Bob Turner


Traveling by train or plane, by car or motorcycle, on foot or bicycle, all requires time. The amount of time to travel is often determined by the individual and/or destination.

Regardless, at some point along the way, we will be required to “wait.” Why are we waiting? We may be waiting in traffic. Possibly, we will wait for mechanical problems. We may wait on someone else. We may wait on “acts of nature.”

All in all, we generally wait because of matters beyond our control. In my travels I have seen many lines where I had to stand/sit and wait. As I write this post, I am waiting to get my tickets to fly home.

However, think about the application to leadership. Political parties are waiting for an individual who can lead them. Congregations of the Lord’s church are waiting for men to lead them. Application could be found in nearly all areas.

Are others waiting for you or me to lead them?

Destination or Journey?

For several months plans have been made for our arrival to several African countries. The work has been completed and now I am on my way home. I am constantly amazed how quickly time passes by.

Our goals, and the plans to reach those goals, are vital to the success of the work. However, is it the destination that brings satisfaction, or is it the journey?

The anticipation along the way keeps us focused and determined. Completion brings an element of satisfaction, but there is little time to rest. Another goal must be put in place.

Biblically, we find it is the same. On the journey, we are focused and determined, eagerly anticipating the promises of God. Thankfully, when the journey is completed, there will be an eternal element to reaching the goal.

Leadership will never end while we live. We are on a journey. We need to stay focused and determined to reach the goal. Allow the satisfaction to be provided in knowing we have made the journey all we needed to reach the goal.

Foreign Affairs…

When it comes to politics, well, I am out. I do not care for playing the political games. As well, I do not like reading about all of the politics of our world and culture.

However, my work involves international travel. I have crossed many borders, sometimes multiple times. I am constantly amazed at the “foreign affairs” with each crossing.

It is not uncommon for the time frame for crossing the border of some countries to be determined by the mood of the patrol guard. If they are having a good day, they might let everyone through quickly. If they are not, the waiting time can be lengthy.

The attitude of those waiting in line is altered quickly. Anger, frustration, impatience, and the list goes on to the various reactions demonstrated.

Where is this heading? Within leadership there are going to be people who cross our paths. Their moods are going to vary depending on the type of day they are having. We can allow their mood to alter ours or we can deal with them in ways to change their attitude. Here is where true leadership policies are developed.

Is It Worth It?

Questions can often be challenging to the direction and decisions of  life. However, the title question of this post presents a very interesting challenge to every decision made in life.

When considering our education, is it worth it?

When considering marriage, is it worth it?

When considering children, is it worth it?

What about leadership? Is it worth it?

The answer we give determines the steps to follow. When we know something is worth it, then we are willing to face any challenge, fight any battle, cross any river, well, I think you get the point.

No sacrifice is too great to make, because it is worth it. As we consider the decisions for our lives, take a moment and ask the question. If the answer is “yes” then do not look back. Give yourself completely to the task. Our approach to leadership must be the same way.

A or B Side

Not trying to date myself, but I remember listening to music on LP’s and 45’s. The interesting part of 45’s involved an A and B side. The hit song was usually recorded on the A side and a filler song was on the B, of lesser quality.

I have seen this in several venues. Preachers who speak twice on Sunday tend to give the A lesson Sunday morning (largest crowd). Sadly, the Sunday night crowd often gets the B lesson.

It is true in sports. Generally, when the playoffs roll around many athletes tend to bring the A game. However, during practice or regular season games the B effort is produced (a lesson for another time).

How about our families? Do we give everyone our A side and when we get home give our families what is leftover (the B side)?

You should already know where I am going. When it comes to leading, are we producing an A effort or do we give the leftovers, a B effort?

It’s the difference in producing a hit or just a filler. The choice is ours.

Business Class

I have flown over 100,000 miles in the past 18 months. I am amazed at the differences (and the cost) between economy, economy plus, first class and business class.

