John Fuller: The late Zig Ziglar once said that you can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles. Well, this is Focus on the Family with Focus president and author, Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller and Jim, today we’re gonna explore a pretty probing question. I wonder if our listeners think of themselves as successful.
Jim Daly: John, you know, you have to ask yourself the question, how do you define success? I think there’s a wide variety of responses to that question. And in the Christian community particularly I think, you’ll even find a wide variety of people want to say success for me would be following the Lord. I think Zig Ziglar defined it by saying, it doesn’t matter how high you climb the ladder, if you step over your spouse and ignore your kids in the process, you’re not really living a successful life.
Jim: As Jesus said in the Gospels, I think it’s Mark 8:36, “What good is it for you to gain the whole world, yet forfeit your soul?” And you know, what is truly most important in this life, especially if you’re the leader of a company or you’re in some form of leadership? And today we want to talk about that.
John: Well, and I think it’s gonna be good to do a little soul-searching and a little examination of what our motives are, where our values are and are we spending enough time with our families? I mean, this is a question that I struggle with from time to time, Jim. And I know you’re not immune to that struggle.
Jim: You know, one of the things, John, I think in Christian work particularly, we try to project this perfection, that we’ve got it all buttoned down. We don’t.
John: Hm. No.
Jim: If you think somebody has it all figured out, just look a little deeper, ‘cause I don’t think that’s accurate. And I struggle. You know, I’m writing; I’m doing broadcasts. I’m traveling and speaking and trying to run Focus. You’re alongside me doing the broadcast. We all have a lot on and we fail at times. And the way I fail is getting enough time with my kids.
Jim: And I see it. You’ve had that experience.
John: Well, it came true a little too close to home one time for me when we had to meet with one of the Focus counselors to talk through some behaviors of one of my kids.
John: And after about 30 minutes of listening to us Cheryl looked at me and said, “Well, John, it’s really easy. Your son wants more of you around and you’re just too busy. You’re not around enough.”
John: And I was nailed. Here I am workin’ at Focus on the Family. I’m supposed to know this stuff and I’m neglecting my own family.
Jim: Have you made the adjustment?
John: I. Yes. (Laughter) Yeah. Fortunately, he has forgiven me for that.
John: He’s gotten over that one.
Jim: The point is, the pressure is big on all of us and today we do want to talk about that. And we’re gonna talk with some experts in this area. And John, why don’t you go ahead and introduce them.
John: Sure. They are Ken Blanchard, Phil Hodges and Tricia Goyer. And many will recognize Ken Blanchard’s name. He’s the author of more than 30 books, including The One-Minute Manager. He and his long-time friend, Phil Hodges started a ministry called Lead Like Jesus a few years back. And Phil obviously [is] very involved with that. And Tricia Goyer has been here before on the broadcast. She’s an author, a speaker, a blogger and a wife and mom.
John: And we’re gonna try to see how business principles and time with family and values all kind of mesh together with our guests today.
Jim: Ken, let me start with you, because you are seen as a guru of management–time management. You wrote the very infamous book, One-Minute Manager. I think it sold over 13 million copies, maybe more than that by now. You’re seen as the guy that knows how to manage time. What do you think? (Chuckling) Are you convinced that we’ve got a handle on that today or are will still missing it?
Ken Blanchard: Well, it’s interesting, Jim, you know, I’ll ask people in seminars, “How many of you think you’re a leader?” And only about 20 percent of the people put they’re all managers and all ‘cause they have the[belief] somehow leadership is about a position. And then I’ll say, “Well, let’s think about who impacted your life the most. You know, just think about that for a minute.” And then I’ll say, well, “How many of you when you were thinking about it, went back through your life, mentioned a manager or a supervisor–
Ken: –at work? Who was it you mentioned? You mentioned your mother or your father, uncle, grandparents and all.” And what we gotta recognize is that we’re all leaders and one of the most important leadership roles is life-role leadership as spouses, as parents, as friends, as citizens. And then people have organizational leadership roles.
