Influence Starts with “I”—Who before What!

Influence Starts with “I”—Who before What!
What is Influence? Is it getting others to do what I want? Is it persuading another to follow my recommendations? Whatever it is, we know leaders do it. Leaders influence. So, recently in an executive education course of about fifty women, I asked these leaders to define influence. Their definitions fell into two groups. Some talked about a person with influence. They defined an influencer (the "who" of influence), while others defined&n...

Four Enduring Leadership Lessons from an Endearing Father

Four Enduring Leadership Lessons from an Endearing Father
With so many horrific heartbreaking stories in the news of late, I wanted to post something uplifting as Father’s Day approaches.  I want to share some leadership insights I received from my Father, Mr. Henry Joseph “Joe” Porter. First let me give some context. My Dad was a hard-working, gregarious man respected as a leader in our community in the Ohio Valley and in his workplace. He loved his family.  His work and leadership were about making a better ...

The Woman’s Power Trap: 3 Things You Can Do To Avoid It

The Woman’s Power Trap: 3 Things You Can Do To Avoid It
I spoke this past weekend at the Power of Women in Business Conference in Chicago. A young woman asked me "how do you change someone's perspective of you as a powerful woman when they tend to call it something else?" Well, we all know what that something else is, don't we?  Powerful women are called the "B" word (barracuda, of course).  Or is it bossy?   It's an age-old dilemma--the power trap for women. Powerful women are stereotyped as ove

Crucial Conversations on Race: A Platform for the Gospel of Transformation

Crucial Conversations on Race: A Platform for the Gospel of Transformation
Over the weekend I held two crucial conversations on race. One with a young adult relative who has been facing some pretty complex challenges that have resulted in him dealing with the issues and frustrations he is facing by acting out rather than talking it out. The other was in a sermon to the congregation where I serve addressing the pressing needs of our communities as exemplified in Ferguson, Missouri. Crucial Conversations Joseph Grenny, co-aut

The Upper Room Experience

It was our fifth day in Israel, the Lord’s Day, and we went to the site commemorating the Upper Room, in Jerusalem. We were elated to pray and worship in the place where the disciples were first filled with the Holy Spirit. When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeare

Remembering the Sabbath: A Reflection and a Challenge

We made it to Jerusalem in time for Shabbat and no one could have adequately prepared me for what I was about to experience. The sun had set and as the night descended, a spirit of anticipation rose within us, as hundreds, if not thousands of people streamed to the Western Wall to pray. Jews, from the visibly orthodox to the not so apparent. Christians visiting the Holy City. Young, old, women, men, and families from many different nations. Some gro...

A Reflection on the Beatitudes

A Reflection on the Beatitudes
I had the privilege of leading one of the devotions for our pastoral group today. I was a little nervous having to lead such an auspicious group. My assignment was to reflect on the beatitudes in Matthew 5. Oh, and did I mention we were on the mount where Jesus possibly delivered THE "Sermon"? What an honor I felt to be sharing the beatitudes where Jesus taught. How cool is that?! The Sermon on the Mount may be considered the hallmark of the ethical tea...

A New Year’s Revolution

Revolutions have changed the course of nations—overturned dictators and ushered in democracies. Through revolutions the everday lives of real people have changed. If social revolutions can garner such radical change, just imagine what a spiritual revolution could do. Consider what a revolution of the heart can bring about. Today, the first day of a New Year, millions of people will make New Year’s resolutions. We resolve to lose weight, stop smoking, st...

Keep the Goal In Mind

With this goal in mind…(Philippians 3:14a, NET) I was blessed a few weeks ago to participate on an Internet talk show panel in which one of the panelists reminded me of the importance of goal setting in my own life.  For the past few weeks I have been really thinking about this issue of goal setting. As I am in the midst of transition, this is a great time for me revisit and revise my goals.  Here are a few lessons I've learned about goal-setting down t