I even had a spouse. Having an addiction sucks. Sure, the first few highs are blissful. Your body is in constant disrepair. Your mind is in constant disrepair. You are permanently afraid — of withdrawal, of losing everything — and that moment when the dope starts trickling down from the top of your spine to spread through your entire body is the only respite.
Heroin replaces them all. It demands your primary focus, it comes before everything. Addiction eventually destroys everything around it. Ultimately, it killed my best friend, it destroyed my marriage, and would certainly have ruined the rest of my life if I had not gotten help. No one picks this kind of existence. Who would? Like almost every other drug user, I have my own little story of trauma and mental illness depositing me into the arms of that which would most readily take my pain away.
We start out wanting our misery to end, and for any number of reasons we see no other recourse. Later, we continue because we really do have no other recourse. Yet the narrative persists: that people with addictions willfully choose their path and thus should be punished for it. I had the luxury of focusing just on recovery. I was born with a safety net. Most of those folks out there living under the bridges over the defunct Conrail tracks in Kensington were not, but they still need the same level of support that I had, or they will never get better.
Heroin users are human beings. They are human beings who are suffering. Yes, some of us cheat and steal to feed our habits. Most of us lie. All of us are selfish. But these are not crimes for which anyone deserves to die, nor are they necessarily indicative of an intrinsic moral deficit. They are indicative of the tragic dissolution of free will. Addiction compels us to do things we never thought we would do, never thought we were even capable of doing.
Its call is visceral, omnipresent, ceaseless. This is not an excuse, but ask yourself: Which is more important to you? Which is more pragmatic? Which is more productive? To mete out punishment for crimes already committed, or to try to lay a foundation for social change, so no more crimes need to occur? Some users, like me, are invisible, wasting away in secret, alive on the outside and dying on the inside. But make no mistake: We are no less addicted than the homeless junkies on the news, and no more deserving of empathy just because we manage to hide the grotesquery of our habit.
What you say and how you feel starts with the way you think. The way you think about everything is in your control. Thoughts are like seeds that need to be watered and nurtured with real knowledge, by real experts and real friends. A curious, open mind lets in the necessary sunshine. Never forget that you are in charge of the way you think and a healthy mind requires ongoing fertilization. And then listen some more.
Listen to understand, to demonstrate empathy, and to give the gift of your time and attention. Listen with your eyes as well as your ears. This requires slowing down long enough to truly see the person in front of you. They want a sounding board, reassurance, and to connect with someone close to them.
Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Christianity, and Islam all subscribe to a version of the Golden Rule in their religious teachings. The truth has everything to do with intent. When intentions are pure and not mixed with anything else, there is the capacity for truth. In your daily consumption of information and interactions be aware of sources involved and their potential motives.
People who spread rumors and half-truths are always recruiting new members. The ability to build and keep trust is worth more than anything else you can bring to the table. There is no skill, degree, or talent that can replace it. Trust is the connective tissue between you and every important relationship in your life: your parents, spouse, boss, coworkers, and friends. The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself.
Take care of your health and finances on a daily basis. Make your voice the loudest you hear, and the first one you listen to about your hopes and dreams. The compelling force for happiness and success in your life is you and only you. There is something you can do to maintain your youthful outlook on life—always be a student. Read books and magazines that broaden your horizons.
Continuing your education in formal and informal ways will keep you young and interesting. They can be wrapped in fear or prejudice. Opinions can make people as impervious as steel preventing the passage to clear thinking or new possibilities. Keep your mind free of opinions and focus on acquiring real knowledge. Be selective about people who hold themselves out as experts.
The best knowledge possible is that which comes from your first-hand research and experiences. Get the facts before you make big purchases, cast your vote, or try to influence others. Allow yourself to see mistakes in a whole new light. Learn from them, and one day, your mistakes will provide material for the stories you tell, your heartfelt advice to others and your expanding book of self-confidence.
