(An “Own It” series for Dudes)
This month I’ve been doing quite a bit of driving. Trips have been anywhere from three to nine hours in length. Therefore, I’ve had reason to make a few pitstops. One such stop was memorable. It was a rest area in PA.
Frankly, PA has nothing to do with it. I’ve experienced the same scenario before, but in a different way. In the other scenarios I wasn’t actually in the room, so not the same experience. I’ll get back to that.
The experience has to do with dudes and their phones. Before you go there, no dude’s phone got dunked…not this time. Water wasn’t involved.
When I walked in, there was a dude in the first stall. While a couple others of us “rested,” the dude in the stall’s phone rang. And, you guessed it, he answered it. Not only answered it, but he was still carrying on the conversation when I walked out.
Dude, you’re in a stall…using the restroom…at the rest stop. Doing business while doing business isn’t something the rest of us need to hear, see, or filter through any of our senses. For us other dudes, please observe the following manly restroom and phone pointers:
- If your phone is your business line, consider yourself out of the office for a few minutes when you enter this “not private” office. For that matter, for your customer’s sake go ahead and declare that for all restrooms.
- If you know that the ringing of your phone is simply irresistible for you to ignore, leave the phone in your vehicle. Most likely, you’ll get finished faster as well as get back to your phone and the highway more timely.
- If the restroom becomes somewhat of a man cave for reading or playing games on your phone at your actual office or home, keep it that way. Get in and out at the rest area. Here’s a suggestion: pretend you’re at the stadium and it’s halftime. There’s a reason why reading materials aren’t provided.
- If you must carry your phone with you for reasons for which you probably need to see a counselor, let all calls go to voice mail. People really don’t expect you to answer 24/7. They get it. They most likely won’t get it when they hear flushing and other noises from the other business guys in the room.
- And back to that other thing, don’t be that guy…the guy that has to answer, “In the restroom,” when asked by your caller, “Where are you?” Your caller doesn’t need that visual. Again, senses.
- Finally and seriously, own your phone. Don’t let your phone own you.
This morning I headed out from TN where I’ve spent the week in Nashville. The weekend will take me to Indiana and Kentucky to run two races, and I’ll end up in Ohio to visit a friend for a few days before heading to NY on Tuesday.
A few weeks ago I posted a video teaser about my sabbatical activities. You were probably smart enough to figure out that the video footage was from a recording studio. If not, here’s the scoop.
Over the years, people have encouraged me to do a recording. I’ve always dismissed the idea for lots of reasons, the main one being time. So when I was given the opportunity to take a month’s sabbatical, that excuse was no longer valid. Back in the spring, I connected with a producer, and we’ve been working on this project since then with the target of being prepared to do the recording this week. Target met.
I could write a lot about this process, but for now I’ll just relay what we did this week.
- Monday was a full day at The Library Studio in Joelton where 18 string and brass players added their talents to seven of the songs. In the picture above is Dave Bechtel, producer, and Robert Nugent, arranger and pianist.
- Tuesday and Wednesday the woodwinds were added, and we got vocals for nine of the songs recorded.
- So yesterday was the final day, getting the last song recorded and some final tweaking.
The project is by no means complete. But you are now “in the know.” I’ll share more as we move along.
Last week was a step back in time. My mom and sister Debra joined me on a roadtrip to Illinois. Final stop, Beecher City, population 500. This was a delayed 80th birthday trip for my mom to visit her twin sister and brother-in-law.
Last time I was in Beecher City was probably before I started kindergarten. What would I know, but it appears not much has changed. For instance, to our surprise at the gas station, we received full service. I can’t remember ever receiving that. Anywhere.
We enjoyed the disconnect from the rest of the world for a few days. My mom and aunt enjoyed seeing the home they grew up in (cover photo above) and their high school and even catching up with classmates from their elementary one-room school classmates. A taste of yesterday. In this place. A meaningful week to start a sabbatical month.
