8 Tips for Riding the Mood Elevator [Guest Post]

8 Tips for Riding the Mood Elevator by Larry Senn

The Mood Elevator is an illustration of the human condition; it is our moment-to-moment experience of life. We all ride the Mood Elevator every day, take a moment and identify what floor you are on right now.

The Mood Elevator map is based on my own experience, as well as input from hundreds of groups and tens of thousands of people who have attended seminars that Senn Delaney, the culture shaping firm has put on over the past few decades.

Look at the top of the Mood Elevator and think of the times you’re more likely to be at those levels. It could be when you hug your children at the end of the day, it could be spending quality time with your significant other, or it could be when you accomplish something at work. We all, of course, would love to live on the higher levels but that’s just not realistic. As part of the human condition we will experience loss, stress, financial insecurity and other events that will cause us to drop down to depression, anger, and stress.

In my new book The Mood Elevator, I provide a variety of tips and tools that will help you better understand your human dashboard as well as help you navigate the daily up and down ride of the Mood Elevator.

Here are 8 tips to help you better ride The Mood Elevator:

  1. Know that to be human means you will ride the Mood Elevator and visit each and every floor. Don’t expect to live at the top of the Mood Elevator all of the time, cut yourself some slack when you drop down.
  2. Learn to recognize the feelings that accompany any unhealthy normal thinking or thought patterns, and make them a loud bell. When you start experiencing feelings like: impatience, anger, anxiety, excessive intensity, neediness, disconnection, and self-righteousness it’s a good indication that you’re sliding down the Mood Elevator. When you recognize this, you can take some corrective action to avoid an unhealthy normal.
  3. Use pattern interrupts to change your thinking and your feelings. Pattern interrupts are anything healthy tactics that can help you escape your spiraling negative thoughts. They can include exercise, calling a good friend, watching a funny YouTube video, or getting a good night sleep.
  4. Feed the thoughts you favor, not those that drop you to the lower floors on the Mood Elevator. If you find yourself reminiscing on a negative event in the past, or fixating on a mistake you made at work or might make at work in the future- recognize that your thoughts are going negative. You can identify your thoughts based on your feelings, if you’re feeling worried- it’s probably because you’re having worried thoughts. Use a pattern interrupt or think about something you are grateful for to break that train of thought.
  5. Take better care of yourself and remember to stretch and recover with exercise, sleep, and time off. We are more likely to catch colds if we are run down physically, and we are also more likely to catch bad moods when we are run down physically. Exercise has many mood boosting benefits and eating the right foods can help keep our energy levels up which improves our moods. Have you ever noticed how life can look so much better after a good night sleep? Getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night can drastically help us stay up the Mood Elevator.
  6. Maintain a gratitude perspective, count your blessings daily and be grateful for life itself. Even when life doesn’t look as good as we would like it to, there are always things to be grateful for. Those who choose to look at life with gratitude are happier than those who don’t. Try starting a gratitude practice by making a daily list of what you are grateful for.
  7. Remember that your thinking is unreliable in the lower mood states; delay important conversations and decisions; don’t act on your unreliable thinking, and don’t take your lower mood state out on other people.
  8. Have faith that when you are down the Mood Elevator; this too shall pass-just like the weather. The sun is always up there; the clouds can obscure it, but they will pass as will your low mood.MoodElevator-Floors-LarrySenn

About Dr. Larry Senn

Dr. Larry Senn pioneered the field of corporate culture and founded in 1978, Senn Delaney, the culture shaping unit of Heidrick & Struggles. A sought-after speaker, Senn has authored or co-authored several books, including two best-sellers. His newest is The Mood Elevator (August 2017), the follow up to his 2012 book, Up the Mood Elevator. You can learn more about Larry and his work at his website, www.themoodelevator.com.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Clarice the Cow” – Farmer Able [Guest Post]

The pigs are running the farm. So begins the story of Farmer Able. Everyone on his farm — people and animals alike — are downright downtrodden by him. He’s overbearing and compulsively obsessed with profits and productivity. He’s a typical top-down, power-based manager, forever tallying production numbers in his well-worn ledgers. But the more he pushes the hoofs and horns and humans, the more they dig in their heels. That is until one day when he hears a mysterious wind that whispers: “It’s not all about me.” Can he turn things around and begin attending to the needs of those on his farm, thus improving their attitudes and productivity?

