Leaders Aren’t Born…They’re Trained (By: Noel Pinnock)

“Leaders Aren’t Born…They’re Trained”
Author Noel Pinnock, B.S., M.P.A., C.A., CCC

Leadership begins with you and success rests in the arms of those who you lead inspire, and develop.” I express this with my team daily. When I serendipitously constructed this statement, I did not truly realize its impact and cascading effects. Productivity and morale increases when people possess ownership and it is this dynamic that drives organizational transformation, community buy-in, and personal success. Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish a pre-determined objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. Success can be defined in many different ways. According to the Merriam Dictionary, success is the achievement of something planned or attempted. Obtaining success is not an insurmountable task but it is intentional; it is not an enigma, but it is predicated by leadership.

Are leaders born? Well, this is a highly debated question because so many perspectives are floating around. Which of the following statements about leadership are true?

  • Leaders are born with a natural ability to lead.
  • Leaders are individuals who have been assigned positions of authority.
  • The terms “leader” and “manager” essentially define the same role.

If you answered ‘no’ to all the statements, then you are correct. Some believe that in order to be a leader and promote intentional success, the person must have the genetic fortitude or work in a position of authority. While others believe that individuals can be trained to function in a leadership capacity. Well, these perspectives are not very inaccurate because it is my personal belief that great leaders have an innate desire to selflessly serve as well as develop themselves on an ongoing basis to keep their saws sharpened.

As we approach a new tomorrow today, new and seasoned leaders need to be encouraged. When they arrive in new situations, they encounter many changes and undergo many changes themselves. Encouragement helps them reach increased potential; it empowers them by giving them energy to continue when they make mistakes.  Use lots of positive reinforcement with your people to promote success. Don’t take acceptable work for granted; and thank people for it. Praise a person every time you see improvement. And personalize your encouragement any time you can. Remember, what motivates one person may leave another cold or even irritated. Find out what works with each of your people and use it.

UCLA basketball coach John Wooden told players who scored to give a smile, wink, or nod to the player who gave them a good pass. “What if he’s not looking?” asked a team member. Wooden replied, “I guarantee he’ll look.” Everyone values encouragement and looks for it – especially when his leader is a consistent encourager. Leaders lead because they:

  • Look at possibilities and visualize what might be;
  • Elevate the expectations of those working with him or her;
  • Activate commitment by defining the way; and
  • Develop trust.

Are you looking to be a leader in your community, job, or home? If your response is yes, then there is not one formula to make the transition. Remember, the leader that positions him/herself too far in front of his/her troops begins to look more and more like the enemy, which means in order to be a leader you must have followers. Follower-ship is an elected function as people have to elect to follow you and in return you must develop a bond of trust with those who share in your vision.  Trust is a two-way street.  A leader shows that he or she is willing to entrust part of the vision to others in order for them to carry it out (remember my coined phrase).  By empowering others to do their part, a leader earns their trust, and success is only inevitable.

So, how do you spell success? Well, my response is simply, L-E-A-D-E-R-S-H-I-P! Remember, the harvest is plentiful but the laborers {leaders} are few; therefore, pray to the Lord (God) of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest (Matthew 9:37-38 NIV). The harvest is ready and there is much work to do! If you are leading, inspiring, informing, and educating, then keep up the good work but if you are not, then it is never too late to start.

Remember to there is no success without successors. Someone has to be able to steward your vision and be able to carry the torch after you have left the scene. In fact, I believe like the late Dr. Myles Munroe, in that we have to make ourselves, as leaders, unnecessary and afford others opportunities to lead and move into position. Let’s face it readers…to be successful, one has to:

  • Understand self (strengths and weaknesses)
  • Learn and grow continuously
  • Set clear expectations and execute

So there you have it, who are you pouring into…in your organization, community, or home? This is the true question that must be answered when demystifying SUCCESS to achieve SUCCESS!





