The 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London have come and gone! Man, what an exciting time watching champions from around the globe competing for the gold on the world's biggest stage. The amazing Gabrielle Douglas, Allyson Felix, and Usain Bolt, among others, all won gold medals, proving themselves champions in their respective events. They dug down really deep within to become all that they could be - world champions!
Are you all that you can be? As quiet as it's kept, there is a champion inside of you, eager to emerge! Are you living your best and highest life now? You really can win the gold in your own life, and realize your full, God-given potential!
What does a champion look like?
A careful study reveals true champions share many of the ten (10) following characteristics:
Great Character - Honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness are not only crucial, but they give you a decided advantage over your critics and competitors. The Bible says, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and He delighteth in his way." Psalm 37:23. Who can stop you with the LORD on your side?
Intense Focus - Champions focus like a laser on vision, goals, and purpose! Concentrate intensely on what matters most. Keep first things first!
Extremely Hard Work - Champions train, work, and prepare, not only harder than everyone else, but also smarter.
Influence - True champions are the role model's role model! Others seek to emulate how they train, conduct themselves, and manage their personal brands.
Leadership - You were born to lead! "The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them , you will always be at the top, never at the bottom." Deuteronomy 28:13. Become not only a leader, but an expert on leadership! Champions lead by example.
Passion! Passion! Passion! - Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm!
Perserverance - If a champion falls seven times, he/she will rise again!
Responsibility - True champions always take full responsibity for their decisions, words, and actions. No excuses!
Teamwork - Teamwork makes the dream work! Value your team members. Be coachable!
Winning Attitude - Champions always expect to win! They visualize the victory long before it even happens. Their preparation gives them a supreme confidence that they can't lose. Raise the roof on your expectations! You have favor! "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
Do you see a champion staring back at you when you look in the mirror? If you follow the Biblical principles cited here, and in related posts, that champion in the mirror just might well be you!
Begin unlocking your full potential today and start living your best life now, and that life more abundantly! Be sure to check back for more tips on how to be all that you can be. Thanks for stopping by, champion!
For more regarding the heart of a champion check out the following links:
The Champion Mindset
Characteristics of A Champion
Soul of a Champion: Athletes Share Common Competitive Thread - USA Today
The 10 Characteristics of a Champion - eHow.com
Competitive Greatness Defined - C4 Competitors
Tony Dungy - Official Website
Roger Federer - Official Website
Serena Williams - Official Website
Lebron James - Official Website
Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith -The Gabrielle Douglas Story, Gabrielle Douglas
A Champion's Mind: Lessons From a Life in Tennis, Pete Sampras
The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter, Ian O'Connor
On the Line, Serena Williams
Quest For Perfection, Roger Federer
How to Be Like Mike: Life Lessons About Basketball's Best, Pat Williams
Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life, Tony Dungy
Jackie Robinson: A Biography, Arnold Rampersad
Unmerited Favor, Joseph Prince
The Leadership Wisdom of Solomon - 22 Essential Strategies for Leading With Integrity, Pat Williams with Jim Denney
Until next time,
This post is a celebration of the life and legacy of a remarkable person, my mother, Rosetta Catherine Lillard (1927-2009). She would be celebrating her 85th birthday on July 29th of this year. She continues to be a role model and inspiration, and is greatly missed by many family members, loved ones and friends. This tribute is from "The Rosetta Catherine Lillard Story", a biography-in-progress.
Rosetta Catherine Smith, Class of 1944
“The power of a glance has been so overdone in love stories that it has come to be disbelieved. Few people daresay, nowadays, that two beings have fallen in love because they looked at each other. Yet that is the way love begins, and the only way.” ~ Victor Hugo
Rosetta Catherine Smith graduated from I. C. Norcom High School, Portsmouth, VA in 1944. Two years earlier, Norcom H. S. had gotten a new principal, William E. Waters, who would hold that position for the next 24 years. William E. Riddick had served as Norcom’s principal from 1915-1942. There was a changing of the guard at Norcom High in 1942, as the old leadership gave way to the new. The new principal, William E. Waters, would bring a new enthusiasm and level of energy to the leadership of Norcom H. S. He would introduce fresh, new ideas and innovative initiatives. Mr. Waters would proudly proclaim I. C. Norcom, the best high school in the South! And many, including Rosetta Catherine Smith, would definitely agree.
