I have been crucified with Christ [that is, in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith [by adhering to, relying on, and completely trusting] in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20, AMP)

The story of Christ’s resurrection brings hope to our lives and Christian faith. It is central to our faith in God and salvation through Christ. According to Romans 6:1-11, God raised Christ from the dead and thus, Jesus obtained power over the enemy including over sin. And through our acceptance of Jesus as our Savior (Romans 10:9-10), we share in His victory. Yes, as Believers we share in His resurrected life – a life of triumph, freedom, authority, newness. For we too are now victorious over the enemy. We too now have a new life and liberation, as our old nature was crucified, buried, and our new resurrected life in Christ has been birthed. We too are resurrected!

According to 2 Corinthians 5:17, anyone who has accepted Christ as Savior is now a new creature (reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit) and has a new life. It is exciting to know that as Christians we are resurrected – rebirthed, regenerated, renewed. Because of our hope in Christ, old things are gone, and a new victorious life has begun. And our victory through Christ is sure (1 Corinthians 15:57; 2Corinthians 2:14). Church, there is power in our resurrection in Christ. A power that allows us to boldly walk in victory over the enemy at all times. And as God empowered Christ to successfully fulfill His purpose in the earth, He also empowers us (1 John 4:4; Philippians 4:13; Luke 10:19). We have the same ability to carry out the work that Jesus did on the earth and in fact, we are expected to (John 14:12-14; Matthew 28:18-20).

So, what in your life needs to be resurrected to fulfill God’s purpose in you? What needs to be rebirthed, regenerated, renewed? Has the personal time you spend studying God’s word, praying, and worshipping Him lessened? Has your passion to evangelize waned? Have your dreams been set aside due to past rejection, discouragement or closed doors? Has your spiritual vision become dim and in need of sharpening? Where have things begun to die that need to live and thrive? Well, there’s no time like the present, as we pause to remember Christ’s triumphant resurrection from the grave, to resurrect our commitment to the Church’s call to advance God’s kingdom. There’s no time like now to rededicate your life to God and to building a stronger relationship with Him. There’s no better time to cry out in a loud voice to dead situations in your life that God has commanded to live, just as Jesus did to speak life into Lazarus’ dead body (John 11:43-45). For the power of life and death is in your tongue (Proverbs 18:21) and you have the power to decree a thing and it be established (Job 22:28). 

So, on this glorious Resurrection Sunday, rise up, lift your heart and voice and shout unto God in a voice of victory! Recommit your ways to Him and choose to live a surrendered life that’s worthy of His great sacrifice of love. We must fulfill His great commission, we must answer the call, we must speak life to what God has ordained to live, we must live in the light and as the light. We must live boldly, live righteously, live purposefully, live victoriously, live resurrected. Be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]” (John 16:33b, AMP).

Saints, let us live and walk as He did. Let us walk in victory and authority, walk in the newness of life, walk in the power of resurrection.

 

© 2020 Kassandra McGhee

Admit it, change can be hard! But it doesn’t have to be dreaded and in fact, just might bring something positive.

I know, I know – change might not be something you desire to discuss right now, especially with some of the unwelcomed ones we’ve recently encountered. But the truth is, change is inevitable and how we adjust to it is key. And isn’t it great to know that we get to choose our response? That’s one of the most encouraging things about change – we can decide to either embrace the positive or focus on the negative (however, I would definitely not recommend or endorse the latter).

So, let’s decide! Below are a few quick tips about accepting change and finding the new silver lining:

BE HONEST

  • Be truthful about your feelings related to the change
  • Reflect and write a list of the things you enjoyed about your life prior to the change and how the change has/will impact them
  • Make a list of the consequences of the change (positive and negative) and your thoughts about each of them
  • Share your lists/thoughts with a trusted person who will listen and provide supportive, honest feedback

FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE

  • Know that it’s important to move beyond feelings and thoughts into positive action
  • Develop a plan about how you will address and manage the negative consequences
  • Write a statement about the benefit(s) of each positive consequence
  • Make a list of words or statements to describe the positive outcomes (i.e., relaxation, money, healthy, faith, family, quality time, personal growth, increased savings, achieve my dreams, etc.)
  • Create a vision board or signs that include your positive statements 
  • Review your vision board/signs daily  