And so, one of the things that I have found is that a lot of times when you don’t think you have that role, you don’t think about, well, I’m not spending enough time on it. But I think what Phil and Tricia and I really feel is, that there’s no more important leadership role than being a leader in your family. And there’s no better model for leadership than Jesus.
Jim: Well, let me ask you this question, because the title’s a bit intimidating, at least when I read it. Yikes! Lead Your Family Like Jesus.
Jim: Again, that to many parents and many couples seems overwhelming ‘cause I can’t be Jesus.
Ken: No, obviously, you can’t, but He’s your partner. I mean, grace is a wonderful concept. Peter Drucker, when I found out he was a Christian, I said, “Why did you become a Christian?” He says, “There’s no better deal.” (Laughter) And I said, “What do you mean?” He says, “Who else has grace?”–
Ken: –and all. But I think one of the big things that we have found as we’ve been working on our book is, that people forget that Jesus is your partner. He said I will be with you till the end of time. And yet, we don’t think of Him as our partner as we’re parenting, as we’re dealing with our spouse and all. And I think that’s the big message that we want to have with Lead Your Family Like Jesus, is to recognize that He’s there. And the subtitle is Powerful Parenting Principles by the Creator of the Family.
Jim: Hm. And you came to the Lord later in life. I think you were in your late 40s.
Jim: And you were writing on these business principles when you came to the Lord. But you saw synergy there. Let me mention this. I came out of the business world. I did my MBA. I worked at International Paper. I came into ministry. My brother studied to be a pastor, ended up in business. I studied to be in business, ended up in ministry (Chuckling).
Jim: But what I found is a tremendous parallel. Some people want to say, if you have a business head, you don’t have a ministry heart. That’s not true, is it?
Ken: No, I don’t think so. I think that the one most wonderful ministry opportunity you have is with your own business, you know. What can you do? It’s interesting. I was asked to be in Bob Buford’s first half time–
Ken: session and seeing all these market leaders, helping social service leaders and all. And I gave the final speech. I said, you know, I think it’s great what you’re doing, but I’m a little concerned that you all think you’re gonna have to move from success to significance by moving out of your business. And I said, I think that in moving out, you might be leaving messes behind you.
Ken: So, maybe you might be able to go from success to significance by leading your business the way Jesus would because Jesus said, even I have come to serve, not to be served.
Jim: Hm. Tricia, let me turn to you, because you’re representing moms and wives (Chuckling) and …
Tricia Goyer: Yes.
Jim: You have quite a story as I was reading the book and know a bit about your background. How do you apply this concept in your own life? And what was happening in your own life that you needed some direction?
Tricia: Right. Well, I jumped into this parenting thing very young. I had my first son when I was 17-years-old and then God brought an amazing Christian guy. We met and married and had two more kids. So, here I was, 22-years-old with these three little kids. And a lot of the moms were older than me and I was just tryin’ to figure out what to do.
And it was amazing, because some of Ken’s books, like The One-Minute Manager, I started applying to my parenting. Catch your kids doing stuff right. You know, all these business books, I would read them and say, “Okay, how can I apply these to my kids?” And I think that really helped me in my parenting years.
But it wasn’t always easy and I think especially as a young mom, I would look around and try to compare myself to other moms out there and say, what are they doing? And oh, she has her kids in sports and she has her kids in activities. And so, really, I think that comparison thing gets us off track, ‘cause we’re trying to see what everyone else is doing instead of keeping our focus on Jesus and what He wants for us.
And I remember clearly a time in my life where I was overwhelmed and exhausted and just going 100 different directions. And it was actually my husband leading me and sitting down and saying, “We need to take a look at our schedule. What are you doing? Let’s write everything down. And I turned to him and I said, “You don’t have enough paper to write down everything that I’m doing in a day.”
And we did. We wrote everything out and we really started to categorize what things are eternal and important? And what things are things that I’m doing just because I’m trying to compare myself to other people? So, again we went back to those business principles about, focus on what’s most important and we pared out a lot of things, like ballet lessons.