Rosetta Catherine Smith was listed as a member of the I. C. Norcom graduating class of 1944. Also listed in the Class of ’44 was Margaret Marie Shelton, Rosetta’s best friend at Norcom High. Margaret would play a significant role in Rosetta’s life story. She would be responsible for Rosetta meeting her future husband, Horace R. Lillard, Jr. But we are getting ahead of our story!
Upon graduating from I. C. Norcom H. S., Rosetta Smith matriculated at the newly opened Norfolk State College, in Norfolk, VA. Her father, Joseph Smith, was a successful businessman in Portsmouth, and so Rosetta decided to major in business administration. That way she could pursue her goal of higher educational attainment, and contribute to building her country economically, while applying the business insights and principles she had learned from her father.
1944, the year Rosetta graduated from Norcom H. S., was a very propitious year. Scientists at Harvard University developed the first, general purpose digital computer. Ralph Bunche was appointed the first African American official to the U. S. State Department. Franklin D. Roosevelt was reelected President for an unprecedented fourth term, choosing Missouri Senator Harry S. Truman as his vice presidential running mate. The St. Louis Cardinals won the baseball World Series. The Washington Homestead Grays defeated the Birmingham Black Barons 4-1 to win the Negro League World Series. The average cost of a loaf of bread was 10 cents. Average wages were $2400 per year. And the average cost of a new house was $3,450.
The motion picture, “Going My Way”, starring Bing Crosby received the Academy Award for best picture in 1944. Jazz great Louis Armstrong performed in the first jazz concert ever held at the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC. The most popular radio programs of the day included Abbott and Costello, Jack Benny, and Red Skelton. Swing music dominated the music scene. And Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole were at the top of the popular music charts.
However, Rosetta Smith’s high school years were not all a bed of roses. She, as most Americans, was very conscious of the ominous clouds of war that hovered overhead. The 1944 Summer Olympic Games, which were to be held in London, were cancelled due to the war. In 1944, the year Rosetta Smith graduated from high school, the number one concern on most American’s minds was World War II.
On June 6, 1944, Rosetta learned of “Operation Overlord” aka, the D-Day Invasion. On that day, the Allies launched the largest amphibious military operation in history, landing 155,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy in France. News of the historic invasion was broadcast via radio all across America. Far from the sandy beaches of Hampton Roads, this massive military operation would help liberate France from German occupation, and weaken Hitler’s Nazi hold on Europe.
World War II had begun on September 1, 1939 with the invasion of Poland by Germany. It would be the most widespread war in history, and last from 1939 to 1945. It would cost 50 million to 70 million lives. Over 100 million men and women served in military units around the globe. World War II would be marked by the Holocaust, and the use of the atomic bomb.
The United States entered World War II following the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii by the Imperial Japanese Navy on the morning of December 7, 1941. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed December 7th “a date which will live in infamy.” The following day, December 8, the United States declared war on Japan. Germany and Italy declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941. The United States reciprocated the same day.
World War II would become a “total war”, erasing many of the distinctions between military and civilian resources. The United States would place all of its economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of the war effort.
Just as with World War I, World War II would trigger a tremendous economic boom in the Hampton Roads, VA area, as the nation mobilized for total war. The availability of jobs soared in all war related industries, attracting people to the region from across the nation. Business enterprises throughout the Hampton Roads region were energized as workers and military personnel flooded the area.
The war mobilization was marked by a tremendous increase in military recruitment and enlistments. Over 16 million Americans would serve in the United States military during World War II. 3,546,179 persons entered the U. S. Navy during this period. Of course, many of these naval personnel would come through Hampton Roads, home of the largest naval base in the world. One of those personnel would be a U. S. Navy seaman from Beckley, West Virginia named Horace R. Lillard, Jr., the future husband of Rosetta Smith!
Little did Rosetta Catherine Smith imagine that the military mobilization of World War II would lead her path to cross that of Horace R. Lillard, Jr. But their paths did cross. And, as has been so famously said, “The rest is history!”
Until next time,
Champion, cham’pi-on, n. One who has the highest attributes of a winner; one who wins first place or first prize in a competition.
