Leading Happy

Where Leadership and Happiness Collide

Month: December 2016 (page 1 of 2)

Broken Escalator or Stairs?


One of my favorite things is to watch comedians. Years ago, a good friend introduced me to late comedian Mitch Hedberg. He was known for making normal life issues, situations, or word, and putting a hilarious, witty spin on them.

Here is one of my favorites from him,

“I like an escalator because an escalator can never break, it can only become stairs. There would never be an escalator temporarily out of order sign, only – Escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience.”

The first time I heard this I laughed till I cried. But I also had another reality form out of the humor. Truth out of comedy.

Even though the escalator may not be running, the fact that it is still a usable set stairs is true.

You can still get from point A to point B on the escalator cum stairs. Maybe with more effort, but it is possible.

It makes me wonder about many of the setbacks we face on a daily basis.

  • When something goes wrong.
  • When we don’t get our way.
  • When it seems chaos is more normal than control.
  • When our world seems to be falling apart, tearing at the seams.

Our natural first inclination is to quit. Why is that?

There are always two sides to our human nature. Only one of them is prone to quit. The other is prone to do what it takes to survive. Not just survive, but find new ways to thrive!

It all depends on how we look at the situation. We often call it attitude. But attitude actual comes out of our outlook, our view.

How we see and internalize something is how it will form into a belief and then an action, which controls our behavior.

So don’t simply give into the struggle next time adversity stares you in the face. Instead, look at the broken escalator as a set of stairs – a challenge, an opportunity – to conquer.

View your issue as something that can be turned around for your own benefit, or maybe the benefit of those around you.

New view; new you. Sounds cheesy, but it is true. “Sorry for the convenience!”

Sorry. No, You Don’t Get a Trophy (Guest Post)


Think about this:

Imagine you are a parent and you are at your son’s’ final baseball game and your son is pitching in the bottom of the 9th inning and there are already 2 outs on the board.

He throws the first pitch. And boom. Strike 1.

He throws pitch number two. Strike 2. Now it’s all up to this last pitch.

He winds up and pitches! Strike 3! Hooray.

The kid batting is out and the game is over!

Your sons’ team just won!

Except something is amiss.

As they are passing out the trophies and awards they give every team the same “Great Job” trophy. Even though the opposing team just lost, they still got a trophy. Wait just a minute!


According to Mensjournal.com, “Trophies make kids feel like finishing in last place may be good enough.” Which is exactly true. Kids nowadays don’t have the same drive to win as kids did a decade ago. People would rather make their kids feel like a “winner” than for them to face the fact that they actually lost.

Where did William Edward Hickson famous quote go, which claimed, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.” What happened to that? He clearly didn’t say, “If at first you don’t succeed, that’s okay you still get a trophy!” This alone teaches kids that by losing you will get the same reward as someone who purposefully works hard to do something. Something that absolutely doesn’t happen in life as an adult.

Now, yes, I do agree that getting a trophy can boost your self-esteem, like stated on mommyhastowork.com, “Glass awards and plaques will help change a child’s self-esteem for the better, encourage further development in a skill or quality that they have pride in.” So yes, they can help, yet in the end, getting an award for something you don’t really deserve can have a horrible effect on their work ethic and desire to advance in something. A pat on the back in adolescents  can potentially turn into a huge slap in the face in adulthood.

Now I’m not saying kids don’t need or deserve trophies, but I think it is better when they don’t get them simply for playing along.

Kids need motivation to work hard, and if they can always count on winning then they won’t learn important lessons that will stay with them into their adult life. They will continue to think that losing and being bad at something is okay. Sorry, but it just doesn’t work like that.

So No. You don’t get a trophy if you don’t actually deserve it.

Sincerely, clearlymakenzie


Makenzie is a mass communications major in Missouri. Follow her musings, fun research, and other postings at www.clearlymakenzie.wordpress.com.


Great Gift for that Leader in Your Life



Maxwell, John. Leadership Promises for Every Day: A Daily Devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2016. 390pp. $19.99.

So I will confess I am a John Maxwell junkie. I have encountered his teachings at so many conferences, DVDs, podcasts, and round tables, not to mention my entire shelf of Maxwell books. I have even been talking with a rep with his consulting certification as a Maxwell Team Coach. I like to admit my biases up front. It’s a fault, but people love me for it. Yet, I will also admit up front, I am not a fan of devotionals. I am that guy that tends to smile when a devotional if given to me, and then uses it for a paperweight the rest if the year.

(If you have given me a devotional, I am sorry.)

Nevertheless, when I was sent this copy of Leadership Promises for Everyday by Maxwell, I was incredibly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I found myself wanting to read 10 or 12 in one setting. The Scripture references with a pithy leadership or ministry ideas for the leader at any level was addicting. Possibly needless to say, I read most of the devotional in about two weeks time. (Like I said, devotionals and I are either in love or we hate each other.)

Why I believe this devotional is worth it is because of John Maxwell himself. His decades of credibility, his endless writing career, and his passion for Christian leadership grants him a place at the head of the table in a leader’s development. Honestly, even if you have never read a Maxwell book, you still glean from his other writings as the devotional takes advantage of his previous books. In other words, you can read a dozen, 300 page books or you can get daily doses to advantageously apply to your life and leadership.


Why I mention it as a great gift idea for that leader in your life is because of the size, cover, and price. Its cover is made of imitation leather with embossed lettering and a creatively designed, embossed compass. The size is perfect to set on a desk or to carry along in a bag or with one’s Bible as a companion. Many of the pages, even with the smaller size, has room enough to write a leadership idea that comes up and you don’t want to forget. The pages are coated so great for underlining and highlighting without bleed through. Two of my pet peeves with thin pages in books made for note taking and idea generation. Don’t judge, you know it bugs you too!

Plus, the price is a perfect price point for a gift. At under $20, you cannot beat the look and content you get. I worked in retail in my younger years, and we always had people coming in looking for a good gifts for their boss, pastor, or leader in their life. Hey, all you have to do it click on the link above and BOOM Amazon delivers the gift right to you (or even them). I know, but no thanks necessary. I am there for you!

Now if you are really an over-planner (it’s okay, this is a safe place to share), this is a great idea for that graduation you know is coming in May 2017! Mind Blown?!?! I know, but stay calm. *Digital Hi-Five*

So do yourself a favor or get that leader in your life a worthy gift. I have yet to go wrong with a Maxwell book to my leader friendships and now they have one that’s just perfect for gifting.

So lead on and lead happy!

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