My daughter was in ballet, basically ‘cause I thought little girls needed to be in ballet lessons. Or I was serving in church, but not with a loving and serving heart. It was because I felt like other moms were doing that; I needed to do that. So, really taking a look at our lives and saying, “What has God called us to? What does Jesus want to walk alongside me on?” Instead of just getting scattered and focused on what other people are doing, really made a huge difference in my life.
Jim: Tricia, I need more of the story, because I’m sure moms are hearing you saying, well, she sounds like she’s got it all together.
Jim: She probably came from a book background. You saw it modeled. But that’s not your story, is it?
Tricia: That’s not my story.
Jim: You didn’t have a dad.
Jim: And just talk a little about that, because I think you’ve been able to put these principles, which Ken, I would say are biblical principles–
Jim: –they’re not business principles. Business may embrace them, but really they’re Jesus’ principles.
Ken: That’s right.
Jim: How did you do that as a young girl without a father in the home, all the struggles that that brings? How did you figure this out at such a young age?
Tricia: You know, I grew up with my mom and my stepdad, so he was there, but he was the silent figure in the La-Z-Boy. There was really no relationship there.
Jim: You felt no love from him.
Tricia: No, no love for him. And definitely, you know, I think that was the reason why I got sexually active at a young age and looking for love in all the wrong directions. And it was during my teen pregnancy that I turned to Christ.
Tricia: There was a group of women from my mom’s church that reached out to me. They showed me love and I thought, “You know what? If these women could love me, maybe God does, too.” And it’s turning back to that grace, that God is there and He loves us no matter what we’ve done in our past.
But you know, I still struggled for many years. When I was 15, I had an abortion and really, I think that really hindered me as a young mom, ‘cause I was holding all that pain inside. I thought, you know, God forgave me, but I had a hard time forgiving myself.
And then after that, being able to turn everything over to God and realizing that He is there for me and He loves me no matter what. Even when I didn’t have that father figure that was there loving me, turning to God and spending that time with Him and really being focused on building that relationship helped me in all areas of my life, especially in parenting, too.
Jim: Oh, I’d imagine so and He wants us to trust Him in faith, but it’s not always easy to do. Phil, you experienced an opportunity to step out in faith, as you were trying to lead your family like Jesus and that’s definitely noble, but it didn’t work out so well. Tell us about your failed investment and what went wrong.
Phil Hodges: Yeah, well, this was a time when our kids were young and we were living the life I thought we were supposed to be living. We were married and went to church and everybody …
Jim: So, that was your definition of success.
Phil: Yeah, we were doin’ all the external things and so forth. But one thing that crept up and this was the word that Tricia mentioned was the issue of competition and were we doing as well as we could? And some friends got involved in investments. And I’m not an investment person, so I decided well, I need to do that to put another feather in my success quiver.
And what [I] ended up with was a thing that didn’t go well. It went south very, very quickly. And my wife, Jane knew so just very quickly and it became an issue between us, because the righter she sounded, the madder I got, because I was going to do this out of my own pride. And so, [we] needed some more money.
I kind of bullied her into putting more money into it, because I knew this was all gonna turn around. I was very much into myself. And then one day after about three months of this, she asked me some questions that really changed things. She asked, have you ever prayed about this?
Phil: And I said, “No,” sorta like that, no. And then the question that came up that changed everything was, “Why not?” And what happened there was I really had to go inside myself to find out what the “why not” was. And there were three reasons that I finally figured out. One was it was kind of not a good thing to talk to God about my little puny investment. It wasn’t my mortgage. It wasn’t anything like that. This was not Aids and world peace and all of these other kind of things…
John: So this was just too small to pray about …
Phil: This was too small to pray about. And that was one. The second one was the fact that I had sort of an odd idea of prayer. I didn’t have a lot of faith in the process, although I’d been part of that in my Christian upbringing. And I kind of likened it to tying a little message onto the string of a helium balloon and kind of letting it rise and maybe I’d get an answer back, but maybe not. And then [the] third reason, which was the most important reason, was I didn’t have to …
Phil: …pray because I could quote “do this myself.” And thereby, the great deception.
