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29.4.13

Emotional Gravity - Introduction

Do you feel a constant pull in your life but cannot explain what it is?  It is gravity on your physical body but there is also emotional gravity pulling on your soul! 
   
Gravity is what keeps your feet on the ground.  It is a natural phenomenon and is essential to life here on planet earth.  Without gravity, chaos would result.  Every time you jump up, you experience gravity when it pulls you back down to the ground.  Imagine jumping up and then floating off uncontrollably!  We do need gravity. 
Legend tells us that in the 1600s, an English physicist and mathematician was sitting under an apple tree when an apple fell upon his head.  As he sat rubbing his head, he started to wonder why the apple fell to the ground in the first place.  The man was Isaac Newton and this apple story led to his Theory of Universal Gravitation.
    I was sitting in the bathtub, crying my eyes out one dreary afternoon, watching my tears drop into the water.  As I pondered upon my melancholy I began to wonder why I was so sad so often.  This led me to my Theory of Emotional Gravity. This theory has not been recorded in any scientific journals and up to this point of writing has not yet changed any lives.  However, today might be the day that it does.  I hope that my journey in exploring the effects of my emotions and learning to control them will help change your life too.      What goes up must come down.  This basic theory of gravity helped me understand and control the emotions that had once ruled my life so dramatically.
    Life is in constant motion.  Life never stands still and will always involve change.  The sooner you accept this reality, the sooner you will be able to lead a life without too many disappointments.  There will always be seasons, and the tide will always come in and go out again.  The sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, people are born and people die each and every day.  Life never stops.  Earth will never stand still.    
     The day life stops, or earth stands still, you will die. 
     So, with this in mind, why not try to find your rhythm in life?  Find your flow, figure out your pattern and then work with it rather than exhaust yourself trying to control it or stop it.  Life is meant to be emotional.  Life is by nature constantly moving. 

This is the introduction to Emotional Gravity which will be coming out in June 2013.  More about Emotional Gravity here or pre-order from Amazon.
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23.4.13

Being a Friend - Who Covers Transgressions

He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends.   - Proverbs 17:9

In this day and age it seems almost impossible to find a friend who has a deep conviction about being a friend.  We live in a time when everything is disposable and this even applies to our friendships.  Too many women are only interested in being a friend if it benefits them but when their friend becomes too needy or simply doesn’t add value to their life, they move on.  As Christian women we need to be different.  Not only do we need to stick around and offer friendship in difficult times but we also need to go as far as to cover our friends’ transgressions.   This means that when they mess up you draw even closer to them and do whatever you can to cover their transgression.  Yes, you read it correctly, the Bible actually tells us to cover our friends’ transgressions.  If we take a look at the Hebrew text we will see that cover from this verse means to plump, that is, to fill up the  hollows; by implication to cover (for clothing or secrecy) and conceal.  So it is blatantly saying that we should cover up rather than expose.   The word transgression in the Hebrew text means rebellion, sin or transgression.  So once again we cannot find any hidden meaning or other explanation, it means exactly what it says in English. It says that covering a person’s sin is the loving thing to do but to tell others about it separates friends.
    Consider your friendships.  Are you the calibre friend that can keep things to herself or do you need to spread the word and expose your friends sinfulness?  Sadly Christian women are the worse in some ways because they can disguise repeating a matter in prayer making it look noble but actually it’s just another form of gossip.  Be careful that when you share personal information about a friend for prayer purposes that you are not merely repeating the matter thereby separating you and your friend.  We don’t all need to know all the details all of the time in order to pray effectively.  Simply to say that someone is struggling is sufficient on most occasions.    If in doubt rather cover the transgression and only confide in your leader, husband or someone you can trust if you are genuinely concerned.
    Jesus is our ultimate example of covering our transgression because it is in Him, when we are covered by Him, that we are free.  It is as if He wraps His arms around us to form a cocoon and in this cocoon of His love, we are transformed and become a new creation.  We are embraced as a worm and release as a butterfly.  If Jesus does this for us shouldn’t we do the same for our friends?  Shouldn’t we cover them and love them until they are transformed?
    King’s David in the Psalms calls it the joy of forgives.  Psalm 32:1 says, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”  Blessed in this verse is translated ‘how happy’.  How happy is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  Put yourself in your friends’ shoes, or perhaps you have already been there or are there right now.  How happy would you feel if you had another chance?  If you sin didn’t define you but was covered until you found freedom.  Its God’s place to judge but it’s our place to love sinners as Jesus did.  Let me finish off with the beautiful words from a man who called himself a great sinner, John Newton.  
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.”
    We were all once lost and blind and when we begin to see we will realise the value of covering other’s transgressions just as someone covered ours in the times when we were lost and blind.  Peter put it like this in 1 Peter 4:8, “Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

