Your Choices Mean A “Lot”

“It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – J.K. Rowling


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The other night for Bible Study, we looked at Genesis 13-14 and 18-19, with a focus on the choices that Lot made and how they affected him and his family.   As I was riding home, I begin to think, while maybe not on the same “extreme” level, we as leaders have a “Lot” riding on the choices we make.

I will let you read the verses in Genesis on your own to see the “before and after” of the choices Lot made.  What I would like to do is highlight three of them and show how they coincide with our leadership.

Because of Lot’s choices, He faced:

WAR (Genesis 14:11)

Now, we might not face war such as Lot did, but we fight inward and outward battles every day.  Most of them are just petty conflicts that have nothing to do with nothing, and we get caught in the middle.  What we should do is let our fight be for others.

KIDNAPPING (Genesis 14:12)

Most of us have never been kidnapped and held hostage.  However, from a leadership point of view, our minds can be easily kidnapped.  When we let “things” invade our mind and consume our thoughts and time, we are kidnapped.  I firmly believe that social media is kidnapping our society.  I am sure you can add to the list of the “things.”  What we should do is make sure we are letting our minds be captivated by what will not only build ourselves to be better but also others.

OPPRESSION and TORMENT (Genesis 19:1-11)

One word:  Drama… It can wear you out mentally.  Drama is everywhere.  If you do not go looking for it, it will find you. You know that saying, “Run for your lives.”  That is what we should do to avoid being associated with drama.

There are some other results of Lot’s choices, but I thought that these three were very pertinent to leadership today.  What we should realize is every choice we make as a leader dramatically affects our lives and the lives of others.

Decision making is an art that evolves with time.  We learn from our right and wrong choices, in the hope that we can do better every opportunity that comes next.  If I could impress one thought on today’s topic is that we should never make our choices lightly.


©2018 J Clay Norton

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A Leader’s Word

“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“I give you my word…”  or “I promise, when…” Anyone ever tell you that?  What happened next can only be one of two things…  Either that person’s word stood, or it did not.  There is no “hem-hawing” out of it.

The people you lead have to believe in you and your credibility, and it can only be shown by your words with actions.


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Here is a great question… Are you respected and worth listening too?

As a leader, your word denotes everything about you.  As we ponder on that statement, your word characterizes a few things about your leadership.

Ultimately, your word is…*

Your word is your BOND

It should carry an authority that is as good as a handshake of sealing a deal.

Your word is an expression of your NATURE

What you say represents the measure of your image.

Your word is a measure of your CHARACTER

One word:  Integrity

Your word is magnified above your NAME

When we begin to equate our word with our name, it will begin to carry much more value, and we will be more careful of what we say.

Your word is the sole source of FAITH

People must have faith in you and that you are going to keep your word.

Your reputation is put on the line every time you give your word. You are a walking “advertising billboard” that sells your word as being trustworthy.  You place value on what you are saying and hope that others will do the same.

*This was adapted from Ed Cole’s “Five Propositions Regarding God’s Word.”  I have taken four of the points and applied it to my thoughts as it would pertain to leadership.


©2018 J Clay Norton

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“When leadership is a relationship founded on trust and confidence, people take risks, make changes, keep organizations and movements alive.” – James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

When there are people around, to lead, I figure you just might have to have a relationship with them. Can you lead if relationships are absent? I suppose you can but…

I believe the one ingredient leadership must have, is “relationshipabilitness” (I just made that word up). Leadership relationships create an atmosphere across many different ideas, concepts, interests, etc. What leaders need and should understand is that relationships must be built and YOU, as the leader, must be the builder. If you cannot be that builder, what type of structure will your leadership be? Now, some leaders just choose not to build. This is very sad. Often, you might find that leader who states, “I am in charge and what I say goes, blah blah blah.” What you have here is a leadership facade that looks good on the outside, but on the inside, it is in shambles. No thank you.

When your leadership has a relationship with people, it listens to understand them. It considers and acknowledges their thoughts and ideas. Leaders must see that people have value. What happens is people begin to see that you are committed to them and just not yourself. Leading for yourself is easy. It is all about you. When we lead for others, we devalue ourselves. Notice the “for” in each of the two previous statements. Who is your leadership “for?” At the end of it all, that has to be the question asked and answered.

Do you honestly want to connect with your leadership? Then build relationships beyond yourself. Building relationships has to be one of the most effective leadership traits of a quality leader. Be a leader who is known for having “relationshipabilitiness.”


©2018 J Clay Norton

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Aromatherapy Leadership

“If you want people to respect you, be respectful.” – Lolly Daskal

I have a bottle of Aromatherapy “Comfort” Lotion sitting on my desk a co-worker gave me. The “Comfort” label states it contains vanilla + patchouli. The vanilla absolute is for calming the mind to encourage relaxation, and the patchouli oil is for creating a sense of harmony. The other day I took time to read the back of the bottle. It is almost funny to read what the “Comfort” claims to do. The Aromatherapy Tip: “Massage into skin after a long day for pure comfort. Breathe deeply for best results.”


Photo Credit: Bath & Body Works

No, this is not a commercial or an endorsement for the “Comfort” Lotion, but it is for “Comfort” Leadership.

Ok, the question you might be asking is why I have that “type” of lotion? Maybe my co-worker was trying to tell me something? Actually, I have dry hands in the winter time and need some lotion every once in a while, and that is what she gave me.

As I thought more about this “Comfort,” I began to ponder how our leadership affects others. Does your leadership promote “Comfort?” Can you agree with the statements advertised on the label as it falls under your leadership?

Questions to ask…

1. Does your leadership provide a calm atmosphere? Or, is there a conflict because no one knows what you expect because of the cloudy storms that are scattered daily?

2. Does it encourage a relaxing environment where people can be themselves? Or, are they tense because they do not know what type of mood you are in from day to day?

3. Is there a sense of harmony where everyone is on the same page with the mission and vision? Or, is it wound tight where everyone is afraid to breathe?

When people can set aside their egos, it is amazing what can be accomplished. Our leadership must be able to see and be for the bigger picture. We should do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. Too many times, leaders do what they think the right thing is for themselves. Why? Because it is comfortable for them and then wonder why everything is in chaos and uncomfortable for others.

There is “Comfort” to be found in Aromatherapy Leadership. You just have to decide if you want to use it or not.  When you do, you will find it is as much for you as it is for others. Everyone can feel the effect and all will be better for it.


©2018 J Clay Norton

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