The Preface of My New Book: The Dimensional #Leader


This book discusses the qualities of the dimensional leader, which any person seeking a leadership role should seek to develop and master over time. As spatial dimensions contain three spheres of width, height and length, so the dimensional leader model exudes the three dimensional qualities of character, competence and communication. David was the consummate dimensional leader, who displayed these three qualities from his inaugural scene, at the time he fought and defeated Goliath, and throughout his entire life as the leader and commander of Israel’s army. David’s leadership legacy is summed up in an obscure passage in Psalm 78:72, where the dimensional leader’s paradigm is revealed:

And David shepherded them with integrity of heart [character]; with skillful hands [competence] he led [communication] them.

This passage of scripture has been written as David’s epitaph; a one sentence summation of his leadership legacy. Any thoughtful reader of this passage should pause for a moment to deliberate its substance and significance, to ponder its hidden treasures. It won’t take you very long before the hidden gems burst forth, revealing the transformative qualities effective leaders should cultivate and master over time.

The subtitle may have also left you asking, “What can a shepherd boy teach me about leadership?” The answer is obvious; a shepherd boy has already taught us principles about leadership, especially how a dimensional leader thinks and acts in times of great challenge. We just need to dive deeper into the story to exhume purpose for our lives today.

When we read about David’s great triumph over Goliath we simply bypass two previous encounters – Eliab, David’s eldest brother and King Saul, the flustered and reluctant leader of Israel. David had to navigate through these two individuals first to get to his ultimate goal – that of confronting and defeating the malicious behemoth, and thus, wiping away the reproach from Israel.

I am positive there have been times in our lives where you and I have had this thought, “I want to be like David.” However, we do not realize the price it took David to achieve a level of leadership mastery. Somehow we bypass those elements of personal sacrifice and testing in the shadows; the hidden places and events, which shaped David’s character. We have the tendency to look upon those who have succeeded as one of God’s favorite kids who were given a free pass to greatness, and somehow everything was handed over to them on a silver platter. This way of thinking is not realistic, nor fair for those who have achieved a level of greatness among us. Greatness comes with a price tag. In other words, anyone who has ever had some legacy worth talking about had to overcome personal challenges and overcome barriers, which catapulted them to a new and improved station in life. It may have been they were willing to confront their fears, which kept them limited and regulated to a mediocre and mundane life. These champions of life succeeded somehow, because they were able to cross what I call the lines of resistance.

A line of resistance is a force seen or unseen, which works against you to constrain you or impose a limitation by restricting you from achieving your dreams, your goals and ultimately your destiny. A line of resistance is also a roadblock or barrier to stop you from moving forward. A line of resistance can eventually create a limiting mindset, a negative attitude, even a habitual pattern, which hinders you from accessing and pursuing your goals, to the point of discouraging you from actualizing your true potential and purpose in life.

In the natural realm, a line of resistance can come from the people around you. In the spiritual realm, the lines of resistance arise from Satan and his hoard of demons. In a personal sense, many lines of resistance already exist in our fallen nature, producing destructive patterns in our life. At other times your lines of resistance can be produced when something dramatic occurs in your past where a negative history was created. This negative event in your life may have produced an insecurity, which is now rooted in fear and controls you. If this is true, you then begin to build an image about yourself, which is not based on reality.

David was confronted by three people, each one tried to restrict and limit him in some manner from succeeding on his mission. These three individuals attempted to create lines of resistance in David’s life.

1. Eliab – David’s brother represents the line of criticism.

2. King Saul – David’s leader represents the line of authority.

3. Goliath – David’s archenemy represents the line of fear and intimidation.

The lines of resistance can be self-imposed or they can come from well meaning people, like our close friends or family members. For instance, someone can give us erroneous counsel diverting us down the wrong road from our destiny for many years. This is why parents, mentors, clergy, and others play a pivotal role in developing and directing the lives of young people. If we “buy-into” these limitations we can end up living on the wrong side of the tracks, instead of what could be — a life of mastery, filled with abundant living.