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

  • Allow yourself a realistic adjustment timeframe and learning curve
  • Utilize only affirmative self-talk and imaging related to the change and its positive outcomes
  • Plan to succeed by developing concrete ways you will integrate the change into your daily life
  • Regularly evaluate areas where you’ve positively embraced change as well as opportunities for growth
  • Applaud and reward yourself as you achieve small and larger acceptance milestones
  • Adjust and improve your plans, as the need arises

KEEP IT GOING

  • Find what will encourage and support you as you move through the stages of accepting the change (i.e., accountability partner, journaling, positive affirmations, prayer, exercise, relaxation time, etc.)
  • Keep a log of positive things that happen along the way
  • Commit to the “new normal” by moving forward and only looking back for the lessons and inspiration
  • Smile, you’re a champion and the best is yet to come

 

© 2020 Kassandra McGhee

As echoed by recent global events, things in our lives can change quickly. One moment life is occurring as usual, in accordance with whatever our “normal” might be. Running errands for our family, having dinner at a favorite restaurant, dropping off children at school, kissing our spouse before leaving for work, or planning our next fun leisure trip. You see, we all have familiar routines that provide invisible parameters in which we comfortably navigate. But what happens when our peace is agitated as the sanctity of our homes and human capacity feel threatened? What happens when the world around us is panicking due to far-reaching economic and health concerns? What happens when we stand in the face of a largescale alarm and must choose between fear and faith? For what once was an embraced ordinary reality has now become a cause for amplified prayer and reflection. What once was a fight we’ve known has now become a curveball.

But the truth is, this IS not and WILL not be the only shift in normalcy within our lives. Think about it, this is not the first time we’ve had to move past our emotions and choose faith. This is not the first time we’ve been faced with what seems like an insurmountable situation where leaning further into reliance on God was required. Or perhaps it is, and how exciting this opportunity is for you! It’s a chance to grow and see God at a deeper, more intimate level. Now, this is not to make light of the evil the devil has wrought, but to encourage each Believer to remember WHO we are and WHOSE we are. For as Christians, our posture is to be different from those who have no hope in Christ. As His children, we have promises and assurances that allow us to act in faith and remain anchored even during the strongest storms (Numbers 23:19; Matthew 28:20; Psalm 91:11; Luke 12:31-32; Psalm 23). I’m reminded of Hebrews 11 that chronicles the triumphs achieved by many Believers because of their faith. I am encouraged and strengthened by their witness and assured that the same God that was faithful to them (and honored their faith) will be faithful to us (Hebrews 10:23; Deuteronomy 7:9; Hebrews 13:8). God has promised to provide for us, and we shall lack nothing (Philippians 4:19; Psalm 37:18-19). So Church, where is your faith? Will we be named as faith-warriors and champions amongst those in our generation?

Yes, now like never before it is time for Believers to boldly stand without the presence of fear or panic. According to Matthew 5:14-16, we must shine to exalt God as His beacons of light and hope. We must plan, shift, and remain focused on what really matters – our kingdom purpose. Now more than ever is not the time for retreat but to dig in our heels in perseverance and strength. If we’re facing it, it’s because with the empowerment of God we are already victorious over it. Don’t be confused or negate who we are based upon our position in Him. We are more than conquerors (Romans 8:31-39) and have power over all of the enemy’s devices (Luke 10:19). We are His body, His Church, and we prevail (I Corinthians 12:27; Matthew 16:18-19). So even if by current law the doors of our assemblies cannot open, now more than ever is our time to BE the Church and shine brightly for the kingdom. The work of the Church is not confined within the walls we gather to jointly worship God and be taught/edified through His word to live out our faith. As the Church, we are commissioned to “go” and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20) and boldly live out our faith so the whole world would see the reality a prosperous, victorious, peaceful, and surrendered life in Christ.

This temporal situation will not withstand and the prayers of the righteous can always accomplish much (James 5:16). And constant prayer keeps us focused on our source of strength (Luke 18:1) and is part of our spiritual arsenal. II Corinthians 10:3-6 reminds us that this battle is spiritual in nature and so is our weaponry. Verse 4 states:

“The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood.] Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses {II Corinthians 10: 4, AMP}.”