The Apostle Paul reminds us, “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So, run to win.” 1 Corinthians 9:24. The one who wins is the declared the winner, the champion. And to the champion goes the gold!
The race track of life stretches before you. Are you in it to win it? The champion mentality declares, “Yes, the gold medal is already mine!” Champions, like Michael Jordan and Michael Phelps, expect to win the gold! That’s the champion’s mentality. And, because you are reading this blog, I know there is a champion inside of you looking to get the gold, expecting to realize your full, God-given potential, anticipating living your best and highest life!
To unleash your inner champion, you, first of all, must realize one, fundamental truth: God loves you and wants to bless you! He wants to see you to win! Yes, it’s true!
Just let that sink in for a minute.
The God of the universe has plans to bless you, exceedingly and abundantly, far beyond anything you can ask or imagine!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Once you fully absorb this foundational truth you will have taken a major step toward releasing your true inner champion. Expect to prosper! Expect to have high hopes! Expect to have a future so bright you’ll have to wear sun shades!
Secondly, to unleash your inner winner, and begin to tap into your hidden, unlimited potential, you must set the correct priorities. As a champion, the following is your absolute, #1 priority: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33. Seek first the Gospel, and thereby God’s kingdom of glory. True champions are wise enough to ask for the giver, rather than the gift. After all, “Every good and perfect gift comes from above.” James 1:17. Ask for heavenly things and earthly things will be added unto you.
Thirdly, a true champion is a true servant. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Mathew 20:28. Even though true champions are leaders, they are servants first! Servant leaders are motivated by humility and love, not fortune and fame. Jesus humbled himself and became the servant of all. He said, “Whoever wants to become great among you must first be your servant.” Matthew 20:26. A true champion has the genuine heart of a servant. He or she realizes that it’s not about them, i.e, not about self-glory. It’s about glorifying God who blessed them with their extraordinary gifts and talents in the first place! It's about loving your neighbor, especially the less fortunate! How much can I serve others? How can I assist, motivate and elevate my team? How can I give back to the community in a way that will especially bless them? How can I use my platform to do the most good for the greatest number of people? What seeds am I sowing for a better tomorrow? Servanthood is one of the clearest and most fundamental attributes of a true champion.
Finally, a true champion must have faith, both in himself, and the God within him. He understands that he can’t do any truly extraordinary things on his own power alone. Rather, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13. A true champion has a higher power he can tap into to carry him beyond his own personal limitations and inadequacies! “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Christ, who loved us.” Romans 8:37
By applying these four, essential Biblical principles you will be on the road to becoming a true champion! God, indeed, has plans to bless you beyond even your wildest dreams!
Look for more on becoming a true champion in upcoming posts here!
Until next time,
"Don't you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So, run to win." 1 Corinthians 9:24
Today's blog post represents the launch of our new Championship Series! Get ready to discover what it takes to become a champion - in your business, on the athletic field, in your school, in your life!
In just a few short weeks, the 2012 Summer Olympics will kick-off in London, England! Outstanding athletes from around the world will compete for gold on the world's biggest stage.
Capturing world championship gold signifies that you are the best in the world at what you do. However, to gain the gold you have to dig very deep inside and become the very best you can be. Case in point, Usain Bolt, sprinter and three-time Olympic gold medalist!
Are you the very best you can be?
That is what this blog is all about - helping you to become your very best self! Are you aware there's a champion inside of you? You have hidden, unused potential lying dormant inside of you. And it's time to release it!
How many of your dreams and goals have you realized? Are you ready for the opportunities which surround you at this very moment? This blog is designed to help prepare you to seize the moment, to grow into your purpose, and live a more satisfying and fulfilled life.
There are principles for success, just as there are principles for failure. These success principles are based on universal, Biblical truths. Whether you are in business, sports, technology, academia, entertainment, or public service these principles can be applied to help you tap into and realize your unlimited hidden potential. And the Internet and social media provide exciting, new tools to help facilitate the beginnings of this process.
Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) By applying the principles of His teachings you can stretch to realize your full, God-given potential and become all that you were meant to be!
Follow future blog posts here as we get into the Biblical principles that can help release the champion in you!
