Choosing Greatness – Perspective from Yosemite and Ezra

It is a trait we all admire.  When we observe it in others we stand in awe, marveling at their abilities.  We are drawn to those who excel in remarkable ways. When someone rises above the mediocrity of the masses we label their accomplishments and achievements with this word! Entire aisles of most bookstores are dedicated … Continue reading Choosing Greatness – Perspective from Yosemite and Ezra

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Great Leaders Choose to Engage Reconciliation – Ezra 8&9

As mentioned in the last "Great Leaders" post, the strongest teams are comprised of the strongest personalities and the most influential people possible.  When I was the principal of Athena High School, I sought to ensure that the my leadership teams included these kinds of people.  I recruited the most influential leaders and educators in … Continue reading Great Leaders Choose to Engage Reconciliation – Ezra 8&9

Great Leaders Choose to Embrace Empowerment – Ezra 7

A couple of months ago I was asked to be the project manager for the Christmas Village at my church, The Father's House in Rochester, New York. Each December we put together a huge community outreach event.  For this event were preparing to host a Christmas production that would include a stage performance in our auditorium with … Continue reading Great Leaders Choose to Embrace Empowerment – Ezra 7

Great Leaders Choose to Be Ridiculously Disciplined – Ezra 7

For as long as I can remember I have had a passion for jumping.  As a child, I climbed every tree in sight.  In middle school I gravitated to sports that involved jumping. Throughout high school I played basketball for my school.  To the surprise of my coach and teammates, I dunked a ball in a … Continue reading Great Leaders Choose to Be Ridiculously Disciplined – Ezra 7

Great Leaders Choose to Practice Relentlessly – Ezra 7

The 10,000 Hour Rule was popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in 2011 as he adroitly analyzed the commonalities of high achievers in his 2011 book Outliers. He discovered that regardless of field of study or profession, it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery. Gladwell's research led him to study a wide variety of professions ranging from musical prodigies … Continue reading Great Leaders Choose to Practice Relentlessly – Ezra 7

Great Leaders Choose to Create Great Celebrations- Ezra 6

The annuls of history are full of triumphant celebrations.  Conquering generals from Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan to Napoleon Bonaparte have thrown extravagant ceremonies and feasts following military conquests.  Ticker tape parades across America following the defeat of Nazi Germany in WWII reflect that this response was not limited to the ancient civilizations.  In recent … Continue reading Great Leaders Choose to Create Great Celebrations- Ezra 6

Great Leaders Choose to Let God Be God – Ezra 6

In our last post we looked at how Leaders Leverage Politics.  The political confrontation in Ezra chapter 5 must have been ominous and the source of great stress for everyone involved.  The Jewish leaders however, had an advantage that those who opposed them could never have anticipated; the God of the universe was on their … Continue reading Great Leaders Choose to Let God Be God – Ezra 6

Great Leaders Choose to Leverage Politics – Ezra 5

The term of "politics" has engendered extremely negative connotations over the past several hundred years! Consider the following collection of quotes on the subject by some leading influencers, thinkers and personalities from around the world and throughout history: "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." … Continue reading Great Leaders Choose to Leverage Politics – Ezra 5

Great Leaders Choose to Impact Generations – Ezra 5

My wife and I frequently talk about the imprint our parents have left on our lives, preferences, habits and characteristics. While we both have many attributes that stand in stark contrast with to those of out parents, many of our mannerisms and proclivities bear the indelible traces of who they are. My father's decision to … Continue reading Great Leaders Choose to Impact Generations – Ezra 5

Responding to the 4 Stages of Opposition

In our previous post we looked at the 4 Stages of Opposition and considered the warning signs, indicators and ramifications of each through the story of the Israelites rebuilding the temple in the book of Ezra. Identifying and understanding the stages is only half the battle.  Knowing alone will accomplish nothing.  How we responds to … Continue reading Responding to the 4 Stages of Opposition