Find out more about Being a Friend here or about using our material to host your own Girl's Night here.
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Being a Friend - Who Judges Herself

Did you know that if you judge someone else you are bringing judgement upon yourself? Yes it’s true and it’s a scary thought.  Also, the measure that you use to judge will be used back on you.  Not only that, but if we compare ourselves to other people we are told by God that we are not wise.
    I don’t know about you, but judging and comparing ourselves is just what we naturally do as girls! We are born that way.  From the earliest age I can remember judging others and comparing myself to other people.  We are taught to compare and compete at school, we are taught to judge.  It seems to be the ‘acceptable’ thing!  But not according to God’s standard.  His ways are higher than ours and if we are parents we should not conform to the world’s ways, we should save our children from the judgement of God by teaching them to show mercy to others from a young age.  So let’s take a look at God’s ways.

Matthew 7:1-2
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

Ouch!  That says it just as it is, no need to try and find the hidden meaning in that, it’s very plain to see.

James 2:13
For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

This one is plain to understand too!  We need to show mercy to people and not judge them.  Mercy wins, judgement loses.  If we don’t show mercy to others we will not receive mercy from others and from God!  This is a very serious matter.  I don’t know about you but I need mercy both from other people and from God.  I need mercy all the time.
    I have found the best way to keep things in perspective is to NEVER think of myself more highly than I ought to.  Keeping things in perspective is essential and if I even begin to feel pride creep into my heart I know that I am thinking too highly of myself.  If you are aware of pride it is easy to spot in your own life, so cultivate awareness and choose to keep yourself humble for God and before others.

Romans 12:3
For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

So how do we view others then?  It’s easy, yet again plain put in the Bible.  We view others better than ourselves.

Philippians 2:3
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

Esteem means regard, respect, appreciate or value.  We need to regard people better than us, respect them as better than us, appreciate them as better than us and value them as better than us.
    Also, it doesn’t say to esteem only good people or worthy people, it just says people.  So next time you walk past a drunk person don’t look down at him and think yourself better than him because you are not drunk – you are not better than him.  Or if you walk past a mum shouting at her child in the street, don’t look down at her thinking that you are better than her because your child is behaving and you aren’t shouting – you are not better than her.
    We are in no position to judge, we have no idea why people are the way they are, we can’t begin to understand their heart and we most certainly don’t have it all figured out ourselves.  If we truly want to live in God’s grace we need to judge ourselves only.

1 Corinthians 11:28
But let a man examine himself...

1 Corinthians 11:31
For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.

It’s essential that we judge ourselves if we want to become the women that God wants us to be and the friends that our friends need us to be.  Judging ourselves does not mean comparing ourselves to each other.  We judge ourselves according to the Bible, God’s handbook for life!  God has set the standard for living and we need to do our best to measure up.  We shouldn’t feel condemned  when we realise we don’t measure up, we simply need to know what to aim for.
    When it comes to being a friend we need to make sure we intentional stop judging our friends and start to judge ourselves.  Not only will be become a much better friend but our friends will also feel safe with us.  There is nothing more hurtful and soul destroying that knowing that your friends judge you and talk behind your back about it.  Decide today to become a friend who will only judge herself.  