 We must remain focused not on the challenge yet on God, for that is what will keep us at peace (Isaiah 26:3). And the fact is, we are powerful and mighty in God (Philippians 4:13) and nothing can harm us (Isaiah 54:17; Psalm 91). We don’t fear, we walk in faith. We don’t run from problems, we bring solutions. We don’t hide, we shine. We are all spiritual first-responders and we have a great work to do!

I was reminded of these truths while walking through the aisles of a store, shopping for groceries. The space was filled with what suggested panic, as people nearly ran through the store to obtain food and household items. In that moment, God reminded me that the Church has to always be different and lead by example. As I calmly shopped to obtain the items I needed and desired, I had the opportunity to witness to others who were upset by the empty shelves and fearful energy from other shoppers. I talked about my faith in God and how we should wisely take steps to safeguard our health but pray to God and trust Him in all things. It was one of those beautiful reminders to always “leave your light on” and how our lives are the greatest sermons others will hear.

Church, I challenge/implore you to remain laser-focused on God and getting His work done during this time, when the enemy is sending major distractions. Our breakthrough is on the horizon. We cannot wait until tomorrow to walk in our position of authority over the enemy. We cannot wait until tomorrow to read and meditate God’s word, pray and decree His word over ourselves, families, and this world. We cannot wait to offer Christ to those who haven’t accepted Him as their Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-10). We are the Church and our hearts must always remain open to hear and to do what our God says. Our marching orders are still the same: “go” and make disciples, walk in love, live by faith. For as the world faces this and other areas of darkness, we must continue to be His bright shining light. So Church, BE the Church and shine – for tomorrow can’t wait.

 

© 2020 Kassandra McGhee 

 

“You are who God says you are. Now believe it. Period!”

When was the last time you stood tall, looked in the mirror, and boldly decreed your own victory? Well if the answer is “never” or “not today” then let’s correct that! Knowing who we are is essential to our success in life which is about fulfilling our God-ordained purpose.

As Believers, we are more than conquers (Romans 8:37) and winning is in our DNA (I John 5:4). Yes, that royal Godly “blood” (His Spirt) that courses through your spirt-man is filled with power. And when we yield to His leading and operate in faith in His word, we are unstoppable (Luke 10:19). How can we go wrong by relying on God as our strength and source? How can we be defeated when we renew our minds (Romans 12:2), armor up (Ephesians 6:11), feast on God’s word (St. Matthew 4:4), and remember that we walk in victory even before the battle begins (I Corinthians 15:57)?

So, Champion, remember the fight is fixed and you are already the winner. Walk like it, talk like it, act like it, live like it. No longer settle for less but expect all of the goodness God has in store for you. Now, square your shoulders, lift your head high, and join me in making this part of your daily decree:

 

I am a person of destiny

I know who I am

Because I know whose I am

 

God my Father and Creator

He alone defines me

He alone defines my value

He alone defines my worth

And I see myself

Only the way God sees me

 

I am God’s child

I am loved

I am forgiven

I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus

I am a joint heir with Christ

And that makes me royalty

 

I am accepted

I am undefeatable

I am always victorious because of Christ

 

I am a unique, hand-made Masterpiece

I am beautiful

I am fearfully and wonderfully made by God

And that my soul knows right well

 

I boldly walk in my purpose

I boldly take full authority over the enemy

I boldly live in liberty

Because I am a Champion

 

© 2019 Kassandra McGhee

 

Projects, projects, projects. We all have them although we don’t always love them. Whether at home, work or elsewhere, they require the same thing – the proper resources. Sound simple, right? Well, yes but determining, gathering, and properly deploying those resources is where it can get interesting. 

No, this will not be an academic discourse regarding the tenets of effective project management or the ideal project management tools. This post will simply focus on outlining a few good reminders as we tackle and head straight into the projects we face. 

 

I. Focus on the Big Picture (The “What”)

When you know, can clearly see, and focus on your target, it is easier to hit it. There is nothing earth shattering in this simple truth. But it’s a good reminder of the importance of drafting the big picture for your project regarding “what success looks like.” This step is essential and foundational to everything you will do within the scope of the project. Identifying the wins and ultimately the image of overall project success will not only help focus your time and efforts but serve as the guidepost for all project activities.

