Every week, I am serving up leadership tips and mini-planning sessions for the Christian woman who leads. This week, The Gina Duke Show podcast covered Leadership Maxims. Do you have any of these? If you don’t know what they are, I’ve got you covered. Listen in to Ep 16. In my mini-planning session, I’ve also put Fall Family Photos on your radar along with the latest 2021 photography trend – Thank you Taylor Swift! I’ve got all the details about this in Ep 17. If you prefer reading over listening, then Read On Boss-sister!

There are a total of three (3) sections below, and my show notes are at the end of this blog post. Enjoy!

You have heard me speak about this before, but do you have any of your own? I’m talking about what is fast becoming one of my favorite topics – maxims!  You know, those short, pithy statements that we can use as a rule of thumb when making decisions.  When I began podcasting, I knew I wanted to share my leadership lessons in this form.  So, I created the term “Leadership Maxims”, or so I thought.  It turns out that Leadership Maxims have been around for a while.  I just happen to have googled this term for fun the other day to see what would come up, and discovered that Leadership Maxims are a real thing.  I read through some, but I think mine are better.  Of course, I would say that.  But more importantly, yours are better than mine.  Now that I know Leadership Maxims are for real, I plan to double-down on them. Welcome to episode 16 to find out the how and why you should have some of your own.

There is no secret why I believe my Leadership maxims are the best.  It’s because they were developed by me and pertain to my leadership style.  If you google leadership maxims, you are likely to come across some very generic ones.  I’ve got a couple of examples, here goes:

“The most persuasive art of leadership is to hide your leadership.”

“Refraining from action is sometimes the best action.”

While these seem catchy, they are too generic to be of any real service to me.  The best ones are those formed out of personal experience and lessons learned.  This is why I think mine are best – I learned them along the way and used them to equip myself in my leadership journey. The ones you form, are best for you.  Do you have your own leadership maxims?

Why should you care about having your own leadership maxims?  Well because they represent your personal philosophies about life and leadership.  Have you ever experienced something, perhaps it was a bad example of leadership, and you knew that as a leader, you did not plan to make that mistake?  We are all prone to make our own mistakes, too, from which we can draw upon for life lessons.  I have a couple that were born out of my on cringe-worthy mistakes.  But you know, Phyllis, we live and we learn. And this is the value of maxims.  We are prone to forget, as life is fast-moving and complex.  Maxims can help you recall these valuable lessons so we can apply them to our situation before we go down that road again.  See? 

Here are a few of my maxims that you may have heard me share before:

A wise heart knows the proper time and procedure that is based upon Ecclesiastes 8:5.  I learned this valuable lesson when I was waiting on the Lord to help me get my award-winning book, Organizing Your Prayer Closet (Abingdon Press) published.  Whenever I would start feeling anxious about getting published because I did know how to get published, I could rest in the fact that it wasn’t God’s timing yet – because I did not have the procedure that Ecc 8:5 speaks of. I share my full publishing journey in Ep 2 and I have a link in my show notes to my structured prayer journaling book and another eBook that describes how to get published if that is your dream, too.

This next maxim is a great one for leaders – here goes – Build a culture that drives the business.  What makes this one so good is that every time I would make a decision about a new direction or process, this question had to be answered.  Will this BLANK build a culture that drives the business, or will it pervert it?  I think this maxim is a must for every leader.  I’ve lived and led long enough to have seen both – initiatives that inspired a healthy culture and some mistakes that backfired on a good culture. Go back to Ep 3 for all the details on this one.

Another great maxim I shared in Ep 10 is this: Awareness can get you to 50% of your goal.  Every time you lag or have a new initiative, it would behoove you to remember this one.   All you have to do is build an effective awareness campaign and watch your metrics head a long way in the right direction.  I’ve proven this one over and over in my career. 

The last one I will review with you is this one – Just Enough Structure Invites Engagement.  If you would like to see your team become more engaged, make sure you are providing the right amount of structure for which they can effectively participate.  You can listen in to Ep 14 to hear more about this one HERE.

Here’s what I want you to do, I want you to go to the link in my show notes and print out the LFOI Framework Guide.  This guide will walk you through a solid plan for building a life you will love and can lead well from.  On the back of that print-out, I want you to write Leadership Maxims across the top of the page and start making a list of your leadership maxims.  Feel free to use mine because they are tried and true.  In just the 4 I have reviewed here today, you can know when to move forward in confidence, how to make the best decisions for your culture, how to quickly reach half of your goal and how to improve engagement on your thing.  Wow Phyllis these maxims are the real deal! Just imagine having your own go-to, quick reference leadership maxims to assist you in quickly making sound decisions and creating the right initiatives for achieving your goals.

I love leadership maxims and I hope you will grow to love them, as I do.  I hope you make some of your own.  I would love to hear what they are. There’s a link in my show notes to my private Facebook group, and I am going to be asking everyone to share one of their own maxims there.  Come join the conversation HERE.  

