Influence

26Apr
Kid Scream - Feature

The only thing you really control…

This morning, I had a really interesting experience that reminds me so much of myself sometimes.  My son, Michael is three years old.  Like any normal three year old, he had moments where he is irrational, fussy, or whinny.  We work on these things all the time, but parenting is hard and sometimes it is not as perfect as it looks on Instagram.

However, this morning Michael really wanted his mom to hold him.  He was crying and pouting because she could not hold him.  (In all fairness, my wife was in the shower and could not hold him.)  I tried to distract him; I offered him breakfast, to help me make coffee (which he likes to do), and to watch a show.  Nothing was working.

I then said, “Michael, you have 2 options.  You can choose to sit here crying and sad but mommy cannot hold you as she is in the shower.  Or you can choose to come with daddy to make breakfast and be happy.”

He then looked up at me with a sad face and said, “Stay here and be sad…”

To be honest, I was a bit frustrated at this point.  I was thinking, why would he want to sit here and be sad when there was a much more fun option for him – he would just need to decide to get up and move on to something more fun like making breakfast or watching a show on Disney Junior.   I left the room and he sat there for a while, choosing to be sad.

I began to think about all that I have been going through in transition of life.  I realized that I have days where I am making the choice to ‘stay here and be sad.’  Although my choice does not manifest itself by me sitting and crying like my three year, I do have days where I choose to look at the challenges of transition more than the joys of the opportunity.  Read More »

14Apr
70 Pounds Feature1 copy

How I lost nearly 70 Pounds…

Let me just be real, this post will not tell you how to lose weight.  This is not going to be a one-stop shop or a ten-step plan to get fit to get into your summer swimsuit.  What this will do is tell you some simple principles that I have used over the years to slowly transform my lifestyle.

As I wrote last year, I struggled with always being a little overweight.  Growing up, I wore “husky” jeans, I was always a few sizes bigger, and was very self-conscious of it all.  As time went on, I made several lifestyle choices that lead to a very unhealthy life, eventually leading me to weigh about 240 pounds.  I was unhealthy and unhappy about it. Read More »

11Feb
Don't go... - B&W - 1

You Stink at “Being”

The other day, I had lunch with a leader of a large corporation.  We were meeting to talk about future plans and to talk about business, however what I walked away with was much more.

As we began to talk, we started to share about our lives, our families, kids, stories, etc.  He then moved into talking with me about what he has really been journeying through and wrestling through over the course of his career.

He mentioned that about two years ago, he sat with one of his great friends; one of those friends that few of us really have, the ones who will hold us accountable and be honest with us. He asked his friend, what is one thing that you see that I need to change that I cannot see.

His friend responded, “That’s simple.  You have built your life around ‘doing’, but you stink at ‘being’.” Read More »

30Apr

Be True to Who You Are

Lester Everyone needs a hero in life and I would dare say that we all have one. When you look on your life, I am willing to bet you can think of someone who is larger than life to you. For me that person is my grandfather. My grandfather has always been an incredible man of God, he has loved people and he has always been willing to do anything for anyone. Not only that but he has also been physically strong, very active, and in top notch shape his whole life.

Today I had the chance and made the time to go have lunch with him. Over lunch we had a lot of great conversations of our time growing up, his service days in the military, his work life, and family memories from years past. It made me long to make this a much more normal part of my life.

About half way through our time, I was able to ask him for some advise – some good life-advise for me and my brother. We are both young, fairly newly married, and me a new father. It is easy to see we can use some good, wise advise at anytime.

When I asked him for advise, this is what he simply said: “Be true to who you are.”

From a man who has lived an admirable and fulfilled life, I loved that of all he could say, this is what he chose. I have not been able to stop thinking about this quote all day. It focuses around a core value that our organization chooses to live by and one that I choose to live by: integrity. The idea of integrity is that I am who I say I am no matter where I am. I believe that this is what my grandfather means.

For him, being true to who he is is first and foremost being a follower of Christ. He has truly lived his life in a way that honors his heavenly father. It also means being the husband and father that God has called him to be. For 37 years it was being a hard worker at the same company until retirement. For 7 years it was who working hard to serve our country in the US Coast Guard. Through all of this though it has been his character and relationship with God that has kept him true to who he is – a man of integrity.

The challenge for me is to be a man of integrity like he continues to be. As leaders we have to be able to be true to who we are and to live with integrity. I am thankful that I have incredible examples on all sides of my family to learn integrity from. The challenge is definitely to put the leanings into practice in every moment in life.

Today’s lunch so much fun and it serves as a great reminder to cherish the moments we have with friends and family. I am thankful for the time and look forward to the next.

Who in your life have you been able to learn integrity from?

26Jul

Why I Choose to Blog

Recently I have been asking myself, “why do you take the time to write a blog?”  As many of you know, it obviously has not taken too much of my time since I have not updated in over a month.  Nonetheless, recently this question has been in my mind a lot because I do not claim to be a writer, nor do I ever aspire to be a writer.