Jim: Well, can I ask you a question there? Because I appreciate the vulnerability. You’re speakin’ to a lot of men. In our pride, you know, that we can do this on our own strength. We’re not gonna trouble the Lord with it. But the Lord wants to be involved in every part of our lives, every detail of our lives. What did you learn in that process? I mean, what can you say now as a more mature Christian, if you had to go back, what did you learn and how would you do that differently?
Phil: Well, the process was fairly quick and fairly on point. One day I was not feeling well and Jane had taken the kids to church and I was reading a book that she had given me with this great macho title called The Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Anne Ortlund [FYI: Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman]. And I realized there wasn’t anything that wasn’t of His interest and that I couldn’t and shouldn’t take to Him. And so, now I got on my knees literally beside the bed and gave that up and that was the beginning of seeing God’s interest in and His involvement in that whole great part of every part of your life.
John: Well, you’re listening to a conversation with Ken Blanchard, Phil Hodges and Tricia Goyer on today’s “FOF,” hosted by Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller and we’re tackling a subject that I think a lot of us struggle with, Jim, and that is, how do I really lead my family well? How do I spend enough time with my family? How do I apply, as we’ve talked about a little bit here, business principles to my everyday walk with my family?
Jim: John, the thing I want to make sure people are hearing is, that business principles, for the most part the good ones, are actually rooted in biblical principle.
Jim: I believe that. I came out of the business world. I have fought that here at Focus when people have said, ah, you’re thinkin’ too much like a business guy. Those principles are valid.
Ken: Well, it’s interesting, Jim, ‘cause I was on Bob Schuller’s “Hour of Power” after The One-Minute Manager came out. And Rev. Schuller said, “Ken, you know who the greatest one-minute manage of all-time was?” I said, “Who’s that?” He said, “Jesus.” I said, “Really?” He said, “Yeah, He was really clear on goals. Wasn’t that your first secret–one-minute goal setting?” I said, “Oh, yeah.”
And he said, “You and Tom Peters didn’t invent management by wandering around. Jesus did. He wandered one little village to another. If anybody showed any interest, He’d heal them; He’d praise ‘em. Isn’t that your second secret–one-minute praising?” I said, “Yeah.” And he said, “And if people stepped out of line, He wasn’t afraid to give ‘em a one-minute reprimand for the money lenders out of the Temple and all. Isn’t that your third secret–the one-minute reprimand?” I said, “Yeah.”
And he said (Laughter), “Well, he’s the greatest…” And I went, “Whoa.” And that was the beginning of my reading Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts and just realizing and laughing, that everything I had ever taught about leadership or wrote about leadership, Jesus did with these 12 inexperienced guys that He hired. And He’s really the greatest leadership role model of all time. And all of those principles really came out of the Bible, not from my mind. So, you know, God’s plan for us was to give me some of these theories, so that when I was on His team, maybe I could be helpful.
Jim: You know, applying those principles and I think the work that you’ve done in the business community, that’s why we wanted to air this, because there’s so many great and valid points that you make in your work, Ken. I mentioned a moment ago, that you came to the Lord later in your 48, I believe, if–
Jim: –I know the story correctly. Knowing what you know now with all the success that you’ve enjoyed, being a thinker in the business community, leading, you know, powerful people to live their lives differently, as a father and a husband looking back, what might you have done differently, going back to your 30’s as a parent and as a husband?
Ken: Well, I think, Jim, what you were getting at earlier is, a lot of people measure their self-worth on external success factors. And if I had really gotten early about grace and the unconditional love of my Father, you know, my eternal Father, then all those things out there aren’t as important, you know? I mean, because when you think that your performance isn’t great or somebody’s upset with you, you know, that’s the end all and you get defensive and all that.