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Into the Unknown (By: Noel Pinnock)

Into the Unknown!
Author Noel Pinnock, B.S., M.P.A., C.A., CCC

  Merriam-Webster (MW) defines “mind,” in the noun tense, as the element or complex of elements in an individual that feels, perceives, thinks, wills, and reason. Furthermore, MW defines “set” as to put, lay, or stand (something) in a specified place or position. When you concatenate these words, we arrive at mindset. This compound word is so powerful that it can drive countries as well as individuals, alike, into mass turmoil or elevate them to great prosperity. The interesting thing about mindset is that it vacillates because its nature is predicated on situations and circumstances. We all have internal processes that govern our growth and development. Some may have a fixed mindset; therefore, growth and development can be limited. While others have a learning mindset and adjustments are made along our life’s journey. Whether fixed or learning, a mindset  is a set of assumptions, methods, or notations held by one or more people or groups of people and can also be seen as arising out of a person’s world view or philosophy of life. Our mindset or logic box is our collection of knowledge, attitudes, skills, and habits (KASH) that often limit our perception and acts as a restriction on objective thought and creative expression. What is in your mindset? What are your views and perspectives that have eroded some of your best intentions with unintended consequences?

In 1972, one of the best-known slogans in public-service was “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” The United Negro College Fund ran this slogan in print, radio, and television as an intentional campaign to close a persistent gap between African Americans and other groups in college completion. They understood then as we know today that in a land that is constantly going through entropy only the learned will survive. We can no longer rest on the scaffold of mediocrity and not take the leap into the unknown.

The animated movie Frozen 2 was a mega-billion dollar hit at the box office and the soundtrack was equally successful on the music charts. One song, most notably, Into the Unknown, aligns with the perspectives of this article, in huge part because we fear what we don’t know, and many don’t ever like asking questions because it will make others believe that we don’t know thus the paradox.  Check out the first to verses of the song:

“I can hear you but I won’t
Some look for trouble while others don’t
There’s a thousand reasons I should go about my day
And ignore your whispers which I wish would go away.

You’re not a voice, you’re just a ringing in my ear
And if I heard you, which I don’t, I’m spoken for I fear
Everyone I’ve ever loved is here within these walls
I’m sorry, secret siren, but I’m blocking out your calls
I’ve had my adventure, I don’t need something new
I’m afraid of what I’m risking if I follow you”

These words are very powerful for a seminal audience to comprehend but if you dissect its meaning, you will understand the humanistic nature of individuals whose mindset has been hindered or restricted because they don’t want to leave the porch, get out of the boat, or take the leap into the unknown. The unknown is scary and unpredictable. It isn’t something that we are used to. We prefer routine and certainty but as I have always told my staff, certainty is the enemy and uncertainty an ally. Our 10-year old daughter sang this song so much during the Frozen 2’s hey-day that I became so curious that I woke one early Saturday morning to watch it for myself.

The movie’s plot was rich, and it captivated me. Elsa the Snow Queen has an extraordinary gift — the power to create ice and snow. But no matter how happy she is to be surrounded by the people of Arendelle, Elsa finds herself strangely unsettled. After hearing a mysterious voice call out to her, Elsa travels to the enchanted forests and dark seas beyond her kingdom — an adventure that soon turns into a journey of self-discovery. Synoptically, Elsa discovers that the voice calling to her was the memory of young Iduna’s call; that her powers were given to her by nature because of Iduna’s selfless act of saving Agnarr; and that Elsa herself is the fifth spirit who would break the water dam that would save their kingdom.

You see, the voice calling Elsa (like you and me) into the unknown was challenging her mindset and comfort zone. She was doing just fine after Frozen 1 but there was an agitation that persisted and kept her up at night, trepidatious and reluctant to escape from the comfort the has confined her perspectives. We all get comfortable and enjoy what comfort brings. Many people see comfort as an adjective, describing an attribute or something, when, in fact, comfort is a noun.

Comfort enters your home as a guest, remains as your host, and will eventually become your master. Comfort is a silent killer and has been charged with homicides in careers, families, marriages, and almost every place imaginable where growth and development are quintessential factors to success. Our limited KASH affects our ability to create or solve problems in two important ways: it heavily influences the kind of opportunities or problems that we recognize as being important enough to create (opportunities) and/or solve (problems); and it influences the analysis of the potential (opportunities) and cause (problems) and therefore the proper course of action to maximize the opportunities in life or to minimize the duplication of problems that have been solved in our past. What’s the definition of insanity? There, you got it, doing the same thing while expecting different results or better yet…being fearful of entering the unknown.

Our mindset should be challenged. We should have a desire to grow but that’s not innate in us. Physically speaking, our bodies do this on the regular. When we are hot, our bodies don’t sit there and internally combust. No, our bodies respond to the external stimuli by sweating to ensure we don’t overheat and dehydrate in the process. If the hairs in our nose tickle a bit, we sneeze. In other words, our bodies respond to external forces and are not going to be suppressed by anything.

