Great Leaders bestow Grace and Truth!

Recall the last time that you gave!

Well Nikki,

  • I gave the driver on the road a piece of my mind!
  • I gave a mean look to the lady with all of her kids going crazy at the grocery store and made sure she felt even more alone.
  • I gave my husband a guilt trip when he said he had to work late, even though I know he works so hard for the family.
  • I gave my employee a hard time about not meeting the deadline, even though they are swamped and made every other deadline.
  • I gave myself a big pat on the back for not being like everyone else and having my stuff together!

Every single day we are faced with opportunities to give, opportunities to be selfless, and opportunities to show others they care and matter. Our first knee-jerk reaction is to make sure that we are the first in line, that no one cuts me off, that people get the judgment they deserve, and that leading in fear and guilt is the way to improve our respect.

When people are given grace and truth they are happier and more productive. These two have to be paired with one another because if you have a leader that is all grace, then no one can do wrong and everyone deserves a second, third, forth, fifth chance. And a leader that is only truth can be taken as someone who gives harsh critique and gives their people anxiety every time they encounter that leader. So to be a dynamic and great leader you need to bestow grace and truth!

Grace: undeserved favor; an attractively polite manner of behaving; courteous goodwill.(Webster dictionary)

Truth: that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality; a fact. (Webster dictionary)

  • I recently heard a story about this young girl who had been in an accident and had major burns on her face. She was beginning to heal, but the burns were still noticeable and wouldn’t go away. This young girl and her mother decided to get out of the house and go to the mall. You can imagine that her mother was very protective of her daughter, but knew that this was their new reality so she had to face other people. They went from shop to shop and people would stop and stare but eventually move on. They found themselves at the food court and had some ice cream. While they were sitting there people would walk by, glance over and keep going. This one older man sat down, close to them, looked up and saw the young girl. He stared (like most people), but didn’t look away. He kept staring and staring to the point where it was making another bystander uncomfortable and almost told him to stop. The older man interrupted them and said to the young girl, “I am so sorry for staring, but you have the most beautiful eyes.” After that the three of them started talking and ended up laughing and having a great time. I believe that this man portrayed grace and truth!

We see peoples marks so much faster than we see their beauty. img_1393

My challenge for you, as a leader and as a person, is to live your life with grace and truth. I know that people who error on the side of grace might be thinking, “I rock at this,” when you may need to show more truth and honesty. And those who error on the side of truth may think, “I’m not harsh with my words, people are just too sensitive,” and that might be the case sometimes, but reflect on your tone and purpose when you become critical. “The way truth is said is just as important as truth itself!” -Al Lopus

Some people may need to hear that they mess up, and some may need to hear that they rock. Just remember that with both statements, come at it honestly and graciously!

When there is both grace and truth, then you have the recipe for a safe, inviting, efficient, and a caring workplace! Recognize those situations where you may be heavier on the grace or heavier on the truth, and shift your words and actions.

Christ is the ultimate example of a servant leader. Follow in His footsteps.

John 1:14″And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

What Motivates You?

  •  New Year
  • Getting in shape for your wedding
  • A New Job
  • Losing the baby weight
  • That promotion
  • Volunteering at a specific place because your “special someone” volunteers there too
  • Studying for a final
  • Getting projects done around the house before family comes into town (that’s a personal one of mine)

We are motivated by rewards and results.

So why do we procrastinate? Research has found that the act of procrastination happens because the feelings aren’t invested in the end goal. Once your feelings are aligned with the goal and purpose, then your motivation kicks in and procrastination goes out the window.

So how do we get our feelings aligned with the end goal and reward?

