4: Get a Life – The “Spread the Load” Principle of Leadership


Welcome to Episode #4:? The Spread the Load Principle of Leadership – Also known as “Getting a Life”

Are you carrying too much?? Do you feel overwhelmed in your leadership?

I hope you listen to the podcast show episode #4 about getting a life and spreading your leadership load.

What we will cover in this show:

1. My personal journey with Donna managing a big family, marriage and a demanding career.
2. The “Spread the Load” principle
3. Very specific applications you can use right away in your life
4. An exercise for learning how to manage your time

Donna and I have been married for 38 years.? We have four grown children who have turned out great.? Two great daughter in laws.? One new son in law about to be. Four and 1/2 grandchildren.? Life is full and life is good.?? We rejoice that we love each other and our kids love us.? We have applied an important principle that Moses had to learn from his father in law.

The Principle: Spread the Load: Get a life!? This story is found in Exodus 18 in the Bible.
What was NOT GOOD about what Moses was doing when his father in law corrected him?

  • Frustrating the people
  • Not doing a good job
  • Neglecting his wife
  • Neglecting his children

Why do we fall into this trap?

  • Pressure of the job
  • Pressure of our families
  • Expectations of our employers
  • Money – make a living
  • Pressure to conform to what others have and what others do
  • We think that we are indispensable!
  • We think that we are the only ones who can do the work correctly!?? That is known as a “control freak.”

We really need to get a life and a break from our always on social media:

“A capacity for solitude is what nurtures great relationships. But in today’s always-on social media world, our solitude has been replaced by incessant online updates, which both weaken our sense of self and our ability to create genuine friendships. ”
– Sherry Turkle, Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology MIT

The Specific Applications:

What do we do about it?? What was the message of Jethro?? What is God’s message to us?
How did Moses respond????? Exodus 18:24-27 – He did what his father in law suggested, and he got his family back and he was a better leader in the end.? He built a team, appointed other leaders to help him, and he got his family back!

From Page 143 of the Top Ten Leadership Commandments:

A huge application is to build a team to spread the load. Teamwork makes the dream work!

? 1. If You Work through a Team, You are more Likely to succeed

2. If You Work through a Team, You are Less Likely to Burn out

3. If You Work through a Team, You do Better Work

4. If You Work through a Team, You ensure Long-Term Continuity of Your Work


Several years ago I developed this slide that shows all the things that I love to do outside of WORK.? They all start withWhatHansLovestoDO the letter “C”.? Can you figure them out??? How about you, what are your interests outside of your work?

Some practical ways to get a life:

?? * Dump your worries on the side of the road when you go home at night
* Don’t be ashamed to have hobbies and outside interests – all work and no play make everyone a dull person
* Dont be a workaholic
* Admit that you are not indispensable – Take a lesson from Ronald Regan (Last podcast episode #3)
* Place your family high on your priority list
* Take vacations (The aquarium principle)? We American’s are the worst in the world!
* Lay aside your smart phone for a while
* There are times when your career and your job will need to be sacrificed for your family, marriage and/or children

Conclusion and applications

We should not spend our lives making a living and forget to take time to live.

Aquarium exercise:??? Do this with your spouse if you can
Pretend that your calendar is an aquarium

  • ?? Take a look at your calendar for the next six months
  • ?? If you don’t control your calendar – others will for you!
  • ?? Place in the big rocks first
  • ?? Then the little rocks
  • ?? Then the marbles
  • ?? Then the BB’s
  • ?? Then the water
  • ?? What are they?

????? Family? (Vacations are locked in first)
Marriage (Our date night)
Kids? (One by one is better!)
Grandkids? (Taking on retreat on by one)

The prayer of Moses in Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
or in the Message:
Psalms 90:1? “Oh! Teach us to live well! Teach us to live wisely and well!”

Book of the show to recommend: The Last Lecture! Randy Pausch

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