Not all teachers are good leaders, but all leaders are good teachers.  Not all bosses are good teachers, but all good bosses are good teachers. Teaching others is a vital part of leading them.  I struggle with this in some ways because I tend to be very impatient.  But I’m trying to improve in this area. To help both of us become better teaching-leaders, allow me to share with you what I’m learning.

Do you know the difference between EQUIPPING and DEVELOPING? I am greatly indebted to John Maxwell for teaching me this important distinction.

What is equipping?

Equipping is teaching someone how to do a job or learn a new skill.

When a teacher helps a student learn the skill of typing proficiently, they are equipping them.  When a boss teaches a new employee how to use the Customer Relationship Management software they’ll be using in the office as part of their job, that’s equipping.  When a parent teaches his/her child how to tie their shoes or ride a bike, that’s equipping.  In the business world, equipping most often takes the form of training programs and skills classes offered to help employees improve their work performance.  That’s equipping. Developing people is different.

What is developing?

Developing is helping someone become a better person.  

When a wife helps her husband learn to be more patient with the kids, she’s developing him (Guys, isn’t that why they married us in the first place…not to change us but to help us…uhm, develop:).  When a parent helps his/her child acquire self-discipline, they are developing them to become a better human being.

Both equipping and developing are primary responsibilities of leadership. It’s not just our job to make sure they do their job, it’s our job to make sure they know how to do their job.  Actually, that’s probably more a manager’s job.  Leaders, it’s our job to INSPIRE them to do a better job!  Distinctions, distinctions.

So, how do you as a leader both EQUIP and DEVELOP your people?  I use 2 processes that I’ve formed into acrostics for easy memorization.  The first one I’ll share with you right now.  The second one I’ll share in my next blog post.

If my goal is to teach someone how to do a specific job or to learn a skill then I use the E.Q.U.I.P. Process.  It’s a tool I developed to help me smoothly transition through the phases of teaching and equipping.  It’s comprised of 5 easy steps.  Let me give you an example.  Let’s take learning to properly greet someone by shaking their hand, a practice every successful person needs to be good at to advance in their career; and more bosses wish some of their more clumsy employees knew how to do better. (Yes, more folks than you think have trouble with the basics such as shaking hands and saying hello).  Even grown ups:)



First, I explain it.  Explanation is the #1 step.  Explain what? I explain to my pupil what a proper greeting looks, sounds and feels like.  I may even demonstrate for them.  I talk through it with them in detail, outlining the different parts of person-to-person interaction, how it works, what to watch out for and what to remember. We may even so some role play, with me playing the role of the guest who needs to be greeted and they as the host who is greeting the other person.  Explanation.  I explain it. The basic concept. In detail.  Until they understand.  Then, I…


Secondly, I ask them questions about it; or I encourage them to ask me questions about what I’ve explained to them so far.  I want the persno I’m equipping to engage with me (mind, emotions & will) using his/her own questions.  This shows me they are “into it” and actually learning.  I also want my student to believe in the methods I’m teaching them for how to properly greet someone.  Since there is more than one way to greet a person, as their leader, I’ve chosen this one to teach them because I think it’s best for our context.  I want them to buy in to that.  They won’t, however, unless they question it, first. Challenge it.  Poke holes in it and/or make sure they clearly understand the different aspects of it.  A confused mind is a closed mind!  QUESTION IT!  Moving on, I have them…


Thirdly, I now have them USE IT THEMSELVES.  I say something like this to them, “Okay, now I’ve explained to you how to do it, I’ve shown you how by demonstrating myself, we’re learning. Now it’s your turn.  I’ll watch while you do what I’ve just shown you. (Caveat: I believe the deepest and most lasting learning takes place exponentially faster when we can actually “apply what we’re learning through practical actions in a relevant situation in the teachable moment”).  Learning by doing! So, I have them actually go out and greet a stranger while I watch them.  I’ve done it.  Now they do it.  I critique and observe their technique.  I may simply take “mental notes” or I might actually jot down some thoughts on my iPAD or a piece of paper. Either way I record mentally or materially some coaching points to share with them.  At this point, taking them aside, together we…