Find out more about Being a Friend here or about using our material to host your own Girl's Night here.
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16.4.13

Being a Lover - With a Past

Before we can get into the fun side of being a lover we should take a look at the things that can prevent us from enjoying intimacy in marriage.  Sadly few people wait until their wedding night these days leaving loads of marriages scarred by unnecessary baggage.  It wasn’t meant to be this way.  We, like swans, were designed to love once and to make that love last a lifetime.  In Song of Solomon it says three times, “Do not stir up nor awaken my love until it pleases.”  Usually when something is repeated in the Bible it means that we really need to get it!  Many versions omit the ‘my’ from that verse but when you realise that the original text says ‘my’ you realise that what is being requested is a man asking the woman not to arouse him before it is the right time to be aroused.  There is a right time and a wrong time to be aroused.  Why?  Because once you are aroused it is very difficult not to want to go all the way and this is why the verse in 1 Corinthians 7:9 had to be added to the Bible.  It says, “...but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
    Awakening love before it is ready will either lead to a quick marriage or sin.  It is always best to take time to befriend someone before allowing love to be awakened.  Get to know them.  Pray about whether or not they are the once you want to spend your life with.  Remain objective before love hormones kick in and make you blind to the things you should see.  Sex before marriage diminishes sexual fulfilment within marriage.  You can find more about remaining pure in Being a Single Woman but now let’s focus on what to do if you have already awaked love before it is ready.

Sex Outside of Marriage
If you are in a sexual relationship outside of a monogamous, heterosexual marriage then end it immediately and stop hurting yourself.  The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:18 to “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.”  Even though you may not realise it at the time, sex outside of marriage is harmful to you which is why the Bible says to flee it.  Don’t try to ease out of a sexual relationship – you cannot as you are united with the person. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can continue seeing each other but stop having sex – it seldom works and you will always end up in bed together.  Don’t justify your relationship by saying that you intend to get married and have asked God to bless your relationship.  Until the day that you marry you are unmarried.  There is no grey area – you are either married or unmarried whatever you say to justify your sin doesn’t make it any less sinful.
    These hard words are not written in judgement or to condemn, they are written by a woman who has been ensnared by sin herself and can vouch for the pain that results from sexual sin.  My plea to you to get out of the sinful relationship that you are in is for your own good.  Sex outside of marriage always leads to pain and consequences that are unbearable at some point in your life.  Perhaps they don’t rear their ugly head right away but they always come back to bite you.  I can only imagine how precious and beautiful loving only once must be - a treasure that I do not posses and will never know the beauty of.   

Sex with a Past  
Thankfully, God redeems and restores.  I will never know the beauty of loving once, even God cannot give that back to me, but He does other wonderful things if we remain true to Him and commit to sexual purity.  Here are a few things that can crop up if you have sex with a past:

Memories
God does not erase your memory when you repent of your sin.  Once you have made a memory it stays with you forever so be careful what memories you make.  Take responsibility for the ones you can control and for those that you have no power over, deal with them quickly so they don’t rob you of your joy and peace.  

Dealing with Memories
You might remember something but it is your choice as to whether or not you continue to think about the memory and allow it to affect you.  You can’t stop the memories from coming but you can choose what you do with them when they come.  Most importantly, you can change how you feel about the memories.  

1.    Submit Your Memories
When a memory comes to mind submit it to Jesus right .  Don’t linger in the memory or take a trip down memory lane with a past lover. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “...bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”.  Catch the thought and give it to Jesus.  You can do this by simply saying so either out loud or in your mind.  It’s a decision you make and once you have given to Jesus leave for Him to deal with.

2.    Replace Your Memories
The next step is to fill the void from the past memory with something else, something positive.  Build your marriage by thinking about the right things and don’t entertain wrongs thoughts.  You always have the power over your own mind.  No one has brain washed you and God certainly will not even if you ask Him to.  He gave us free will so it’s up to us what we use it for.  Memories do come but you can choose whether or not you linger in them.  Replace bad memories with good ones, you have the power to do so.