  1. Get Positive! (Post inspirational quotes, wake up and list what you are grateful for.)
    • We let the procrastination bug seep into our lives when our mood is low and when we’re “not feeling it.”
    • Research shows that happiness increases productivity and makes people more successful. “Smiling’s my favorite.” -Buddy the Elf        smilings-my-favorite
    • Optimistic salespeople outsell their pessimistic counterparts by 56%.
    • What this all means is that we need to think more about managing our moods which will help us manage our work, because you will actually want to do work!
  2. Get things done and Get rewarded!
    • Studies show that rewards are responsible for 3/4 of why we do things.
    • Treat yourself when you have completed something, or have penalties when you don’t.(When my husband and I finished a round of whole 30 we would go out to a nice dinner; that was only once a month, but it sure tasted good and was worth it)
  3. Get Accountability
    • Share your goals, don’t be silent about them. When you have accountability and pressure, you will be more inclined to follow through and get things done!  (Year after year I told my husband I would sign up for a half marathon, but didn’t. Then my sister in law asked me to do one with her, we signed up, had a schedule, kept each other accountable, and then kicked that half marathons booty!) img_9693
  4. Routines Rule!
    • Having a routine builds good habits, creates efficiency, and builds momentum (objects that are in motion stay in motion).
      • Good habits: Your routine might not be a healthy routine, so change it! (ex. I use to go and get a bagel every morning before work (bad habit). Now I go to the gym in the morning and have my coffee and eggs (good habit).
      • Creates efficiency: I make the same breakfast for my husband every day! When I first started I thought, man this is a process, now it is so automatic for me that I bust it out!
      • Builds momentum: Getting things done in the morning creates small wins and motivates us to keep the wins going. It also helps with tackling the problems when they arise.
      • Sidenote: Make sure you aren’t so stuck to your routine that anything new that enters in it will throw you way of kilter. There will be days where your routine will be upside down, handle it, know it’s only one day, and rock that day to the best of your ability.
  5. Make your To Do list the night before
    • Prep for meetings, make a list with your top priorities for the next day
    • It is inevitable that there will be something added to your day, so when you have a plan, you will know exactly how to respond to added “urgencies” screenshot-2017-01-25-11-57-09


This whole list can be summed up with one word (intentionality).

Live a life with intention!

Have a purpose behind what you do!

My friend once told me, make sure you know the reason behind why we do things, because you will be asked and instead of giving the answer “because that’s just what we do,” give answers that matter and will get people to see the end goal of the reason behind everything we do.

And if we don’t know the reason, then get rid of it!

Don’t be afraid of change. Changing bad habits into good ones should happen more often in this culture.

Questions for the leader in you:

  • How are you motivating your team?
  • How are you staying motivated with your own life?
  • Are you being an example to others?

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something you accept no excuses – only results.” -Ken Blanchard

My 30th Birthday

Romans 12:10-11 “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.”

I absolutely love celebrating people’s birthday. In High School I would have my dad take me to pick up donuts or bagels for my friends when it was their birthday and then show up at their house before school. When I was about to turn 25 I found a post on Pinterest about a woman who did 35 random acts of kindness on her 35th birthday and I thought that was pretty awesome, so I did that for my 25th. Now fast forward 5 years and decided to do it again for my 30th! This time was different because I had my friends and family all over the U.S. sign up to do an Act of Random Kindness. The beautiful thing about this was that it didn’t take long before every random act was assigned to someone. The stories that people had after doing their kind act was so sweet, and it made all of us want to do this on a more regular basis.

We have so much to be thankful for. Taking a few moments to see others, be selfless and give more, was pretty easy (you just have to be prepared and intentional). I want to share a few stories from that day…

-My Sister-in-law made cookies for the police department and her daughter made cookies for the neighbors. They packaged the cookies in such a pretty and professional way. When they got to the police department it looked like no one was there, but that didn’t stop them. They saw someone and said, “we have cookies for the Police Officers.” One of the officers came out and she told him about my 30 Acts of Random Kindness and gave him the cookies. His response was priceless, “you must have known a fat kid was on duty today!” It made them laugh and then my sister-in-law said, “thank you for all that you do in our community.” He was touched and looked very appreciative.


-My husband, sister and I were at Togo’s picking up sandwiches right after we had just done our 2 ARK’s (Acts of Random Kindness), when two young girls walk in ready to order their sandwiches. Our order was about to be done and my husband went to the sandwich specialist and asked to purchase a gift card. He got the gift card and before the two girls had paid for their meals he handed them the gift card and told them about my 30 Acts of Random Kindness plan. One of the girls gave him a skeptical look at first because she didn’t know if he was trying to sell them something, and once they found out he was giving them a gift card they couldn’t believe it. They loved the idea and the girl that accepted the gift card told us that her birthday was  tomorrow. I just love how God was orchestrating these different interactions throughout the whole day.

