Leadership Development

Secure In Sovereignty – Summit Life Today

“Security is not the absence of danger, but the presence of God, no matter what the danger.” ~ Anonymous

There is nothing more freeing than to feel secure.  “Safe” and “secure” don’t necessarily go together.  Being secure doesn’t mean that you’re always going to play it safe.  In fact, the more secure you feel, the more likely you are to take a risk rather than stay in a safe place.  Security gives you the confidence you need to stretch yourself to go beyond what you know is safe.  A skydiver might feel secure with his parachute so he jumps out of an airplane which isn’t at all the safe thing to do. 

Erin KnappSecure In Sovereignty – Summit Life Today
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Never Paid In Full – Summit Life Today

“Love is not a feeling.  Love is an action…true love is an act of will…it is correct to say ‘Love is as love does’” ~ M. Scott Peck

Good, responsible and honest leaders pay their debts and don’t owe anything to anyone except by mutual agreement.  Becoming “debt free” is a noble goal for anyone.  Paying your employees, vendors, and even taxes on time is a matter of character and integrity.  But what about the one debt that you always owe but can never pay in full?  It is due to everyone you know and requires you to make payments every day. 

Erin KnappNever Paid In Full – Summit Life Today
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God’s Favor – Summit Life Today

“Have thy tools ready, God will find thee work.” ~ Charles Kingsley

God’s favor instills courage and confidence.  There is no greater blessing than experiencing God’s favor on your life and leadership.  It’s a grace thing.  You don’t earn or deserve God’s favor.  However, it is associated with obedience.  When we align ourselves with the work God is doing around us and respond in faith to the opportunities that come our way, we will often see God’s favor bless our efforts. 

Erin KnappGod’s Favor – Summit Life Today
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Failing Forward – Summit Life Today

“There are no secrets to success.  It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” ~ Colin Powell

“Failure” and “mistake” don’t have to be negative words.  I love the optimistic mindset of Thomas Edison when an experiment or new invention failed.  He didn’t think of it as a “failure” but as part of the success process.  He would put a positive frame around the “failure” by giving it value, since through it he had just learned another way it couldn’t be done.  I was in business with my father for several years.  When I made a mistake that cost the company money, he would often say: “Put it down as an education expense”.  My father viewed mistakes as learning experiences.  

Erin KnappFailing Forward – Summit Life Today
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A Good Soldier – Summit Life Today

“Every soldier must know, before he goes into battle, how the little battle he is to fight fits into the larger picture, and how the success of his fighting will influence the battle as a whole.”  ~ Bernard Law Montgomery

Leadership requires sacrifice.  There is a cost to being an effective leader and you must be willing to pay the price.  Great leaders are servant leaders who often make personal sacrifices for the sake of their team and their cause.  Servant leaders always go the extra mile. 

Erin KnappA Good Soldier – Summit Life Today
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Grace and Order – Summit Life Today

“Grace is love that cares and stoops and rescues.” ~ John Stott

Society must establish law and order to successfully function in fairness and safety for its citizens.  Laws set boundaries and when properly enforced, they bring order to potential chaos.  It’s like having lines on the field at a sporting event. Without the lines and the rules that come with them, you would never know what was “in bounds” or “out of bounds”.  Lines and rules bring order to the game.

Erin KnappGrace and Order – Summit Life Today
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Leading Through Conflict – Summit Life Today

“Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it.  That factor is attitude.” ~ William James

As a leader, you are in the people business.  It’s a huge mistake to ever define your leadership based on the function of your organization.  You are not the leader of a Sales Department or a Manufacturing Plant or an Information Technology company, you are the leader of People.  People carry out the function of the organization.  The truth is: there are a lot more gray areas in leading people than there are in managing the black and white world of data, machines and technology.  People are much more complex, and complexity causes tension.   Anytime you have tension, you’re being stretched. 

Erin KnappLeading Through Conflict – Summit Life Today
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Healthy Communication – Summit Life Today

“It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.” ~ Yogi Berra

First seek to understand before you seek to be understood.  Stephen Covey lists this simple principle among his list of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”.  It’s in understanding that we gain insight.  When we seek to understand, we go deeper into the issue and begin to answer: “Why?”

How good are you at listening…really listening? 

Erin KnappHealthy Communication – Summit Life Today
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Leading Up – Summit Life Today

“Perhaps nothing in our society is more needed for those in positions of authority than accountability.”  ~ Larry Burkett

You are never going to agree with all the decisions the boss makes, even if you’re the boss!  There are a lot of important decisions that have to be made each and every day.  Most of these decisions will be fairly clear cut, but many will require more careful consideration.  Some of the choices will fall into gray areas that will be hard to call, much like a pitch in baseball that curves knee high over the corner of the plate.  Wise leaders don’t try to make all these calls themselves.  They often rely on the collective perspective and wisdom of a leadership team.

Erin KnappLeading Up – Summit Life Today
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More than Survival – Summit Life Today

“I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere to go.  My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day.”  ~ Abraham Lincoln

Have you ever participated in a team building survival exercise?  You are given a scenario in which you are either stranded on an island, lost in a forest or find yourself in the aftermath of a natural disaster. The facilitator describes your situation and particular survival challenges, and then you are given a list of items that are available to you.  You and your team are charged with putting the list in the right order to give you the best chance for survival.  The objective is to get your team to agree on the most important things that need to be at the top of your list.  

Erin KnappMore than Survival – Summit Life Today
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