Have you ever taken an inventory of your life to find out what can be possible? Have you ever challenged yourself to break out of the old mindsets that keep you where you are? This book will challenge you to identify, confront and traverse over those debilitating lines of resistance, which have kept you from experiencing a life above and beyond your true and rightful potential.

Be challenged and enjoy!

Joel

NOTE: You will be able to purchase The Dimensional Leader – The Leadership Strategies of a Shepherd Boy

Default Leadership: The Presumptuous Leader


 presumption

The “presumptuous leader” sounds like an oxymoron. Well, it actually is one! Leaders who are presumptions think of themselves a little higher than they actually are and think they know more than others. Allow me a short illustration:

I was recently promoted to a new position and took hold of my new branch which had a lot of potential for growth and profit. However, after a quick appraisal of the store’s metrics I soon discovered the store also had some areas that required immediate attention and improvement – most noticeably its leadership presence. This particular branch had been on the decline for some months with the present management who was feeling the pressure from top brass concerning some alarming numbers. During my first few days in the office, my objective was to get to know my team members by simply interacting with them and observing how they worked with each other, but most importantly how they perceived me as their new leader. On the onset I detected some resistance from the store manager, the second in command. At first he was a little distant, cold and “short” with me. One time, during a brief interview, he must have presumed we were done with the conversation, so he got up and walked away. I sat on my seat stunned thinking, “Does this guy have any social skills?” Over a period of two weeks, I knew I had a lot more to work on than getting the store to operate at peak performance. I needed to groom my store manager with the right leadership skills for personal, team and corporate success. Throughout my interactions with the store manager I soon found three default characteristics of a presumptuous leader:

1. Previous work experience does not add up to competent leadership

After spending some time with my store manager, I noticed how he would keep bringing up his previous employment experience, “In my previous job I supervised fifty employees.” And the time I asked him to do the schedule he made a point to say, “It’s easy, doing a schedule for four people is nothing compared to what I used to do.” My first thought, “Wow, I have a great leader working with me. We are going to turn this store around quicker than I first anticipated.” Soon enough, within a matter of days, I noticed the incompetence surface. He lacked the basic skills of supervision, delegating responsibility and holding his direct reports accountable for their work performance. My initial thought was, “Now, how did this guy get to a position where he supervised fifty people?” It just didn’t add up.

2. Layered expectations is a form of controlling others not leading them

There’s nothing more I dislike than someone saying, “They are not allowed to do that!”, or something similar, “The previous boss would only let me do that.” After a few comments like these I had to put a stop to that kind of managerial thinking. In a learning environment managers must relinquish some control and trust others to learn and do the job. After all, we must advance not only the agenda of the organization but also employees to their next level of operation. So I asked myself, “Where did he get this learning?” After some brief dialogue, it was the previous General Manager who would not allow certain people to do some basic things, such as count the cash drawer upon opening or closing the store. My style of training is a “cross-trainer” approach where everyone gets to participate and learn a new aspect of the operation. This happens gradually when someone is willing and ready to learn the next new thing. A working environment must be empowering not controlling others based upon one’s position or title.

3. Leading from behind is not authentic leadership

After a week or so I noticed the store manager was not leading his direct reports properly. So I asked him, “How do you lead your team?” He responded, “Oh, they already know what to do. I just let them do it.” I then asked, “How do you know they are accomplishing tasks on time and being effective in their jobs?” He just stared at me. His style of leadership was laissez-faire, from a French term meaning laid-back leadership. When I questioned his style of leadership he simply replied, “I’ve always done it that way.” Presumption – yes or no? As a leader, you have to engage your direct reports with vision and responsibility, and responsibility with accountability, and timed tasks that are measured by effective performance and results.

What did I learn in the first two weeks of this encounter? First, I learned that the more someone is “experienced” the harder they are to train, because “they just seem to know so much” more than you. Employees who brag about their previous work experience must embrace new learning experiences. Second, bringing correction to a leader who seems to “know it all” is difficult to do but it’s a must. A leader must have the courage to have transparent and regular discussions. What kind of discussions? The one’s where you tell your direct report to “push the refresh button” and to start all over by learning how to lead effectively.