3.    Transform Your Memories
God, in His mercy, can heal us from our memories so that we no longer have negative or upsetting feelings from them.  In my experience, He doesn’t remove the memories but He does remove the effect that they have on you.  This comes through healing.
   There is little you can do if you have a memory at an awkward time like during love making or on a date night so it’s best just to mentally submit the memory to Jesus and to replace it with something else.  However, you can create a private time with just you and Jesus where you can proactively deal with your memories.  In a quiet and private environment, allow yourself to go back to some of the memories that are bothering you and ask Jesus to go back with you.  As you relive the memory, ask Him what He has to say about it and ask him to heal you.  You will find this time with Jesus incredible and result will be transformed memories.  A healed and transformed memory means that when it comes to mind it has no effect on you.  Healed memories can be quickly dismissed and forgotten about.  Healed memories have no effect on your present.  They are merely stored data in your brain but have no real effect on your body or emotions.  

Behaviours
Many times our past dictates our responses and behaviours.  If you have been in a serious relationship you may find that you transfer some of that relationship into your marriage.  You  might find that you mistrust your husband for things that your past man did or you may treat him based on your past.  It is essential to separate your marriage from your past relationships and there are several ways you can tackle this:

1.    Seek Truth
It is easy to be blinded by strong feelings and in these times you must commit to moving beyond these feelings to find the truth.  Your marriage will be significantly robbed if you allow your past relationship to determine your behaviour in your marriage.  First you need to seek the truth about who your husband is and secondly about what he likes.
    Sex is very specific to the person so you will need to take time to learn about what turns your husband on, what pleases him and what he dislikes.  Don’t treat him as you have treated past loves.  He needs to be explored and discovered.  Seek the truth about him.                               

2.    Meditate on Truth
The best way to forget the things that you need to put behind you is the force your mind to think about the things that you want to become a reality in your life.  For example a past thought based on a bad experience could be, “All men are the same, all they want is sex.”  This past thought could be based on a lie that you have believed due to hurt.  The problem is that whenever your husband hurts you this lie will immediately rear its ugly head.  He will hurt you from time to time because he is only human, misunderstanding and misinterpretation happens and you are probably sensitive in some areas.  To get rid of this bad pattern you need to meditate on what you know to be true.  When you feel hurt change your thoughts to what is true, for example. “My husband loves me and when he desires to have sex with me it is because of his love for me.”
     The truth is that all men are the same in many ways and their need for sex is one of those areas.  All men need sex just like all women need to be loved.  Sex = love for a man.  This in itself is not a bad thing but the emotions that you attach to his need could be received as either a good or a bad thing.  Meditate on the truth so that your husband can be free to express his sexual needs without you chastising him for being a bad man.  This is just one example but a very common one, find what you struggle with and replace it with a truth phrase that you can meditate on.

3.    Act on Truth
Once you have begun meditating on truth you need to find ways to act on it.  Acting on the truth will seal the truth into your heart and before you know it the problem area is no longer a problem.  Treat your marriage as your first and only love.  Find out who he really is and what he really likes, making no assumptions based on past relationships.  Your behaviour towards him should be determined by him and by what you know to be true and right. No past should influence any part of your marriage.  Keep your mind focused on the truth that you have found so that the way you treat your husband is specific to him.  What turns one man on may offend another.  Not all men are the same.  Don’t treat your husband like your perception of ‘all men’.

There is much more that can be said but I will leave it with you to figure out.  If you are a lover with a past, deal with the past so that you can enjoy your present and have hope for your future.  Let me leave you with one little gem of truth.  Your sex life is the most important part of your marriage.  Don’t leave it to chance, be intentional, work on it and enjoy making love to your man!

Find out more about Being a Lover here or get in touch to host your own Girl's Night.
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11.4.13

Suicide of Rick Warren's Son

I was shocked when I heard the tragic news about Rick Warren's son.  If you don't know who Rick Warren is, he is the founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church, a very influential and well respected Christian leader.  If you’re unaware of what happened, here’s Pastor Rick’s letterWe would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to Pastor Rick, his family and his church.  There are no words to express just how sad we are with and for you.

