Leadership Expectations

“We expect because we trust. Otherwise we doubt, or do not expect at all.” – Anonymous  

What should your leadership expectations be and why?


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Before we can ask that question; we must ask, what are you expecting?

  • Are you expecting awards and trophies?
    They will collect dust, thrown into a box, placed in the attic, and someone someday will throw them away.
  • Are you expecting relationships?
    Most people will let you down. Some on purpose, others unintentionally. They love you in the good times and forget your name in the bad times.
  • Are you expecting fame?
    Odds are, you will never be satisfied.

If these are what your expectations are, then you are for yourself. Just ask around, no one likes these type of leaders. If we believe we already have it “going on” or we are “self-sufficient,” then we are miserable.

So, since we have debunked the selfish expectations, let’s think about what our leadership expectations should be.

  • Our ultimate leadership expectation should be above ourselves and reaching to help others.
  • Great leaders strive to put others above themselves. They never push or pull them out or down; they push or pull them in, helping them beyond their own power and capabilities.
  • Great leaders are in some form or fashion are a creator and sustainer for others. People depend on you to be who and what you say you are. Many times, you are the lifeline that helps others to evolve into what they want to be.

What are your leadership expectations? As you reflect on today’s topic, consider how and what you do on a daily basis. If our expectations continue to be about us, we are not expecting much. When our expectations begin promoting growth, then much value can be placed on our leadership and we will meet our expectations.


©2018 J Clay Norton

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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

Follow me on Twitter at TheBookChamber

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