-Another ARK was to pass out goodies to your neighbors. My friend took that one and made healthy treats and passed them out. This led to meeting new neighbors, planning a dinner night with those neighbors, which happened to be the following night, and building better connections with their community.


-My sister and I passed out water bottles in front my 24 Hour gym and the response was so sweet. We had just passed out our last bottle and one of the girls inside came running out shouting, “thank you for being so kind, and happy birthday!” It truly warmed our hearts!

-My friend and her daughter went to drop off quarters at a local Laundromat. Once they got there they saw that it was packed, so she walked around passing out quarters, and her little girl stuck some in the dispenser for people to be surprised when they reach in and find quarters already there. The best part is that they are going to make this a monthly activity.

-I had a few people pick the ARK that gives pastors gift cards to coffee shops. The thought of so many pastors being blessed on that day was incredible. One pastor posted about his gift card and how he felt like it was his birthday!


-My sister and brother in law paid for the people behind them in a drive through coffee shop (Dutch Bros.) and the girls inside couldn’t believe the idea of 30 ARK’s for my 30th. I think that was another thing that shocked a lot of us was hearing that others want to do this idea! I hope that many more do!


-My last ARK was to my parents who raised me to love ands serve others. They show the love of Christ with how much they sacrifice to benefit the kingdom of God.

Thank you to everyone who participated! Thank you for reading this! And Thank you to those who will make this their own and do Acts of Random Kindness on their Birthday!

“I have been called not to success but to obedience as a witness to others and as an active agent of Gods plan for His kingdom.” -Lead Like Jesus

Here is a list of other Acts of Random Kindness that we did

-Quarters at air station

-Mani/Pedi Gift Card to a friend

-Basket of goodies to Firemen

-Gas Gift Card on a car

-Diapers to a pregnancy center

-Leave $5 in a redbox movie

-Pay for the person behind you at a coffee shop

-Leave your favorite book somewhere for someone to have

-Notes to Missionaries

-Toys to Children’s Hospital

-Cookies to the Police Dept.

-Beach Clean up

-Donuts and Flowers for a retirement community

-Basket of Goodies for your parents

How to be an AWESOME leader that people want to follow

  1. Lead by example
    • Actually do what you ask others to do.
    • “Leading is not the same as being the leader. Leading, however, means that others willingly follow you – not because they have to, not because they are paid to, but because they want to.” -Simon Sinek
  2. Be nice
    • We live in a very sarcastic world. Sarcasm (not always, but often), is used when someone doesn’t want to be vulnerable and show their kindness. But when you choose to be kind to someone instead of being sarcastic (even though you’re just kidding) it produces a safer environment.
    • Don’t be afraid of being nice, that doesn’t mean you’re weak.
  3. Be honest
    • I’m talking to those who have a hard time confronting. If my husband and I were afraid of hurting the other persons feelings, than it would amount to us being fake with one another.
    • You need to know how to call others out when they mess up, and when they are being awesome.
    • Make sure you have continual expectation alignment!
  4. Care
    • Know your people and give them your time.
    • When a leader shows that they care, they are communicating to their people that they matter and are important!
    • People need leaders who know them, care for them, and speak truth to them.
  5. Keep Learning
    • Podcasts rock (Dale Partridge StartupCamp, Seth Godin, Christy Wright, Dave Ramsey)
    • Read books and blogs (Jim Collins, Ken Blanchard, John Townsend, Dale Partridge, Seth Godin, Simon Sinek)
    • Ask others how they lead (Go to lunch and meet with others with the intention of asking them questions. Try not to be the one talking the whole time.)

Use these tools to improve your leadership skills and continue to rock at leading!

“The true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own. Great leaders truly care about those they are privileged to lead and understand that the true cost of the leadership privilege comes at the expense of self-interest.” -Simon Sinek

Boost Your Staff’s Morale TODAY!

How to boost your staff’s morale TODAY!