I have decided to take this opportunity to share my story, which I have recorded in detail in my book, Hope's Journey, with you at a very special Girl's Night which will be hosted here in Cheltenham, UK and once recorded will be available on our YouTube channel.  If you can't make the Girl's Night and need support please feel free to contact me or get in touch with your local church or with the Samaritans

Facts about suicide around the world:
  • 1 million people across the globe die by suicide each year. That’s one suicide every 40 seconds.
  • More people die by suicide each year than by murder and war combined.
  • It’s estimated that approximately 5% of people attempt suicide at least once in their life.
  • Between 10% and 14% of the general population have suicidal thinking throughout their lifetime.
  • Suicide is the second biggest cause of death worldwide among 15-19 year olds.
  • 100,000 adolescents die by suicide every year.
  • Suicide is estimated to be under-reported for reasons of stigma, religion and social attitudes. Many suicides are hidden among other causes of death, such as road traffic accidents and drowning.
(Source: International Association for Suicide Prevention)

Don't wait for disaster to strike before you realise how real this problem is. 


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9.4.13

Life Workshop



Join us for one day where we will workshop your life so that you will have a road map to become who you have always wanted to be and will do the things that you have always wanted to do! Life is short and you have wasted too much time already, don't put a price tag on the rest of your life.

Stop waiting and change your life today.

Areas Covered:
Money - Take Control
Relationships - Find Satisfaction
Work - Find Purpose
Spiritual - Be Complete (optional extra)

Ticket:
You ticket will entitle you to a full day Life Workshop, tea, coffee, lunch as well as one private follow up mentoring session after the event. £600  Book here

You know all those things you've always wanted to do?  
You should go DO THEM. 

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8.4.13

Being a Woman in Business - Who Leads by Example

Someone is always watching you. Whether you like it or not you are leading. The question though is whether or not you are leading people in a good way or in a bad way. It’s not what you say that counts as much as what you do and it’s not what you do in public that counts as much as what you do when you think no one is looking! Often it is the small things that we think are insignificant that are actually the things which have the most impact on people’s lives. The "Do as I say, not as I do" philosophy is nonsense. Even if you expect them to do as you say, they will find it very difficult not to do as you do. It is a double standard which will only cause people to be discouraged and feel insecure or betrayed.

You are a leader. Full stop. If you are alive and breathing you are leading someone unless of course you are the Unabomber who lived alone in a remote cabin. I wonder who his leader was? Parenting is leadership, have a job is leadership and going to church is leadership. You can lead whilst doing the grocery shopping or eating with your family at McDonalds.

If you are a parent take time to observe your children. They act as little mirrors that will show you exactly who you really are. Unfortunately they didn’t come up with their bad points all by themselves, they learned them from you. Equally, if you notice something good about them then you can also assume that they got it from you. I have learned so much about myself by observing my children and having the courage to face the things in me that I noticed in them. 

You can do the same exercise if you lead a team. No one in your team can rise above your personal constraints and the best way to find out what these constraints are is by asking your team to tell you. Watch your team, take time to observer them, see their weaknesses and strengths and then see if there is anything you can learn from them so that you can improve and take them forward with you.

Natural Leaders Do the Right Things
"Managers Do Things Right. Leaders Do the Right Things
- Peter F. Drucker, Management Consultant

Talk is cheap. Let’s just put that out there right from the start. Everyone can talk but few people do what they talk about. It takes courage to step out and do great things, to risk failure and embarrassment. How many people do you know that have big dreams? How many people do you know that are living a big life? There is a vast difference between the two I am sure because it’s easy to talk about big things but much more difficult to step out and do the things that you talk about. People watch you and will quickly see whether you are a talker or a doer. After a talker has exhausted his audience they will begin to switch off and stop believing in anything he has to say. Decide to keep your mouth shut until you are sure that you are ready to take the plunge or else those that you want to follow you and support you will not take your seriously. 

Managers are the next level of leadership. These are leaders that are under authority and follow the instruction of the leaders. A good manager will do what the leader says with excellence, they will do it right. If you manage people you will lead well by demonstrating submission to your leader. Monkey see, monkey do! Leading in this way will mean that you won’t necessarily have to tell your team to do certain things or act in a certain way. They will do as you do. Whatever you want them to do, make sure that you are doing it first. If you want them to behave a certain way, make sure that you are behaving that way too. 