II. Develop Key Implementation Strategies (Knowing the “How”)

Now that we know the “what” (what project completion or success looks like), we must identify the “how.” And this is where strategic planning takes centerstage. Brainstorming how-tos and then developing a framework for implementation are key. How will we achieve our project goals? What specific tasks need to occur to ensure the project goals are completed within the designated guidelines and budget? What resources are needed to complete the tasks? Taking the time to properly assess, plan, and align your resources will serve you well not only during the initial project planning stages but long-term. For example, if serving 2000 additional customers through our online store within the next 12 months is the goal (the what), developing a framework that identifies the specific approaches/tasks to achieve the goal, a timeframe for implementation of each task, and the resources needed to achieve them is the next step. Your “how” should:

  • Be explorative

Have you ever heard of the saying, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat?” Well, I’m not sure why anyone would want to actually do this, however, I understand the concept. There are typically many paths to achieving the same result. And uncovering the best one(s) for your project will occur once you fully explore your options.

  • Be detailed

A well-outlined plan is crucial not just for you but for those who you’ll enlist to help “birth” your vision. If your plan lacks substance or isn’t clearly communicated, too often stakeholder buy-in, commitment, and successful project implementation are negatively impacted. Be as detailed as possible about “how” you will achieve your goals. 

  • Be realistic

Rome wasn’t built in a day and most likely neither will your project. When setting goals and deadlines, properly assess the resources that are required to achieve them including any personnel or work hours. Consider utilizing backwards planning to help determine what resources are realistically needed to achieve the project results you desire. 

  • Be flexible

Do your research! Know what are “hard-set” deliverables and where there’s some potential latitude. Does the project “require” a specific item or is it a “nice to have?” Where can you adjust and save the resources of time or money without jeopardizing the quality and integrity of the project? Being flexible, when it makes good project sense, can truly help benefit your project in the long run.

III. Deploy & Engage

Project launch can be exciting! So, once you’ve properly planned, move forward with no fear, no hesitation, no reservation. It’s time to deploy the strategies, manpower, collaborative resources, and tools you’ve identified & acquired to effectively get the job done. And whatever wasn’t available, continue to actively engage with stakeholders to secure the other tools.

IV. Ongoing Analysis 

Continuous review or reassessment of the project plan and essential resources needed to achieve the “what” and “how” is invaluable. For example, serving 2000 additional customers through your online store might not be possible if your technology platform or manpower are insufficient or change throughout your project timeframe. Thus, ongoing evaluation will help drive your “how” and the implementation of your strategies.

Alright project champions, let’s look those projects squarely in the eye and say, “Yeah, we’ve got this. Let’s go and make this happen!” Here’s to your ongoing project success. 

 

© 2019 Kassandra McGhee

 

I was sitting quietly on a cold morning train, heading to work. It was peaceful and I was well-rested, gazing out of the window as we approached the next station stop. Lots of passengers filled the aisles upon boarding, perusing vacant seats to acquire. I notice a man with finely groomed silver hair and a black trench coat with ear muffs. Alongside him, she was cloaked in a caramel parka with a tightly-drawn hood trimmed in fur. As they took their places in the empty seat in front of me, he slid off his ear muffs and watched her remove her hood. And then I saw it – the glimmer in his eye as she softly brushed her fingers through her shoulder length silver curls that were nestled beneath her winter’s covering. He adored her. As she turned to face him, his eyes were already fixed upon her. And then I saw it – a soft smile as her eyes met his. She adored him.

And their hands touched, with gentle touches dancing amongst their lighthearted verbal exchange and laughter. It was simply magically, as their eyes intently met each others. And then I saw it – adoration, respect, cherishing, love.

I saw it –a lifetime of embracing each other through the years. 
I saw it – boy meets girl now man loves woman.
I saw it – girl meets boy now woman loves man.
I saw it – hopes and dreams and a beautiful legacy of love.
I saw it – smile lines, gray hair, and butterflies.
I saw it – tears and disappointments, hugs and forgiveness.
I saw it – hands intertwined and long quiet nights.
I saw it – celebrations of nothing special and smiles just because.
I saw it – moments of loving you but not liking you but never leaving you.

I saw it –a commitment to us getting better and always endeavoring to grow into oneness.
I saw it – best friends and lovers.
I saw it – you are worth my investment and I will protect your heart.
I saw it – you are my priority and what matters to you matters to me. 
I saw it – a quiet passion that seemed to make time stand still to pay homage to love.
I saw it – a heart’s declaration that the years have not diminished my love for you.
I saw it – you are endeared to me even the more.
I saw it – I saw true love. 

