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Leadership

Chris LoCurto

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July 28, 2014

5 Ways To Work As Unto The Lord

For years I worked in the logistics industry. It wasn’t something I loved, but I was really good at. On top of that, the nature of the logistics biz kind of drove me nuts. It wasn’t uncommon for me to wake up at 2am, work for a bit to solve an emergency, go back to bed, then head into work to solve other emergencies.

I knew this wasn’t where I wanted to spend the rest of my career. But every time I tried to get out, I felt like God was closing the door. He didn’t want me to leave. I wasn’t being freed up to go on to something else.

work as unto the lord

After about a year and a half with a certain company I had a shocking conversation with one of my team members. She was struggling a lot with God. She made it pretty obvious to everyone. In fact she would always say she didn’t believe in God.
One day I asked her why she didn’t believe. She told me a story about her son-in-law and how he had killed her grandson years ago. She went on to say with tears in her eyes, “…there’s no way there could be a god who would allow for something like that to happen”.

We continued talking one-on-one for about two hours and her tears soon turned to joy as she rededicated her life to the Lord. Why did she do that? What happened during that two hour conversation?
Well, she had come to an understanding that while all things may not make sense to us, God still has a plan, and He wants us to put our faith in that plan. Ok, there was a lot more to it than that.

You have to know that God has a reason and a purpose for everything in your life.

Shortly after that conversation the craziest thing happen, I headed back to my office and heard my phone ringing. It was a team member who used to work for me who told me there was a company that wanted to hire me. He asked me if I had a resume I could send over. So I did, and guess what…I was hired in just a few days.
Random coincidence I’m sure!  : )
Not hardly! I wholeheartedly believe God kept me at the previous organization so one day I would have that conversation. Now obviously there were other things that happened while I worked there, both good and bad, but I know that God kept me there for that specific reason.

God loves his children so much that he’s perfectly fine with keeping me in an industry I disliked so that I would have a conversation that guided one of His kids back to Him. Having that perspective kind of makes you feel silly when you catch yourself complaining. And the moment after I talked with her, He moved me on.

So here’s five ways to make sure you are doing your work as unto the Lord.

1. Understand that this is God’s story…not ours.
If you are caught up thinking that this is your story, you couldn’t be further from the truth. This is God’s story, and He’s allowed us to be a part of it. If He wants to use you in a situation so He may change one of His children’s lives, He may do just that.
Doesn’t mean you can’t fight Him on it.
Doesn’t mean you can’t run away.
But if you’re not feeling freed up from a job, there must be a greater reason why God has you there in the first place.

Ask God to bring to fruition whatever it is He is wanting to do with you.

2. God has a plan for you…regardless of your environment.
It’s difficult to work with people who don’t have a lot of integrity. It’s difficult to work with people who create a bad work atmosphere. Maybe there’s gossip or backstabbing. You have to understand that no matter what else is going on in other’s lives, God still has a plan for you.
Here’s Jeremiah 29:11in the Message:

I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”

So if that’s true, and you are in a work environment that is not ideal, it doesn’t mean that you stop working hard for God. Just because other people are that way doesn’t mean you mess yourself up in the process and stop doing a great job.

3. Don’t bring yourself down to the level of others.
When the folks around you are not working their hardest, it can wear you down. If your work ethic slips to the level of those around you, guess what? You make yourself considerably less marketable. I want you to focus on being marketable. That means making yourself even more valuable as if you are going to another company. Ask the question, “How can I make myself even greater in situations where most people don’t care?”.
If you focus on making yourself more marketable to other businesses, when the time is right, not only will God move you on, but you might even get a better position at your current organization.

4. Focus on how you can bless others around you.
How can you be a witness to those around you? If people are struggling or not giving their all, if they are gossiping or backstabbing, you should still be a light. You should still be a witness to them. Not only a witness to a better work ethic, but also for Christ. They should be able to see you live in Christ even if you don’t say it with your mouth.

St. Francis of Assissi said, “Preach the gospel at all times, when necessary, use words.

5. Talk to God.
No matter where you are or what you’re doing, prayer is literally a game changer. Prayer is not about how fancy you can be with your words. If you are using nine dollar words with God…He’s not impressed.  In fact, He wants you to talk to Him as children do. You are His child, and prayer should never stop.

Pray without ceasing. That means you are talking to God all day long. The same way you talk to anyone else around you. So when you’re in a job or industry you don’t like, talk to God and let Him know how you feel. He cares. Ask Him what He wants from you. Ask Him what you’re suppose to do. Ask Him how to be better at what you’re doing. Ask Him for direction, guidance, and even ask Him to bless you. There’s no harm in any of that.

But remember, don’t stop talking to Him just because you’re not happy with where you’re working. The more time you spend with Him, the greater chance He is going to let you in on the incredible plan He has you in.