Fourthly, after they USE IT, together me and my student INSPECT IT. We do Monday Morning Quarterbacking by reviewing how their experience went.  We critique it and I do coaching as needed.  I offer feedback to help them “improve something here or tweak something there”.  They offer feedback, in return, on how they’re processing my coaching.  I love this part!  The whole exchange between equipper and learner becomes a dynamic learning process that results in the learner acquiring new skills and the teacher gaining needed experience.  Unfortunately, the new skill or task they’re learning has not become an ingrained habit, yet!  That’s where the next and final step helps.  Since repetition is the mother of all learning (tweet that), I have them now go out and…


Finally, I release them to PRACTICE IT!  You’ve heard, “Practice makes perfect.”  That’s NOT entirely true!  Actually, practice makes permanent! Only perfect practice makes perfect.  Imperfect practice only serves to teach someone how to perform  imperfectly. You’ve got to make sure as a leader that they’re not “practicing the wrong techniques”.  This is where the coaching that’s taken place must be applied and taken seriously by the person you’re equipping. Your student needs to make the adjustments you’ve suggested.  You’ve pointed out some things.  They need to try them.  or stop doing them.  Whatever your advice, they need to do it. This is where the serious-minded basketball player goes out and shoots 5oo free throws to practice his skill.  This is when the aspiring public speaker finds a private place in front of a mirror and practices their presentation skills for several hours a day.  This is when the young musician locks themselves in their room and runs through the song they’re learning over and over again. Practice, practice, practice!  Unfortunately there’s no getting around this step.  Improvement happens over time, not overnight!(tweet that)

This is a fun, easy way I teach any skill or task to a person.  I think you’ll find you can use it to teach just about anything to almost anyone.  During my next blog entry I’ll outline the process I use to develop someone, that is, help them become a better person.  HINT: It’s an acrostic using the word M.E.N.T.O.R.  Can you figure it out?

What process do you currently use as a leader to teach yourself or others new skills or tasks?



Dream Upon A Star

In 1979, Barbara Sher published her book Wishcraft, in which she shares advice on setting and achieving our highest goals. I learned about Sher’s book recently while reading Write It Down, Make It Happen, by Henriette Anne Klaus. Klaus once took a class from Sher and has since developed her own philosophy of achieving goals through a system of writing them down.

I guess writing down our goals is one way of achieving them. But wouldn’t it just be easier if God showed up one day and promised to give us our greatest wish, Aladdin style? Yeah, right! Fat chance!

I dream of genie

You might be surprised to learn that this actually happened. In fact, one man did have this exact experience. Solomon, the wisest and wealthiest king to ever reign in Israel, was asked by God what was his greatest wish. Here’s how it went down:

7 That night God appeared to Solomon and said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”

sheepish genie

Forget 3 wishes. God goes straight for the big one. Can you imagine? How wonderfully scary! Was God testing Solomon? Or did God just like Solomon so much He wanted to give him something out of love? What would you have wished for? Notice what Solomon asked:

8 Solomon replied to God…10 Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them (your people) properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?”

Evidently, Solomon’s request pleased the Lord. Notice how God responds:

11 God said to Solomon, “Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you did not ask for wealth, riches, fame, or even the death of your enemies or a long life, but rather you asked for wisdom and knowledge to properly govern my people— 12 I will certainly give you the wisdom and knowledge you requested. But I will also give you wealth, riches, and fame such as no other king has had before you or will ever have in the future!” – 1 Chronicles 1:1-12 (NLT)

I call this “Practicing Wishcraft”. Not Witchcraft. Witchcraft is when a person serves Satan in exchange for the ability to use the devil’s evil power to manipulate people and circumstances on earth for one’s personal benefit. Witchcraft is strictly forbidden as a practice by God. Believers are not to get involved with it. But Wishcraft is different.

Wishcraft is when we bring God our wishes and wait for Him to grant them…or not, depending on how God decides to answer.  Wishcraft takes real trust. To submit our dreams, ambitions, and deepest desires to God and then wait expectantly upon Him to either grant them or deny them, is a true test of faith. 

To be clear, I’m saying  Wishcraft is good. To bring all of your heart’s desires and lay them down at God’s feet and then trust Him that whichever ones He wants you to have or not have will be best, is true faith in action.

“Delight thyself in the Lord and He will grant thee the desires of thine heart”, says the Psalmist.

When our heart wishes this way in prayer: “Thy Kingdom come and thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, God can trust us enough to say to us the very same thing He said that night to Solomon, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you.”