Always forgive yourself and others for making mistakes. Make decisions based on the best information you have and be confident you will be able to handle the outcome. If you want to be known as a team player, to be included in big projects and considered for promotion, look for ways to acknowledge others and their contributions. In fact, the group is always smarter than any one person, so why not embrace it and say so.
When you make co-workers feel a part of something, they are inspired to do their best. People who inspire are literally pushed up the ladder by their peers. These principles come to you as a loving reminder, moment of reassurance, and reaffirmation of all that is important today and will be for the rest of your life. It comes from someone who has learned through experience these change-proof concepts the hard way. I hope you'll share them with those you love. I hope it brings you comfort, joy and all the blessings of a life well-lived.
J ERRY COLONNA helps start-up CEOs make peace with their demons, the psychological habits and behavioral patterns that have helped them to succeed—molding them into highly accomplished individuals—yet have been detrimental to their relationships and ultimate well-being. He states that much of what he has learned about growing up came from learning to lead. Reboot is a peak into his life and the lives of leaders as they come to terms with who they are and what is holding them back.
Who we are shows up in our leadership. Sometimes we use the organizations we lead to make ourselves feel better about our unresolved issues. The back of the warrior is strengthened by knowledge of knowing the right thing to do. The soft, open heart is made resilient by remembering who you are, what you have come through, and how those things combine to make you unique as a leader.
Learning to leader yourself is hard because it requires us to look at the reality of all that we are—not to fix blame on ourselves but to understand with clarity what is really happening in our lives. Learning to lead yourself is hard because it is painful.
There it is. That same old haunting belief system. But the spinning prevents us from being who we really are. False grit is brittle. False grit is dangerous. It feeds a stubbornness that, in turn, can feed delusion. We mistake the tendency to delude ourselves that our relationship will improve, our companies will succeed, if only we double down on our old patterns, grip the steering wheel until our knuckles whiten, and bear down. Stubbornness is not the hallmark of the warrior. Leaders who persist out of stubbornness, believing themselves to be gritty, are at best delusional and, at worst, reckless.
True grit is persistent. True grit acknowledges the potential of failure, embraces the fear of disappointment, and rallies the team to reach and try, regardless of the potential of loss. True grit, the capacity to stick with something to the end, stems from knowing oneself well enough to be able to forgive oneself. To have inquired deeply and steadily enough to find the deep sense of purpose that is beyond a personal mission statement.
In that knowing of oneself, one is then able to stand as a single, warrior amid a community of brokenhearted fellow leaders. Grace, in a secular sense—that is on a human level—is about perspective. A perspective larger than ourselves. A perspective that reaches to a purpose beyond who we are alone. In short, our connectedness. Grace is a critical part of who great leaders should be. Grace is something all leaders should model for the benefit of those around them so that it spreads to society in general.
Love, sacrifice, truth, and courage are virtues made actionable by grace. We may be disposed to do what is right; grace gives us the impetus to act upon doing it. Grace then becomes the inspiration for treating individuals with generosity, respect, and compassion. It manifests itself as action in the name of others, and it energizes us to act upon our beliefs. To help us better understand grace and to help us intentionally apply it in our leadership, Baldoni explores grace from five perspectives with this acronym :.
G is for Generosity : the will to do something for others. R is for Respect : the dignity of life and work. A is for Action : the mechanism for change. C is for Compassion : the concern for others. E is for Energy : the spirit that catalyzes us. Gracious people give of themselves. Gracious people leverage who they are and what they have for the benefit of others. Gracious leaders share time, knowledge, and power. They cultivate a selfless approach to life. Generosity emanates from an abundance mindset.
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A selfless person, even in the midst of personal adversity, can find something to share with others. That attitude is contagious. Self-awareness opens the door to respect for others. A fully self-aware person knows her faults as well as her strengths. Such awareness compels the self to acknowledge the dignity of others. Respect and self-respect fuel each other. They grow together. Grace is intentional. A reactive mind rarely manifests grace. While grace that has been shown to us comes freely, it requires effort for us to generate it ourselves.