An excellent leader can be in any position within an organisation and whatever their position they will always rise to the top. Leaders lead without having a title or being told to do so. Just because someone has a title doesn’t make them an excellent leader at all. You can be the cleaner at the Microsoft Corporation and have better leadership skills than their top dog. So let’s recap:

Natural Leaders:
- Don’t need a title to lead
- Don’t need to be asked to lead
- Don’t seek promotion but will always rise to the top
- Do rather than talk about doing
- Submit to their leader

Biblical Leadership
Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
1 Peter 5:2-4

Intentional Leaders Make the Right Changes
"Insanity Is Doing The Same Thing Over And Over Again and Expecting Different Results".
- Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist

The natural leader list contains some of the characteristics that will define a natural leader. Some people are just natural leaders and others have to learn to lead. If you want to learn to lead with excellence then start with making the list true about you. Work on each point until it becomes natural to you. Remember, even while you are working on becoming an excellent leader, others are watching you and will be influenced by your journey. 

A leader will do the right things! They understand leadership principles and they understand how to get the most out of their team. Knowing that you are leading and being intentional in your leadership makes the best leaders. Now that you know you want to lead, the next step is to lead intentionally. When you lead intentionally by example, you make it easy for others to follow you, you clear the path for them. An intentional leader will understand the importance of self development. They will spend a portion of their day or week on growing themselves. To inspire others to be more means that you too need to be constantly growing and changing. Taking others with you on your journey, taking others under your wing, is important to you as you are as passionate about developing others as you are about developing yourself. In fact, you understand the responsibility and weight of leadership and your motivation is to be a leader for the sake of others. You do this by making yourself available to mentor others. 

One key quality of intentional leaders is their integrity. Truth and honesty are extremely important to these leaders and they can be trusted by all who follow them because of this quality. A leader without integrity has the same results as building on quicksand – you will get nowhere fast and end up with nothing. Integrity is much more than telling the truth. There is something about leaders with integrity that seems pure, trustworthy and reliable. Integrity can be learned and is constantly grown and developed within a leader. Learn from people like this, it’s OK to be an imitator of someone who inspires you to be more. So let’s recap:

Intentional Leaders:
- Work at personal growth
- Recognise the responsibility of leadership
- Include others on their journey
- Act with integrity
- Are available to mentor others

Biblical Leadership
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1

Excellent Leaders Know Who They Are
"Leadership begins with knowing who you are and what you believe"
- LaRae Quy, FBI Agent

Authenticity is essential for all leaders regardless of their station in life. The best leaders are those who are fully in touch with themselves, they know who they are and they refuse to compromise what they know to be true about them. This centeredness gives them the ability to help others uncover the truth about who they really are. Leading business thinker and one of the bestselling authors of the last decade, Tom Rath, said, “You cannot be anything you want to be—but you can be a lot more of who you already are.” Authenticity is about being you and excellent leadership is about being the best possible version of you. Leaders who take their role seriously are also serious about their vision. It’s easy to follow authentic leaders as everything about them will be real leaving you with confidence in them and the path they are leading you on. Authentic leaders are passionate and have a purpose to their life. They also tend to be balanced and enjoy all aspects of their life. Personal values are important to excellent leaders and they will not compromise them to please others. 

An excellent leader will always bring out the best in you and inspire you to be more because they understand that they lead not to make themselves great but for the sake of others. Leaders who do their job well will do themselves out of a job. They will make the student better than the teacher thereby creating successors and a legacy. Sadly, some leaders make it all about themselves, they may achieve something great for a brief period of time but it is never sustainable and once they die or fall it ends with them because they didn’t invest in anyone else. 

Humility characterises a truly excellent leader. Those that are bossy, domineering and overbearing may achieve a measure of success in the short term but the patient, humble and kind leader can achieve so much more. Don’t mistake humility or kindness for weakness. It takes more strength to have these characteristics than it does to be a dominating leader. It’s easy to boss someone around and force them to do what you want them to do. To bring out the best in someone resulting in the results you want is not easy at all and requires excellent leadership skills.

