It’s Not About You


The following is an excerpt from my newest book length project.  The working title of this new book is “LeaderSheep; Leading from a posture of submission in Business, Ministry and the Kingdom of Heaven” and is tentatively scheduled for release in early 2018.

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. – 1 Corinthians 11:1

Few books of the last quarter century have been more influential in Christian circles than Pastor Rick Warren’s,  “The Purpose Driven Life”.  In 2007 Publisher’s Weekly declared Warren’s magnum opus of Christian living the “best selling non-fiction hardcover book of all time.”  In just 5 years it had sold over 30 million copies and become the second most translated book in history behind The Bible itself.  In recognition of the influence he had had on a generation of Christ-followers  Warren was asked to pray for the nation at the inauguration of President Barak Obama in 2008.

The Purpose Driven Life was originally published at a time when America, and indeed the entire world, was reeling from the first act of war committed on her soil since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.  The terrorist attacks on The World Trade Center and The Pentagon on September 11, 2001 shook America’s confidence to its core and sent people searching for answers to life’s biggest questions.  The sub-title of the book “What on Earth am I here for?” spoke to those people in a deeply profound way and helped to drive sales of The Purpose Driven Life to stratospheric heights.

But if anyone thought that The Purpose Driven Life was going to give them a feel good, step by step motivational message about how to get back on track through some inward journey of meditation and search for meaning they wouldn’t have gotten off the first page.  For those looking for that type of self-centered motivation the book opens with a punch to the gut that Warren delivers in a signature style reminiscent of an iron fist in a velvet glove.

The first four words of The Purpose Drive Life are “It’s not about you!”   

I can’t think of a better way to start talking about LeaderSheep than by setting the expectation, direction and tone of this work with a reminder that the purpose of leadership is not self-promotion.  It’s quite simply not about you!

In order to be LeaderSheep we must first recognize that we are not leading for personal gain or personal reasons.  Sheepish leaders have a clear sense of purpose, that much is true, but first and foremost they know that their purpose has actually nothing to do with them and everything to do with the flock.  If you are going to be a sheepish leader the first thing you need to do is find the purpose of the thing you are leading, be it an organization, a division or a product launch.

For more on finding purpose or to follow my progress I write this new book contact me at themeekonomicsproject@gmail.com or by calling 613-295-4141.  As always I crave your feedback, questions and comments are always welcome…

Lauren C. Sheil is a serial entrepreneur who has been in business for over 25 years. His latest book “Meekoethics: What Happens When Life Gets Messy and the Rules Aren’t Enough” is available on Amazon.com.

He can be reached at themeekonomicsproject@gmail.com or by calling 613-295-4141.

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On Faith…


“You’ve got to have faith to believe“.

That’s pretty profound and I’m sure somebody famous somewhere has been quoted as saying it.  A quick Google search revealed at least four songs that contain the phrase, everyone from George Michael to Bruce Springsteen has used it at one point.  It’s such a common phrase that to attribute it to anyone is pointless.

But what is “faith” and what’s it for?

Napoleon Hill gave a good working definition of faith way back in the 1930s in his book “Think and Grow Rich”.

Faith is the “eternal elixir” that gives life, power, and action to the impulse of thought.
Faith is the starting point of all accumulation of riches.
Faith is the basis of all “miracles” and of all mysteries that cannot be analyzed by the rules of science.
Faith is the only known antidote for failure.
Faith is the element that, when mixed with desire, gives you direct communication with infinite intelligence.
Faith is the element that transforms the ordinary vibrations of thought, created by the human mind, into their spiritual equivalent.
Faith is the only way the force of infinite intelligence can be harnessed and used.  [Napoleon Hill; Think and Grow Rich]

Napoleon Hill set out to write the first comprehensive philosophy of success and he hit on an essential element when he discovered the link between success and faith.   For Hill faith was not a religious word, as many of us associate it today, he was not writing about faith as something that is placed “out there” into the functioning of some external deity he was instead using the word faith in its correct grammatical form.

When I was in high-school my Christian friends and I had a saying:  “faith is a verb”.  Faith is something you do, not something you “have”.  The phrase; “have faith,” is misleading in that it makes it seem like a passive response when to have faith is really to make an active choice.

The other great definition of faith is found in the book of Hebrews.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. [Hebrews 11:1]

Hebrews 11 has been called the faith hall of fame as the author goes on to give a list of great men throughout history up to that point who acted purely out of faith.  By faith – Abel brought his offering, Enoch received eternal life, Noah built an ark, Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son, etc.

Faith gives us power and strength when we have no reason to believe in ourselves otherwise.  It is confidence and assurance as Hebrews puts it, it’s the elixir of life and the antidote for failure, to quote Hill.

But what happens when we lose faith, or just don’t have any to begin with?

Life without faith is a dark and desperate place.  In The Divine Comedy Dante describes the gates of hell with an inscription that reads in part “abandon all hope, those who enter here”.  Hell is a hopeless place devoid of faith.

I have only seen this level of despair once in my life when I went to visit a friend who had been contemplating suicide.  For years this person had lived with a vision of life that she could not make into reality, she had fought circumstances beyond her control to make a life for herself that lined up with the pictures in her head of what happiness was.   Her family never believed in her, they put her down and at times actively sought to sabotage her efforts until finally she started to believe the messages they were sending.  Confidence was lost and faith soon followed.  And if we read Hebrews backwards we can easily see that without faith, there is no hope.  Life for this friend became a living hell.

So where do you turn when hope and faith are lost?

Sadly the Bible doesn’t really give us the answers.  What it says very clearly is “don’t”.  Don’t lose hope, don’t lose faith, fear not, and rest in the knowledge that you are an infinitely valuable image bearer of the divine.  Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest California and author of the best seller, The Purpose Driven Life recently said that you can tell the worth of something by measuring what someone is willing to pay for it. We know from scripture that God was willing to pay a huge price for us.  We are valuable enough to die for!  Therefore; we can’t lose hope that our lives are worth living.  That’s what love is and it’s the basis for holding on to faith in the midst of despair.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners (without hope and without faith), Christ died for us. [Romans 5:8]