The “12 Word Rule” has served me well for several decades. In many of my leadership training sessions, my on-line television broadcast, and mentoring lessons, I ask all my students to remember the 12 word rule.
Remember, we live in a world that can be sometimes negative, cynical, toxic, and even downright insensative. Staying up in a down world, can throw a plethora of fatal thoughts and bad caramelizing influences into our daily pathway.
Years ago, Chuck Swindoll, tells the story of Chippie the Parakeet, he said, “the birds problems began when the woman who owned him decided to clean up the seeds and feathers from the bottom of his cage using a vacuum. When the phone rang, the owner turned to pick it up -and you guessed it -with a thud and whoosh, Chippie was gone. The owner quickly turned off the vaccum and unzipped the bag. There was Chippie, he was stunned but breathing.
Seeing that he was covered with black dust, his owner rushed Chippie to the bathtub, where she turned on the faucet full blast and held the bird under the icy water. At that point she realized that she’d done even more damage. And she quickly cranked up her blow dryer and gave the wet, shivering little bird a blast.
Chuck Swindoll finished the story by saying, “Chippie doesn’t sing that much any more!”
As a leader, maybe there are times, just like Chippie, where you’ve lost your song and enthusiasm to lead. Maybe your passion to add value to people has become trapped by an emotional leadership melt down and the dust has settled on the optic nerve of your vision to see the possibilities in people?
You should always remember the 12 word rule. “I will always do the most productive thing at any given time.” This rule will help to keep you anchored, maintain your integrity, and keep you believing in people, even when they do things that are unbelievable.
Let me give you some takeaways to guide you (remember Chippie?)
1. Stay away from vaccum cleaners. These are the people that can suck out all of your enthusiasm for life. Trust me, at the end of the day, the people you want in your life will be those that add not subtract from who you are.
2. Life can get cold sometimes, stay warm. You stay warm by being true to who you were created to be. Your purpose helps to keep you focused and will help to keep you centered.
3. keep a good song always on your lips. Matthews Gospel reminds us in chapter 12:34 (TCNT) “What fills the heart will rise to the lips.” Singing and speaking words of affirmation, will help you maintain a merry heart.
Leadership is influence and God wants to use you to make a difference everywhere you go. So like Chippie’s owner, unzip your emotional bag and get back in the game called life, it could help save someone else.
So, Keep standing on the Rock!!