Spring into Optimism


“Optimism is an attitude that shows up around springtime.” –Joel Garcia

The Spring season is my favorite time of year. Have you ever noticed how people’s attitudes change around springtime? It’s a time to enjoy better weather and sunshine, to get into that garden to plant your favorite plants or vegetables, to hike or work out in the open air. Most certainly, springtime has a way of changing people’s attitudes.

Latino Townhall’s Top 25 #LatinoQuotes of 2011


These are Latino Townhall’s Top 25 Quotes of 2011, which are provided to inspire you to stimulate your thinking, and help you through times of difficulty. I have provided my name at the end of each quote in case you want to copy and paste on social media sites. Thank you for your support in 2011:

Fear is the sure beginning of failure, eventually leading to one’s demise. –Joel Garcia (January 2011)

Every Christian should aspire to a leadership role because the Spirit of God within them is constantly moving and creating change, and this is what leaders do. –Joel Garcia (April 2011)

Leading with love is the most excellent way. –Joel Garcia (April 2011)

To overcome incompetence do not stand-alone rather deepen your pool of knowledge by standing alongside others. –Joel Garcia (April 2011)

Listening provides the context you need to ask the right questions. –Joel Garcia (May 2011)

Your personal gifts prophesy to your future. –Joel Garcia (June 2011)

Hope is the assurance of a release date from your wilderness journey. –Joel Garcia (July 2011)

Leaders who reinvent themselves see things in a whole new way, therefore, driving needed change in their environment. –Joel Garcia (Aug. 2011)

A comprehensive Christian worldview must instill belief, power and the ability to transform culture. –Joel Garcia (Aug. 2011)

If you keep hope alive, you stay alive. –Joel Garcia (Aug. 2011)

A gospel with power adds wonder. –Joel Garcia (Aug. 2011)

Ideas have a better chance of life in a community. –Joel Garcia (Aug. 2011)

Complaints measure your ineffectiveness, while solutions measure your effectiveness. -Joel Garcia (Aug. 2011)

Creativity rebounds during moments of rest and solitude. –Joel Garcia (Sept. 2011)

Every action you take sets in motion something greater; transformation begins with enough of the right actions. –Joel Garcia (Aug. 2011)

When a man loses his moral compass, he lands in desolate places. –Joel Garcia (Sept. 2011)

There’s no transformation without a struggle. –Joel Garcia (Sept. 2011)

The gift of change is loss; if we don’t learn to let go we’ll never change. –Joel Garcia (Sept. 2011)

Servant leaders inspire others to be and do their best by their lifestyle. –Joel Garcia (Oct. 2011)

Tension and misunderstanding go together; get understanding and watch tension gradually release itself. –Joel Garcia (Oct. 2011)

You can’t “cherry pick” your character, it’s cultivated through time, choice and action. -Joel Garcia (Oct. 2011)

The primary objective of parenting is making a child beautiful on the inside. –Joel Garcia (Nov. 2011)

Wisdom triumphs over experience. –Joel Garcia (November 28, 2011)

Submission doesn’t come when you ask for it; it happens when you’ve work for it. –Joel Garcia (November 28, 2011)

Learn – Live – Love – Lead


Early in 2011, I began contemplating upon our organization’s fundamental pillars… What would Latino Townhall become? What would be our defining pillars? Eventually, I would sum up the character of Latino Townhall by the following four words: Learn – Live – Love – Lead. Here’s why?

LEARN

We all need to learn, especially the emerging Latino community, since a growing number of immigrants come from other countries where education is limited, or inaccessible in many rural areas. The Latino community’s existence and perpetuity depends upon adopting a learning posture for life. According to statistics, Latinos who attend higher education to acquire a four-year degree actually graduate at a dismal ratio of less than 1 out of every 10 students. This is an embarrassing statistic; we can do better. Latino Townhall is a learning community using the varied tools education has to offer, such as mentoring, leadership development, and coaching to help our community prosper. It’s crucial to use these tools and others to support a community in need of development. Learning equates to prosperity; those who take time to learn are better off than those who cut their eduction short. Learning is one of the central features of our organization.