For additional background on these great success principles I highly recommend the following books: Be All You Can Be, John C. Maxwell; Produced by Faith, Davon Franklin; Everday A Friday, Joel Osteen; Let It Go, T. D. Jakes; Unmerited Favor, Joseph Prince; and of course, the Bible.
Also check out these very helpful links:
John C. Maxwell on Leadership
T. D. Jakes, The Potter's House
Joel Osteen Ministries
Faith Based Media 2.0
Welcome to 2012! It's slated to be an exciting, eventful year - what with the Summer Olympics in London, and presidential elections in France and the United States,just to mention a few! And it's also expected to be an exciting year for social media and faith, as well!
As you begin the journey into the new year, its critically important to know where you're going, and have a good roadmap or GPS to help get you there. Advanced planning is vital for social media success in 2012!
Do you have your new Facebook Timeline profile ready or activated? What is your social media strategy for this year? How does it differ from last year's? Do you have LinkedIn or Google+ strategies for your ministry or church? Have you established daily, weekly, and monthly social media schedules? What are your S.M.A.R.T. social media goals for the year ahead?
Right out the gate, here are some of the major trends to look for in 2012: 1) An increased usage of mobile devices, especially smart phones and tablet computers (like the iPad 2) - Make sure your website is mobile friendly! ; 2) Social networking will remain huge- Can you believe Facebook will surpass one billion (with a "b") registered users this year?; 3) Expect to see increased usage of short videos; 4) Social media will continue to play a major role in social and political mobilizations and movements; 5) Trust, transparency, and respect will become even more important; and 6) Look for an increased adoption of social media by non-profits, churches and other faith based organizations.
As you engage your social networks in 2012 remember to listen and learn from them. They have a lot to teach you! Harvest insights and share them. Use smart metrics to measure your social media effectiveness (ROI). Always seek to be helpful and to add value to the individuals in your networks. Your vision is your compass. And remember, your focus should always be on Jesus! The challenge is adapting digital technology and social media to share the Gospel more creatively and effectively, both locally and globally! And finally, don't neglect in person fellowship!
The following are examples, suggestions, tips, and tools that, hopefully, you'll find helpful on the social media and faith journey ahead:
[Infographic] The SMB Social Media Cheat Sheet - ReadWriteWeb, David Strom
4 Community Management Predictions for 2012 - Mashable
10 Tips For Christians in Social Media - Faith, Media+Culture
50 Ways to Use Social Media - Jeremiah Owyang
60 Best Church Website Designs - Visual Swirl
2012 - Digital Opportunities In The Year Ahead - Digital Evangelism
Build Your Own Platform/ Start - Chris Brogan
Build Your Social Media Schedule for 2012 - Social Media Today
CES 2012 - CNET
The Church App - Subsplash
Facebook Timeline Customization: 5 Tools for Killer Cover Photos - Mashable
Facebook Timeline: The Complete Guide - Mashable
Going Beyond Ministries - Priscilla Shirer
Google+ The Complete Guide - Mashable
How to Upload a Video to YouTube - YouTube Video
Joel Osteen Ministries
John Maxwell On Leadership - John C. Maxwell
Mars Hill Church - Mark Driscoll, Founding Pastor
MobileAdvance - Mobileadvance.org
New Breed of Social Networking Sites w/ Mario Armstrong - YouTube Video
Non-Profits and Social Media: Planning for Success - Neal Schaffer
Productivity Tips for 2012 - Copyblogger
Social Media and Ministry - Rev. Dr. Kenneth Lillard
Social Media for Churches - UMCom.org
Social Media: What to Expect in 2012 - Social Media Today
Social Media Strategy Map - WeAreMedia
Ten Social Media Strategies to Define a Successful 2012 - Brian Solis
The Potter's House - Bishop T. D. Jakes
Top Five LinkedIn New Year's Resolutions for 2012 - Social Media Today
What are your social media goals for 2012? Wishing you success, prosperity, and all the best in the year ahead!
Until next time,
Today, I was excited to receive my first Christmas card of the 2011 season! As always, the arrival of that first card is a reminder that Christmas, indeed, is right around the corner! And for many, that means it's time to begin some serious Christmas shopping for family, loved ones, and friends.
Black Friday's super sales, the winding lines of bargain hunters camped out at Best Buy, and Cyber Monday's deep discounts have all come and gone. Celebrities on TV and the Internet compete to see who can get you to spend the most money on holiday gifts!