The following is an excerpt from chapter 1 of Farmer Able.

Clarice the Cow

“The pigs are running the farm!”

That’s what Farmer Able grumbled to himself and even at times bellowed out loud.

This was the last thing any visitor might notice. After all, the pigs mostly laid in the shade doing nothing, so how could those lazy animals be running anything?

The only initiative they demonstrated was during feeding time. Then they sprang from their mud hole and oinked and squealed feverishly. Being fed by Farmer Able was all they were interested in. Just give them their slop and they were happy.

They were consumed by consuming.

But their piggish behavior didn’t remain with just them. No, this attitude, Farmer Able believed, had begun to afflict all the animals on the farm.

Having heard Farmer Able bellow about the pigs, she finally echoed this sentiment. “It’s all on account of those pigs,” is how she put it. “Those lazy pigs are getting away with doing nothing. Why, if I didn’t have to walk by them every day, I wouldn’t feel the way I do.”

She also hoof-pointed at Farmer Able for his unkindly comments. He, too, was a major source of her rage. In fact, she came to think that her drop in milk production was entirely the pigs’ and the farmer’s fault. And now she could add Bridgette to that list as well. “I don’t need any cow cheering me up because I’m not the one with the problem. She should look at herself. Her cheerfulness is because of her own set of problems that she’s trying to overcome. And I’ll have none of it.”

So Clarice left the milk barn even more determined to eat and chew less. She missed the eating and chewing because that’s what cows do best. Her four stomachs were definitely not full. Not only did this make her extremely hungry, but in addition, the whole thing gave her a sour stomach times four.

However, that didn’t matter. She was willing to put up with these “sacrifices” because she felt Farmer Able was doing her a great disservice. He wasn’t listening. His grumbling and complaining had made him deaf to her moos. In fact, she came to think he didn’t care for her at all.

“It’s all about me,” was how she thought of his attitude. The poor cow didn’t realize that same sour outlook had infected her.

Even the bell he’d hung around her neck came to irritate her. Before, she believed the bell and its sound were gleeful. It confirmed her place as part of the herd, as part of the farm. But it had become just a clanging in her ears. It reminded her of what an awful farm she lived and chewed on.

She imagined other farms and how wonderful they must be. But they were beyond the fence that held her in, so she didn’t let her mind go there. She restricted herself. And she continued restricting her milk production.

Yes, the pigs were running the farm.

*****

Art Barter believes everyone can be great, because everyone can serve. To teach about the power of servant leadership, Art started in his own backyard by rebuilding the culture of the manufacturing company he bought, Datron World Communications.  Art took Datron’s traditional power-led model and turned it upside down and the result was the international radio manufacturer grew from a $10 million company to a $200 million company in six years. Fueled by his passion for servant leadership, Art created the Servant Leadership Institute (SLI).

To learn more about Art and his new Servant Leadership Journal, as well as his book on servant leadership, Farmer Able: A Fable About Servant Leadership Transforming Organizations And People From The Inside Out, endorsed by Stephen M.R. Covey, Ken Blanchard , and John C. Maxwell , visit www.servantleadershipinstitute.com .

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Good Intentions Are Never Enough [Guest Post]

(Originally published at greatleadersserve.com)

Good Intentions Are Never Enough

Virtually every leader has a natural bias… we are either more results-oriented or relationship-oriented. However, the best leaders discipline themselves to value both results and relationships. If your natural tendency is to focus on results, one small step you can take to raise the value of relationships is to stop and say thanks.
If you are a more relationship-oriented leader, you can skip the rest of this post. However, I’m guessing tens of millions of leaders should keep reading. Or, perhaps, I just wrote this post for myself; one thing I’ve learned: If I don’t battle against my results orientation, my leadership will always be limited.

The way forward if you are more results-oriented is not to change your bias, but to compensate. To express thanks, gratitude and appreciation can begin to establish a new equilibrium… a world in which even the most results focused leader can demonstrate value for others.

You may be thinking, “People in my life and work know how I feel about them.” My response:

Thoughts of apprec­iation and gratitude unexpressed are m­eaningless.

So, how do you begin? You just do – send a text, write a note, buy a card – and mail it, make a call, send an email, stop by someone’s office, any way you choose, just do it. Stop and say, “Thanks, I appreciate you.”