 

© 2018 Kassandra McGhee

 

 

 

“I am not strong because of you but I can be stronger with you.” 

While riding to work on a very crowded train this morning, I witnessed a married couple join the standing-room-only crowd of commuters. Everyone appeared to be engrossed in their own world, although we were conjointly thrown together in a silver bullet headed in the same direction. No one seemed to mind the close quarters as there were no noticeable facial scowls and actually a few brief smiles and common morning interactions.

As we quietly rode from destination to destination, the available passenger space grew even tighter, eventually to a point where closeness to your neighbor allowed you to actually detect their shampoo fragrance.  And even with all of that, we tightly held on to the train’s walls, seats, or above-head handrails as we proceeded on our winding journey of dropping off and picking up morning riders.

Eventually my attention was brought back to this before-mentioned couple, standing in the middle of the train not 4 feet away from me. They smiled at each other, sharing a few seconds of occasional eye contact before each of them looked out of the train’s windows or at other commuters. One of the things I noticed was how the wife wrapped her arm around her husband’s waist instead of holding onto a handrail to stabilize herself. I then noted how her husband braced his stance to support her weight, as we swayed during stops and turns. Now, I know some of you might think, “Awwww, isn’t that sweet? She’s leaning on her husband and he’s supporting her.” Seems kind of nice, huh? Well, before you get caught up in the butterflies and violins, that’s NOT the main thing I saw here. And what I did see isn’t as rosy or as wonderful as you might think.

What I saw was an example of why many organizations and relationships suffer and some fail. What I saw was a missed opportunity on both parts to help themselves and thus, help each other. What I saw was something problematic and not ideal or supportive at all. Curious? Hopefully so…

To go further into this observation, I noticed that there was a stabilization rail directly above the wife being utilized by her husband and available for her to use to maintain her own balance. I also noted that due to her utilizing her husband (a stabilization “resource”) instead of the hand rail (a stronger and the more purposefully designed stabilization source), she was putting unwarranted pressure on him. So, as we traveled he had to continue to readjust to keep them both from falling. Let me put it this way, instead of doing what she could have done to help herself, she was solely relying on him for both of them. Instead of assisting, she was adding more weight and pressure. And to make it personal – instead of you pulling your own weight, you’re expecting someone else to pull theirs and yours too. Get the picture? (I’m sure this is not the warm and fuzzy moment some initially thought I witnessed).

And this scenario is too reminiscent of how many professional and personal relationships operate. The giving and “strength-balancing” aspect is warped. One person is casting more “weight” than what s/he should, putting undue stress and hardship on the other partner. One leader or division is carrying the majority of the solutions and/or progress while others are underperforming. No organism can operate at optimum capacity if each person/component doesn’t effectively do its part. Period. The success of your unit, whether it’s an organization or personal relationship, depends on individual success which is directly dependent upon individual strength. So, her reliance on him is not sweet and his allowing it is not supportive – it’s problematic.

As a leader, one of my greatest joys is when people don’t have to rely on me for what they once did. When the phone calls decrease, when the questions turn into answers, and when they are strengthened to make independent good decisions without my advice. I desire for others to be able to stabilize themselves and stand on their own – it only strengthens the team.  And if I create “dependency” (even subconsciously), I am limiting not only their potential but impeding my own and that of our overall team. Remember, effective leaders develop other leaders but insecure leaders foster dependency.

Developing strong leaders attests to our leadership skills NOT the fact that they need to consistently rely on us. I expect others to grow, so I encourage and embrace the transition to independence so they will learn to trust their own wings. For success, knowing our own strength is invaluable. Think about it. How else would be able to accomplish anything unless we truly did? And that’s what we must inspire in others – a knowledge of their ability to soar. Now that’s leadership. 

Leaders, our team is the core that must be strengthened. Your partner, your business associates, your family, your team. Whether it’s a professional or personal, whether it’s a one-on-one partnership or a larger scale organism, your team is about strength and alliance. And in true collaboration, we must instill this into our teams: “Your strength doesn’t come from me but we can be stronger together.” 

So, let’s learn and teach others to not lean on the resources, yet seek to become stronger individually. And don’t miss the opportunity to encourage your team’s growth and to pour into them. Because it truly takes a stronger “I” to make a stronger “us”. And THAT should be our goal – strengthening the core!

