Leadership Advance

Leadership Thoughts for Life Long Learners

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

Today is a Gift

Today is a gift. I know, if you are anything like me you have to admit that the daily grind rarely feels like a gift and more like a treadmill. The problem with viewing the daily grind as a treadmill session is that it removes the joy of every moment a day can bring. Admittedly I am not great at this, but I am slowly learning that life does not have to be viewed as a list of daily routines and lists, but can be viewed as empowered segments of time that are loaded with possibility. Two key words are found in the phrase “today is a gift”.

First consider “today”. You can not live any other day but today, so why not make the most of it? Regrets over past poor choices or worry over future events have never changed the reality you are facing right now in this moment. What if you approached, this moment, today, for what it was and could be. Don’t allow past performance dictate the results of this day, but choose to make today start with a blank canvas.

Secondly consider “gift”. A gift is something that can not be earned or deserved or else it loses it’s meaning. Many confuse a gift with a payment. You are not given today because you earned it, you are given today because it was gifted to you. This simple shift in thinking takes the focus off of ourselves and what we think we do or do not deserve and shifts the focus to appreciating what we are given. So, what are you going to do with the gift that has been given to you? You aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, so make today count.

You Are A Magnet

Your life is a culmination of things and people that you were or are 1) attracted to or 2) attracted to you. Look around, what do you see? Who do you see? It is difficult for us to admit the truth, we are who we are, not what we want to be. Leaders are magnets. We attract people to us personally before anyone ever buys into our vision. One of the largest mistakes a leader can make is to invest all of their energy into crafting a compelling vision, yet never discover or identify who they are and who they are not first. As a leader you must recognize what kind of person you need to attract to make the vision a reality. When you know who you need to attract, you can then begin to identify what kind of leader you need to be to attract those people. Leadership is more about WHO you are rather than WHAT you do. Your presence as a leader is attracting someone or something to your organization or team. If you are filled with drama, guess what? Your organization will have drama. If you are passionate you will attract passionate people. If you are creative you will attract creative people and so on……. So, Who are you? Look around. Evaluate your DNA as a leader. Recognize what areas you need to work on personally to move the vision closer to reality. The only way to change who you attract is to change who you are.

Are You An Oddball?

Why do we find it offensive when someone describes us as a little bit different? First of all I am very grateful that we are all unique in our own way. Your uniqueness is what makes you an original, something that is rare and of high value. Personally, I think we should embrace our oddity. The reason we should embrace our oddity is because too many individuals spend their lives trying to fit a specific mold they have convinced themselves they have to fit. When I consider the good leaders that I have been blessed to work with I recognize that they were anything but “normal”. As a matter of fact, those who spend their lives trying to be “normal” discover at the end of their lives that they have very little to show for themselves. The reason we have heard of leaders from a variety of fields such as Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, Kobe Bryant… etc is simply because their level of risk or discipline or ingenuity is just simply not normal. If any of these individuals would have embraced and pursued being “normal” as opposed to the oddity that made them who they were, we probably would have never heard of them. I have decided, maybe I am slightly odd. I’m ok with that. My oddity makes me unique. My uniqueness makes me valuable. At the end of the day, I can live with that and you should too.

Be Aware

If I were honest with myself I would conclude that I miss more than I get. One of the fundamental practices of ensuring we get the most out of everything is to be more fully aware in the moment. Rarely is piling more action items on the calendar the solution to seeing better results. If we could eliminate action items, or even keep the same items, yet be more aware and in tune with what is going on in the moment we could capitalize on the opportunity which is right in front of us. I have met far too many individuals that are so concerned about missing the “next big thing” that their lack of awareness concerning opportunity right in front of them never materializes. Being more aware does not happen accidentally; it must be intentional. Awareness requires you to listen more than you speak. It requires you to observe your surroundings rather than ignore them. It just might be that the key to a better future has been right in front of you all along, you just missed it.

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