Quips & Quotes: Watch Your Life ...


A wise guy once said, “If you want to manage somebody, manage yourself. Do that well and you’ll be ready to stop managing and start leading.”

The Apostle Paul, a leader among leaders, admonished his friend Timothy, “Watch your life and doctrine closely.” This week's quips and quotes reviews some of the key thoughts about self-leadership.

Think about it: Watch your life . . .

  1. "Watch your life and doctrine closely" 1 Timothy 4:16
  2. "I've had more trouble with D.L. Moody than any other man alive." Dwight L. Moody, famous 19th century preacher, evangelist, and servant of God.
  3. “You never conquer mountains. You conquer yourself–your doubts and fears.” Jim Whittaker, the first American to climb Mr. Everest
  4. "Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'” Mark 6:31 ESV
  5. "Fatigue makes cowards of us all." Vince Lombardi
  6. "But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." Luke 5:16
  7. "You're not smart enough, you're not spiritual enough, you're not deep enough to make it without daily time with God." Jimmy Draper, who served for 50 years in Christian ministry.
  8. After the surrender of Japan, Winston Churchill traveled to Italy for much-needed rest. He spent his time painting. "The painting has been a great pleasure to me, and I have really forgotten all my vexations. It is a wonderful cure, because you cannot really think of anything else." Churchill: A Life, page 859.
  9. "Moderate exercise, and books occasionally, with the mind unbent, will be your best restoratives. With much truth I can assure you that no one will be happier in your company." George Washington's words to James Madison. Washington invited Madison to Mount Vernon for a time of rest. James Madison and the Struggle For The Bill of Rights, page 117.
  10. “It is management of self that should occupy 50% of our time and the best of our ability.” Dee Hock, former CEO of Visa
  11. "It has pleased the Lord to teach me a truth, the benefit of which I have not lost, for more than fourteen years. The point is this: I saw more clearly than ever that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not how much I might serve the Lord, or how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished."George Müller, who cared for 10,000 orphans during his life at a cost of millions in today's economy. Müller never asked anyone for funds, living the entire time by faith in God for his provision. Click here if you want to read more.
  12. "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." Proverbs 4:23 ESV

Recapping the week:

This week we examined three essential aspects of self-leadership: recognizing capacities, establishing replenishment strategies, and evaluating self-leadership using a time-tested assessment tool. It's all a part of following the biblical admonition to "pay attention to your life." 1 Timothy 4:16

  • Monday: Start Well -- Lead Yourself Leadership starts with the leader. Leaders must lead themselves before leading others. This post looks at the life of Benjamin Franklin as an example of self-leadership. It also examines some of the biblical basis for this concept.
  • Tuesday: The Secret To Staying AfloatHow does a leader stay afloat in the high seas of a busy life? The answer is in the Plimsoll Line. This practical post looks at the importance of understanding and maximizing your capacities and limitations as a leader.
  • Wednesday: Why You Need A Replenishment StrategyLeadership is a draining enterprise! But God does not want you to “go down the drain” in your efforts to lead well. You must take time to rest and replenish. Using examples from nature, history, and Scripture, this post shows both the why and how of a replenishment strategy.
  • Thursday: Checking The GaugesIn this post I share a monthly exercise entitled, "Checking The Gauges." I've practiced this for years. Do it and it will help you be your best as a Christian leader. I end the post with the story of Dr. Paul Brand, and what we can learn from his life.
  • Friday: Quips and Quotes on Self Leadership Key quotes from this week's posts. An overview of the week. A book worth reading.

Looking ahead to next week:

A wise guy once said, "Leaders are readers." Next week we'll explore the wonderful world or reading and its importance as a discipline for leaders. I'll give away a book a day (Tuesday-Friday), and we'll enjoy some discussion about the books that have shaped our lives and leadership.

A book worth reading:

Ordering Your Private World
Ordering Your Private World

Ordering Your Private World is phenomenal selling over 1 million copies upon its original release in 1984. With revisions and new material, it is ever more timely to readers. Never admitting to have it all together, but rather using his own personal struggle as a way for readers to relate to his principles, Gordon MacDonald's classic book invites readers to bring order to their personal life by inviting God's control over every segment of their lives. His premise is that if the private world of a person is in order, it will be because they are convinced that the inner world of the spiritual must govern the outer world of activity.

I count Ordering Your Private World as one of my Top 5 books of all time. I have read it and re-read it. Gordon MacDonald's principles have helped me immensely.