Business

Keep Pressing Forward: A Simple Truth To Remember

 

Sometimes it’s the simple truths that have the biggest impact, yet it’s those same truths that seem to slip from our mind time and time again.

As I was reading one of my favorite bloggers / idea-guy’s, Jon “The Mythic Man” Acuff, he mentioned a simple truth that has been sticking with me ever since.  “Where you are is just for now… it’s not forever.”  In reading this, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  As I have been mulling this truth over in my mind a couple of examples started to form.

The first is with my kids. My wife and I are in an extremely tough season with whiney kids, whom we love dearly, that have so much energy and always seem to be hungry.  There are times we ask ourselves, “Do you think we will miss this stage?”  We always answer yes with the understanding that we won’t miss all the whining, but we will miss this stage of life that is so precious and innocent.  Soon and very soon we will blink our eyes and they will be in middle school with acne on their face. Then we will blink again and they will be in college and swooning over their “true loves.”  We will blink once more and they will be out on their own, carrying on the Stippich legacy and possibly have their own families.  As I said, where we are is just for now… it’s not forever.  

The other example is with my job.  I love getting to partner with so many people and have so many conversations about all sorts of topics.  I am also an avid learner and consumer of content which has helped me have better conversations with those I interact with.  Is my job perfect, heck no, but it has offered me unbelievable experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything.  In moments where I may be frustrated at my current standing, I go back to the simple truth that where I am is just for now…It’s not forever.  I have no idea how long I will be with my current company, but what I do know is that I am going to act as if it’s for 30 years, yet hold it loosely for whatever opportunity comes my way.  

 We all need to take a moment to breath in those moments of stress and realize that they won’t last forever.  Remember, that as long as you are learning and growing, pressing into relationships, and preparing yourself for the next opportunity, wherever you are is just for now…it’s not forever. 

Culture

How To Lead When You’re Not In Charge: Relationships Over Opportunity

One of the most impactful lessons that I learned in 2018 was to value relationships over opportunity every single time.  This may seem a little backwards at first, but when you start focusing on serving and helping others, opportunities begin to abound.  I am not implying that being driven and pushing forward towards opportunities is a bad thing.  The issue is that when we are pushing towards those opportunities and forcing our way forward, it often times sends out some negative signals.  Those negative signals, intended or not, start to drive a wedge between you, the person, and the desired opportunity.

What I have come to notice as I have actually put this into practice, is that when I take a step back and let things fall into place, opportunities that I had been striving for seem to happen on their own.  As I am waiting for opportunities to happen, I am honing my craft and making myself available to volunteer and help with other side projects that may pop up. In fact, it is these side projects that come our way that allow us to not only practice our skills, but it shows others that you can actually do more then what your job description says.

One last benefit that happens when we focus on relationships over opportunities, is that it lets people know that you are there for them.  If we instead come to others focused on what we can get from them, people will sense that and they stick you in the “do not ever talk to them again” category.  When we are in this category, it makes it even more difficult for us to have any influence on that individual and keeps us from growing.

Even though it may seem backwards at first, we need to focus on relationships over opportunities every…single…time. When we do this, it allows us the freedom to hone your skills and offer leadership without being seen as if you were overstepping your boundaries.

Who are the individuals you need to start putting the relationship first with again, and what are some specific things you can do right away to get that started?

 

Community

The Importance Of Solid Friendships

The best kind of friends are the ones that jump in and help without asking any questions. They are the ones that will do anything for you and they add so much richness to your life. These are the people you would help move mountains and recommend to anyone.  If we want to surround ourselves with these types of rich relationships, we need to start looking at interactions with others not as opportunities for ourselves, but instead as moments to help and serve others.

Recently I got to experience this more fully as I was put in charge of helping put on the pre-service event for my churches Christmas Eve service. As I got to the church with a car full of goodies and treats, I was still unsure how me and the other lady helping with the pre-service were going to pull it off. We were told there would be a few volunteers that would be able to help, but what we didn’t know was how much they would crush it. As me and the other lady unloaded our cars, a few volunteers, some of the guys I have become great friends with at church, showed up to help.

