Are You Teachable?

Are you willing to be taught?

There is no lack of information in our culture.  Google, Bing, and Yahoo are the new libraries of our day.  All you have to do is just go to your search engine of choice, type in a few “keywords” and viola thousands of search results are now at your fingertips.  Information is power!  Information is no longer limited to a certain few, but information is available to anyone who desires to have the information.

Think for just a moment of the “search terms” you have entered into search engines in the last week.  Want to know what restaurants are close by?  Just search for restaurants within a certain distance of your location.  Want to know where a place of business is located?  Want to what shopping centers are close by?  Want to know what the weather is?  Want to know about a certain news story?  Just search it!  A lot of people are turning toward online search engines to be taught about the latest and the greatest.

Now before you jump to conclusions let me say that I am very thankful to have this kind of information at my fingertips.  It takes research to a whole other level.  As a pastor I use search engines on a regular basis to look up information that can be used in the next message or Bible Study series I am doing.  While all of this technology is great, and is very useful; let us not get to the place where technology takes the place of human experience.  There is something about the human element when it comes to being teachable.

Do you have a mentor?

While I have learned a lot from information produced by a search engine.  I must say that I have learned just as much if not more from people in my life.  I am very blessed to have a couple of mentors and elders in my life that have invested into me their time and energy.  You need someone who is able to speak into your life that has veto power in your world.  You need someone who is able to teach you from experience.  Experience is one of the best, if not the best teacher in the world.  You are never too old to learn.  You can learn at any age if you have a teachable spirit.

Ken Coleman is the host of Dave Ramsey’s events, and is the host of the Entreleadership podcast.  He recently tweeted the following: “If there was just one quality I could give to everyone it would be a teachable spirit.  Get coaching and be coachable.”

The quality of a teachable spirit is priceless.  If there is an area of your life, your family, or your business in which you are struggling, then find someone who can coach you and give you guidance so you can become stronger in that area in which you are struggling.  There is no human being who knows it all.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Don’t be intimidated by the fact that there is an area in your life that needs built up.  If you possess the quality of a teachable spirit then you have what it takes to be a better you.  There is an old saying that says: “the books you read and the people you associate with is who you will become.”

Don’t be afraid to take a class.  Don’t be afraid to take a course.  Don’t be afraid to find someone who will teach you.  The sky is the limit for you so long as you have a teachable spirit.

Traditional Leadership vs. Servant Leadership

There is Leadership, and then there is Servant Leadership!  To say that these two styles of leadership are polar opposites is the understatement of the century.

We typically think of leadership with the traditional mindset that someone is at the top of the pyramid giving orders to those that are underneath.

The problem with this kind of leadership is that in many cases it is a dictatorial kind of leadership. This kind of leadership gives commands to its followers and as a result creates an environment of people just showing up and punching a clock. This kind of leadership limits the organization to only going as far as the leader can go. I am reminded in John Maxwell’s book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” about the “Law of the Lid”. That law states “leadership ability is the lid that determines a person’s level of effectiveness”. You can severally limit your organizations effectiveness if everything is about you. As a leader you cannot do everything yourself. If every decision that is made has to be made by you, then your business, church, organization, or department will only grow to your level.

Servant Leadership

Servant Leadership is the second kind of leadership. This style of leadership is polar opposite from what I just discussed. This style of leadership is one that has a servant’s heart. When you think of the leadership pyramid think of the leader leading from a servant position.

One of the all-time greatest examples of this style of leadership is found in the Bible in the Gospel of John 13:4-5 when Jesus rises from the supper table, girds himself with a towel, and washes His disciples feet. In that culture when a guest came into the house, the servant of the house would wash the feet of the guest. It was a humble act on the part of the servant, and a great honor on the part of the guest. It was a sign of welcoming the guest into the house.

Servant leadership is about what I can give, not what can I get. Servant leadership promotes others, not self. Servant leadership is about advancing a cause bigger than yourself. It is empowering those around you to be the best they can be even if they end up being better than you. Honor, respect, and trust are very high in an organization that exemplifies true servant leadership. Servant leaders duplicate themselves many times over through other people.

As the leader go ahead and cast the vision. Create the culture! Then empower those around you to rise to levels that will absolutely cause everyone to win!

Evernote

Get Organized

We all have them, lists, notes, notebooks, and we struggle to find a way to organize all of these things.  The tool I use for this is Evernote!  Jot down a reminder.  Take a picture of a  sketch.  A note can be anything!  The cool thing is you can take your notes with you everywhere you go.  Access the note from multiple devices, and so much more!  Organize your notes into notebooks, stacks, and tags!

