GooWhyg 06-5-57


 15 Winning Strategies to Rise Above It All


Wayde Goodall

New Leaf Press, 2005, 159 pp.,  ISBN 0-89221-622-0


Dr. Goodall leads a large Assemblies of God congregation in Winston-Salem, NC, and speaks nationally.  This book for high level leaders describes situations, behaviors, and character traits that lead to their downfall.  The book is intended to help us see the “mines” below the surface and provide guidelines and boundaries.  Boundaries and protective habits could perhaps have been more explicit.  Common failures are illustrated by incidents in the life of Bible characters.  An easy read, it includes good material from a number of books. 


“All of us are vulnerable.” (12)  It doesn’t happen overnight.  One thought or decision or action leads to another.  (13)


Entitlement - The sense of entitlement goes beyond getting what you deserve.  Some leaders begin to “believe they are above it all.  They won’t be found out.  They can outsmart the system.”  They feel they are special; they have a right.  They can write their own rules. (19-20)  “Examine your life and see if you’re claiming to be entitled to something that is not yours.”  (22)  Are there people who will tell you the truth? (23)


Entrepreneurs can go out of balance, risk too much, bend the law.  “Risk, courage, faith, and boldness are necessary to lead.  However people with great ability may go too far.  (26)  The desire for more can push them over the edge. (27)  It is better to be opportunity focused than risk focused. (29)  Risks should be calculated, not reckless.  See the dream but count the cost.  (30) 


People often put different parts of their lives in different compartments, behaving by high moral codes in some compartments and letting down the standards in others.  We can begin to do what we know is wrong, thinking we aren’t really harming anyone.  (36)  “Many social scientists believe American culture has actually come to celebrate dishonesty, which encourages lying and cheating in business. (37)


“The new infidelity is between people who unwittingly form deep, passionate connections before realizing that they’ve crossed the line from platonic friendship into romantic love.” (37 quoting Shirley Glass)  Increasing numbers of cyber-affairs are breaking up stable marriages. (38)  Set boundaries.  Give your password to your wife and colleagues. (39)  Stay honest with your spouse and monitor your marriage.  Stay away from temptations.  Don’t flirt!


“If you’re putting wrong thinking, emotions, or behavior in a mental room while going on with your life, you could be on the verge of doing something that you will later regret.” (43)


Expecting Silence – Don’t’ expect your colleagues and subordinates to keep silent out of loyalty while you act out of line.  We all need people who will look out for our good.  Don’t make it difficult for people to tell you the truth.  Give them permission.  Followers have a duty to speak up.  (46-7)  Listen.  Make truth and honesty lifelong habits.  Then your first inclination will be to do what is right.  (49-50)


Sex - “Affairs are not well-thought out things.  They are usually impulsive, even if there is a lot at stake.”  “Those having affairs actually experience a change in brain chemicals akin to a high.”  “This high…can be almost addictive.”  (56)  Affairs that take place on the Internet chat rooms are insidious emotional infidelity.” (57)  “Sometimes the greatest betrayals happen without touching.  Infidelity is any emotional or sexual intimacy that violates trust…” (57, quoting Shirley Glass)  One study found that 62% of unfaithful men and 46% of women met their illicit partner through work. (59)  A very good list of questions to see whether you are in any danger is given on p. 59.  e.g. “Do you confide more about your day to your friend than to your partner?”


“Make up your mind, plan a defensive strategy before you are tempted, and be willing to walk away from friendships, or even your job, rather than risk moral compromise.” (62)


Integrity - Lying and dishonesty have become a much more accepted part, maybe even a celebrated part, of life and business in America.  (65-6)  “Guarding our heart and protecting our integrity are two areas in our lives where we can never compromise.  If we do, we need to set it right – ASAP.” (67)


Always do the right thing.  Do what you say you will do.  Take responsibility for your life.  Don’t blame others.  Respect people.  Write out your rules of integrity. (70-71)


Anger – Everyone experiences anger.  Anger is an emotion.  How do you control it?  Be sure to demonstrate forgiveness.  (77-8) 