Who should you reach out to? Here are some broad categories to jump-start your thinking…

Family – When is the last time you thanked your parents for helping you become the person you are today? Have you told your spouse how much you appreciate his or her contributions to your life? Have you thanked your kids recently for the patience they helped you forge?

Friends – I have long believed, you become like the people you hang out with. Our friends are some of the most influential forces in our lives – for good or bad. Assuming your friends have had a positive impact on you, say thanks!

Team – No leader accomplishes anything of significance alone. Yes, your team members are paid to work, but as Peter Drucker once observed, we are all knowledge workers and the key to knowledge work is discretionary effort. Your team can show up and get paid, but if that’s all they do, your leadership is doomed. Thank your team for their discretionary efforts!

Mentors – Who helped you learn what you’ve learned? Who has invested in your growth? Who do you turn to for counsel on difficult decisions? The men and women who serve as your coach, guide or mentor have invested time and energy in your future. Take a moment to say, “I’m thankful for you!”

Influencers – For many of us, this is a far-reaching group. Think back to teachers, coaches, counselors and others who shaped you. Many of them believed in you before you believed in yourself. Why not reach out to these supporting characters in your story and say, “You made a difference in my life.”

The best time to say, “Thank you!” is every day.

Mark Miller is the best-selling author of 6 books, an in-demand speaker and the Vice President of High-Performance Leadership at Chick-fil-A. His latest book, Leaders Made Here, describes how to nurture leaders throughout the organization, from the front lines to the executive ranks and outlines a clear and replicable approach to creating the leadership bench every organization needs. 

 

leaders made here_2

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Toughest Question in Leadership [Guest Post]

discover-joy-of-leadershipWould you want to work for . . . you?

What insights can this question provide to you as a leader? Could this assist you in understanding how you could be more effective in being a better leader, and how to a better subordinate as well?

Jack Welch is the former CEO of General Electric and is respected widely, not only for his stewardship of this preeminent company, but also for his consistent support for the development of leaders at GE and in business in general. He said this was a critical developmental questions for any leader.

I, too, think this can be very powerful; but it made me reflect on a very painful lesson I learned about this as well.

In my last corporate assignment, I had six bosses and five CEOs in just over seven years. I lead a large team, and one area of my responsibility was leadership development.

I decided to explore whether a 360° assessment from the Center for Creative Leadership would be an effective tool for us to use. I solicited input for this, and received my feedback as a part of a three-day training session for this highly respected leadership tool.

We received our individual feedback at the end of the first day of the session and had to analyze the results, then discuss them the next morning with one of the facilitators.

The bad news is that my team’s assessment of this key question, “Would they want to work … for me?” was pretty much a resounding “NO!”

To say that I got “slammed” by the feedback is a bit of an understatement.

Our organization had undergone a consistent diet of very difficult organizational transitions, and uncertainty and disruption were the norm. I was a very driven leader and my team was well thought-of in terms of what we were able to produce. But the feedback that I received very clearly let me know that although the matter was fine, my manner left a lot to be desired.

I immediately called my boss, Jim.  I respected Jim a great deal, especially his easy-going but very direct style. I described my feedback to Jim and complained that this certainly could not be an accurate reflection of all of my hard work and all that my team and I had accomplished.

His immediate response was, “Are you sure about that, Willy?”

He told me that, although he had a lot of confidence in me getting things done, he had recently gotten some feedback that I could be harsh, dismissive and a less-than-pleasant fellow from time to time.

He reinforced my contributions and his confidence in my potential, but he stressed that this feedback was probably one of the best things that could happen to me, no matter how painful it may have felt at that time. That is, if I handled it well.

Jim was a great sounding board for me as I prepared to give the feedback to my team about my results, and to solicit their support in helping me develop into a much more effective leader. I worked diligently to ensure that I was a leader who my team not only respected, but who with whom they could truthfully say they valued their interactions.

Ask yourself:

  • Am I willing to ask: Would you want to work for … me?
  • Do you know how to accept the feedback of your team and demonstrate the value you place on their candid input?
  • Are you willing to develop an action plan that will encourage those who provided feedback to partner with you in making improvements and enhancing your leadership effectiveness?