Structure is very important when it comes to Evernote.  Take some time to think about how you want to structure your notes.

First let me define some very important terms:

  • Notebooks: These are collections of individual notes.
  • Stacks: These are collections of notebooks.  For instance you could have a “stack” called “Work”, and then have different notebooks in that “stack” labeled “Clients”, “Projects”, “Proposals”, etc.
  • Tags: These are attributes that you can apply to any individual note. You can then view all notes with a specific tag, regardless of which notebook the note is in.

You can share notes by email, text, etc.  You can create a notebook, and share it with co-workers, family, or those that you may be collaborating on a project with.

Another way that I use Evernote is by subscribing to newsletters, and blogs with the Evernote email address you are issued when you sign up to use the service.  There is a free service and a paid service.  For more details on those plans visit www.evernote.com

When I use the Evernote email address to subscribe to newsletters, blogs, etc. I am effectively keeping my inbox clean.  Those newsletters, and blog updates come into my default notebook in Evernote, and there they will stay until I read them.  If I choose to keep an email then I just simply move that note to the desired notebook for future reference.

Clear the clutter and get organized!  Maximize your efficiency!

Managing Your Resources

The definition of “stewardship” according to Webster’s Dictionary is: “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care”.  The question that we all must ask ourselves is this: “Am I being a good steward (or manager) of what has been entrusted to me?”  When you study the creation account found in Genesis chapter 1 & 2 you will find that man was not present while God was creating.  God created the provision, and then created man and place man in the middle of what God had already created.  It is recorded in Genesis 2:15 that the Lord took man and put him into the garden of Eden “to dress it, and to keep it”.

We have time, talents, and treasures that have been given to us to be good stewards of.

 

What are you doing with your time?

We have all made the statement “I just wish there was more hours in the day to get everything done that I need to get done”.  The truth of the matter is that we do have enough hours in the day to accomplish what we need to accomplish.  The issue is we have not learned how to be a good steward of our time.  It is not that we don’t have enough time, we have not learned to prioritize our time.  We often get caught up in doing things that are urgent, but not important.  We allow distractions to interrupt us, and as a result we have run out of time.  Once this moment is gone it is forever gone.  In order to accomplish what you need to accomplish you need to learn to prioritize your time.  Make a list of things to get done, and then focus on getting them done.  Turn off the distractions!  Silence your notifications, tv, radio, etc., and focus on the task at hand.  When you prioritize things you will find that you are able to get them done in a timely manner.

 

Don’t waste your talents!

You have gifting’s, talents, and abilities – don’t waste them on frivolous things.  Maximize the talent’s you have in “keeping and dressing” the resources you have.  Use your skills to increase your productivity.  Use your abilities to capitalize on the opportunities that become available to you.  You were given the skills, talents, and abilities in order to fulfill your purpose in life.  You were not created to just exist.  You were created for a purpose!  Find your purpose, and allow your talents to take you to places you never dreamed you could go!

 

Can you be trusted with Treasure?

When we think of treasure, typically the first thing to come to mind is money.  I often say that there are two things God has entrusted us with that does not belong to us, but we are to be good stewards of these two things.  Those two things are: TIME & MONEY!  We must learn to be faithful with little if we ever want to be trusted with much.  Some say money is evil!  Wrong!  The Bible says the “love of money is the root of all evil” – 1 Timothy 6:10.

Money in and of itself is not evil, but it becomes evil when we love it so much we will do anything to get it.  There is nothing wrong with having money.  You need money to live, and provide for yourself and your family.  However, the majority of people today have no clue what it means to be a good steward of treasure (money).  Dave Ramsey often says “We buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like”.  Rachel Cruze says in her latest book “Love Your Life Not Theirs” that debt is the biggest liar there is.  Debt convinces us that we can buy whatever we want, whenever we want it.  Proverbs 22:7 says “…the borrower is servant to the lender.”

What does good stewardship with my money look like?  If you want to handle money God’s way it looks like this:
1. Give the tithe (10% of your income) back to God.
2. Give some kind of offering above and beyond the tithe.
3. Pay your taxes.
4. Save (retirement, college for kids, vacation, emergencies, etc.)
5. Live on less than you make.
6. Avoid debt.

It is amazing how that stewardship of time, talent, and treasure are so intertwined.  You and I have been given the task to be responsible managers of what God has blessed us with.  We cannot afford to take this lightly.  Start being a good steward by getting organized.  Make a list of priorities for your time.  Make a budget for your finances.  You can do this!  Someday I want to hear the words “well done thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23).

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