Where if you realized you’re loved, then you could say, “Gee, let’s look at this performance, you know. What could we do about it, you know? These are the results, but it’s not who we are and you’re upset with me. Could you tell me why, you know, rather than I have to put you down; you know, kill the messenger.
You know, I would have my ups and downs. I would do a seminar and then I’d always read the negative comments. You know, is this book gonna do as well? You hit a home run with The One-Minute Manager. What’s wrong with this one? And you get out there; it’s exhausting, rather than saying, “Okay, Lord, I know You love me no matter what. What can I do that’s gonna help You in what You’re tryin’ to accomplish?” And it’s a whole different way to be.
But I think that’s so true with families and Tricia was talking about that need to compete, rather than saying, “I’m not gonna compete. What can I do to serve these kids in a way that they can really make a difference in the world?” Isn’t that right, Tricia?
Tricia: You know, we talk about competing and I think because we feel like we’re just one of the crowd and we need to fit in with everyone else. We need to wear our red jersey in the stands with everyone else, without realizing that, you know, I love the definition of a leader is anytime you choose to influence the thinking, the behaviors and the development of someone, you’re a leader. And parents don’t see themselves as a leader.
Jim: Boy, that’s the definition of parent.
Tricia: Absolutely. When you are making those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, when you are wipin’ those noses, you are leading them. And it’s through your attitudes. It’s through whether I’m gonna serve. You know, moms, we know we serve. We are so serving constantly, but am I a servant leader, who’s thinkin’ about the eternal, who’s thinkin’ about raisin’ the kids to be servants? Or am I just serving, grumbling, goin’ along, tryin’ to compare myself to everyone else, instead of having that focus on God? Jim: Tricia, let me ask you this, because I know for Jean, at times this can be a burden for her. When you’re doing that 24/7, let’s say you’re working in the home; you’re the CEO of the home, which in Jean’s case, she’s runnin’ the home and a lot of moms are there at home all day long, maybe with young kids, middle-school kids, teenagers. And that can be a heavy burden, because you’re not getting the adult contact. You’re starting to grumble in your heart maybe, if not–
Tricia: And out loud.
Jim: –with your husband. (Laughter) But how do you manage that? How do you honor the Lord? And how do you lead your family like Jesus in the midst of the grumbling?
Tricia: You know, the grumbling heart comes quickly, because I’m the one makin’ the dinner and everyone comes home and just puts their feet up and they don’t understand and what are they doing? And …
Jim: Now you’re talkin’ to a lot of moms. (Laughter) Hit it.
Tricia: These kids are throwin’ their clothes on the floor and–
Tricia: –you know, all these things. But I think it goes back. When I get my heart centered on Christ, everything changes. When I take that time in the morning to sit down with my journal, I write out my prayers, because I find my prayers getting scattered. When I sit down and write down and start with praising God. God, this is so amazing. You created me. You gave me this family. Help me to be a servant, confessing, you know, I had a bad attitude yesterday when I had to drive my son to work because, you know, he didn’t get gas in his car, all these things.
But when I get focused on God, when I think about who He is, it makes a huge difference and it changes my attitude and it lets me lead out of a servant’s heart, instead of just feeling like I’m the maid in this home and everyone needs to get better about helpin’ out.
Jim: I’m gonna press you a bit here.
Jim: What do you do? I mean, when you’re grumbling, I mean, the dishes have stacked up. The kids haven’t done their part; husband’s not pitching in. He looks exhausted, whatever it might be. And you’re feeling it. It’s bubbling up.
Tricia: I’m feeling it–
Jim: You’re feeling it.
Tricia: (Laughing) –so much.
Jim: And, you know, what do you do? What is a way to release that at the moment in a way that honors the Lord?
Tricia: Okay. There’s a couple different things I do. One thing I called “the three-minute escape.” It’s, I will just go into my room. I told my husband, “I need to just be alone for three minutes.”
Jim: And what will you do in that alone time? Do you scream–
Tricia: I …
Jim: –at all?