However, this time of year also marks the start of Advent (from the Latin term adventus, which means coming). Advent is truly a Season of Great Expectations! Traditionally, beginning the fourth Sunday before December 25th, it is the time when many Christians expectantly await and prepare for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas! It reminds us of the real reason for the season!
Advent serves as a reminder both of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of the Messiah, as well as the waiting of Christians for His Second Coming. Depending on one's faith tradition, Advent is observed with Advent calendars, decorations, and daily readings and teachings. In some Scandanavian countries there are even Advent television programs that count down each day until Christmas! The theme of the readings and teachings during Advent is to prepare for the Second Coming, while commemorating the First Coming of Christ.
In the digital age in which we live, we can observe Advent not only with in-person fellowship, but also by sharing online Advent calendars, devotionals, and links. In addition, we can fellowship online, e.g., via video chats on Google+ hangouts; by engaging in conversations with friends on Facebook; sharing with followers on Twitter the relevance and meaning of Advent today; and by organizing Advent meet-ups!
For more on Advent check out the following resources:
Online Resources For The Season Of Advent - The Text This Week
Advent 2011 Calendar - Beliefnet.com
How are you observing Advent this year?
Wishing You A Very Merry Christmas!!
I'm excited to announce, beginning November 18th, my recent book, "SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY Sharing The Gospel In The Digital Age" will be available on Barnes and Noble's new NOOK Tablet! BTW, You'll also be able to connect with me on Facebook on the new NOOK Tablet! I truly appreciate your encouragement and support!
Check out this NOOK demo!
So, what do you think of the new NOOK Tablet? I like it!
Until next time,
Vidding? What's that? I'm glad you asked!
Vidding is a shortened form of the term "video blogging", aka "vlogging". More specifically, it is blogging with video. You might call it a type of Internet television.
Robert Scoble, a popular video blogger, suggests the following as keys to producing a video blog that others would want to view:
~ Be interesting!
~ Focus on a niche - Own you space! Know as much as possible about your subject or field.
~ Be searchable - stick to one topic per video.
~ Use a tripod and editor when possible for more professional results.
~ Streaming video is good - Checkout USTREAM.
~ Get better audio - It really matters!
Here's Robert Scoble providing some great tips on how to improve your "vidding":
What are your thoughts on 'vidding" more effectively?
For more information on video blogging checkout the following:
Video Blogging - Wikipedia
Learn About Video Blogging - New Media Literacies Media
Yahoo Groups! Videoblogging
(Robert Scoble's video was uploaded to YouTube by Thomas Crampton.)
Until next time,
I was honored to attend the historic dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on October 16, 2011. It was truly a moving and remarkable event!
The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial is the nation's permanent tribute to one of America's greatest leaders, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The speakers at today's dedication included President Barack Obama, several of the late Dr. King's children, and a host of civil rights, labor, religious, business, and educational leaders! Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder were among the constellation of stellar musical talents who performed in honor of Dr. King!
If you haven't had the opportunity to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial yet, I invite you take this virtual tour:
Employing the force of his personality, the power of his words, and his relentless courage, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. helped to transform America into a nation which is today more just, more equal, and for free!
What an inspiration it was to attend the historic dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial! Dr.King's message of love, hope, and justice continues to inspire millions across the country, and around the world today! How fitting that his memorial should be situated on the National Mall reminding us that his Dream still lives, and that each of us has a vital role to play in bringing about its fulfillment!
For more information on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy see the following:
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Dedicated Today - C-Span.org
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Dedication - WP
What are your thoughts on the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial?
Until next time,
The "Art of Leadership" is one of the main themes of this blog. From time to time, I will be bringing you leading voices in the field of leadership to share their perspectives on leadership in today's rapidly changing world!
Linda A. Hill, a professor and leadership expert at Harvard University, pioneered the concept of "leading from behind". Here she discusses the critical subject, "Where Will We Find Tomorrow's Leaders?"
Hi! I'm Kenneth Lillard, author, ordained minister, and motivational speaker. This blog is an expression of some of my thoughts and opinions. I'm glad you stopped by. Hope you'll share some of your comments while you're here. Be Blessed!