LIVE

Learning adds value to our lives, and to those we share life with. As a matter of fact, the quality of life stems from the acquisition of knowledge and the application of wisdom in everyday life. Actually, the ultimate goal of learning is the pursuit of truth. As a matter of fact the quality of your life depends on the truth you follow. Misguided multiculturalism, especially in our post-modern world, seek equality as a virtue but in reality, not all cultures are the same. There are those who are living life to the fullest, and those who do not. Life is all about choice based on truth.

LOVE

Latinos have a deep love for helping their own community. Latinos are civic minded; and care deeply about their follow man. They hate injustice since they’ve experienced or witnessed it in their own Latin American homeland. When they see an act of injustice in America they emerge with passion to right a wrong. Love is a major feature of the Christian-Judeo faith. Since Latino Townhall has a faith-based lean, love must be its central theme, which must be taught, cherished and practiced in daily life.

LEAD

In the present moment, and most certainly in the immediate future, Latinos have no other option but to lead. The 2010 Census revealed Latinos are the largest minority group in the nation boasting 50 million strong and growing. Their projected growth in the next ten to twenty years is even more staggering. With these explosive numbers, they have no other option but to lead a nation, or to siphon its resources by its dependence upon entitlements. Leadership is our mantle; it’s our destiny. Latinos are called to be leaders, not followers, contributors not takers, influencers not inferiors. Latino Townhall is dedicated to raising up a generation of Latino leaders by concentrating on the young and the immigrant alike.

NOTE: “Learn – Live – Love – Lead”, in this particular sequence, was claimed by Latino Townhall on Facebook on March 3rd 2011, and it was used previously on a Power Point presentation to 130 Latino youth February 2011.

The Four Seasons of #Leadership


Your leadership development will go through four stages of change, much like the seasons of the year. This means that leadership development is cyclical in nature, changing with the times. For instance, how many of us have experienced a “dead end road” when leading others? No matter how we attempt to lead others nothing seems to work. It’s like we’ve exhausted our old methods of leading others, and need to reinvent our leadership style to meet the emerging challenges in the workplace. The reason for this leadership makeover is you have ended a leadership cycle, and a new way of thinking and leading is now required. This is why leadership seminars, Webinars, summits and conferences draw thousands of hungry leaders seeking new ways to reinvent themselves and their leadership styles. Allow me to use the four season’s metaphor to make my point:

Autumn:

This season represents the beginning of the end of your leadership cycle. In this season you begin to notice the leadership paradigm you once embraced and practiced is all the sudden becoming obsolete. Therefore, it’s time to shed your old leadership practices through a process known as pruning or shedding. A good example of this season is found in John 15:2, where Jesus notes, “My Father cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” The process of pruning is often times a painful process because what we used to know and do, is no longer needed for the next season of our lives. It pains us to shedd what we know, but the upside to pruning is moving into a new place of spiritual and leadership growth and fruitfulness.

Winter:

This season of your leadership cycle represents a dormant time when nothing seems to grow. This feeling of nothingness thrusts you into a time of deep introspection where you begin to reassess and recalibrate your inner being. In this dormant cycle you what you are really doing is redefining your new leadership style. We may think nothing is happening during this season but you are simply setting yourself up for what’s going to bud in the near future; it’s just taking a little longer than what you expected to enter into a new life cycle. The waiting in this season actually allows you to stop, mediate and recreate yourself.

Spring:

This season represents emerging growth, new life and vitality. The things you learned in the previous season are now taking root, and budding; a whole new understanding of leadership is opening up to you. A world you never thought possible. You may be a little hesitant at first to show your true colors because others will think, “Wow, what’s going on with him (or her). I never seen this attribute in him before.” However, good change is always contagious, and others are drawn to your newness of being and doing. You are re-establishing the Law of Attraction once again in a new way.