Tricia: –will sit down and first of all, I’ll pout a little bit. Sometimes the tears will flow. But you know what? I go get my Bible and I’ll turn to a Psalm and I’ll start reading about God and saying, “You know what? There’s this eternity that we have to think about.” You know, the dishes, if they don’t get done tonight …
Jim: It’s not about spaghetti.
Tricia: It’s not about spaghetti. Another thing I’ll do is, we have our little 2-year-old adopted girl. And sometimes you think about having to get everything done in the household and all the schedules. Sometimes I’ll just sit down and play blocks with her. You know, this is about the relationships with our kids. It’s not just about getting things done. And we get so focused on that to-do list. And what happens if it doesn’t get done today? It’ll be there tomorrow. It’s not like I need to get everything done. God is with me in the moment and it’s okay to sit down and just play with blocks for awhile.
Jim: Ken, what Tricia is saying there really applies to men, but more and more women now, this drivenness. And we see success as being wholly committed to our endeavor, whether that business, becoming a doctor, a lawyer, whatever it might be, the vocation that we’ve chosen. That’s the measure of who we are. And we pour ourselves into that and we work 12-, 14-hour days. How are we missing the mark?
Ken: Well, you’re missing the mark because you’re just leaving out the most important part of your life, you know. I remember being on a program with Tom Landry one time and the great Dallas coach, who always was so calm. And I said, “How do you stay so calm, Tom?” He said, “It’s easy. I have my priorities in order. First comes God; second comes my wife; third comes my children and fourth comes football.” He said, “So, if I lose on Sunday, I got a lot left over.”
Ken: And he said, “There’s a lot of people, they lose on Sunday, they got nothing left over, ‘cause that’s who they are.” And it’s really so important that you look at a mission statement of yourself and why did God put you here? And what are you tryin’ to accomplish? And to have a sense of a mission and a picture of the future and a set of values.
And you know, what so helps me every day is to read my mission statement. And my mission is to be a loving teacher, an example of simple truths that helps myself and others to awaken to the presence of God in our lives. And that really helps me to center myself.
Then I read my obituary. I got interested in that, you know, heard of I’m sure, Alfred Nobel’s brother died in the last century early. And Alfred went to read what they said about his brother and they got he and his brother mixed up.
Ken: And Alfred, if you remember high school, was involved in the invention of dynamite, so his whole obituary was about destruction and all. He just felt awful. And he gathered friends and loved ones around and said, “What’s the opposite of destruction?” They said, “Peace.” So, he redesigned his life so he would be remembered for peace. And so, I mean, what’s your obituary? What would you like to be said about you? That’s a–
Ken: –picture of the future.
Jim: And from that, the Nobel Peace Prize.
Ken: (Clearing throat) Yeah.
Ken: Then what are your values and all? My son, Scott’s a big speaker now. He’s a character and he’ll say what people want to know, what is it like to have been the one-minute son? And he said, “When I was young, I got in trouble a lot and I wish I got punished like the rest of my friends, you know, sent to my room, even spanked. But no, I had to go down to the dinner table and talk to my mother and my father and my sister about how my behavior was inconsistent with family values,” of course, that we developed in an off-site retreat. But (Laughing) …
Jim: That’s good.
Ken: But, you know, it’s really getting a sense of who you want to be and like Tricia has wonderful morning times and I wish I was completely disciplined all the time. But my day is really good when I read who I want to be in the world. And then, at the end of the day, sort of say, “How did you do, Blanchard? What are some praisings you could do? Is there any redirections you want?” I think we enter our days too quickly and that gets us into our task-oriented–
Ken: –self and it just gets us in trouble.
Jim: Well these have been tremendous concepts. Lead Your Family Like Jesus with Dr. Ken Blanchard, Phil Hodges, and Tricia Goyer. Thank you for the work, but man, there is much more to cover. And I wanna’ come back next time if you’ll stick with us and get down into some more nitty-gritty stuff on how to really apply these principles and be a better husband, a better wife and a better parent. Can you stick with us?
Ken: For sure. That’ll be fun.