In an instant, tables were set, treats were out, cakes were cut, and everything was ready to roll as the first guests started to show up. Not only did these guys set up, but they manned the tables, greeted guests, and made it one epic start to a great service. They offered so much helpful insights and made this Christmas Eve experience something for everyone to remember. They were a giant help and I couldn’t have asked for more. In fact, I honestly asked for none of it but they went above and beyond with helping.

Knowing these guys for a couple years now, this was not out of the ordinary for them. They are constantly serving at the church and freely give their time to help those around them. I am honored to call them friends and they encourage me to be the best version of myself. They are the friends that I am glad are surrounding me for all seasons of life. These are the friends we all need in our life.

Do you have these friends in your life? Better yet, are you this type of friend for someone else?

Culture

The Year of ASK Part 3

I’m not sure about you, but if I had to choose between a toxic or healthy culture, I choose healthy everyday.  The real question is, if you find yourself in a place that breeds distrust, anxiety, and broken teams, how can you counteract that and fight against that toxic culture?  Today we are going to look at the third thing we need to do to start shaping and shifting the culture of where we find ourself.  If you missed the first post… just click here, and if you missed the second post… click here.

We are finally at the K in the year of ASK.  The K is by far the hardest yet most rewarding step in this whole process.  The K stands for Keep moving forward.  Keep pressing into those relationships we have been building by asking questions and commenting on what we are seeing.  When we ask those questions and focus on the relationship over the opportunity, it starts to shift and shape the culture.  When we comment on things we are seeing others do, those actions, if positive, get repeated or, if negative, stop happening.  

The K is difficult because we want to see instant results, but real culture shifting ideas and actions don’t always happen overnight.  Culture shifting ideas and actions take time.  We need to constantly be pressing into those relationships we are building because we don’t know what is going on in the other persons life.  We don’t know what story they are living and what is happening behind the curtain.

No matter a persons title, position, or circumstance, they have a story that needs to be heard, and the only way to do that is by living out the year or ASK.

Dad Life: Family

Don't Miss The Moment

“Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”

Ferris, what a wise, nay… a sage high school student.  That little piece of advice is so true and on so many levels.  As I have been thinking over this post, two different events have come up that have really put this movie quote into perspective.

The first event was the tragedy down in Orlando at the LGBTQ club Pulse.  It really was a horrific event that was spurred on by evil.  As I was listening to The Relevant Podcast, which is produced by a company out of Orlando, they had some special guests on that mentioned an article from a long time ago from a everyone’s favorite, Mr. Rogers. In an interview he mentioned that whenever a tragedy happened on the news, his mother would tell him to “Look at the sidelines.”  What his mother was saying was that no matter what tragedy was taking place, look at the sidelines, because there is always more good being done then the tragedy at hand. In the case of the mass shooting at Pulse, if you stopped and looked at the “sidelines,” you would have seen the Red Cross turning people  from donating blood and told to come back because there was too big of turnout and they couldn’t process all of the people.  They also had to turn away supplies given to help the victims at the scene because there was such a positive response from the community there was too much given.  I am not trying to make light of what happened in any way, I was just blown away by that comment, look at the sidelines, because as we do, we begin to see life in the midst of death.
The second event happened just the other day.  I arrived home to an empty house and so I started working on fixing some things. I was able to finish one of the items before my family got home, but as I started to work on fixing our clothes washer, Lindsay, Sam, and Emma arrived.  I say my hello’s and Sam “helps” for a moment, but I am focused on the washer since we would like to be able to wash clothes in our own home.  After I think I fix it and am testing the washer, I play with Sam a for a moment just before dinner.  As we are eating dinner, some things happens at work that are time sensitive and I leave the table and start resolving the problem.  After everything is settled, Sam and I have only a few minutes to play and when I mention going to bed he screams and is just broken. He starts acting out and being a real pain, but Lindsay says something that brought what was happening into focus.  She said that she really thought this whole tantrum was because he didn’t get enough daddy time tonight and that he just wanted more attention.  As soon as she said that, the night flashed before my eyes and I realized that he was vying for my attention the whole night but I was giving it elsewhere.  I was crushed and I hate that my little guy didn’t have any other way to express it then acting out.  As a parent, I need to be more aware of what is going on around me, especially with my kids.  I know there will always be things to fix and jobs to do, but there is only one Lindsay, Sam, and Emma, and only so much time I am given with them, and I can’t let those moments just pass me by.

Remember, life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.