How have you seen God at work in your life, and the lives of others?

Chris LoCurto

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June 23, 2014

Definition of Leadership

What is the definition of leadership? Technically, it’s “the action of leading a group of people or an organization.” If you want to know whether or not you’re a leader, turn around. If nobody is following you than you’re not leading.

Definition of Leadership, Leadership Definition, ChrisLoCurto.com

While that does suffice for an official definition, I can truly say I’ve encountered many people confused by that definition. There are many misconceptions about what it means to be a leader. In an attempt to clear some of those misconceptions up, here’s what leadership is not:

  • Leadership Is Not a Title - Titles don’t lead! So many people believe that if you have a title, you’re a leader. Having a title does not make you a leader. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes I see businesses make is to take their greatest salesperson and make them the sales team leader. Who ever said they could lead? I see this fail all the time.
  • Leadership Is Not a Dictatorship – Telling people what to do doesn’t make you a leader, it makes you a dictator. People don’t follow dictators, they do what they say with only the required amount of energy to make it happen. No loyalty, no respect, and no buy-in.
  • Leadership Is Not Selfish - Contrary to popular belief, leadership is not about the leader. It’s not about one person’s ideas, desires, focus, drive, etc. It’s not about someone’s ego and pride.
  • Leadership Is Not the Blame Game - Leadership isn’t playing the blame game in an attempt to shrug off the responsibility of being an effective leader.
  • Leadership Is Not Angry - Ripping someones head off is in no manner leadership. I can’t count the number of times I’ve watched, heard of, or been the recipient of a supposed leader losing their mind and yelling. All the while, the screamer usually never takes the time to find out all the correct information, thus losing all credibility, and any respect or loyalty.

Those are just a few examples of what leadership is not. Let’s take a look at what leadership is:

  • Leadership Is Selfless - A true leader first understands that leadership is not about them. It’s about the people they are trying to lead in a specific direction.
  • Leadership Is Successful - It is your job as a leader to make your team successful, not the other way around. You have to make sure that you are there for whatever your team needs to be successful. What does the team need? Do they understand their KRA‘s? Do they have questions about their processes? Do they have the tools necessary to be successful?
  • Leadership Is Visionary – “Without a vision, the people perish.” People have to have a vision to follow. Without it they are dying. Great leaders keep their team focused on where they are going, not just where they are.
  • Leadership Is Accountable - In my eBook, Why Your Meetings Suck, I talk about the most powerful meeting I have where I don’t play the blame game when things go wrong. Instead, I teach people to take responsibility and solve the problem. And when the reason the team member(s) failed is leadership, I take responsibility instead of trying to blame shift.
  • Leadership Is Rewarding - People repeat what they are rewarded for. Entrepreneurs and leaders are great at finding people doing things wrong, but not so much on finding people doing things right. If you want high quality team members, let them know when they’re being high quality team members.
  • Leadership Is Inspirational – It’s not enough to come to work everyday just for a paycheck. A person can do that anywhere. As a leader it is vital to inspire your team to something greater than themselves.
  • Leadership Is Mentoring - A great leader understand that their team needs instruction on their job, and life as well. Sometimes as a leader you have to be willing to spend time mentoring each team member. Believe it or not, most of your team members would love that interaction.
  • Leadership Is Protecting - People need to know that their leader “has their back”. There’s plenty of junk going on in everyone’s life, they don’t need it at work as well. Great leadership protects their team from gossip, back stabbing, lying, manipulation, etc.
  • Leadership Is Uncomfortable - You’re dealing with people and things can get messy. Sometimes it’s your responsibility to push others out of their comfort zone and stretch them past their own belief in themselves.
  • Leadership Is Personal - Great leaders understand that their business wouldn’t run without the people who have decided to invest their time and efforts in that business. You must care! Spending time getting to know each team member, their families, their hobbies, their strengths, their weaknesses, etc. will result in loyalty and respect. Hurt when they hurt, and celebrate when they celebrate!
  • Leadership Is Socratic - Understanding that you as a leader are not the only one with great ideas is vital to winning at leadership. You should be taxing the collective intelligence of your team when you need input, and believe it or not, even when you don’t need input. Be intentional about helping your team to use their creativity. Fostering this will cause them to think for themselves, which is a fantastic duplication process.

The goal of a team is to allow a business to do more than they can with just one person. Bad leaders get half the effort of their team. Great leaders need half the team of bad leaders!

Question: What’s your definition of leadership?

Chris LoCurto

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November 26, 2013

Make Your Team Productive [Podcast]

November 26, 2013 | By | 11 Comments">11 Comments

It’s the week of Thanksgiving and there’s no better time than the present to show your team how thankful you are. Making your team productive starts with making your team feel appreciated.