*****

Willy Steiner is the President of Executive Coaching Concepts, an executive coaching services firm dedicated to assisting senior executives in taking their individual and organizational performance “TO THE NEXT LEVEL”.  He fine-tuned his skills in leading organizational change, building high performing teams and in devising innovative incentive systems with General Electric, RCA Corp. and Galileo International. Assisting executives in driving change by creating urgency, focus and alignment, with a keen eye for cultivating and sustaining necessary relationships, is an ongoing focus of his work. He is an expert in guiding organizations through complex international mergers and divestitures, blending distinct cultures and supporting growth in international markets.

For more about Willy, his new book, Discover the Joy of Leading: A practical guide to resolving your management challenges, and business, visit executivecoachingconcepts.com.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Peter Drucker: The Father of Modern Management Consulting

drucker-on-consultingPeter Drucker on Consulting is the book I have wanted to read for the last six years. Drucker has long been regarded as the “Father of Modern Management”. But after reading Dr. William Cohen’s new book, it is clear that Drucker is also the “Father of Modern Management Consulting” as well. Back in 2010, I had just been accepted to master’s program in leadership and had read Drucker’s classic book (aren’t all his books classics?), Managing the Nonprofit Organization (1990). My professor chose the text because in addition to teaching and writing, he like Drucker had the trifecta career of also being an organizational consultant. I quickly learned that this threefold path of writing, teaching, and consulting was a track that I too was called to and shortly thereafter read the third edition of Dr. William Cohen’s book, How to Make It Big as A Consultant (2001).

Fast forward to now and I am currently the Director of Coaching on Purpose, a leadership development consultancy for financial institutions. As an experienced management consultant and leadership coach, I have worked with dozens of nonprofit and for-profit companies, over the last six years, including numerous 501(c) 3 ministries, private schools and universities, and everything from homeless shelters, food banks, faith-based and religious institutions, to publically traded companies, dozens of community banks across the country, insurance companies, independent marketing firms, and large financial broker-dealers. In every one of my coaching or consulting engagements, my goal has remained the same: to add value to leaders and organizations by helping them clarify their mission, articulate their values, and take massive action towards achieving their vision. I believe this is my own way of helping clients answer Drucker’s Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask about Your Organization (2008):

  1. What is our mission?
  2. Who is our customer?
  3. What does the customer value?
  4. What are our results?
  5. What is our plan?

Additionally, I am a certified leadership coach with C3 International, my professor’s boutique consulting firm. In 2013, I was named one of the Top Ten winners of the Global Peter Drucker Challenge, an international entrepreneurial and management essay competition sponsored in part by the Harvard Business Review and hosted in Vienna, Austria, in which my essay was titled “Leadership Lessons from the Stories of Steinbeck, Shakespeare, and Shaw: What Fiction can Teach Executives about Effectiveness”. Other Global Peter Drucker Challenge submissions include my titles “Consulting Churches in a Changing Culture” (2012), “Productivity, Performance, and Perfection: Why Managing Oneself in the Digital Age, Really Means Continuous Improvement for the Knowledge Worker” (2015), and “The Piety of Entrepreneurship: Sainthood in the Startup Society or How Bill Gates has done More Good for the World than Mother Teresa” (2016). I am also author of the “Coaching on Purpose White Paper for Strategic Planning, Based on the Father of Modern Management”, and the financial position paper, “The Need for Corporate Culture Coaching”, in which I synthesis research from the Stanford and Harvard Business Schools, the Korn Ferry Institute, Deloitte, Gallup’s poll on American workplace engagement, the Boston Consulting Group, and McKinsey & Co., and make the applications specific to financial services, recruiting and human resource initiatives.

The main impetus for my growth as a coach and consultant, in addition to raw field experience, has come through standing on the shoulders of giants by reading their works. This would include digesting all 39 of Peter Drucker’s books, several more about his life, dozens of his articles, and the five core titles in Dr. William Cohen’s Peter Drucker series: A Class with Drucker (2008), Drucker on Leadership (2009), Drucker on Marketing (2012), The Practical Drucker (2013), and now, Peter Drucker on Consulting (2016).

