Intentional Leadership for Others… ACTS

“Leadership is a way of thinking, a way of acting and, most importantly a way of communicating.” – Simon Sinek

When you convey your leadership to others, what comes to mind about it? One of the most important ideas to remember is our leadership should be about others. It is never about you. With that being the case, the question of how should we deliver our leadership is important. Is it intentional? Does it carry a positive servant attitude? Does it…?

As a Christian, I learned an acrostic to increase and have a more purposeful prayer life. It is ACTS. Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. A prayer life that models this style enables you to make sure everything has the correct place and is meaningful.
Now, what if we applied that same acrostic to making our leadership intentional? What would each letter signify? It could go something like this:

Intentional Leadership for Others… ACTS

ACKNOWLEDGE – When we provide leadership, do you focus on yourself or others? Steven Canfield, Lead Teacher for Life Action Ministries, said: “We should never look past others.” When I heard him say this, I had to camp out on it for awhile. Why is this important? If we are providing leadership, it should be for the benefit of those around us. When we acknowledge everyone in the room, the receptiveness of the group increases.

CONSIDERATION – Acknowledgement leads to consideration. It is one thing to acknowledge someone, but not to consider the value they could or can bring creates a downer. Considering others allows the quality of your leadership to enhance. Which allows the empowerment of others. If you want the attention of someone, acknowledge and consider them. Their thoughts and willingness could be a great addition to your leadership.

TRANSPARENT – Everyone needs help in some area. Thinking that you have it all together with your leadership leads to arrogance. What weaknesses we have should not be a secret. That is why transparency is crucial to leadership. People do not want to be around fakeness. Your leadership value strengthens when others see the example your leadership brings with transparency. True leadership is when you can express your weaknesses or acknowledge the weaknesses of others and help them. Weak leaders can do neither of these. Let others see the true you.

STEP – Go where you need to go next. Sometimes that might be a step forward or a step back. Know your audience. Trying to force your leadership usually backfires. Let your leadership be a living conversation that can go and change direction as needed. Be willing to adapt. Part of great leadership is doing what is best for others. Know where to step. Just make sure you do not step on others. (Thanks to Allen Marett for helping me figure out a word for “S”)

This acrostic might seem silly or simple, but how many times do we know if we are reaching our audience? If you do not ask yourself this question, then admit it is all about you. The next time you have the opportunity to provide leadership, try ACTS; acknowledge others, consider their thoughts and who they are, be transparent and know where and how to step next. Each one is intentional and builds on the other. When we do that, a connection is in the making.

Here is the idea of leadership… You can know right, do right, and still not be right.


©2018 J Clay Norton

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New Opportunities…

“We cannot control the when of opportunity, we only control what we do with it.” – J. Clay Norton




“Oh, I wish I could go back and…”

I have made that statement many times in the past. You know what, I cannot go back and neither can you. We can only learn and put ourselves in a position to do better when a new time comes. Believe it or not, most times, it will come back around again.

I am not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. Our pastor, Dr. Greg Belser stated once in a sermon that “… if something was important to do, then go ahead and do it.”

I believe this is pretty solid advice. We live in a world of instant gratification. We want a lot of stuff now, so why is it typical for each of us to wait to do something for others or for ourselves?

So, why does a new year matter? I can only answer for me. Maybe you can have a thought or two on this as well. A new year matters because it allows for opportunities that should never wait.

  • An opportunity to understand even more that it is not about me.
  • An opportunity to appreciate the little things that make someone happy.
  • An opportunity to be kind-hearted and serve.
  • An opportunity to care and value others.
  • An opportunity to just do the right thing.
  • An opportunity to…

The above list can go on and on. Most importantly, we must understand that each of these can and should add quality to your life. If you want them, why not put them into practice? Why wait? Your opportunity to do any of this is waiting for you.


Also, wanted to say thank you to everyone who subscribes to the blog and to those who read it via email. Your support is very appreciated. To those that follow on Twitter, thanks as well.


©2018 J Clay Norton

Follow me on Twitter at TheBookChamber

Subscribe via email to my blog at the top of the page.



In The Fullness Of Time…

I hope each of you have a Merry Christmas.  Enjoy the time you have for yourself and your family.  Above all else, remember the gift of God, that came in the fullness of time.

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son…” – Galatians 4:4 ESV



 In the fullness of time… God, in His rich mercy and love,

reached down to do the one thing we could not do.

It was at this time, planned before time,

that God chose for Jesus to come and humble Himself

to save mankind.

To leave the throne of Heaven,

the glory of His righteousness.

To come to this world, created by Him,

to save us from our frailty.

The Incarnate who can relate, know our hearts;

to save us from our world of death and offer us eternity.

Lowly shepherds heard this Good News.

Their hearts were stirred to belief,

that they went and bowed at The New Born’s feet.

This same news, we hear too.

Angels we have heard on high;

the sound of their voices still cry…

Peace on earth and goodwill to man…

A Redeemer we needed, and still do.

God, in His Majesty, provided a Savior, born for you!

In the fullness of time… Christ was born.

Merry Christmas!



©2017 J Clay Norton

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Leadership “Wrapped Up”

It is what is in the box that matters…


Now, let’s consider the wrapping of your presents and equate it with leadership. With Christmas time upon us, many are wrapping packages and a lot of time and thought goes into it.

As I have considered this topic for writing, I thought about the breakdown of wrapping a present. It is funny to consider the unintentional intentional aspects of wrapping a present.

Let’s work backwards…

The Name Tag
Obviously, this is who receives the present. But notice how it is intentional. It is to someone specific. We know who the present is for, we just want to make sure everyone else does. Who is your leadership for?

The Bow or Ribbon
Have you ever thought about the nicer the present, the more beautiful the bow? We can put a store-bought bow on anything. It is generic. But when we start making our bows, we send a message about the value of the present and possibly the value of the person. Do we change our leadership depending on who it is for. Is it generic or intentional?

The Wrapping Paper
Same thought process as the bow or ribbon. We sometimes choose the wrapping paper depending on the present or the person.  Sometimes we wrap our presents all in the same paper.

The Box
Now, this is not hard to consider. We find a box the present fits in and go from there. However, there are sometimes we will use a box to try to deceive the present (now we are getting somewhere). It conceals what is inside.

The Present
The present is your leadership. It is what is inside the box that matters. Regardless of the box, paper, the bow or ribbon, or even the name tag, what is inside the box counts.

Everything on the outside does little to represent what is on the inside. With leadership, everyone gets “wrapped up” with what we show, and seldom for what it is inside. It is easy to get fixated on how our “leadership” should look. Many leaders do things to deceive or conceal what their leadership is. It is short-term, and eventually, the outside will tear up and be thrown away. The box will reveal what is inside.

Trying to “wrap up” your leadership to look like something it is not is awful. It is nothing more than a facade. It is just plain fake. It is easy to spot quality leadership, all you have to do is see the treatment of others. Does your leadership follow one path or does it change depending upon the circumstances?

Good leadership is not trying to be something you are not. We give our leadership away every day. It is a gift of ourselves to others. Just do not let it be “wrapped up” as something that it is not.

If your leadership is bad, it will go in the garbage just like that boxed fruitcake no one likes. There is no way to “wrap up” a fruitcake to make it any better than it is.



©2017 J Clay Norton

Follow me on Twitter at TheBookChamber

Subscribe via email to my blog at the top of the page.