Can God trust you enough to grant you your greatest wish?



1) I sing Broadway tunes in public with loud vibrato: “I feel pretty, oh so pretty, oh so pretty, and witty and bright…” – West Side Story

2) I dance in public: “Watch me whip, watch me…”

3) I’ll socialize with anybody breathing.

4) I try to rap like Jay Z…white guy style.

5) I give them big hugs in public.

6) I laugh obnoxiously in a crowd…on purpose.

7) I pick stuff out of their hair, wipe ketchup off their face, generally groom them in public like monkeys.

8) I put posts like this where their friends can see it:)

9) At events, I keep clapping, loudly,  long after the audience has stopped applauding…until people start looking at us uncomfortably.

10) I exist;)

“Children’s children (Grandchildren) are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.” – Proverbs 17:6 (KJV)


IT’S HUMPDAY…AND. YOU. LOVE. THE. GAME! (Thanks Taylor Swift:)


Life has been compared to a game; “The Game of Life” we sometimes call it. At times, we may refer to office politics we’re facing at work as “playing a chess game” with our co-workers or bosses. Game analogies abound. When we really do well on a presentation or make that sell we may exclaim, “I knocked it out of the park!” or “Touchdown!”. However you choose to look at it, games are often helpful metaphors to make sense of what we experience in our lives.

I want to share three suggestions with you to help you “win the game of life” that you’re playing this week, even today, this moment. Keep these thoughts in mind:


Whether you are launching a new project at work, interviewing for a new job, writing a routine report, raising kids, or just trying to maintain a packed schedule of life demands: bring your “A” game! What do I mean? I mean, do your best. Always. Make the effort. Go all in! How? Focus your reason, emotions and actions onto the task in front of you.

1. Use Your Reason. God has given you a good mind. Do your best and work with your mind. Plan. Project. Ask questions. Figure stuff out. Think! Speak up when you see something. Stand up for what is right. Don’t wait for others to do your thinking for you and don’t be afraid of making mistakes. As Immanuel Kant said:

“Dare to know! Have the courage to use your own intelligence.”

2. Program Your Emotions. Be like Hans and Franz from Saturday Night Live and let your own positive words “pump you up!” By telling yourself what you can do, your emotions will follow through. Speak affirmations such as:

  • I can do it and I know I can!
  • I’ve got it and everyday I get more it!
  • I am winning at the game of life!

3.  Plan Your Actions. Bringing your “A” game means starting out with “a game plan”. In real estate, it’s all about “location, location, location.” But in the game of life, it’s all about “preparation, preparation, preparation.” A person with a plan is a person with power! So, make one and then take action on it. Discipline yourself so others won’t have to.


As you are “working your plan”, be patient with the process. In sports, coaches often tell a player who’s not playing very well to “let the game come to them.” In other words, don’t undo your own success by “trying too hard”. As David Allen has taught, “Your ability to generate power is directly proportional to your ability to relax.”

So, relax. Be patient. The world will unfold and release its treasures only to the patient person. All things can be mastered by one willing to submit to a process of disciplined-waiting. Adopt Arnold H. Glasow’s philosophy: “The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.”


Author Stephen Covey wrote, “…there are principles that govern human effectiveness — natural laws in the human dimension that are just as real, just as unchanging and unarguably “there” as laws such as gravity are in the physical dimension.” He went on to say:

“Principles are like lighthouses. They are natural laws that cannot be broken.”

You’ve heard the saying, “It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game that matters most.” In other words, don’t lose yourself in the pursuit of success. Maintain your personal standards. Keep your integrity. Remain honest. Show respect. Don’t lie, cheat or steal. You know…all the stuff your mom taught you:)

Friend, this is how you bring your “A” game, every day in every way. At least this is how I try to do it. I often fail. In those moments I try to remember that even when I give a “F” performance, at least I can give a “A” effort!



Everyone teaches someone!



Not all teachers are good leaders, but all leaders are good teachers.  Not all bosses are good teachers, but all good bosses are good teachers. Teaching others is a vital part of leading them.  I struggle with this in some ways because I tend to be very impatient.  But I’m trying to improve in this area. To help both of us become better teaching-leaders, allow me to share with you what I’m learning.