Like our physical nature, our psyche (not psychic) nature, which comprises of our mind, will, and emotions should, like a thermostat, adjust to the external environment to maintain the proper climate in our lives. To do this we must be committed to the foundational premise of continuous learning and development. Without challenging ourselves, we subscribe to an internal newsletter whose content never changes. Imagine that, picking up a magazine and reading the same articles over and over again. Certainly, the cure to insomnia. So, if you want to challenge your mindset and are daring to enter the unknown to discover and unlock your internal talents and gifts, you must evict comfort because comfort is the enemy of change. Not to mention, we must dismiss the notion that nobody likes “change” but a wet baby.

Apostle Paul, whose mindset was drastically change on the Damascus Road, wrote that we are not to be conformed to the ways of the world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds or mindset. He realized, like we should, that transformation doesn’t end with age or experience, but it continues daily as we invent and reinvent ourselves. If you can agree with this, then you must establish parameters to keep your mind percolating and hungry for more.

Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to swim the English Channel in 1926, on her second attempt. 19-year-old Gertrude Ederle swam 21 miles from Dover, England, to Cape Griz-Nez across the English Channel, which separates Great Britain from the northwestern tip of France. On August 6, 1926, Ederle entered the water at Cape Gris-Nez in France at 7:08 a.m. to make her second attempt at the Channel. The water was predictably cold as she started out that morning, but unusually calm. Twice that day, however–at noon and 6 p.m.–Ederle encountered squalls along her route and Burgess urged her to end the swim. Ederle’s father and sister, though, who were riding in the boat along with Burgess, agreed with Ederle that she should stay the course. Ederle’s father had promised her a new roadster at the conclusion of the swim, and for added motivation he called out to her in the water to remind her that the roadster was only hers if she finished. Ederle persevered through storms and heavy swells, and, finally, at 9:04 p.m. after 14 hours and 31 minutes in the water, she reached the English coast, becoming the sixth person and first woman to swim the Channel successfully. Furthermore, she had bettered the previous record by two hours.

Afterwards, Ederle told Alec Rutherford of The New York Times, “I knew it could be done, it had to be done, and I did it.” She went on to say that she was successful the second time around, not because of the incentives outlined by her father but because she possessed a mindset that failure was not an option. She started the journey with intentionality to reaching the English coast. It was in her mind from the beginning even though she felt like giving up and her body became fatigued. She was set on not breaking the record but breaking up the comfort in her mindset that would oftentimes tell her she wasn’t capable, or the feat was impossible.

What has kept you anchored in a position of mediocrity? What has prevented you from going to the next level? I can guarantee you this…that something would be your mind. The richest place on the planet, found in every place across the globe, is the graveyard – filled with so many people who could have, would have, and should have, but for many (not all) were scared to enter the unknown. I am inspired by these words myself, and will likely archive this article because I, like you, will no longer be afraid to enter the unknown, because when we are there, we can unlock some of our life’s greatest experiences and moments.

There I say again, let’s #getatit!



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Lord God, I just want to take this moment to say thank you for everything that you have done in my life! In Jesus’ name, amen!!

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Mortgage Industry Brace Yourself!!

The MORTGAGE INDUSTRY has evolved dramatically over the last few weeks. You will need at least 700 TRUE FICO to be approved for any home loans. In a nutshell the primary reason we are seeing such a contraction in the market is due to not only the fears of an economic collapse but due in part to the $2 trillion stimulus package that provided mortgage forbearance where borrowers of government-backed mortgages ((Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD, VA and USDA) can request up to 360-day payment forbearance without proof of hardship. No additional fees, interest, or penalties can be assessed for the forbearance. Except for abandoned or vacant property, there may be no foreclosure actions for 60 days from 3/18/2020. This means loan servicers would not receive payment for up to a year.

On conventional loans, this is not as much of a problem as the servicers are only required to pay Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac the actual amount they receive from the borrowers. However, on government loans, this is not the case. The servicers are required to make the scheduled payments regardless of whether or not they receive payment from the borrower hence most investors do not want to make government loans at the moment. For example, Chase Bank was pricing a VA refinance loan today at 3.500% with a 16.547 discount which means the borrower would pay almost 17% of the loan amount to get that rate. This is effectively removing investors from the government mortgage market with them being able to say they still offer government loans.