 

© 2017 Kassandra McGhee

 

“If you can’t take me beyond where I’ve already gone, where I am now, what I’ve already experienced, and/or what I already know, why am I following you?”

 

Now isn’t that an interesting question? But unbeknownst to too many leaders, that is the question those who follow us ask themselves subconsciously every day. So leaders, have we asked ourselves the same question? And more importantly, do we have any good answers?

This question is simply meant to challenge us and to help ensure we remain focused on leading from the front. Our organization’s success, growth, and development is never limited to finances but always includes our most valuable asset – our personnel. Thus, if we truly are only as strong as our weakest link, we can never afford to be that person.

We must understand that leading from the front requires our own growth and objectivity. It requires for us to make an investment before we can expect a return. So leaders, let’s talk. What exactly are we doing to develop the assets within our companies? What exactly do we provide to those we are responsible to lead? What goals will we help them attain? What skills will we help them develop? What are we doing to shape their lives both presently and for their future? And how exactly are we doing this?

To obtain answers to these questions, we must be willing to honestly examine our leadership impact. And this can be accomplished by taking an analytical view of our organization from an “eagle’s eye” objective perspective. We must examine every detail from initial contact with our company to customer (and employee) retention to identify where we can improve and grow.  We must be able to clearly see the Power and Responsibility of leadership itself.

The Power of leadership provides the opportunity to influence, shape, impart, develop, build, and direct. Leadership is a privilege and we must never fail to remember that it is about transformation. Thus, nothing we touch should remain unchanged and unimpacted in a profitable manner. And this is Responsibility of leadership – we are accountable for positive outcomes and obligated to those we lead / serve.

In example, today I identified the person I should help “groom” for my Executive Director chair when I transition to greater opportunities. Was I intimated by this “revelation?” Not at all – it was actually very liberating! It gave me an opportunity to sit back and look from an “eagle’s eye” perspective across the company for individuals that could take this individual’s current position and so on.  It brought a different level of excitement to my day, as I saw many opportunities for growth and development.

Our success is always beyond meeting or exceeding the financial goals, growth projections, service metrics, etc. Our success as leaders is inclusive of our ability to help develop a stronger workforce.

 

© 2017 Kassandra McGhee

 

“Your purpose needs to move you past your goals and into a pure, inner drive and passion. That’s when it becomes a lifelong love affair you’re not willing to live without.”  

 

“I LOVE YOU!” Aww, such powerful and wonderful words that most of us desire and absolutely love to hear. I believe the desire for and the pursuit of love, of happiness, of inner fulfillment is one of the most natural instincts we possess. We all desire to feel supported, important, protected, cared for, and accepted. We matter and long for others to affirm that we do.

And there’s nothing wrong with receiving the “right” affirmations or encouragement from others. In fact, we must have proper connections with the “right” people to fulfill our purpose. And sometimes a little “you’ve got this” or “great job – keep up the good work” or “I’m proud of you” can go a long way in helping us stay focused and on track.

But as much as we love to hear it from others, here’s a question. “When was the last time you said it to yourself? When was your last self-encouragement conversation? When was the last time YOU loved on YOU?” As special as the “I Love You” words are from others, it’s more important to actually give them to yourself. Now I’m not talking about being narcissistic, prideful or arrogant. I’m talking about embracing who you are, your uniqueness, your talents, your strengths, your triumphs, your purpose, yourself. If we are not able to TRULY accept, approve, and love all of who we are, we will be ineffective in obtaining real success.

Leaders, we must see our purpose (the reason we exist) as intertwined with the essence of who we really are. We cannot be separated from it. Thus, to love me is to love why I was created. To love me is to love what I was created to accomplish. To love me is to love everything I do that aligns with my purpose. So, how can I best promote something I don’t love, believe in or am not passionate about? If I don’t love me, I’ve conceded to self-defeat and agreed to my own diminished outcomes. I have ultimately settled for less than the success I was intended to experience.