Grace means rising above a perceived slight. Grace is often manifested in clarity of purpose and civility. Civility is a decision we make. They focus not on themselves, but on the needs of others—on healing. Gracious people have the capacity to forgive and show mercy. Gratitude enables compassion—both gratitude expressed and felt.
We need to reframe our lives with a constant awareness of just how important feeling gratitude within ourselves is because it actually helps our overall well-being. Grace requires energy. In forgiveness, mercy, joy, and humor. When we demonstrate grace in our leadership, it spills into other areas of our life as well because it is an approach to life. Our example encourages others to begin to think that way as well. Grace—in all of the dimensions Baldoni explores in this book—is a value that has fallen on hard times.
It is time to revive it in our personal lives, in the workplace, social media, and in public discourse. Grace celebrates grace as well as advocates for it. Baldoni shares many examples of people from all walks of life who demonstrate grace in their lives. They are an inspiration to us all. Grace reduces the space between us.
Our environment often pushes us into negativity; into the differences between us. Grace intentionally overlooks the negative and leverages the positive. It finds the connection and promotes it. Baldoni breaks the often intangible idea of grace into down-to-earth actionable behaviors that we can all intentionally implement into our lives. You will find a self-assessment tool of 20 questions to help you take an honest look at how much you have allowed grace to fill your thoughts and behaviors. Charles Fred initiated a study of over post-startup business to find out why, after they had experienced early growth, had stagnated.
What the researchers found is a problem in the way employees approached their roles, solved problems, and interacted with each other; poor-performing firms showed working environments of intense stress. Our culture baits us into a non-stop frantic pace with the inevitable unintentional behaviors. Many leaders believe that they are just setting the bar for high performance. So, when we require mental acuity, we experience diminished recall. When we need sharp thinking and problem-solving, our minds are full.
Into this environment, Charles Fred introduces a leadership discipline that inserts pause and calls it The 24 Hour Rule. Pause is not a delay but a discipline. It allows us to control how we respond and react to others, whether it takes five seconds or 24 hours. Most importantly, it does not delay our ambitions or dampen the need to hustle.
Instead, we begin each day with unknown situations, variables well beyond our ability to plan and prepare. For these reasons, a leader must use self-discipline—the ability to mentally call a time-out, to get rest, to run through a checklist—despite overwhelming temptations to quickly react or respond without doing so.
It is the one thing we have complete control over. When we look at the highlight reel of successful people, it gives us the impression that they are always on—always producing. As we watch from the sidelines, we create for ourselves a false set of expectations. We introduce unnecessary stress into our lives and work as we try to keep up. Top producers insert pause into their work.
We need the self-discipline to do the same by letting go of a false ideal. The 24 Hour Rule is a well thought out and well-executed booklet. Fred provides three steps for building self-discipline around pause. It is a quick read but one that is worth spending some time thinking about. Productivity is not about doing more faster. We undermine our potential when we try to do everything. Freedom to focus, Freedom to be present.
Freedom to be spontaneous. Freedom to do nothing. To that end, Michael Hyatt presents in Free to Focus , 9 actions grouped into 3 steps. To start, you must stop. Formulate : What do you want your life to look like? What matters to you most. What does that look like for you? Evaluate : Where are you now? What should you be doing? Evaluate what you do and could do based on two key criteria: passion and proficiency. The desire zone is where your passion and proficiency intersect and where you can make the greatest contribution. Obviously, this is where you want to be functioning most of the time.
Hyatt adds a fifth zone called the Development Zone. This is an area where you are passionate about and developing a proficiency, or passionate about but not yet proficient. We need to evaluate all of our tasks and place them in the appropriate zone. Rejuvenate : Make time to rejuvenate. We can increase the energy we direct at our why when we sleep, eat right, move, connect, play, reflect, and unplug.
