Canoe Trips

Life Coaching, Servant Leadership, Speaking Topics
Three friends went on a canoe trip. It was a beautiful summer day and the river height was perfect.  The ripples of the water and the current slapping the banks was soothing and added to the wonderful views of wildlife and nature surrounding the three friends and their adventure.   As the day progressed, Bob, who was sitting in the center of the canoe, was getting tired and paddled less and less and finally just left his paddle in the water in fear that Joe, who was in the front of the canoe, and Bill, who was in the rear of the canoe, would notice that Bob was no longer contributing to the progress of the canoe. In fact, he was beginning to be a drag.   At some point…
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Foxhole Friends

Life Coaching, Servant Leadership, Speaking Topics
When I was a kid, my favorite Bible story was that of David and Jonathan. It seems interesting that out of all the colorful, vivacious stories that are painted throughout Scripture—the floods and lions and giants and whales, the multiplication of bread and fish, and miraculous returns to life—my childhood self chose a simple story of friendship.  I’m not sure what it was that made the story of David and Jonathan stand out in my young mind. But looking back on the story, I’m reminded of the exemplary model of friendship that these two men lived.  Jonathan, the son of King Saul, befriended David, the chosen successor of King Saul. As the son of the king, Jonathan could have become jealous of David, feeling he was stealing the throne from…
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Mindset Matters

Life Coaching, Speaking Topics
Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Top Golf, an entertainment venue featuring fun golf games. I had a great time with my family but to be honest, my skill needed some work. The first 15 out of 20 balls I hit missed the mark every time. Attempt after attempt, I tried to do something different to improve and in golf, it turns out you have to do everything at the same time. :) So I tried to straighten my grip, lengthen my follow through, keep my head down and turn my feet just so; and I continued to struggle to hit those targets. Wanting to keep things in perspective, I battled to keep my frustration from grabbing a hold of my attitude and giving up. The truth was I wasn’t very good at this…. yet. But as…
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Happy or Healthy?

Life Coaching, Servant Leadership, Speaking Topics
“My name is Bruce and I’m a recovering people-pleaser.” In the past, I would spend the majority of my time keeping people happy… while remaining frustrated at the lack of progress and growth. I discovered that the happier I tried to keep people, the more unhealthy things became—both within the organization, and within myself. I’ve also seen this a lot in the many organizations and teams that I’ve spent time with, in the workplace and beyond. This is what has propelled me to move toward and promote what I’m finding to be a huge culture shift needed in our homes, businesses, churches and organizations. The Culture Shift: Moving from a Happy Culture to a Healthy Culture. Giving candy to your kids to quiet them down will make them happy, but not…
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Learning and Leading

Life Coaching, Servant Leadership, Speaking Topics
My desire is to learn something from each person I come in contact with on a daily basis, whether for a few minutes or hours. A couple weeks ago I was engaging with another individual through one-on-one coaching, and I came away forever challenged with a statement this gentleman shared with me.   The question was simple: What is the difference between confidence and arrogance?  He sat up straight cleared his throat and, with a clear and confident voice, spoke these words: “Confidence is quiet and arrogance is loud.”  I will admit the initial statement was zipping through my mind at a high rate of speed, then everything slowed down. I began to process this simple phrase, and will continue to in the coming weeks.     As I process this…
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T-H-I-N-K

Life Coaching, Mentoring, Speaking Topics
I recently read Josh Shipp’s book, The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans. For anyone who interacts with teenagers—be it parents, teachers, mentors, grandparents, coaches—this is a great resource and tool for learning the needs and communication preferences of teens at every stage of adolescence.  One of the topics Josh addressed is engaging with social media. While he was speaking primarily about teen engagement on the internet, I think this guideline can be a helpful tool for all of us to remember as we post content online, speak to one another, and engage with people of all ages.  Josh shared the following acronym with its reminder to THINK before we post (or speak, etc.). We must ask, is it: T - True? H - Helpful? I - Inspiring? N - Necessary?…
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Guard the Unity

Life Coaching, Servant Leadership, Speaking Topics
Unity is a big deal- whether in a marriage, a coaching staff, or in any team. Unity keeps us on mission and helps us persevere to reach our goals. It values and validates the need for each team member and the significant role they play. It reminds us that results together go further than results alone. I’ve heard it said that individuals win trophies, but teams win championships. No matter what context, the concept stands true. Because unity is so valuable and a key to health and success, we would be wise to know how to protect it: Communication. Take time to communicate and answer as many questions as you can. What questions don’t get answered, the team will fill in the blanks with their own truth. Be proactive and…
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Think Again

Life Coaching, Mentoring, Speaking Topics
We will eventually do what we think.   This statement is taken directly from one of the Character Development Initiatives that we use at Toward the Goal.  While sharing this with a team I was challenged with several questions. What or who influences my thinking on a regular basis? How do I take captive thoughts that are not helpful? How do I filter my thoughts? What does it take for me to change the way I think? As a leader people will tend to think like you do over time.  One of our daily goals should include a reflection on the day and our thought processes.  We can gain valuable insight when we take the time to reflect and ask the question, Why did I think that way?   Proverbs…
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Internal and External Customers

Life Coaching, Servant Leadership, Speaking Topics
There are two types of customers, internal and external. By nature, we’ve typically been led to believe that the most important customers are the ones that walk through our doors and purchase our products. In reality, the most important customers we encounter by far are the internal ones we come into contact with on a daily basis: Our co-workers. With external customers, we do everything we can to treat them in a way so as to gain their trust and ultimately their repeat business. If I’m working with someone on a day-to-day, hour-to-hour basis and they’re not “buying what I’m selling,” it’s going to be an uphill battle. However, if I am trustworthy and therefore, worthy of their “repeat business,” the entire culture and organization will flourish beyond belief. If…
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Reflections on Perseverance

Life Coaching, Speaking Topics
Life is real and raw. We all walk through hard things and deal with brokenness. Illness, injustice, difficult or shattered relationships, unstable home lives, grief and loss, the realization that a + b doesn’t always equal c; we can all fill in the blank with something that’s touched us. Seasons can sometimes pass slowly as we reel and grapple with questions, waiting on God to reveal, heal and redeem our situations; knowing full well that the redemption may just happen in us instead. It’s what I call living in the wait. I would imagine there’s not one of us who couldn’t say that living under the sun can get downright exhausting sometimes. As followers of Christ, how do we persevere? How do we not give up in the wait but…
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