Let’s for a moment parallel our purpose with having a cute little baby. In doing so, a few things come to mind:

  • You love your baby (purpose) even before s/he is born
  • You always desire to protect and provide the best for your baby (purpose)
  • Your baby (purpose) needs you so s/he can not just live but thrive
  • You are willing to make sacrifices for your baby (purpose)
  • No one else will ever be able to love your baby (purpose) more than you do
  • You’re in love with her/him simply because it’s your baby (purpose)

Sound about right? Your baby is precious and special to you simple because s/he is yours. And you love her/him with a love like no other. Shouldn’t it be the same with you and your purpose? It’s your “baby” and if you don’t love, nurture, protect, and help your baby (purpose) thrive, who will?

Leaders, we can only give others what we possess and a healthy self-love yields a health love for others. As frontrunners, we are responsible to help others birth and care for their own babies. And the best way to do so, is by living a good example. And good parenting speaks volumes in actions more than in words.

Clears throat, looks squarely in the mirror, inserting your name here: “_________, I love you! Yes, you. I love me some me and what I was created to do and be!” Say it until you believe it. Cuddle up with your purpose, get to really know it. Take inventory of who you are and all you possess (i.e., strengths, talents, etc.). Don’t compare your baby to anyone else’s – yours is unique and one-of-a-kind. Love it for what it is – it’s a part and essence of who you are. And loving you means loving it.

So, let me encourage you to develop and/or improve your love of YOU. After all, your purpose and success rely on it.

© 2016 Kassandra McGhee

 

“Nothing works unless we commit to really doing it right. It’s called life; it’s called success.”  

 

Most people can’t handle the truth. And honestly, too often people would rather surround themselves with enablers and cheerleaders to avoid facing it. This is a sad reality but a simple truth. And to be completely honest, how easy is it for us to accept the truths about ourselves? Ouch – does anyone need an icepack for their feet?

Let’s face it, the truth can really hurt sometimes and be hard to swallow let alone digest. But it’s not until we learn to face it that we are truly able & ready to fully embrace our best lives. Nothing changes until we do and nothing works unless we commit to really doing it right. In life, we cannot possess our “bests” until we’re prepared to both receive and live in the truth.

Now let’s get the foundation clearly established – as leaders we are typically in a position where we focus on and are more prepared to tell someone else the truth than to receive it. Agreed? With that being said, one of the first truths that we must face in these situations is that sometimes it’s what you say, sometimes it’s how you say it, sometimes it’s when you say it, and sometimes it’s a combination therein.

  • What You Say – Most of the people I’ve encountered in life didn’t intentionally seek to hurt others or do things wrong. However, there will always be outliers that don’t operate in integrity and aren’t trustworthy. Nonetheless, everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity and thus, what we say needs to be framed correctly. Prior to delivery, we should assess the “truth” by questioning: “Is it factual? Is it helpful? Is it required?” Emotion and personal agenda have no place in our messaging. Thus, what we say should lead towards improvement not merely compliance.
  • How You Say – Tone can change everything and even a simply “Hello” can change meaning and receptivity simply by “how” it’s said. And it’s not just our verbal communication but also our nonverbal ques or body language that can speak volumes. “Yes, I’m listening and really desire to hear your feedback.” Sounds like a great statement, right? But my folded arms, typing while speaking with you, cold stare, etc. would create a different image for the receiver. If the truth is important to communicate then it’s important to package it properly. Everyone’s palate is different; thus, how I communicate with one individual might be completely different than with another. However, one thing remains the same: serving a gourmet meal on a dirty plate taints the entire dining experience for anyone. Just keep the goal of the communication in mind – at the end of the day the ultimate objective is success.
  • When You Say – The right thing said at the wrong time is still the wrong thing. Even if it has to be addressed, it’s called timing and sometimes poor timing can change great communication into a great misunderstanding. Ask, “Is this a conversation that needs to be had face-to-face, in a group setting or individually, immediately or after a period of time has occurred?” Choosing the proper time is half of the battle. So don’t be anxious yet assess the right time, location, and format. Sometimes you have to wait, breathe, and then prepare for implementation.

Please know that even with such good communication practices in place, sometimes the message will simply not be well received. But remember that you are not responsible for the response, only for your delivery.

As leaders, we must endeavor to lead well and by example. And even in difficult situations, we must remain focused on our culminating goal: Success = Mutual Respect + Integrity + Teamwork + Effective Communication + Order + Proper Focus + Positive Results + Purpose

If this is not the goal, what is it all for

 

© 2016 Kassandra McGhee