Accountability/Ego – “The more responsibility we have, the more we need good advice.”  Many “egos” don’t like accountability.  It hurts their pride. (83)  Colin Powell has “seven laws of power” to protect him.  They include tolerating a few rebels who will tell the emperor when he is naked.  And relying those closest to the problem where the real wisdom is.  Assume people are competent and recognize every job is important.  (84-5)


“Never let ego get so close to your position that when your position goes, your ego goes with it.”  Have a life beyond the job. (86-7)


“Accountability is a trust relationship with someone where confidentiality, honesty, and loyalty are foundational.  Being willing to listen to others and let them speak into our lives is a critical attitude leaders must have.” (89)


“To be accountable means that we are willing to be responsible to another person for our behavior and it implies a level of submission to another’s opinions and viewpoints.” (89)


Conscience Compromise – “A conscience is a fence.” (93)  “Somewhere embedded in your character is your conscience.  To know a person’s character is to know the governor which guides their conscience.” (95) 


“If you are struggling with addictions, yielding to wrong temptations, or are out of control with anger, spending, or wrong behavior, you need to get help . . . now.” (95)


“The thought that I can do one more thing, go a little further and risk a little more is the common denominator with all who think they can get away with ‘whatever.’” (96)


“Conscience is the detective that watches the direction of our steps and decries every conscious transgression.  Conscience is a vigilant eye before which each imagination, thought, and act is held up for either censure or approval.” (97)  “When we disobey our conscience, we know what we are doing.  We are choosing to play Russian roulette.” (100)


Mentors and Coaches – “You have largely become what you have observed and respected.” (104)  “The influence of a good example is tremendous.”  The item in a coach’s behavior most linked to success is “character qualities and values that I admire.” (105)


“You simply cannot lead if those you lead don’t trust you—or if you don’t trust them.  Without trust on both sides of the fence you cannot get the extraordinary thing done.” (107)  “Honest confrontation, instruction, or coaching cannot happen if we do not have a relationship with those we lead.” (108)


Ethics “is a moral grid through which our decisions in life are made – both in our personal lives and in our organizations.”  “Employees tend to ascend or tumble to the level of their leaders.” (115 quoting Robert Cialdini)


“When we break an ethical barrier it is just like breaking a pane of glass: it’s gone; it doesn’t exist anymore.  Once you’ve crossed that barrier your self-perception changes: things that were previously off-limits may now seem acceptable.” (quoting Cialdini).  “Breaking ethical rules takes a lot of time to fix.” (116)


Stress and Pressure – “Passion to do the right thing is the attitude that separates those who make the right decision and those who choose to listen to the stress of the day and compromise.  A leader must have determination to not listen to the panic of the moment but to find the quiet voice of counsel.” (124) 


“When you have exhausted your mental and emotional resources, you can no longer rely on yourself.  You simply have to trust something; someone stronger, wiser, and smarter than yourself.” (127) 


Money – “No one should ever be appointed to a senior position unless top management is willing to have his or her character serve as the model for subordinates.” (134, quoting Peter Drucker)


Gifted leaders often let the hidden desire for money get to them.  “Whoever loves money never has money enough….” (Eccles. 5:10, NIV)  “If a man is willing to cheat in one area, he has probably opened his life up to other compromises as well.” (136)


Know the things that trigger temptation for you and stay away from them.  Four major temptations: pride, ego, greed, and moral compromise.  Pride is the biggest risk.  “But the more hectic your pace, the more responsibility that you have, the more privilege that you’re given, and the more deference that those who work for you are willing to give you, the easier it is to compromise.” (139)


Depression and Moods – You are most vulnerable when you believe “it could never happen to me.” (144)


“If we don’t control our schedule – out schedule will control us.  If we don’t find a way to live a balanced life – our lives will get out of balance.” “Success in our business, occupation, or church can give us the rush of wanting to get to another level – just for the feeling of one more achievement.” (147)


Satan causes us pain by manipulating circumstances and people.  Then he offers us ways to relieve the pain.  The relief he offers is always wrong!  (148-49)


“You can choose to let the One who created you…help you with all of your decisions.”  (I Cor.10:13, NIV)  (155)  “One day at a time, and at times one hour at a time, you can receive the courage, strength, and conviction to hold your ground.  You do not have to make the choice to do what is wrong.” (156) 


“All of us have made decisions we regret and all of us can be forgiven and start over.” (156)


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