Eliminate : Every yes contains a no. Time is a zero-sum game. Then go find it. Delegate : Should I be doing this job at all? Tasks in your Drudgery and Disinterest Zones should be delegated. The items in your Distraction Zone may be harder to let loose of since you enjoy them even though you are not the most proficient at them. Better to give them over to someone who can do them much better. If you have more than you can handle in your Desire Zone, you should look at delegating some of those too.
So, while delegation does, in fact, take more time on the front end, it will save you an enormous amount of time every instance after that. Consolidate : Harness the power of MegaBatching. In those dedicated blocks of time, I truly am free to focus on the thing that matters most at that moment.
Designate : Decide what needs to be done now and what can be done later. Plan your ideal week. Designate the what and when of your week and day. Limit instant communications by turning off your notifications. Set boundaries by letting people know in advance that you are going offline for a period of time to focus. Use technology to block technology. Listen to the right background music. Take charge of your day. Free to Focus is one of the best books you will read in order to take control of your life.
You will find downloadable tools for each step of the process. To some, this comes naturally. Others must constantly work on it. Since my earliest memory, I have had the sense that anything worth doing… worth pursuing… must be passionately pursued. A positive attitude naturally follows. I found myself first assuming leadership responsibilities at age 14 when I became an Eagle Scout. For me, getting there was just a mountain to climb. It was the culmination of 21 merit badges and a large community project.
It was the excitement of the journey, the arrival at a destination, and the achievement of the reward. For me, at 14 years old, it was like reaching the top of Mount Everest but with no real thought or plan on how I was going to get back down… the part of the climb where most people die. But it did help jump-start a lifelong journey to develop and sharpen my leadership skills—a journey that really never ends. Great leaders constantly deal with the struggle between achieving personal goals, while doing so with humility.
In high school, I held leadership roles in school government and on the sports field. My agreement sealed my fate. All these experiences helped shape my thinking about, and commitment to, leadership because people started to turn to me to lead. I had the right attitude throughout these early years. However, there came a period in college when I lost my way. My attendance at Purdue was facilitated by an Army ROTC scholarship, at a time when the Vietnam War was stoking nationwide protests across nearly every college campus. Compared to other campuses, Purdue was a fairly conservative school, but we had a chapter of the Students for Democratic Society SDS , and they regularly protested the war on the mall or at the Armory.
I had mixed feelings about the war when I arrived at Purdue in , having spent most of my high school years in Europe—insulated from the anti-war movement.
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But since I had an ROTC scholarship and my dad was retiring from the Air Force and starting law school about the same time I entered college, I felt an obligation to stay in a program that was paying my way. I also worked 4 hours each evening Monday - Friday as a janitor, cleaning the second floor of the university library to help make ends meet. Just walking across campus in uniform to attend military drills drew unwanted attention. So, when the annual Army ROTC awards ceremony occurred in the spring of my freshman year , and knowing that I was not an award recipient, I decided to skip the ceremony and attend the SDS rally in the mall instead.
Upon arriving at the armory, they broke open the large truck-sized doors and entered, chanting loud and strong. State troopers in riot gear soon arrived to keep the protesters away from the formation of cadets. He called me in the following morning and told me that my scholarship was being put on probation. This was a wakeup call for me, and it began the reshaping of my attitude.
I had to decide which side to be on. I came to realize that I wanted to be a leader more than a protestor. Like some other Americans, I may have thought that the Vietnam War was ill-advised, but I also realized that there were alternative ways to make my mark on the world. When ROTC summer camp training rolled around between my junior and senior year, I spent nine weeks at Fort Riley and did well enough to become the third-ranking cadet at Purdue during my senior year.
Upon graduation from Purdue in , I was one of six cadets designated a Distinguished Military Graduate. You need building blocks to realize that dream. During those early years at Purdue—at least as it applied to an Army career—I lacked ambition, a good self-awareness, and perseverance. I simply knew that I owed four years to the Army after graduation because of my scholarship, but after that, I thought I could move on to something else.