Sitting at a desk all day will physically slow down your endorphins, which will in turn slow down your productivity and motivation! The likelihood that the view from your workplace is of a beautiful mountain or ocean is pretty slim. So how do you boost your teams morale towards being motivated, productive and ready to serve your people with greatness? Well go no further because I am here to tell you!!

I love steps so here are 5 practical steps for you and your team.

1. Stand up and walk over to each persons desk and ask, “How’s your day going?”

Simple and effective. This may seem like it will take up a lot of your time but once it becomes apart of your routine you will see how effective it is. Having that interaction with your people will amount to knowing them, seeing their challenges, brainstorming with them, and a more productive team.

2.  Finish this phrase for each staff member and share it with them. “I noticed that…” 

My goal here is that you remember something that they may be stressed about, need help with, or simply to brainstorm with. This phrase can go far…”I noticed that you came in late because your son is sick, how is everything at home, do you need to leave early?” Wow, you listened, stopped whatever you were doing to talk with them, and then acted. “I noticed that you said you felt overwhelmed with that project, how can I help?” “I noticed that you had to come up with a solution for ___, do you need to brainstorm about it?” You don’t have to ask this to everyone everyday, but this should be often enough and then it will just become natural. Your staff will feel heard, cared for, and you will find that communication will go through the roof!

(1 & 2 can be done at the same time, if you didn’t catch that)

3. Know how to serve them. I am the type of person that loves little texts, notes or cards with words of affirmation or appreciation, my husband is the type of person who loves it when things get done without him asking. If he got a card he would appreciate it, but that didn’t necessarily serve him the way that he feels served. What you need to do is simply ask your people. How do you feel best appreciated?

Here are a few questions you can send out: (circle the ones you like)

A) I feel appreciated with a gift card

B) I feel appreciated with acknowledgment

C) I feel appreciated with acts of service

D) I feel appreciated with food! (Food one may surprise you)

4. One-on-one meetings are necessary. Every time I met with my boss or leader, it always was so helpful because it was a time to hear expectations again and I was able to voice my opinion just to them. Be aware of the time and make it short, but when people are actually kept accountable and cared for, they will keep coming back with great work.

5. Inspire them. Your team will notice how you treat others, how you work, and how you respond to stressful situations. Be great, remember to always keep learning, share your knowledge, and lift those up around you.

David Witt from The Ken Blanchard Companies said, “Look back at your own experience and you’ll probably discover that your best boss brought out the best in you because he or she expected a lot and also supported your growth and development. That’s the one-two punch that creates high levels of engagement and performance!”

People need leaders who know them, care for them, and speak truth to them!

GingerSnap Here!

7 Things You Should Know About GingerSnap

1. I am here to serve you! Now this is a bold statement because I don’t know everyone’s love language and how you specifically need to be served at this moment, but my goal is to share what I have learned about Servant Leadership and saturate your mind with amazing ideas on how to serve your co-workers, family, friends, and others daily!

2. Youth Ministry and Retirement Communities have a lot of similarities! I worked in Youth Ministry for about 9 years and then at a Retirement Community after that. You may hear some of my stories on this here blog.

3. Ireland has my heart! I am a red head, and as a red head I thought, what other country would I fit in really well? Ireland was that country! I served over there for two years and absolutely loved it, even though I had an appendicitis while I was there, I grew a lot, met the best people, and loved on our community of Westport (google it right now, it’s super cute).

4. I love coffee! Super cliche, but I really do, and I’ve started to really like bulletproof coffee!!

5. Quotes anyone? I have found that I really love filling my mind with things that are true, encouraging, and motivating. Expect a lot of quotes from whatever I am reading that week.

6. GingerSnap is here to ignite your staff to be AWESOME! When I see staff that are underappreciated, not feeling motivated, and not living up to their potential, I want to get in there and say, “HEY! You’re AWESOME, and I want to tell you why that’s true!”

7. Servant Leadership. This term, servant leadership, is what I promote, care about, and love to talk about. The act of being an excellent leader while serving others should be the way of all leaders. This does not mean that leaders should be push overs, or that they should lead by intimidation, but lead with integrity, strength, and servanthood!

My goal for this blog is to provide you with the right motivation, tools and skills to be excellent leaders!

“If serving is below you, leadership is beyond you.” -anonymous

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