For an additional $120 you receive 5 inches more space for economy plus. For $700 you receive enough space to sleep, slippers for your feet and a blanket, food served on a plate (with real silverware), as well as, personal attention.

I know this, not because I have flown in business class, but because in order to exit you have to walk through this section of the plane. This was good planning on the part of the airlines.

This may mean nothing to you. However, I see a connection to leadership. Is our leadership an economy version or business class? When people walk by and observe our leadership, are they longing for a leader who delivers personal attention? Are we providing a level of comfort so they know they are well cared for by our leadership?

Try offering business class and watch the difference in those who are following.

The 5 P’s

Sometimes it is the simple lessons in life that make the greatest impact.

A few years ago, after presenting a lesson for the congregation where I was working, an elderly gentleman approached me. I have learned over the years to never anticipate what might come next. Such was the case on this occasion. The only thing he said was, “remember the 5 P’s, proper preparation prevents poor performance.”

At first I thought, did I miss something? In my mind I thought I poured my time, ability and heart into the lesson. What did he mean? The truth of the matter involved another “P,” perception. Regardless of how much I put into the lesson, his perception was one showing a lack of preparation.

I learned several lessons from this encounter in application to leadership.

1) Preparation is noticeable.

2) People are always watching…and listening.

3) Perception is reality.

4) Plan time for self-examination.

The fact others are watching and listening is not new. What do they see in us as a leader? What are they hearing? What perception do they have of our leadership?

Always remember the 5 + 1 “P’s” when examining leadership.

Leading Leaders…

The idea of leading leaders is exciting.

However, leaders are often intimidated with someone who shows leadership ability. Is it insecurity? Are they threatened? Is it pride? Power?

To practice not leading leaders is to condemn the future. The very idea destroys opportunity for the development of men and women who will shape the destiny of others.

However, leading leaders directs the course of success for family, business, state, country and the church. John Maxwell claims, “a leader who produces other leaders multiplies their influences.”

Think about the most influential leader in your organization. If they died today, what would happen to the direction of tomorrow? Who would step in and fill the gap? Is there anyone who can do so? Will you?

No one is irreplaceable, regardless of what we might think of our abilities and contributions to the place we work. Imagine the contribution to your employer if you are leading those who will replace you, who can step in and fill the gap when you are gone.

Now that is a formula for success.

Expecting the Unexpected…

My wife and I went for breakfast on this Labor Day at one of our favorite spots.

Particularly today the restaurant was packed. Keep in mind we are talking mid-morning. It was unusual for the restaurant to be so busy, even for a holiday. We have a favorite waitress, an elderly woman by the name of Paulette. It is always worth the wait for her section.

While we waited for a table, we noticed only four servers and one manager working. The manager was busy cleaning tables, taking names of customers waiting to eat, and keeping his few employees as upbeat as possible.

What happened to everyone? Was management unaware of additional business on a holiday? Did employees call in last minute and take the day off?

I know as little about the operation of a restaurant as I do flying an airplane. However, there are principles of leadership with prevalent application. Expect the unexpected!

In leadership, there will always be occasions when the unexpected occurs. Retaining people is determined by how the unexpected is handled. In short, preparation for the unexpected makes the difference in success or failure.

If It Were Up To Me…

Perhaps you have heard this phrase or one similar, “Well, if it were up to me, I would _____________” (you fill in the blank)

Well, what would we really do if it were up to you or me?

Would we treat our spouse differently? Would we raise our children differently? Would we give more consideration to our influence on co-workers, neighbors and friends?

Generally, this phrase is used in situations where we have no control or influence. But, what about the areas we do have control and influence? It is up to us. So, what are we doing?

Be a leader! Lead your family to heaven. Lead your co-workers, neighbors and friends to Christ. Lead a Bible class. Lead in worship. For the sake of the future, lead!! The bottom line? It is all up to you and me. Don’t just talk about it. Do something about it, because we can!