My New Devotional!

Is your heart heavy? I know in this past year mine has been at times, and sometimes so overwhelmed by that heaviness that I was thankful to have the Word of God to turn to for comfort.  And there are times we are not sure just where to turn in the Bible for that much needed relief.  This is why I am so excited to share with you a newly released book, titled Hope When Your Heart Is Heavy that is a devotional.  I am just one of the authors providing you with some soothing insight for your special set of circumstances.  My devotion is titled A Home for My Heavy Hope.  Grab your copy HERE.

Hope When Your Heart Is Heavy Devotional is valued at $9.99 but is FREE when you donate a gift amount of your choice to Proverbs 31 Ministries.

In episode 17 of my podcast, The Gina Duke Show, you will enjoy this mini planning session that will prepare you for your family’s photo shoot. After doing some research, I am now captivated by this one trend Taylor Swift started. Listen in HERE.

You will want to make sure you take time to plan ahead for this important family moment. As much as I enjoy sharing my faith, order and influence episodes with you, boss-sister, you know I am here to serve you, the woman who leads.  You are more than your job, your title, and what you have to offer.  I especially love these mini planning sessions where I can walk with you through the calendar year, basically do life with you as a friend.  You’ve been working away, but I need your attention for just a moment to plan something for your family that you don’t want to unintentionally skip. It’s Fall Family Photo time and I have the lowdown for you.

I’ve got a question for you – do you have a photographer for your fall family photos?  Thankfully, you probably have as many options in your neck of the woods as I do.  If you have not already made your appointment with one, you will want to reach out to one and get your family’s session scheduled asap!  Because you know their calendars are probably already filling up.  No pressure, but don’t wait much longer; I don’t want you to lose out on getting these great annual heirlooms and Christmas card ready portraits of your family. 

Fall is the best time for a photo shoot especially in my the southeastern part of the US because of the changing color of our foiliage. My elder daughter has scheduled our photo shoot and chosen our color palette. Would you like to know what colors we will be wearing – Let me describe them – a light moss green, crimson red and mid to dark blue color.   

Today, while I was researching and further preparing for this upcoming photo shoot, I came across a 2021 photo trend that I am really giddy about.  It is called cottagecore.  Have you heard of Cottagecore before? It’s all one word – the word cottage with core at the end. It’s been around for a while but has been made even more popular by Taylor Swifts album cover and music videos from her Folklore album.  Cottagecore is a very idealistic fashion aesthetic image of rural life.

According to Architectural Digest, this style consists of images of nostalgic countryside scenes and peasant dresses with eyelet lace .. Cottagecore, a movement hearkening back to agricultural life, skills, and crafts, is on the rise. “As a concept, it embraces a simpler, sustainable existence that is more harmonious with nature. Aesthetically, it’s a nod to the traditional English countryside style, romantic and nostalgic,”  So now I totally get those dresses last year at Target that looked like they were part of the costuming for Little House on the Prairie.  It’s was Cottagecore!!!

To me, these type of photos with backgrounds of fields and willow trees remind me of a fairty-tale like scene.  You can google cottagecore photography and see many examples of what I am trying to describe to you over a mic.  You will notice that many of those photos look like they were taken at dusk, as the sun is setting.  So Phyllis, this is what is in this year for fall family photos.  You are welcome.

I don’t know how cottagecore we will go for us. Our appointment is midday instead of late evening And my daughters will be the ones who will ultimately decide our vibe for that day. 

So with that, please make room in your calendar to get those family photos snapped.  And in the meantime, I hope you find some snappy cute outfits for you and your family. 

As mentioned in this episode, I have already starting shopping for my outfit for the family photo session.  Go HERE for the links to see my seven (7) Cottagecore-inspired dress picks! These are affiliate links where I make a small commission of any of your purchases helps support my ministry – Thank you!


As a free gift for taking part of this LFOI experiment with me, I have a 15-page LFOI Framework Guide so that you can build your own personal framework for a Lifestyle of Faith, Order & Influence. Pick your guide up HERE.

Let‘s build community in my private Facebook Group for The Gina Duke Show so we can LFOI together – Ha! Come on in HERE!

One of the best things you can do to have more order in your life, is to have an organized approach to your prayer life.  Grab yourself a copy of my award-winning book, Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray (Abingdon Press). Place your order HERE.

If you have a someday book in you, I invite you to check out my eBook Publishing Dreams: Everything You Should Be Doing RIGHT NOW to Get a Book Deal Without an Agent! In 20,000 words I lay out a solid plan for getting your book published. Pick it up HERE.

For coaching, consulting, or collaboration, contact me HERE.

You can also follow me @TheGinaDuke on Instagram where I like to post pics of my junk journal inspired prayer journals. You just might want one for yourself!

Thank you for stopping by! Please tell ALL your girlfriends and female colleagues about the Gina Duke Show podcast for faith-filled female leaders who want to grow in faith, order & influence.

Enjoy your LFOI and lead on sister!

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