Becoming You
Becoming you sounds silly as you are already you, but are you really you? Too many of us are defined by many external things such as what people say about us or what they think of us. Our identity can be wrapped up in the wrong things leaving us unsure of who we really are. Here are some guidelines:

1. Know Your Strengths
Observe yourself in various situations and take time to know your true strengths. Use these strengths as they will come naturally to you and require minimal effort. Life will be a lot less tiring when you learn to operate from a place of strength. 

2. Manage Your Weaknesses
Weaknesses have the potential to become strengths if you work at them. You don’t have to be good at everything though and accepting some weaknesses could take a load from your shoulders. Manage the weaknesses that you are aware of so that they don’t drain you, your potential and those around you.

3. Know What You Believe
Changing your core beliefs every five minutes in order to fit in can be exhausting. Decide what is important to you and what you believe to be true and stand by these beliefs whether or not people agree with you. Your beliefs can guide you through difficult patches and assist you with difficult decisions.

4. Value Truth
No matter who you are leading you should value truth for your own integrity. Truth always wins and leading with truth will always make you head and shoulders above leaders who lack integrity. Seek to know the truth and learn to love the truth. Perhaps the most famous verse about truth in the Bible is what Jesus said “… I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

5. Know Your Values
Your values are your principles, standards and morals. People respect leaders who show clear values and who don’t compromise them. People pleasers tend to compromise their values but strong leaders will not slide in this area.

Discovering your authentic leadership requires a commitment to developing yourself. So let’s recap:

Excellent Leaders:
- Are authentic
- Are humble
- Have vision, passion and purpose
- Don’t overwork but lead a balanced life
- Inspire you to be more

Biblical Leadership
Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.” Titus 1:7

Exceptional Leaders Create an Experience
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
- Maya Angelou, Author

Top level leaders understand that how you make people feel is the most important part of leadership. You can say something in a way that makes people feel bad or you can say exactly the same thing in a way that makes people feel good. Obviously people like to feel good! A common quote on the subject states, "We learn 10 percent of what we read, 20 percent of what we hear, 30 percent of what we see, 50 percent of what we see and hear, 70 percent of what we discuss with others, 80 percent of what we experience, and 95 percent of what we teach to someone." Take time to create an experience for those you are leading. Develop your skill in this area and be intentional about making people feel good about what you are saying and what you are doing. Even if you are not directly leading someone, those observing you will observe how you feel about what you are doing and will be impacted accordingly. If you are enjoying the journey they will want to follow you but if you are grumpy, complaining and always saying how hard it is then you will find no one queuing up to follow you. 

An exceptional leader is a good communicator and understands the importance of listening... a lot! Listening is the most important part of excellent communication as you must be willing to understand the needs and desires of others by asking questions and being open minded enough to consider all options. In general, people like to talk about themselves and if they are struggling with something they like to talk a lot about the struggle and how it makes them feel. Don’t cut them off, allow them to talk and by doing so you will win their favour and when you need to talk they are more likely to listen to what you have to say. You don’t need to say much to lead well but you do need to have a listening ear to get people to follow you. Showing that you care for someone is more important than showing someone what you care about. Once they know that you care for them then they will be likely to hear you.

Exceptional Leaders:
- Create an experience
- Teach others
- Communicate clearly
- Listen attentively
- Genuinely care

Biblical Leadership
Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly” James 3:1 

People are Watching You So Make Sure You:
Only ask people to do what you would be willing to do yourself.
Only set rules that you are willing to observe yourself.
Only treat others as you would have them treat you.
Always take the blame, if it’s someone you are leading then it’s always your responsibility.
Always give credit where credit is due even if it’s a stretch
Always reflect the credit onto someone else rather than absorbing it all for yourself

Find out more about Being a Woman in Business here or host your own Girl's Night.  We also have a monthly business networking event called Women in Business, find our more here
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3.4.13

Cheltenham Business


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2.4.13

Being a Mother - Who is Available

Mobile phones, computers, TV’s and so many other screens can give our children the impression that we are not available to them.  Talking to them while looking at a screen of some sort will only send the wrong message to our precious children.  They need eye contact.  They need tender touch.  They need our full, undivided attention.

