Photo by s_falkow on flickr.
You are perched high above a courtroom, wondering how you got into this position. You pinch yourself thinking, “This is a dream!”
You watch as the prosecutor stands up and addresses the court. The evidence is overwhelming. The facts are clear. The accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and should be locked away for years. The attorney begins to outline the evidence, building the case block by block. You watch a videotape of the crime. You hear the witnesses testifying one by one. Finally, the prosecution rests its case.
The defense attorney stands up, adjusts her suit and begins to say, “Good afternoon,” when you hear a voice thunder, “Enough! I’ve heard enough. Let’s not waste any more time. Guilty. Ten years in prison and no parole!”
The courtroom is stunned. After all, what judge would possibly issue a sentence before hearing both sides of the argument.
Who would do that?!
The answer? YOU.
And me. We all do it. We make judgments before hearing both sides. And nowhere is that more obvious than in the middle of election season. Do you:
Photo by dfbphotos on flickr.
We’ve all said it. “Take a deep breath.”
When the kids come running in the door, breathing heavily and launching into a story a mile a minute. “Take a deep breath.”
When someone is panicked and trying to tell you what happened, but she is obviously under duress. “Relax. Take a breath, then tell me.”
When he storms into your office with a voice just beneath a yell, red-faced and angry about something someone did. “Before you tell me another word, take a deep breath.
But the real benefit comes from breathing before a crisis or stressful event. A deep breath almost at any time can change your mood, improve your day and help you achieve more. I don’t always remember to do it, but when I do, my day is more relaxed and I have a better and calmer presence. As a singer, I know that I feel better after singing a difficult song. The reason may very well be the forced deep breathing from the diaphragm.
Some of the benefits of practiced deep breathing:
Ron Edmondson is quick to tell you that he is first and foremost a pastor. And, while that is true, he also has a strong online presence that uniquely qualifies him to talk about social media. His leadership blog is widely read, and he is active on Twitter and Facebook.
I met Ron online through Twitter, and we began discussing various leadership issues. Just north of Nashville Ron started one of the fastest growing churches in the U.S. He recently moved to Kentucky to lead another church. Before he joined the ministry, Ron was a business owner. His experiences running a small business, starting and rapidly growing organizations, and leading online were all topics I wanted to ask him in person.
In this nine-minute interview, we discuss:
- The similarities and differences between leading a business and a church
- How he has grown a church through the use of technology and social media
- Why he was an early adopter of the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, and blogging
- How he found his “blogging voice”
- Mistakes he made along the way
I especially appreciated Ron’s advice to leaders who want to start building an online presence:
Photo by Ruth Flickr on flickr.
Someone, who I will call Michael for this post, once told me, “If you want to know what Michael thinks, ask Michael.” Apparently Michael had seen this before. Many of the things he supposedly said were distorted when others repeated them. In some cases, his supposed conversation simply never happened. And this was a recurring event.
There are many reasons this can happen. It could be simple miscommunication or a mistake. It could be the sign of a manipulative person. It could also be a damaged culture, creating conversations to serve various political interests. The fact that it happens frequently is definitely a concern. The fact that others may run with it without verifying it is also a concern.
Yogi Berra once said, “I never said most of the things I said.”
“When bad things happen, we all dream of rewinding the tape…but we can’t so we do the only thing we can: we take those bad things and turn them into situations we can learn from. It’s human nature to try to pan for gold, to find a positive slant in something so negative because anything less would feel like defeat.” Lee Woodruff, Perfectly Imperfect
Lee Woodruff dropped into my life unexpectedly. We were both speakers at an event raising funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Within minutes of meeting her, we were sharing stories, laughing, and exchanging email addresses. Some people have that incredible gift to connect with people in an authentic way that makes you feel you’ve known them all your life.
If you were to read only about Lee’s successes, you would think she never had a problem in the world:
- Contributing editor for CBS This Morning
- Mother of four beautiful children
- Married to one of the world’s top journalists
- Author of numerous articles published in magazines such as Redbook, Prevention, Country Living and Health
- Co-founder of a foundation to help wounded servicemen
We so often read about people who are wildly successful, and think they are somehow different. In some way, the world only showers good things on them.
That’s not the case with Lee. We all remember when her husband, talented news anchor Bob Woodruff suffered a traumatic brain injury in Iraq. Only a month after succeeding Peter Jennings at ABC, it changed the Woodruff’s lives.