The truth is, although not a writer, I do love to write.  For me thinking through an idea, fleshing it out, and writing a post is challenging, fun, and engaging.   The hard part is actually posting and making it public.

When I post a blog and tweet a link or post it on Facebook, I send my ideas to my sphere of influence.  In the simple press of a button, something I have poured hours into and put much thought into has been placed on the chopping block for others to develop an opinion about.  When I press publish on WordPress, I send my ideas to a group of people whose opinion I care about.  Then it is left for them to criticize, critique, and challenge my ideas.

Read More »

26Jul

Why I Choose to Blog

Recently I have been asking myself, “why do you take the time to write a blog?”  As many of you know, it obviously has not taken too much of my time since I have not updated in over a month.  Nonetheless, recently this question has been in my mind a lot because I do not claim to be a writer, nor do I ever aspire to be a writer.

The truth is, although not a writer, I do love to write.  For me thinking through an idea, fleshing it out, and writing a post is challenging, fun, and engaging.   The hard part is actually posting and making it public.

When I post a blog and tweet a link or post it on Facebook, I send my ideas to my sphere of influence.  In the simple press of a button, something I have poured hours into and put much thought into has been placed on the chopping block for others to develop an opinion about.  When I press publish on WordPress, I send my ideas to a group of people whose opinion I care about.  Then it is left for them to criticize, critique, and challenge my ideas.

Read More »

22Jun

Wealth, is it worth it? A New Book from Truett Cathy

One thing many people tell you when you choose to marry a person is you not only marry them but their family as well. I am blessed beyond belief to have married into my wife’s family, as they consistently teach me how to live a life that loves the Lord first and foremost. Not only do they value marriage and support our marriage fully, but they have also taught us how to steward our influence in a way that will make a positive impact on the people in our lives.

One of the great men in my wife’s family is someone who is not only known for his business and entrepreneurial skills, but also for his passion for people and his unwavering commitment to his faith. I am thankful that I know him as a man who has poured into his family over the years, who sets an example of what it really means to love one another and who teaches us to be excellent in all we do. Today he has come out with a new book called, “Wealth, is it Worth it?“.

In this book, Truett Cathy talks about his hardships growing up in the depression, the hard work it took to create a restaurant that grew into a successful company and addresses the question about wealth and its worth.

The book serves as a reminder of the good things a person can do with money, but also how destructive money can be. The book offers several stories about people who came into a large amount of money but failed to steward it wisely. However, the book also looks at people who are generous and use wealth to be a blessing to others.

Read More »

25Apr

Finding a Pacer

During my time at Samford University, I found a love for something that I never thought I would enjoy.  Daily, I would put on some shorts, a dri-fit shirt, lace up my Brooks running shoes, queue the iPod and hit the Lakeshore trail to go running.  I started my time not even being able to run a mile, but with some determination, I began to run daily – I got in the best shape of my life (so far) and started to look for ways to compete.

Shortly after I knew I could physically run 3 miles, I ran my first 5k and loved it. Running races made me realize there is a community who participates in events and they made running much more fun.  Also at a race, I could find people to push me – people who became my pacers.  Though the community is a blast, one of the greatest parts is that there will typically be people better than you, faster than you, and willing to push you to work harder.

For me, how I do in a race is all about the person I am pacing with.  I need someone who is a little faster than me so I can try my hardest to keep up with them for the duration of the race.

One of the bigger lessons that I have learned though is that in a race, I cannot pick my pacer until I have completed the first mile.  See, when a race starts you always have 3 types of Runners: Read More »

20Apr

Success is Succession – Developing Younger Leaders

One of my favorite things to do ever since I have moved into my house is to work in the yard.   I know this is not something loved by all 26 year-olds, but I have grown to love planting plants, cutting the grass, trimming the hedges, etc.  I think a lot of the reason why I love it is because I get to see immediate results – whereas in my career we aim for long-term results over the short-term.

This year in my yard, Angela and I wanted to try something new; we wanted to be like every good southern family and build a garden.  Over the past 3 weeks we have dug, tilled, and built a garden into the landscape of our back yard.  As much work as it has been, I have a feeling that the fun part is just getting started.

The garden has also taught me a lot about the role of a leader to prepare others.  I understand that garden analogies are a bit cliché, but there is a lot to take away.

Read More »

14Sep

Coca-Cola and the Influence of 1

Being an Atlanta native, there is something really fun about being in a foreign country, looking at the container of your drink and seeing 2 words : “Coca-Cola” and “Atlanta.”  This past week I have been in Brazil, and as I was sitting in a restaurant the other night, I could not help to think of “home” as I drank my Coke Zero from a glass bottle in a country on the opposite hemisphere from where it all began for the company!

What I could also not help to think about was the influence of one man running a medium sized company was the catalyst that lead to Coke being one of the single most known products and brands in the world.  If you are not familiar with Coca-Cola history, I will fill you in on just a small piece.

Read More »

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