If leading was easy, then everyone could do it. I’ve had a number of conversations lately with clients and colleagues who are complaining about how hard they have to work. More often than not, the average age of these people is under 45. I try my best to be understanding and empathetic while also trying […]
In business and in life it’s very important to know who you truly are before you attempt anything dramatic. There are so many messages out there telling us who we ought to be that we sometimes get caught up in a web of self-deceit because that’s what we think we should be doing.
In our society that rewards constant action, it is often hard to step back and reflect about where you have been, what you have learned, and where you should be going. However, leadership requires thinking and reflection as much as it is supposed to stimulate action. Many people I know are busy at doing the wrong things. They are working hard but not smart. Every day is just one more attempt to push the boulder up the hill and hope that at some point positive sustained momentum will push them over the top. Unfortunately as the slope of their climb increases the weight of their responsibilities also increases and the path they are treading becomes less predictable and stable. You can’t push forward into unchartered territory and not expect to learn some tough lessons along the way. If you are not careful, you may slip or fall and the boulder will roll right back over you.
We all know that we meet the same end but we usually don’t know when or why. Most of us avoid spending much time at all thinking about our mortality. It is almost taboo to think about our own expiration date. We stay focused on the moments at hand and feel like our future is open-ended. Why does it take a crisis for us to appreciate the tenuousness of our time here on earth and the true importance of our close relationships? It is a shame we can’t be in this mindspace more often – maybe it would make us all slightly better people. The truth is that we are all living on borrowed time and how we spend that time matters. I heard a speaker comment recently that in every interaction we are either giving life or taking it away. I liked it when he said it then and like it even more now.
I’m guessing it is somewhat a function of getting older, but I wake up much earlier these days. At first this used to frustrate me. Although I never was a late sleeper, I did enjoy sleeping until the alarm clock woke me (which was always set too late). Now I don’t even need an alarm clock. It took some getting used to but I eventually started to see my morning time as a gift. I tend to get alot done before the typical day even starts including this blog.
Bottom line is that we all have assets and liabilities as individuals. There is a school of thought that given this we should focus just on what we are good at (leveraging the assets) and minimize everything else. I believe this mindset has the danger of being short-sighted and self-limiting. Too much of anything is never a good thing. The only way we evolve is through learning and experience. Personal growth happens with time as we stretch our perspectives and challenge individual conceits and preconceptions. If we narrowly focus our growth opportunities, we aren’t fully living. Weaknesses also exist and must be dealt with, not just circumvented or fortified with self protective behaviors. Adversity and challenge are a regular part of life and require some level of personal vulnerability if they are to be successfully navigated
Is the current situation salvageable and if so what would it take? How much would you grow and learn personally and how much stronger would your bonds be in life if you were able to persevere and work it out? There are few worse emotions in life than remorse and regret. Chasing rainbows is a fool’s errand, but successfully navigating the emotional roller coaster of life is a real and self affirming activity.
There is a fundamental difference between a good work and fiction and our own stories. We are the authors. There is no more subjective experience than living one’s own life. To a large extent, we get to decide how it all turns out. It may be cliché to state the obvious; however, it is not what happens to you, but how you respond to it that matters.
The speed of business has increased dramatically these days. Markets no longer carry the complacent. In this environment, leaders must operate under a 5-7 year arc and then they need to completely reinvent themselves and their companies. If there is some game changing event or circumstance, the pace of this change may even need to accelerate.
Not only does journaling provide you with an opportunity for daily reflection, it also serves as an outlet for your feelings about what is taking place in your life at any given time. Instead of keeping things “bottled up” inside, you now have a vehicle for emotional release (which is always the preferred alternative).
Daily Leadership Thought #50 – Questions To Ask Yourself When Confronted With An Outcome You Didn’t Want
Things won’t always go your way and that’s okay – it makes you human.
Learn from your failures, otherwise they come back to haunt you