LYH25: Why Everyone Needs a Role Model [PODCAST]

Inspire word cloud

Featured Presentation: Why Everyone Needs a Role Model

Click HERE to find the full blog post on this topic.

Ministry-development rubric: “Be a Barnabas. Train a Timothy. Pursue a Paul.”

Here are five fail-proof tips when choosing who your Paul (role model) will be.

Choose someone who:

  1. Makes you feel comfortable (you would enjoy sitting with them and chatting in a coffee shop)
  2. Is transparent and authentic (shares his/her successes and failures as a learning experience)
  3. Has measurable success in your area of interest
  4. Is consistently generous in offering valuable content
  5. Prioritizes your needs and success over his/her income generation

Please leave a rating and/or review on iTunes will tremendously help me.  Click HERE to subscribe to this Podcast in iTunes. Also, I’d really appreciate if you would leave a rating and/or review on iTunes. That will help me tremendously.


Why Does Everyone Need a Paul (Role Model)?

If you are like me and ready to elevate your life to a higher level then there is one move you absolutely must make.  Follow people who are at a higher level.  It seems pretty obvious. But, the reality is that most people who desire to be an elite spouse, parent, minister, athlete, or businessperson don’t achieve it because they don’t follow the right people. They don’t have mentors. Yet, mentors are so hard to find. The answer may be in finding your model rather than your mentor. Yet, too often, we fail to identify either.


The problem is understandable.

We associate with our peers because they are likeminded. We can relate to them on many levels. We have many ideologies and behaviors in common. It is important to have a strong peer network for accountability and encouragement.

We reach out to those in need because we have experience and ideas that we believe can help them. Our compassion to make a difference compels us to reach out to those who can benefit from our gifts. It is imperative to reach those in need for perspective and humility.

I really like the oft-used ministry-development rubric that we all should “Be a Barnabas. Train a Timothy. Pursue a Paul.”

Barnabas was an encourager. He worked alongside others including Paul and Timothy encouraging their success. He was a staunch advocate. When others doubt Paul and Timothy’s veracity, Barnabas believed in them. In addition to his physical presence, scripture (Acts 4:36) shows that he also put his money where his mouth is in selling his own possessions to support the work of the Early church.

Many of us understand and walk in a Barnabas anointing. Others achieve success because we advocate for them.

In my own life, I have many Barnabas relationships—other marriage and family educators, coaches, ministers, business leaders with whom I share ideas and dreams. I value these relationships.

Timothy represents another key type of relationship—traininee or mentee. Timothy, a younger and less experienced believer, was mentored by Paul (despite Paul’s initial reluctance). Paul’s extensive missiological experience served as a deep reservoir from which Timothy drew. Paul ultimately referred to Timothy as “a son in the faith”, connoting the deep bond that he felt as his mentor.

Again, many of us educate and mentor others—empowering them to be all that God has for them to be. I have many Timothy relationships in my life as well as I proactively reach out to train others on leadership and relationship well-being.

I believe that many of us effectively emulate Barnabas’ encouragement. Many of us train and assist the Timothy figures that God places in our path. While these relationships are vital, they can also be draining—pulling energy from us.

But, there is one type of relationship that seems too often missing—Paul relationships.

LYH24: [Podcast] 10 Habits for Raising Academically Successful Kids


Featured Presentation: 10 Habits for Raising Academically Successful Kids

Click HERE to find the full blog post on this topic.

The 10 Habits

  • #1: Set academic expectations 
  • #2: Communicate directly with the teachers 
  • #3: Escalate issues above the teacher, when necessary
  • #4: Regularly monitor academic performance 
  • #5: Scrutinize core subjects 
  • #6: Understand it’s a Competition
  • #7: Create a positive, stable atmosphere
  • #8: Monitor with whom they spend their time
  • #9: Reward performance
  • #10: Be Consistent and Prayerful

I hope that these 10 habits are helpful to you as we embark on yet another school year. Please let me know what other habits you’ve found successful or if any of these don’t make sense for you. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

Please leave a rating and/or review on iTunes will tremendously help me.  Click HERE to subscribe to this Podcast in iTunes. Also, I’d really appreciate if you would leave a rating and/or review on iTunes. That will help me tremendously.


