Who are you watching?

Buckaroo by thehutch
Buckaroo, a photo by thehutch on Flickr.

When watching the parade and gun salute for the Queen, in Hyde Park, yesterday, there was an unexpected spectacle as one of the horses was ‘spooked’ by the events. This was not a part of the programmed events but there was a valuable lesson.
The crowd were taken by the horse acting out of character, it was bucking and acting in a way that was out of control. However, whilst this was happening, all the participants of the parade ignored the horse and continued with their responsibilities. Everything else appeared as clockwork. Horses are herding animals and so as the parade closed, the bucking horse followed the herd.
In leadership, we often spend hours concentrating on the ‘bucking horse’ at the expense of everything else. There are times that we could ignore the commotion and see no apparent negative affects to our needed outcomes.
Do we spend too much time and focus too much attention on the ‘bucking horse’? Who are you watching? Who is stealing your time?

Is trust genuine?

One of my favourite TV shows is Hustle, sadly ended but a wonderful show.  The concept of the show demonstrated that people who are greedy can be ‘hustled’ into parting with their cash if they feel they can have more.  The gang would build a ‘facade of trust’ and through this the con could be completed.

I have been pondering how people often ‘hustle’ their way through life by building a facade of trust, yet fail to deliver.  They draw people in, use them for their own ends and then spit them out.  Harsh?  Maybe, but by raising the question, I am convinced that a number of readers are now thinking through their contacts and labelling someone to watch out for.

Be careful, the Con is On!

anger and aggression – is it ever a good thing today?

Is there ever a good time to be angry?  Is there a good time to be aggressive?

Was your answer the same for each of the above questions?  In 2012, there are different views expressed to previous generations and whilst there may be good reasons for change, I wonder if we are becoming less tolerant.  Should we allow a healthy dose of each and, if so, what is ‘healthy?


presence when it matters

So often we take our pithy comments or our attending of events lightly.  They matter more than we would believe……it matters more to people when the chips are down and are likely never to be forgotten.

A young person, with whom I had a special privilege of working with, brought this truth to home in my own life.  He was a ‘star’ youth group member when his closest friend was killed in a road traffic accident, it was a tough time that hit us all hard.  This youngster in particular removed himself from people and his grief took a heavy toll.  A long time later he went missing and I was asked to help find him.  In a moment of inspiration, I went straight to where he was, said nothing, and sat near him until he was ready to leave the gravestone by which he sat.  We said very little and as I left him at his front door, he said, “Thank you, I knew you would understand.”

Sometimes, our presence matters above all else.  Where do we find ourselves when it really matters?

quietly moving on

The cult of ‘celebrity’ is often knocked, battered and beaten, yet how often have we dived feet first into the mire and through even the best of intentions found ourselves being exactly the same as that which we despise.

In Christian ministry, youthwork of all shapes and sizes, charity work and so forth, we have to tread the fine line of ‘selling’ what we do in order that we have the finances to survive.  As we become successful, we need to do more and more to keep the dreams alive.  Bigger, better, stronger, wider, deeper, higher……the publicity begins to go beyond the truth and the myth is alive and kicking, we believe our own hype and we arrive……celebrity.  We have great pasts, hope for great futures and in the meantime can forget about today.

However, there are those that are quietly moving on.  They do not get the national recognition, are not on all the social networking ‘top tens’, yet their work and ministry is vital.  Day by day they carry on, recognised by just a significant few but not receiving the plaudits that others may receive.  The youthworker in Islington, the community worker in Dagenham, the Church worker in Southwark…….quietly moving on.

I just want to say a big thank you to those forgotten heroes who day by day, week by week, give of themselves, supporting and helping others, even when the recognition is absent.  You are special people, Thank You!

when people hurt you

No-one who has contact with other members of the human race will ever be immune from some of the hurts and pains of disappointment and upset that will occur.  It is a fact of life.  How we deal with these moments determine how those relationships will continue into the future – will they thrive or survive?

1) Do not respond immediately – immediate responses are rarely helpful

2) Consider the need for a response – there may be no need to respond but if you do be careful not to further stir the fire of discord

3) Be courteous and gracious – you cannot determine the path others take, you can determine your own steps

4)What can you learn? – is this an opportunity to learn something new?, to discover new ways of working?

5) Do not bear grudges – this helps nobody

These are just a few things that I have tried to action, wish that I was more successful.