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In today’s podcast, we get into a bunch of fun Thanksgiving themed discussion around coffee and my top secret Deep-Fried Turkey recipe. Which isn’t so top secret. Turns out Bon Appétit is on the exact same page.

Deep-Fried Turkey

(Recipe via Bon Appétit - check out their great how-to video)

INGREDIENTS

1 12 to 16 pound turkey, thawed with giblets and neck removed
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 5 gallon container peanut oil

PREPARATION

  1. Place the turkey in an empty fryer pot and cover with water. Remove the turkey from the pot, rinse, and dry with paper towels. Mark the water level with a marker on the outside of the pot, or score the inside with a nail or paring knife. You will need that much oil in the pot when you cook, and no more. Empty the pot, then wash and dry.
  2. Rub the bird inside and out with salt, pepper, and cayenne.
  3. Fill pot with peanut oil so that it reaches the level the water was after the turkey was removed, and attach an extra- long candy thermometer to the inside of the pot. Heat oil over an outdoor propane hob until the oil reaches 350 degrees.
  4. Meanwhile, place the turkey on its rack–generally a device shaped something like a grappling hook, with a long shank, that will allow you to put the bird into the heated oil and retrieve it at the end of the cooking process. Simply thread the bird onto the shank so that it sits with its breast side up.
  5. Working carefully, use the handle that attaches to the rack to lower the turkey slowly into the heated oil. The process may take up to a minute, as the oil bubbles and pops because of excess moisture on the exterior of the bird. Wear gloves, and do not perform your duties barefoot or while drunk.
  6. Cook for approximately 3 1/2 minutes per pound. Remove from oil, allowing the excess to drain off the carcass, and allow the bird to rest for at least 30 minutes, covered in foil. Remove bird from rack and carve.

Question: How have you shown your team how thankful you are?

Chris LoCurto

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November 25, 2013

You’re No Good To Me!

November 25, 2013 | By | 20 Comments">20 Comments

If you’re like me, you have a tendency to work your Gluteus Maximus off to make your business the best it can possibly be. If so, then I know how tired you are right now.

Chris LoCurto, Leadership, Business, Strategic Planning, LifePlan, #CLoTribe

I can tell you that after doing an incredible amount of events back-to-back, I’M TIRED! If there is one thing I have come to understand, it’s that I can’t continuously give out, without recharging ME.

If I don’t have energy to give to you, I’m no good to you. And the truth is, if you don’t have the energy to give to me, you’re no good to me either!

That’s why I decided to take a few days and go back home to do…wait for it…nothing! Yep. I finished my last event in a run of events, and flew straight to Tahoe.

I got into Reno, walked off the plane, got my bags, headed out the doors, and took one HUGE breath. I can’t tell you how incredible it is for me to fill my lungs up with that air. And it was even better when I got to Tahoe.

Over the next few days, I enjoyed coffee at the Coffee Bar in Truckee, had a killer workout, took a stretching class to try and work out some of my insanely tight muscles, had some incredible meals, and spent the rest of the time staring at the beauty in front of me.

And I praised God for sending me snow. Okay, maybe it wasn’t JUST for me, but I received it BIG time. I also answered an extremely small amount of emails or texts (sorry team!). Which is why I now have 500 to go through.

And while I believe I need more than just two days of this, I feel more rejuvenated than I have in a long time.

Why am I telling you about this trip? Because I’m pretty sure most of you are overdue for a trip just like this. Or doing something that regenerates YOU.

It’s the old bank analogy right? You can only take withdrawals if you have plenty of deposits. If you’re not putting deposits in your bank, you’re no good to me, your customers, your team, and mostly your family.

So it’s time! I want you to write down the top four things that absolutely regenerate you right now. Then I want you to pull out your calendar and book some of those things!

For me, spending time in Tahoe is on the top of my list, then alone time doing something relaxing, and cooking up a storm.

If I get some of those in, I can be a much better me. If not, I’m just a drained and empty version of the guy who’s supposed to be helping people.

Don’t be that person! It seems selfish to take time for you, but I promise, everyone around you will be much happier that you did.

Question: What refuels you? 

Chris LoCurto

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November 19, 2013

Procrastinate on Purpose with Rory Vaden – Part 2 [Podcast]

November 19, 2013 | By | 3 Comments">3 Comments

When Rory Vaden and I sat down to talk about his upcoming book, Procrastinate On Purpose, we couldn’t stop talking! If you missed the first part of the interview, be sure to listen here first.

Here’s Part 2 of our interview on The Chris LoCurto Show:

Subscribe to the podcast:          iTunes  Stitcher Radio  SoundCloud

If you haven’t read Rory’s last book, Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success, get your copy today!

Question: Have you started procrastinating on purpose? How’s it going?