Consider, for example, all the other concepts that courage connects to in workplace settings. Innovation takes courage because it requires creating ideas that are ground-breaking and tradition-defying; great ideas always start out as blasphemy! And sales always take courage because it requires knocking on the doors of prospects over and over in the face of rejection. Having a way of categorizing courageous behavior allows you to pinpoint the exact type of courage that each individual worker may be most in need of building.
The first bucket of courage is TRY Courage. TRY Courage is the courage of action. It is the courage of initiative. TRY Courage requires you to exert energy in order to overcome inertia. You experience your TRY Courage whenever you must attempt something for the very first time, as when you cross over a threshold that other people may have already crossed over.
First attempts; for example, the first time you lead an important strategic initiative for the company. Pioneering efforts, such as leading an initiative that your organization has never done before. Taking action. All courage buckets come with a risk, and the risk is what causes people to avoid behaving with courage. The risk associated with TRY Courage is that your courageous actions may harm you, and, perhaps more importantly, other people. If you act on the risk and wipe out, not only are you likely to be hurt, but you could also potentially harm those around you.
It is the risk of harming yourself or others that most commonly causes people to avoid exercising their TRY Courage. TRUST Courage is very hard for people who tend to be controlling and those who have been burned by trusting people in the past. Following the lead of others, such as letting a direct report facilitate your meeting. Presuming positive intentions and giving team members the benefit of the doubt.
By trusting others, you open yourself up to the possibility of your trust being misused. Thus, many people, especially those who have been betrayed in the past, find offering people trust very difficult. For them, entrusting others is an act of courage. TELL Courage is what is needed to tell the truth, regardless of how difficult that truth may be for others to hear. It is the courage to not bite your tongue when you feel strongly about something.
TELL Courage requires independence of thought. Speaking up and asserting yourself when you feel strongly about an issue. Using constructive confrontation, such as providing difficult feedback to a peer, direct report, or boss. TELL Courage can be scary and comes with risks too. Courage is Contagious. Understanding and influencing courageous behavior requires that you be well versed in the different ways that people behave when their courage is activated.
By acting in a way that demonstrates these different types of courage, and by fostering an environment that encourages them, you can make your company culture a courageous one where employees innovate and grow both personally and professionally. A former member of the U.
High Diving Team, Bill is considered the originator of the new organizational development practice of courage-building. Department of Veterans Affairs. The only questions are what and how much. Poor choices lead you into failure, and good choices take you out of failure. Nobody likes failure. We are lead to believe that failure means that there is something wrong with us. Failure simply represents a challenge; not something to avoid.
We crave certainty, and that feeds our fears. The lesson of Fail More is to keep going.
But your purpose will compel you to keep going, adapt, and grow. Rowling, David Neeleman, and other well-known and not so well-known individuals, but he includes his own experiences that give it depth and credibility. Fail More will help you to work past your fears, the obstacles, set realistic goals, and learn from every result. Success is a process, and failure is part of that process. Failure gives you the critical feedback you need to make the necessary adjustments to bring you closer to your goal.
Life serves adversity as a barrier to entry in the pursuit of happiness.. Look within as you work to create value for people by first becoming of value to yourself..
Enjoy the fruits of your labor while you are engaged in their pursuit. We all start at a place where we need to improve if we are going to succeed on a more significant scale. Procrastination, lack of prioritization, and the absence of goals all have their origins in fear. In order to get what you want, you have to do those things that give you the confidence to do just a little bit more the next day. Thomas Jefferson was skilled in many fields. In December , John F. Jefferson dined here alone. Jefferson cared for people and always offered advice when asked.
A year before his death, he was asked by a father to give some counsel to his young son, Thomas Jefferson Smith. He responded with a letter that began:. Monticello Feb. Th: Jefferson to Th: Jefferson Smith. The letter concluded with ten rules to live by Jefferson titled A Decalogue of Canons for observation in practical life :. Never put off till tomorrow what you can do to-day. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself. Never spend your money before you have it.