If you attend First Baptist Bradenton, you are most likely aware my month’s sabbatical is fast approaching. What you may not know is what my month will entail or why a sabbatical is even taken. More about those questions later, but this video is a teaser to an answer.
These are videos from my front door. I live a half mile from Blake hospital,five miles from the beach. They say the biggest winds will be between 4pm and 1am.
(An “Own It” series for dudes)
I’ve been able to get to two Rays games in the last couple of weeks. Both games were a lot of fun-good plays and good company. For me, baseball rarely disappoints.
What, or should I say, who can disappoint more frequently are dudes in the stands. These dudes seem to not understand the difference between watching the game from their recliner versus watching the game amongst strangers. So from one baseball-watching dude to another, here are some manly things to keep in mind:
- Yes, you paid good money to come, and you want to enjoy the game. So do it already. Relax. Everybody has a better time when you do.
- Chances are you don’t know anybody on the field, umpires or players. Follow the golden rule. Oh, and they most likely can’t hear you.
- If you are so great to bring your kids to the game, here’s the best way to get the most out of the experience for you and them. Ready? Make it about your kids more than about you.
- It’s a game. Somebody is going to lose. Chances are the players want to win more than you want them to. Be a good sport.
- Yelling is fine, even encouraged. Try this rule though: for every degrading negative you yell you must yell three encouraging positives.
- People are people. They have to go to the restroom and get food. Stand up and let them out of the row. It’s that golden rule thing again.
- Excessive cussing and drinking do not make you a man (for what it’s worth, it definitely doesn’t look good on your lady either). The people in front of and behind you are literally inches away. One last time: Golden Rule!
At both of these games, a pair of dudes sat in front of me. They looked retirement age. They also looked like sports-loving dudes. They kept these manly things in mind and more. Thanks, dudes, for modeling how to be a dude at the game.
Over the last 20 years, I’ve been given the opportunity to lead worship for five different stints on three church staffs. Might sound confusing, so let me explain. For one stint I was actually hired to be the worship leader; I was there for four years. Three of the other four stints came while I was on staff serving a different role, but there was a vacancy for a period of time when I put on the worship leader hat also. That leaves one more, which I really didn’t want to do but God told me to say yes. Not the first time. News flash: He’s always right.
I recently finished stint number five. In reflective mode, I’ve taken a look at these stints to remember what I learned, how I grew, and what God showed me. To bottom line it, here are the five leadership lessons these stints taught me.
Lesson #1-Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
It’s possible you have a talent that everyone validates but God has other purposes for you outside that talent. It’s possible putting all your energy on the obvious talent stunts the hidden talent that only God can nurture when you say yes to him and no to the obvious. It’s possible that the best avenue for you to understand this is to give the obvious a shot and find that there is more.
Lesson #2-If you’re the best person for the job, step up.
It’s possible the very reason you are where you are is God put you there to fill a hole that only you can fill. It’s possible that God put you there to help you see what he’s capable of helping you achieve when you make it less about you. It’s possible that unless you step up, everyone will miss God’s best.
Lesson #3-Because you can, sometimes you should.
It’s possible the best way to healing is to do something you have no desire to do. It’s possible that following the accomplishment of a very hard thing your next thing should be an easy thing. It’s possible the only way another person can get unstuck is for you to offer your hand.
Lesson #4-Leading transition is like crossing a bridge-you’re just helping people cross from one side of the river to the other side.
It’s possible not everyone wants to cross over. It’s possible you’re the last one to cross. It’s possible that the only way to finish the job is to keep your eyes on the other side.
Lesson #5-Some leadership seasons are more for you, but you won’t know why until they’re finished.
It’s possible that the only time you can be refilled is when you are willing to be completely emptied. It’s possible that why doesn’t matter. It’s possible that at the end of the season you can walk away fuller than when you entered.
(Photo credit: Randy Tosch)