to confront you, especially if there are outward signs of success. Here is an article that explains the term CEO disease: Since loving truth tellers are few and far between, you must be intentional in creating a culture that values truth telling.

  1. How to get a friendly truth teller on your team.

Create that culture through words, print and practice. We don’t want to be toxic, but we do want to be truthful.

Pray for discernment.

Seek them out.

Give them permission.

My wife and I have a practice in our home. We sit our kids down once in a while and ask them to tell us where we are coming up short as parents. Instead of making us weaker, it has improved our parenting and taught them a valuable lesson: transparency in the atmosphere of acceptance always leads to growth.

So, who tells you the truth, lovingly?

Leaving well —  September 9, 2015

Eventually we all leave. No matter the reason, there is a good way to leave and a bad way to leave. Even after a messy divorce from your previous employer there are things to keep in mind to make the transition to the new position a smoother one:

  1. Prepare the people around you for your exit.

You can prepare the people around you. Here are two examples:

  1. One pastor I know sat with his board and told them: “a new pastor is coming. He/she is probably going to change some things I did. I want you to know I am ok with it and I am praying that you will be supportive of his vision.”
  2. Another pastor got to a district and found a previous pastor in his members’ homes, attending birthdays, and lending an ear. He excused by saying he can’t help in people see him out. Yes you can, dude, yes you can.
  1. Prepare yourself for the exit.

No matter where you go, news from that previous assignment will make their way to you. Prepare by making a solemn promise to yourself that you will not intervene, help, or get depressed because of what is happening. You did your time, and the people where you are deserve your undivided attention. You don’t need to keep in touch, don’t need to perform weddings and Quiceaneras unless it’s your sister and even then think twice.

  1. Resist the urge.

Don’t be bitter, don’t throw social media bombs, and don’t do the passive aggressive song and dance. Just leave. No one repented from angry words they never got a chance to say. If you were reassigned or let go unjustly time has a way of showing it and vindicating you. If you were the one mistaken, angry outburst and bitter posts only complicates things.

Leave well.

What are some recommendations you have found helpful as you have left?