Never buy a what you do not want, because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst and cold. We never repent of having eaten too little. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly. How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened! Take things always by their smooth handle. When angry, count ten, before you speak; if very angry, an hundred. The complete letter can be found on the National Archives website. Like us on Instagram and Facebook for additional leadership and personal development ideas. H OW DO YOU stand out in your chosen occupation to get the respect, recognition, and opportunities you want and deserve, to achieve the success you want?
Leadership and life are built on relationships. Despite any talent or education you may have, your ability to work with and influence others is what will set you apart. You need a plan. Why am I here? You are not a victim. A specific purpose helps you also to align your actions to the purpose of others and your organization. It is nearly impossible to make good life choices with no self-awareness. A good place to get self-awareness is to watch the behavior of others.
Often the behaviors that irritate you are mirrors of your own life. How do you impact others? Before you interact with others, begin by asking what is the desired result based on who I am, my purpose, and who I want to be? We have an impact on everyone we meet. How do others perceive us? Is that our intent? Does it align with our purpose? The other part of the Conscious Success Model is how we differentiate ourselves. We have to be more proactive, more deliberate and consciously aware.
This is conscious success. How am I presenting myself to others? Am I having the impact I really want to make? This, of course, speaks to having a healthy self-awareness. Each of these differentiators as negative and a positive side. Either side will get you noticed. Avoid the side that will get you noticed for the wrong reasons. Differentiator 1: Authenticity. We mostly lack authenticity because we are trying to be what people want us to be in order to be accepted or popular.
We are inauthentic to cover up for our insecurities. Authenticity leads to trust. Consistency matters. Differentiator 2: Work Ethic and Personal Responsibility. Decide that you are percent responsible for what happens in your life and everyone else is 0 percent responsible. It might seem unrealistic to do this but deciding to be percent responsible forces you to move forward.
Blaming and justifying limits options and percent to zero percent responsibility expands options. Differentiator 3: Listening for Results and Connections. Ask questions with the intent of clarifying your understanding. Differentiator 4: Articulate for Impact. Closely related to differentiator 3 on listening is articulation. Have a good vocabulary. Before you speak, consider your emotional state. Also, think about what your purpose is and what you are trying to convey.
Differentiator 5: Humor. You can have a sense of humor, but it must be consistent with your image and what it is you want to accomplish. Differentiator 6: Gratitude. Gratitude is a choice we make each and every day. Having an attitude of gratitude gives you a positive outlook which makes you more attractive to others.
It takes commitment, focus, and a force of will. The Conscious Success Model provides a useful framework for not only differentiating yourself but creating a life that matters. The 9 Dimensions of Conscious Success is a great tool to put into the hands of anyone starting out in life. I N , Sir Isaac Newton presented three laws of motion. The first law is often referred to as the Law of Inertia. The law states that every object will remain at rest or continue in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force.
In other words, things stay the way they are unless something comes along to disrupt them. This law has the power to make us or break us.
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And it is at work in our lives all day, every day whether we are conscious of it or not. When we kick a soccer ball, it heads in a specific direction until it is acted upon by a force greater than the force that is currently propelling it downfield. Like that soccer ball, our life is moving along a path that is taking us to a particular future intentionally or not.
And we will continue along that path to its destination until we do something different. Our intentions mean nothing. In other words, our will be just like our unless we exert a force to change our direction that is greater than comfort we enjoy by continuing to do what we have always done producing the same results again and again.
No force, no change. Get on a new path. New actions will produce different results. For every cause, there is an effect. Today is connected to tomorrow. Every action we take and everything we say is taking us somewhere. We just need to be sure we are on the path that is taking us where we want to go; a path that is taking us to the person we want to become. If we work harder than we did last year, then we will do better.