Do you know the difference between EQUIPPING and DEVELOPING? I am greatly indebted to John Maxwell for teaching me this important distinction.

What is equipping?

Equipping is teaching someone how to do a job or learn a new skill.

When a teacher helps a student learn the skill of typing proficiently, they are equipping them.  When a boss teaches a new employee how to use the Customer Relationship Management software they’ll be using in the…

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Please connect with me on my blog…


Connecting with others Connecting with others

Your ability to work with people will make or break you. As President John F. Kennedy famously wrote in Profiles in Courage: “The way to get along,” I was told when I entered Congress, “is to go along.” The key to getting along is learning to ‘connect’ with people.

“Connecting is the ability to identify with people and relate to them in a way that increases your influence with them.” – Dr. John Maxwell.  


WANTS…What’s motivating to them?

To ‘connect’ with someone, discover what they want. What do they desire?  What motivates them?

Psychologists say that deep down all people have certain desires in common.  For example, I believe that, universally, people want TRUTH not MYTH.  People want RIGHT not WRONG.  They want PLEASURE not PAIN, EASIER not HARDER, to be FIRST not LAST…

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INDUSTRIOUS…Am I getting things done?


Someone once told me “Brad, you get out of something what you put into it.” Now that I’m 41, I can’t say I agree 100%. Sometimes, I actually can’t control “what I get out of something”.

In our fallen world, everything’s broken. Nothing works right, at least not for very long. My car stalls out. My heater breaks. My microwave fizzles. 1+1 doesn’t always = 2. Does that make sense?

For example, If you’re a person who works in the sales industry, you can usually control what you personally “put in” to a relationship with a new client, in terms of caring, time, expertise and helpfulness. But you can’t control whether that client will “buy” from you or your company in a way that “equals” your sacrificial input. Sometimes, 4+1= 2. It can be frustrating to say the least.

But while we can’t always control what we get out of something, we can always control what we put into it. Here’s the good news: although we can’t always directly control outcomes, there are three elements of our work that we can control. You can decide to be industrious no matter what. For example, YOU CAN CONTROL…

1. Your Work Ethic…How you view and feel about the work you do.

You can “take this job and love it” or you can “take this job and shove it”! It’s up to you! And your boss, eventually:) How do you feel about your work? Do you like it? Loathe it? What?

Your work ethic is what you believe about work itself. An “ethic” is another word for your basic philosophy or belief system. Your view of “work” will determine your behavior in relation to it. For example, is work a blessing or a curse to you? Is it something you avoid at all costs or dive into as often as possible? A second element you can control is…

2. Your Work Habits…When and how you discipline yourself to do your work.

I’m always fascinated to learn the daily routines and schedules of famous people. The book Daily Rituals by Mason Currey, for example, examines the daily work habits of 161 of history’s most famous creatives: men like Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison; along with women such as Gertrude Stein, Georgia O’Keefe and Sylvia Plath. In this book he writes about their work habits. He asks and answers questions such as: What time did they get up in the morning? Where did they do their work? When did they sleep? How many breaks did they take?

What we learn is that different people had different levels of discipline. “Discipline” says Bob Proctor, “is the ability to give yourself a command and then follow it.” Each of us has daily rituals that constitute our work habits. For the most part, these are under our control. We also have a certain level of self-discipline with which we carry out our tasks. We decide these things. We get to choose. And each of us can choose to be industrious every day. You can also choose to control…

3. Your Work Rate…How much effort you give to doing your work.

We’ve all heard the cliché’, “Work smarter not harder”. It’s catchy, but not totally accurate. No matter how “smart” you work, effort is still required of you to accomplish goals and plans. It may or may not be “manual labor” but it’s almost always “mental labor”.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman, NY Times best-selling author of Eat To Live and Super Immunity reminds us: “Things that have huge value require effort…great success means a significant effort is usually required.” 

Unfortunately, the word “effort” itself gets a bad rap. For many, it connotes “blood, tears, toil and sweat”, all things unpleasant to give at times. Gandhi saw it another way: “Satisfaction” he wrote“lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory.” 

“Never let effort be the issue” says former NY Jets coach, Herman Edwards. Exert yourself. Leave a piece of yourself in your work. Even if you are afraid of failing, remember these words from philosopher Francis Bacon:

“There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying.”