“The markets continue to suffer through major repercussions of the collapse of the economy. With a potential 30 % unemployment rate looming, low fico government (FHA, VA and USDA) has all but dried up. No one wants to lend to a segment of the population most likely to be crushed. Jumbo lending is drying up as well. No one wants to be on the hook for large loan amounts that don’t have a government backstop.

For the next 6-8 months the market is only going to be in high fico government and Fannie/Freddie business and it is important that you prepare your referral sources and borrowers of this. On FHA you will likely have to charge 1-2 discount in all but the best fico scenarios. Realtors, Sellers and borrowers are not used to this expectation, but it is the new realty.

Lenders/underwrites must now verify employment before they fund on government and jumbo loans. This is a further reflection on the rapid decline on the economy.”

Things are getting ready to get really tight real quick!!!


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God’s Grace Saves and Trains…..

Psalm 34:8 invites us to, “Taste and see that the LORD is good…..” I’ll submit to you today that if you taste one sample of God’s Grace it will change the trajectory of your life forever. Ephesians 2:8 declares, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.”

What if I told you, the same grace that saved us is the same grace that is preparing us, guiding us, teaching us, covering us, keeping us, encouraging us, correcting us, helping us, protecting us, and training us.

Titus 2:11-15 explains this concept thoroughly; “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.”

God’s grace is the way we are saved for eternal life, but it’s also the instructor of how we live now waiting for Christ to come.

The gospel of the grace of God is the message everyone needs. The word of grace is proclaimed from every page of the Bible and ultimately revealed in Jesus Christ. The last verse of the Bible summarizes the message from Genesis to Revelation: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all” (Revelation 22:21). Through Jesus “we have all received grace upon grace” (John 1:16)—the gratuitous and undomesticated grace of God.

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God Is NOT Sleep!

We may not have a vaccine to combat the spread of this virus but I have made a cognitive decision to trust God. When I rewind the ‘game tape’ of my life, God has never once failed me and He has always supplied what I needed. When I was sick, He healed me! When I needed a job, He opened a door! When I needed money to pay a bill, He used someone to lend a helping hand! When I needed love and reassurance, He sent words of encouragement! When I was a prodigal, He reconciled me without question. When I attempted suicide as a youth, He sent an angel (my grandmother) to breath and speak life into my spirit. When I was broken, He was always there to put the pieces back together! This is why I STAND on Philippians 4:19, “The same God who takes care of me will supply all of my needs from His glorious riches [limitless supply], which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Before you continue reading this devotional, I challenge you to take 30 seconds to rewind your ‘game tape’!!Yes, I already know, He has always been there for you too! Please don’t get it twisted; God is not shocked by the state of the world right now. His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8) and He is not at a loss about what to do because nothing is impossible for God (Luke 1:37) and the only thing He can’t do is fail (Joshua 21:45)! So today, choose to proclaim that God will be glorified through this pandemic. That His name will be known and praised throughout the earthGod is able to pierce the darkness with His magnificent light and trust me, His light will forever shine brighter than our fears, uncertainties, and anxieties! THIS TOO SHALL PASS and mark my words, in a year from now when we ‘rewind’ this moment in history [game tape], we will be filled with joy as we remember our revival, hope, resilience, grit, strength, confidence, comfort, and peace that came out of this season! If this doesn’t give you hope, I suggest you re-read this message again! David said in Psalm 37:25, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.”


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Are You Grateful?

Who doesn’t like inspiring short stories? We all do and although this short story may be fictional, it’s impact is very real:

One day a very wealthy father took his son on a trip to the country for the sole purpose of showing his son how it was to be poor. They spent a few days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

After their return from the trip, the father asked his son how he liked the trip. “It was great, Dad,” the son replied. “Did you see how poor people can be?” the father asked. “Oh Yeah,” said the son.

“So what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father. The son answered, “I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.”

“Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.”

“We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.”

The boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added, “It showed me just how poor we really are.”

Too many times we forget what we have and concentrate on what we don’t have. What is one person’s worthless object is another’s prize possession. It is all based on one’s perspective. Sometimes it takes the perspective of a child to remind us what’s important.

The boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added, “It showed me just how poor we really are.”

“Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 5:10

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