Peter Drucker on Consulting combines Drucker’s massive legacy, with Dr. Cohen’s own experiences in consulting, the history of the California Institute of Management of which Dr. Cohen co-founded and currently serves as President, and rare insights regarding the relationship Drucker had with McKinsey’s famed director Marvin Bower when they were both hired by the U.S. military as consultants. Dr. Cohen also makes some breakthrough comparisons of Drucker’s consulting work, in which he considered himself as a “social ecologist” with the scientific inventions of genius Albert Einstein wearing a white lab coat conducting experiments, and the fictional detective inquiries of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s, Sherlock Holmes, both as examples of Drucker’s ability to think ignorantly and ask a few questions.

Cohen also compares how Drucker’s business model, based on principles and ethics, differs than the genesis story of the “Big 3” of McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, and Bain & Company. Other interesting stories feature tales of Drucker’s conversation with GE CEO, Jack Welch on core competencies, Cohen’s connection to Israel, and how General Colin Powell broke the ‘Peter Principle’ (not a reference to Peter Drucker).

Perhaps one of my favorite sections of this great book, is ‘What Makes an Outstanding Consultant?’ an adaption from Cohen’s recently updated classic, How to Make It Big as a Consultant, 4th Edition (2009).  Here Cohen outlines seven essential skills to management consulting:

  1. The ability to interact with all participants in a consulting engagement.
  2. The ability to diagnose problems correctly.
  3. The ability to find solutions that work.
  4. Technical expertise and knowledge.
  5. Good communication skills.
  6. Strong marketing and selling abilities.
  7. Managerial skills.

Dr. William Cohen’s Peter Drucker on Consulting: How to Apply Drucker’s Principles for Business Success is a masterpiece. Unlike any other book written about Drucker, Cohen’s latest submission uncovers little-known facts and subtle insights to this part of Drucker’s long legacy that no other Drucker scholar could offer. Cohen’s unique experiences as being Drucker’s first Ph.D. student, to his successful career in military, education, business, and consulting, and his development of the California Institute of Advanced Management, a graduate level consulting lab based on applying Drucker’s principles, makes Dr. Cohen’s latest work a must read for any aspiring consultant, leadership coach, or CEO. I highly recommend it!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Deep Wealth: An Exploration of Money, Meaning, & What Really Matters [Book Review]

Having an active website on the blogosphere has allowed me to connect with other authors, leaders, influencers, and decision makers from a variety of sectors and industries, and from all across the globe. And since my primary focus in life, work, and ministry, is connecting the biblical principles of disciple-making movements and apostolic church planting, with the rapidly expanding mission field that exists in today’s marketplace, I always enjoy connecting with other Kingdom-minded “change agents” and believers who are positively affecting their workplace with their faith and the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

One such acquaintance, is Chad Hamilton, CFP ®, author of the new book, Redefining Financial Freedom: A Gospel-Based Approach to Money (PFI Publishing: Denver, 2016) and Deep Wealth: An Exploration of Money, Meaning, and What Really Matters (PFI Publishing: Denver, 2015). Chad and I share many similar interests, including both having a background in financial services, and a shared understanding of money as a heavenly resource from God, that requires intense responsibility, integrity, and stewardship.

Chad’s newest book, Redefining Financial Freedom: A Gospel-Based Approach to Money looks at three main money questions: I.) “How did you get it?” (Vocation), II.) “What are you doing with it?” (Investing), and III.) “What is it doing to you?” (Generosity). Redefining Financial Freedom is a book I’d highly recommend as it shows how true freedom is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not in the idolatry or apathy of money.

In this post, however, I’d like to dig deeper into Chad’s previous book, Deep Wealth: An Exploration of Money, Meaning, and What Really Matters. In this work, Chad focuses on the internal motivators that drive our financial decision making. He argues that economics is less about rational choice and more about emotional desire. Noting that America is the most prosperous country in the history of the world, he also cites the rising debt pandemic across our country, the increasing amounts of personal bankruptcies, and the apparent lack of planning by the senior generation for retirement.

In his comments about the abundance of financial resources and the obvious lack of consumer discipline, I was reminded of a quote by businessman and sales coach, Brian Buffini: “We are drowning in information yet starving for wisdom”. Chad’s book, Deep Wealth: An Exploration of Money, Meaning, and What Really Matters stands out as a lighthouse, providing safe direction and much needed wisdom amid the current tumultuous financial seas.

Chad notes that behavioral economics only goes so far in leading us to the answer for our financial problems. The “how” doesn’t matter until someone understands the “why”. Chad states that “When it comes down to it, you really have one of two options: You can use your life to make money (chase little dreams). Or you can use your money to make a life (follow big dreams)” (pg. 5).

