Raymond L. Wheeler

Musings about leadership

Fresh Resolve – Nothing New in 2014

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Ray and JaniceMy friends have asked what my New Year’s resolutions are. Chuck caught me on one of my bad days at the end of December and received a terse email from me that simply said, “Ask me in a week or so.”

I don’t know why the idea of making resolutions is so irksome this year.  Typically I enter the year with a plethora of goals and usually execute on all of them. I have goals this year as well but none of them are new.  It seems I set the bar pretty high last year and I am still working on last year’s resolutions.

This doesn’t mean I have not made progress but that I have not yet finished all I set out to do. So, perhaps my New Year’s resolution is best stated as I intend to finish well in 2014. So what is still open from last year?

I determined to play more often. I work hard and have worked throughout my career with great focus and a ferocious desire to learn new things and to prove myself. I don’t feel the need to prove myself any longer – the proof is in the results that travel along in my wake and it is these results that have taught me that often the most important things that happen, occur serendipitous to my drive. So, for me playing is leaning into that wondrous serendipity that pulls from a lifetime of insight, knowledge, and a growing presence with others.

I determined to write and publish a book on leadership.  The manuscript is complete. One proposal has already been rejected (a common experience I hear) and another is ready to go out. I have other books to write so I really want to get the first one complete out-of-the-way – editing and rewriting are not my favorite activities.

I committed myself to develop leaders as a vocation. So, Leadership Praxis is up and running and I am in the throes of building a client base. I love coaching leaders. I get a kick out of seeing performance improve. I enjoy working with teams to help them discover how to work with greater effect and fun.

With Janice my wife we decided to travel more (hence the picture on this post of Janice and I in Ferndale, California goofing off). Too many good friends entered their golden retirement years only to have their plans cut short by cancer, heart attacks and other tragedies. So, Janice and I decided (while we save for retirement) to travel now and enjoy one another while we are healthy.

Finally, I felt the need to immerse myself in the Christian Scriptures. I had fallen out of the habit of reading through the Bible every year and so I took it back up. My approach is simple.  I ask a question and then look for ways the Bible addresses it. This year the questions have to do with gender. In what way does the concept of imago Dei (the Image of God) express itself in male and female biology, perceptions, behaviors, and experience?

The sexual dimorphism (existing in two sexes – male and female) of humankind has always been intriguing to me. But the subject looms large in writing on leadership. Do men and women have biological limitations/strengths that either endorse or contradict their ability to lead?  Does brain structure determine gender behaviors and leadership potential? Is gender solely a social/cultural/theological construct? I will explore these questions in 2014.

So, I continue in the resolutions I made in 2013.  Oh wait, there is one thing I can think of that I resolve to do in 2014 that I have not done before.  I will go to a pizza parlor with some friends and convince them all that we need to dance to the music playing over the sound system while we wait for our pizza to arrive at the table so that we can laugh until it hurts – if you have ever seen me dance you know what will start the laughter.  If you get a call to go with me to pizza, be ready and bring your phone to video the event.

Here’s to finishing well – let’s go get some pizza!

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Author: Ray Wheeler, DMin

Ray Wheeler - executive coach, confidant, mentor, leader, and friend. Ray is the author of, Change the Paradigm: How to Lead Like Jesus in Today's world. He is also an adjunct lecturer at LIFE Pacific College, Bethesda University California and Azusa Pacific University in cross-cultural leadership, leadership development, leadership ethics, administration, church growth, and mission in today's world. Certified leadership coach, certified Birkman Consultant, and certified in the iOpener Assessment (happiness at work).

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