And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  - Deuteronomy 6:6-7

God instructed the Israelites to teach the commandments to their children when they were at home, when they away from their home, when they went to bed and when they woke up in the morning.  He was telling them to be available to their children morning, noon, and night!  How many of us spend that much time with our children?  More importantly, how many of spend that much time teaching our children God’s ways?  Not only do we need to be available to our children but we also need to be teaching our children and instructing them in the things that matter.
How to play Angry Bird’s so that they can get to the next level may not be the best use of your time – they can learn that from anyone.  However, perhaps you are the only person that will ever bother to take the time to teach them the things of God.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.  - Proverbs 22:6

Our responsibility is to train our children well so that it will keep them their entire life.  A child taught well from a young age will lead a blessed and fruitful life until the day they are old.  There is no point in just leaving your children to fend for themselves in spiritual matters but take good care of their breakfast, lunch and dinner.  They won’t die if they miss a meal but they could die if they aren’t given spiritual food when they are little.  

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.  - Proverbs 1:8-9

It’s wonderful how this verse encourages children to listen to their father’s instruction and mother’s teaching and how it comes with a beautiful promise if they do heed it.  However, how can a child hear something that has not been said or not forsake something that he has not been taught?  We must take our role as a mother seriously and be available not only for hugs and kisses, playtime and fun but also to teach them the way should go in life.  Here are some fun ideas to incorporate scriptures into your daily lives:

Memory Verses
Teach your children to memorise scripture so that when they need help in life they will know what to do.  You can stick up verses on the bathroom mirror and even offer little incentives or rewards for remembering the verse.  Teach them verses that are relevant to their life and teach them how to apply to verse to their life.  Make up riddles, rhymes or songs with memory verses so that it’s fun for them.  Children also love poetry, you can use memory verses or the meaning of verses to write beautiful poems with them.  

Bible Games
Search the internet, there are plenty of games that use scriptures.  If the Bible is fun when they are little then it will remain fun for them when they are older.  Bible Man is a fantastic DVD series that teaches children the Bible and so are Max Lucado’s, Hermie and Friends DVD’s.  There are many more great games and DVD’s out there for your children, they don’t have to be moulded by Hollywood, you do have a choice.

Bedtime Stories
Read the Bible to your children at bedtime or tell them the stories from memory so that you can say it the way that they best understand.  Allow them to fill in the blanks at times making the story time interactive and encourage them to ask questions.  Try not to be annoyed by interruptions to the stories but rather value their questions and see them as teaching opportunities.

Real Life
Whenever there is an opportunity, use real life to teach them.  Apply to Bible to everyday, ordinary things.  Show them how great God is by exploring creation together.  Help them to understand that God is their provider at Christmas time rather than Santa.  Help them to see how God’s instruction book is to help us have a great life and that it’s not a book of rules.

Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.  - Psalm 119:11

Find out more about Being a Mother here or use this material to host your own Girl's Night.
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1.4.13

Fun April Fool's Press Release


Business Men in Women’s Clothes

A local woman in business group has become so popular that business men are doing whatever it takes to find a way to sneak in. Eric De Souza, Director of Cheltenham School of Music, and international business man, Gerald Pattyn from Thomson Reuters were found dressing up to fit in.

King’s Daughters founded their Women in Business division in January of this year and already their events are proving to be very popular. Angela, the founder of King’s Daughters says, “Each event guarantees business growth tools, great food, networking, fun, laughter and a serious brain storming session called the Wonderbra session. We have held nothing back to create the most exclusive business network in Gloucestershire.”

Jane Forey-Amante of Think Mortgage Options said, “Brilliant lunch and a fantastic group of ladies, left feeling inspired.”

Despite the photo being a bit of tongue in cheek April fool’s day fun, Eric De Souza who has actually managed to sneak into a previous event says, “I was blown away by the excellence of the event, the calibre of women and the great time they seemed to be having. I learned about the importance of standardising your products and customising your services. My business has benefitted greatly since applying the gems that I learned at the King’s Daughters Women in Business event. If only there was an event like this for the men! ”.

Don't miss out - book into our next event now!
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