Essentially, what he is saying is that the need to change has to be real, authentic, and the true motivator for change, before financial education can have the intended effect. These two questions: 1.) “What do you have?” and 2.) “What do you believe?” provide the ideological framework for the books contents.

In Section I: Human Capital (The Seed), Chad discusses key questions about our financial worldview, which include the subject of work, beliefs about money, finding true meaning in life, and discovering purpose. He argues how discerning the latter will lead to both passion and our untapped potential when we pursue inspiring dreams rather than just practical plans.

The bulk of Section II: Spiritual Capital (The Soil), centralizes on the four core “Money Personality Types”.  1.) The Pleasure Seeker: characterized by Marlon Brando, 2.) The Mogul, represented by Donald Trump, 3.) The Guardian, portrayed by Howard Hughes, and 4.) The Star, as seen in the life of Andrew Carnegie.

The Pleasure Seeker is driven by comfort and aspires to having freedom. The Mogul seeks power and wants his image or status to be displayed for all to admire. The Guardian wants control and security, and The Star’s driving emotion is approval from others and has an ultimate aspiration of love and self-worth. The historical characters exemplified in these four generic stereotypes are telling.

While Marlon Brando, is an apparent enigma, his talent was obvious. When it comes to the characterization of money and this personality type, the themes of indulgence and apathy become apparent. As Chad describes, “An endless array of possibilities and choices can be paralyzing” (pg. 69). While Donald Trump has been in the eye of a media storm for the last 12 – 16 months or so for his surprising rise to GOP presidential candidate fame, despite his over-inflated ego, his popular nomination is yet to be secured. If it will happen, our country will need to learn how to deal, and possibly even overcome, the psychographics described by Chad Hamilton in the identification of this personality. Negative character traits include narcissistic arrogance, a habit of manipulation and intimidation, the ability to provoke fear in others, and a disconnection from reality. The completive nature of pride and an unhealthy desire to win is a dangerous and often illegal combination when it comes to financial matters.

The Guardian, illustrated by the late and equally erratic, Howard Hughes is another portrayal of rich dysfunction. Of all the obsessive compulsive idiosyncrasies of Howard Hughes, Chad focuses on the billionaire aviator’s desire for control, to the point of an attempted avoidance of any contact with germs. He makes the point that “Having money can create the illusion of being in control of a life or destiny” (pg. 77). This is, of course, ludicrous. Only God is in control.

The Star, as represented by the rags to riches story of steel magnate, Andrew Carnegie is a great tale of the need for approval many feel. Even as an accomplished industrialist, and at one time, the world’s richest man, Carnegie still collected a number of newspaper comments that he kept in a file labeled “Gratitude and Sweet Words”. I suppose some people just need their ego stroked every now and then. Bit in the end, our affirmation should not be determined by our asset sheets, bank accounts, or stock options. Instead, our identity comes from Christ, and Christ alone.

In Section III.) Financial Capital (The Green) Chad begins to connect the financial nuts and bolts with the philosophical principles outlined in the first two sections. In this third part, he covers the topics of investing with conviction, portfolio construction, retirement and estate planning, and insurance.

Finally, in Section IV.) Social Capital (The Fruit), Chad uncovers the myths of the self-made man, stresses the point of being a part of a larger story, and admonishes a form of servant leadership, perfectly displayed by Jesus Christ with a parallel of qualities from Jim Collins’ Level 5 Leader in Good to Great.

Again, the themes of biblical stewardship, hope and freedom in Christ, run throughout the book. Deep Wealth: An Exploration of Money, Meaning, and What Really Matters by Chad Hamilton, CFP ® is a wonderful guide that can really help millions of people understand how their money matters to God.

