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Leadership

Chris LoCurto

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August 19, 2014

Parents, Kids, Conflict…OH MY [Podcast]

August 19, 2014 | By | 3 Comments">3 Comments

We are talking about conflict in the family on todays show. More specifically – How do I get my children to get along?

We naturally think ” my kids should just get along.” But we have to remember that with kids it’s no different than the people you work with.

The reason why kids (or anybody else) are in conflict is because they don’t understand each other.

Translating that into business and for your team, when we have two people that are in conflict, almost every time it comes down to the simplicity of not understanding each others personality styles.

So first off, you have to know what personality style your kids are. You do know what your kids personality styles are…don’t you?

Next you have to explain to the kids what the other siblings personality styles are. Explain to them what matters most to each sibling, why that’s important to them, where they struggle, etc.

When you do that you change the communication inside the family.

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Question: So…pop quiz – What personality styles do you have in your family?

 

 

Chris LoCurto

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August 18, 2014

5 Ways To A Closer Relationship With God

August 18, 2014 | By | 14 Comments">14 Comments

Finding your purpose in life is one of the greatest things you will ever experience. In LifePlan, it’s one of the highlights for every attendee; that and putting together what is most likely their first vision for their life.

But there’s a major key to discover the purpose that God has for you and that is…God. Yep, it’s a crazy thing, but the big guy upstairs has known what He’s wanted for you for a really long time.

5 Ways to a closer relationship with god

In the last episode of The Chris LoCurto Show – “Seeking God First”, we talked about our team devotional where we discussed Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

That’s when I shared how important it is to seek God, and I asked how many of you were “All in”, and a ton of you responded! So I thought I would take this opportunity to challenge you by giving you some practical steps to seeking God.

I don’t know if you’ve ever realized this, but every week you have 168 hours to use. If you work 40 hours a week, and spent 68 hours sleeping and eating, that would give you a total of 60 hours left to live the rest of your life.

Studies show that the average person spends 34 hours watching TV. If you add any family time and personal activity in there, how much does that leave for God?

Considering He’s your Father, and He loves you and knows you better than anyone, AND He actually has a plan and a future for you that’s better than anything you have on the table, don’t you think you should be spending more time with Him?

Start your morning off strong – As best as I can tell, Jesus spent every morning talking with God before He did anything else. If that was best for Him, shouldn’t it be for us? Every morning Jesus received blessing, and guidance, and love, and self-worth from God. Make sure you are as well!

Become a student – Every person needs a mentor or two. What greater area of your life to give focus to? Find someone who has a great relationship with God and ask for them to teach you how to do the same. Notice that I didn’t say find someone who attends church a lot, or does a lot of religious stuff, or talks Christianese well. Doing “church” or “religion” doesn’t mean you have a great relationship with your Father in Heaven. Believe me, I see a ton of people who are confused with that concept. Your relationship with God directly is paramount! Now, with that said, understand that I absolutely believe you should not forsake the gathering of the saints. Just don’t turn the gathering into a false belief of daily relations with God.

Set healthy boundaries – In 7 Signs You Self-Sabotage I shared that when you don’t have healthy boundaries, you allow people to manipulate you, take advantage of you, and abuse you. The very lack of healthy boundaries also keeps you from an intimate relationship with God. How? It’s actually quite simple – people without boundaries aren’t getting their strength, self-esteem, self-worth, confidence, etc. from God. Start by reading the book Boundaries! This is a great first step in taking care of YOU.

Worship Him like never before– I shared that the Jewish people believe, as well as I, that worshiping God is what you do during the week with his Children through your mode of work. In other words, if I do a great job during the week taking care of my clients and my followers, then I’m worshiping God. That in itself should absolutely change the way you look at your work. Focus everyday on what you can do to take care of God’s children, and I truly believe He will delight in it.

Keep the relationship open – Prayer is not something you just do in the morning, or when you eat, it should be continuous. As 1 Thes 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing”. Saying Amen doesn’t mean that your communication with God is now done until the next meal. You grow your relationships with people by open communication, you should focus that even more when growing your relationship with God. Talk to him in all things.

If you will put these few things in place regularly in your life, I promise you will notice a phenomenal difference with your life!

Question: What ways are you inviting God in daily?

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?