If we sacrifice now, then we are investing in our future. If we reflect, then we will grow. If we improve our leadership, then people will follow us. If we are courageous, then we will inspire. If we are curious, then we will learn. If we avoid the trappings of power, then we will stay connected with those we serve. If we surround ourselves with the right people, then we will be enriched and will lift others up.
If we are authentic and humble, then we will build trust. If we work this law to our advantage, then we will eradicate regret. If we don't improve, then our circumstances won't improve either. Life naturally pushes us off-course and takes us on tangents. Anything meaningful in life is produced by moving upstream — against the current. We need to make some course corrections.
We all do from time to time. Of course, this implies getting uncomfortable. As we look at our life, we all have directions that need to be changed. It helps to begin this process by asking ourselves questions and giving serious and honest thought to the answers. What habits are holding me back? What three things do I want to accomplish by ? What does a good day look like? What routines keep me on track?
Why do I do what I do? And most importantly, what am I grateful for? Then drill down into specific areas of your life:.
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Do I make time to study and grow spiritually? What habits are draining my time and attention? What activities replenish me? Am I taking time to relax and grow in other areas of interest? Am I sleep deprived? Am I eating healthy and avoiding processed foods? What do I need to change in my diet in ? Am I exercising regularly? Am I drinking enough water? Is my morning and evening routine setting me up for my best day? Am I living within my means? How much do I want to make in ? What do I have to do to reach that amount? What weaknesses do I need to minimize? Am I where I would like to be in my work or career?
How can I increase the value I bring to work? What relationships are building me up? Are any relationships taking me off-track? Who do I take for granted? Do I support those around me? Do I support and encourage others? Do I focus on building others up? Do I make time for others? Where do I need to grow? What strengths do I need to improve on? What do I need to learn? What books do I need to read? What seminars do I need to attend? What can I learn from the mistakes I made in ? The key to moving forward is the first step.
Every destination needs to be broken down into incremental markers or indicators on the way to the destination. What is the first thing you need to do to get you moving in the right direction? As you begin, focus on the actions required and not the end result. A small step is easier than a leap. Once the first step is made, it is easier to continue down the right path to your desired destination.
Leading Matters is about the journey. The stories he tells here are revolve around the ten elements that shaped his journey and how he relied on these traits in pivotal moments. The elements are relevant to any leader at any level. As he observes, the higher up you go the crises just get bigger and come faster. He begins by discussing the foundational elements: humility, authenticity, service, and empathy. He then links them together with courage. Finally, he shows how collaboration, innovation, intellectual curiosity, storytelling, and creating change that lasts, helped him reach his goals.
Arrogance sees only strengths, ignores our weaknesses, and overlooks the strengths of others, therefore leaving us vulnerable to catastrophic mistakes. Authenticity and Trust. Authenticity is essential to building trust. Leadership as Service. If you take a leadership role as a step toward a personal goal of gathering ever-greater titles, awards, and salaries, you will never see true success in that role. Recognize the service of others. As a leader it is easy to get wrapped up in big projects and ambitious initiatives, and, in the process, to forget the smaller, but no less important, individual acts of service taking place all around you.
Much of that service supports and enables the widely celebrated success of others. Empathy should always be a factor in making decisions and setting goals. Empathy represents a crucial check on action—placing a deep understanding of and concern for the human condition next to data can lead to decisions that support the wellbeing of all.
Courage, on the other hand, compels a leader to take that right action. While many people can discern what is right and true, acting on that discernment is more difficult. Even if risk-taking is against your nature, for the good of your organization, you must find the courage to practice it.
Collaboration and Teamwork. Certain ground rules circumvented interteam rivalries. First of all, I reminded everyone of our shared goal: we wanted to achieve something great. This led to my final ground rule: team members must be treated with the utmost respect.