Summer:

Summer is the peak season of your new leadership performance. Your fruit as a leader is now evident to others. You must be careful, however, not to over do it in this season because growth is happening fast, and you could make mistakes along the way. Just as fruit takes some time to ripen before it is harvested, you must take strides to produce in conjunction to your growth. In other words, don’t over step your bounds because you may seem too cocky to others. Just know, in this state, you have received a new identity, and that identity is desired by others around you. You are now walking in a new stride.

Which season describes you at the moment?

The 5 Danger Signs of Compromise


A mentor is a catalyst for change in a young person’s life.” -Joel Garcia

A person seeks out a mentor for many reasons. In my experience, the most common reason is a person desires change but can’t achieve it alone.  The role of a mentor is to be a catalyst for change in a person’s life. They must first understand the struggles and obstacles in a mentee’s life, which are usually associated with what I call the Danger Signs of Compromise. Therefore, most mentees’ under your care will be going through some “trouble spots” in his or her life.

Once you have acquired a mentee, how do you go about discerning these trouble spots? The following “five danger signs” are examples of my mentoring experiences where I learned these danger signs. A mentor must understand the five “signs” of compromise if the mentoring process is to have some measure of success. A mentor is like a seer who perceives the danger ahead through:

1. Conversation – The first danger sign is evident by listening to a person’s conversation.

People will disclose vital information about their life if you just let them talk. A mentor must listen carefully by picking up on subtleties critical to a mentee’s journey. For example, if a person is disgruntled about their marriage, and speaks openly about it often, then a potential door opens to flirtation, followed by an emotional affair, and eventually consummating an adulterous relationship is highly possible. Adultery doesn’t happen over night; it’s a subtle process. An experienced mentor can perceive the possibility of this taking place.

2. Drifting Eyes – The second method in reading the danger signs is by watching your mentee’s eyes.

The eyes are the window to a person’s soul. A mentor should be look into the eyes of their mentee during every conversation. You can read a lot by watching someone’s eyes. Wandering eyes are a clue to what is steering them inside. A person with loose or wandering eyes has a lust problem and lacks self-control. Eventually, this problem can lead to poor relational boundaries or moral failure; it happened to a friend of mine.

3. Body Language – The third method of detecting a problem is by watching body language.

I learned this method by watching how teenage couples touch each other in public. The more intimate the touch in public the greater the likelihood of having consummated sexual intimacy in private. If they are showing physical demonstrative signs in public, like petting in the lower parts of the body, then how are they acting in private? I have seen this on two separate occasions but I was too late to warn them. A few months after observing these young couples I discovered, in both cases, the young female was pregnant (A lesson I learned the hard way. I won’t make this mistake anymore). Observation requires a degree of discernment to read the non-verbal language of others, and take appropriate action.

4. The Absence of Passion – The fourth sign to watch for is the loss of passion.

Watch for people who can’t find their passion or have lost it. When I teach at our weekly men’s Bible study I am looking around to see who is present and who is missing. This is my duty as a pastor to watch and discern what men are going through. When men lose their passion for righteousness they are not too far off from being consumed by other things.

5. Withdrawing – The fifth danger sign is withdrawing from others.

When you withdraw from others you tend to be vulnerable because you are less accountable and open to attack. God created us to be part of a community and not to live in isolation from others. Proverbs 18:1 (NKJV) reveals:

A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.”

Those who withdraw from the safety of the group are really sending a message: they are withdrawing from key relationships, accountability, and wise counsel. Deep inside their soul they are devising their own agenda. Unfortunately, it leads them down the wrong path.

As a mentor you must have the courage to speak up when you perceive a potential problem. When you perceive a potential problem, communicate it in a fashion that others will pay attention. You may have to speak about it more than once. If your mentee does not heed your words, write them down and date your journal. If the problem surfaces down the road you will be able to show them that your input was overlooked. Maybe next time they will listen more closely.

Is there another “sign” that leads to compromise?