10 Habits for Raising Academically Successful Kids

I enjoy the summer. It is a good time for family outings, more relaxed schedules (relatively speaking), and no homework. As summer winds down and Fall approaches, it’s time to turn our attention to school matters again. It’s fun—full of hustle and bustle. There is the excitement of new school clothes, getting those school supplies, and making sure all the school-assigned summer reading has been completed. And, then its finally here, the first day of school.

KJ 11th grade

I have a routine with my daughter, Kyrsten, now a high school junior. The first day of school is always a picture in front of the house. Yes, that’s her in the picture above. So, yes, it is a fun few days with the feeling of another “new beginning”. But, preparing your children to return to school is more than a new hairstyle, shiny new boots, and a backpack. Too often in our zest to check items off the “Back to school” list we miss the one most important element—attitude. We need our children to return to school with a success mindset. The mindset is the difference between excellence and average. Though it can be difficult with our harried lifestyles and often disinterested kids, every parent has the responsibility to fully invest in the child’s success mindset for school. What grade would you give yourself?

I have two children. I’m proud of them. My kids are very different in personality, extracurricular interests, academic strengths, and study habits. I play around with them a lot—acting silly. But, they both know when it comes to education I’m a dictator. They think I’m crazy. They’re right. But, the right kind of craziness pays dividends. 

My son, Quilan, is now a 2nd year graduate student at Ohio State University. During secondary school years, my son was the athlete with a penchant for science and math. He was selected by Concerned Black Men as their Student of the Year during his senior year. He graduated high school with a 3.8 GPA and a full merit-based scholarship to Penn State University. Now he is on a graduate assistantship at Ohio State University that pays his tuition and gives him a monthly stipend.

My daughter, Kyrsten, is artistic (writing, photography) with a more liberal arts bent. She has a 4.1 GPA. She’s ranked in the top 11% of her class in a highly competitive class in a Philadelphia suburban high school. With two years of high school left, she has already been captain of the dance team and active in several other extracurricular clubs. She’s been selected twice to represent the Philadelphia chapter for National Black MBA Leader’s of Tomorrow business case competitions held in Boston and Houston. She has already identified her preferred college (Bentley University) and has been cultivating a relationship with the admissions representative. She will get a full academic scholarship somewhere (hopefully Bentley).

I give you this background on my kids to make a single point—academic excellence is a priority in our home. My wife and I have worked since they started elementary school to instill a success mindset in our children—particularly as it applies to school performance.

So, as we start another school year, I encourage all parents to reinforce these 10 habits into your own home. I believe that most of these habits are important for all homes. But, they are particularly important for those parents who have college aspirations for their children.

LYH23: Elevate Your Life with a Smarter Yes [Podcast]

how to say yes

Resources Mentioned In this Episode:

Featured Presentation: Elevating Your Life With a Smarter Yes

Click HERE to find the full blog post on this topic.

When presented with a decision, we often fall into the trap of thinking that our only option is to say “Yes” or “No”.

Saying “no” often feels like we are closing a door of opportunity or making us feel like we aren’t a team player.

Saying “yes” often burdens us with additional responsibilities for which we don’t have an answer.

For many situations, the better choice is to give a “smarter yes”.

What is a “smarter yes”?

A “smart yes” is an engaging and helpful response to one’s core problem or question.  Rather than the dismissiveness often implied with a “No” or the obligation connoted by a “Yes” response, a “smart yes” does four things:

  • Prioritizes engagement (says that this relationship matters to me)
  • Seeks understanding (listens for the core problem or need)
  • Takes ownership (seeks to be solution-oriented)
  • Offers options (leverages resources to give viable direction)

Click HERE to see some practical examples of using a “smarter yes” at work and at home.

When presented with a question or concern, (rather than simply saying “yes” or “no”) here are three tips on how to take your life to the next level with a “smarter yes”

  • Listen carefully to discern the fundamental problem that is behind the question (what does this person need?) – remember that the need may be psychological and/or physical
  • Look for effective solutions that empower the person
  • List 2-3 options, if at all possible (while identifying which one you recommend and why)

Leave a comment and give me some examples of how you have successfully used the “smarter yes” in your own journey. What makes it difficult?

Click HERE to subscribe to this Podcast in iTunes. Also, I’d really appreciate if you would leave a rating and/or review on iTunes. That will help me tremendously.