Innovation presents great opportunities for smart entrepreneurs, not the other way around. Intellectual Curiosity. Beyond personal enjoyment, though, this lifelong curiosity has served me well in my career. It has enabled me to engage in meaningful dialog about the world and its future. In challenging moments, great leaders show their true character.
If you really want to inspire a team to action, best to engage them with a story. Once they become receptive—once they can imagine themselves as part of your vision—you can back your story up with facts and figures. When you turn that dream into a vivid story, you make it so attractive and so real that people will want to share it with you by joining your team. When it came time to respond to change, these companies moved quickly and efficiently, because every employee already understood the company identity and therefore knew how to respond without direct coaching.
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In every profession and career, as we climb to higher leadership positions, the role of facts and data decreases. Any one of them has the potential to derail even the best of leaders. While they may creep up on us, we can see them coming and apply the proper antidote. And even though these seven challenges never really go away, we can create some life habits that keep them at bay. Nieuwhof writes from a been-there-done-that Christian perspective about the issues as they manifest themselves in our lives and follows up each one with a chapter on how to combat it.
These issues affect everyone and some you'll find hit close to home. Cynicism Disappointment and frustration often end in cynicism. Ask them and they know all about it. It may get us in the door, but character is what determines how far we go. Technology just makes it worse. Eliminate hurry from your life. And this comment could pull any of us up short:.
For me, the sense that a conversation is going nowhere always carries with it an underpinning of judgment and even arrogance on my part. Which, of course, should drive me right back to my knees in confession. Irrelevance Irrelevance happens when what you do no longer connects to the culture and the people around you.
That gap is a factor of how fast things change relative to you. Change staves off irrelevance. Get radical about change. Surround yourself with younger people. Seek change to transform you. Burnout Burnout saps the meaning and wonder out of life. Signs of burnout include among other things: your passion fades, you no longer feel your highs and lows, little things make you disproportionately emotional, everybody drains you, nothing satisfies you, and your productivity drops.
Getting out of this state begins by admitting it and then figuring out how to live today so you will thrive tomorrow. What does that look like? Nieuwhof recommends some concrete steps you can take to bring you back from burnout. Go deep enough and take enough time to recover so that you begin to feel gratitude for the process. Emptiness Ironically, success often makes you feel empty. Humility will win you what pride never will: the affection of others. Other people naturally gravitate toward people who live for a cause beyond themselves. The practical advice found here will benefit anyone on their leadership journey.
It does not invalidate everything else of its type, rather it is designed to be simpler and thereby memorable and actionable on issues that really matter for people in the work environment. And it is quite straightforward for both accessing yourself and others you work with. Pioneers value possibilities and they spark energy and imagination.
Drivers value challenge and they generate momentum. Integrators value connection and they draw teams together. Guardians value stability and they bring order and rigor. The authors naturally go into detail on each of these types and give an example of a well-known person that fits that type. They also delve into difference between the types as they relate to stress Pioneers are the least stressed.
The trick of course, is to use this knowledge to modify you own behavior. Then you can determine how you might flex your own style to better match the preferences of those around you. For example, too many constraints can completely shut a Pioneer down, while a Guardian may withdraw in an environment that feels too chaotic.
Knowing these trigger points can help you as a leader to give people more of what they need to excel and less of what will turn them off. I might want to be direct with others but I have learned that I am more productive when I am diplomatic. But being that that is my natural tendency, I probably prefer when people are direct and concise with me. That fact would affect my working style profile. They prefer having all of the answers and enjoy zooming into every detail. They grew up in a different time and may have adopted a more novelty-seeking and relationship—focused orientation.
Without it we tend to be reactive, disengaged, an unimaginative. The more conscious we are, the faster we adapt, and the higher performing we become. Bob Rosen and Emma-Kate Swann wrote Conscious: The Power of Awareness in Business and Life , because they believe that becoming more conscious is critical in our increasingly disruptive and accelerating world.
Driven by the need to be right, those obsessed with being smart tend to hoard knowledge, externalize blame, and mismanage relationships and risks.