You can read more about Chad’s newest book, Redefining Financial Freedom through my review here

And here is my author interview with Chad

Deep Wealth

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Money Talks – So What is It Saying About You? [Book Review]

Having an active website on the blogosphere has allowed me to connect with other authors, leaders, influencers, and decision makers from a variety of sectors and industries, and from all across the globe. And since my primary focus in life, work, and ministry, is connecting the biblical principles of disciple-making movements and apostolic church planting, with the rapidly expanding mission field that exists in today’s marketplace, I always enjoy connecting with other Kingdom-minded “change agents” and believers who are positively affecting their workplace with their faith and the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

One such acquaintance, is Chad Hamilton, CFP ®, author of the new book, Redefining Financial Freedom: A Gospel-Based Approach to Money (PFI Publishing: Denver, 2016) and Deep Wealth: An Exploration of Money, Meaning, and What Really Matters (PFI Publishing: Denver, 2015). Chad and I share many similar interests, including both having a background in financial services, and a shared understanding of money as a heavenly resource from God, that requires intense responsibility, integrity, and stewardship.

Chad’s new book, Redefining Financial Freedom: A Gospel-Based Approach to Money address, what I think, is one of the most critical factors in stewarding finances, namely, the issue of idolatry. Jesus said you can’t serve both God and Mammon (or money, see Matthew 6:24), and in fact, our Lord actually teaches more about money and stewardship than he does even prayer.

Jesus knew that we become like what we worship. If we worship the Lord and handle our money in a biblical, God-honoring way, then we are more closely being made into His image. Its Christ’s character formed in us. If however, we idolize money, putting its attainment and accumulation as the centerpiece of our heart, then the Scripture is true that “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God” (Mark 10:25, NIV).

Not only does Chad’s book tackle the thorny issues of idolatry, but he also teaches how when the pendulum swings the opposite direction, that apathy can creep in. He argues instead for a “Gospel-Based Approach to Money” which will lead to increased faith and freedom in following God’s intentions for our financial futures.

The three big money questions that Chad uses to structure his book are Section I: How Did You Get It? (How we think about WORK) This part deals with the often neglected discussion of vocation in wealth building. Considering some of the recent works I’ve read on discerning God’s calling on your life, I found this section particularly helpful. The two ends of the spectrum, or pendulum –the metaphor Chad uses, is “Apathy”: I work in order to do the things I really want to do, and “Idolatry”: What I do is who I am.

As Christians, our identity is first and foremost wrapped up in who God says we are i.e., his beloved children. We have been adopted by our Heavenly Father through the atoning sacrifice of Christ Jesus. When we rethink our vocation, as the voice of God calling us into our deeper destiny and purpose in life, we understand then that our job is really just another form of stewardship. It is a ministry and a vehicle for adding value to the world while proclaiming the Gospel in word and deed. This is the middle-ground of Freedom that Chad advocates. It’s seeing work as a vocation or calling to serve someone else, not a chore, burden or curse.

The second question is Section II: What Are You Doing With It? (Considerations for INVESTING) which offers some amazingly practical observations on the so-called sacred-secular divide, the real purpose of business, and the role Christian values and a Christian worldview should play in investing.
The third and final money question is Section III: What is It Doing to You (The Importance of Giving & Generosity). This crucially important, and often overlooked, last topic discusses the effect our views and actions with money have on us spiritually. Chad shows how the “Apathy” angle creates in us a need to feel in control and self-reliant, counter-themes to the New Testament; while the swing to the other side, to “Idolatry” creates an expectation for money to fulfill your deepest needs and desires. He also mentions briefly four common financial motivators, including control, comfort, power, and approval, and shares a story of what he refers to as a “Miracle in the Free Market”.

Essentially, the message of Redefining Financial Freedom is that our only true hope is found in Jesus. The money will eventually disappoint us, elude us, and create a false sense of security. Christ is our salvation. He is our Rock and our Fortress. We should be generous because God was radically generous to us, giving up his one and only son to death on the cross, only to be raised again so that we may join him in an abundant and eternal life. Our generosity in financial matters and the way in which we live our lives can truly have an enormous impact on others around us, and actually, yield eternal rewards in heaven.

With personal and professional experiences from the trenches of financial services, Chad Hamilton, CFP ® offers incredibly practical insights and some penetratingly deep truths about the spiritual consequences of our potential financial behavior. With a focus on what Scripture teaches, and references from the likes of C.S. Lewis, Richard Foster, G. K. Chesterton, and Jacques Ellul, the reader is surely in for a treat. Redefining Financial Freedom is a book I highly recommend.

You can read more about Redefining Financial Freedom through my author interview with Chad found here: https://joshualeehenry.com/2016/06/27/redefining-financial-freedom-author-interview/

Redefining Financial Freedom - Book Cover

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment