We all think we can do it. In fact, so many of us think we are actually good at it. But is it possible to truly multi-task? Accomplish and/or make significant and impactful progress on the multitude of assignments that we work on at any given moment? How can we focus? Are we accomplishing meaningful work? What do we do first? Is there anything that we should stop doing??
The pursuit of passion. Loving what you do, and doing what you love. I recently finished a great book that may lead you to the path of finding your passion. The book is The ONE Thing (@the1thingbook) by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. This book inspired me to try to focus on what my purpose is. My passion. What drives me and brings out the best in me.
The luckiest of people are those that get the opportunity to convert their passion into a career. It is not easy to “find” your passion. I often feel that it may be that our passion finds us. And the one trait that will help you to be ‘discovered by your passion’ is self-awareness. Once your passion finds you, turning it into something useful and productive can be difficult given the plethora of life’s distractions. There’s just no time to focus and “priorities” get in the way of our passion. I do not intend to imply that one must earn a living from their passion; this is quite difficult to accomplish. However, pursuing your passion can help to enhance your life and your career if you feed it and nourish it and follow it. Often times, the thing that you do best comes so naturally that even when you are at work, and really working hard, it does not feel like work.
“There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passion in a way that serves the world and you.”
~Sir Richard Branson
With some deep reflection and while reading a few more books and articles to help my mind discover myself, I have come to realize that writing is a great passion of mine. Writing and spending the time preparing to be a better writer helps me nourish some of my other passions in life. Learning is also something that I aspire to do every single day – learning from colleagues, learning from my mistakes, and learning novel information from books and articles that drives me to be a better person. Learning and reading incessantly helps me to feed my passion of writing. And these also feed into another concept that I am obsessive about – improvement. I am constantly looking for ways to improve – processes, designs, safety, and myself. These proclivities are interconnected and though it seems simple as I write this, it took some contemplation to discover this. Now, I constantly look for how these compulsions fit into my career and into my life. And it is not just the end game of finding your one passion; the beauty of this is that there lies a path with many complementary ‘passions’ that lead you to your ONE THING.
By the way, I set a goal to read more books than I have in the past. Shooting for 40 this year. That’s almost one book every week, or so. I can do it. I will make the time to do it. If you have any recommendations, my favorite topics are leadership, communications and emotional intelligence.
Thank you again for reading and for sharing. Have a great day and do great things…and open your mind and your heart so that your passion will find you!
We have all heard the phrase “use it or lose it”. This applies to many aspects of our life, not just the often associated physical fitness part of our lives that we immediately think of after hearing this. It applies to our brains, our psyche, our influence, and in the leader’s world, our learning ability. In the life of the leader, learning is the capacity to effect change as a result of turning new information into action. The greatest of leaders do this proactively in response to new information that must be integrated in a world where information overload and more data “magically” translates into “better” outcomes.
Do you have a mentor? Is there someone that you turn to when you need direction or guidance on critical decisions? Some are lucky enough to be able to confidently turn to more than one adviser. Maybe you are experienced enough to be a mentor and have earned the trust of someone that turns to you in times of indecision. A great leader is never ashamed to seek the input of those that are successful and have been Continue reading Leaders Who Lead Best are Led by Others
So you want to be a more effective leader? Want to stop and think about how your leadership ability is shaping up? Here is a quick list that serves as a reminder to qualities you need to sharpen to help you stay on track. Self awareness is not included on this list, but if you were interested enough to read this, you are probably doing okay with this one.
1. Integrity – THIS IS A BIG ONE!! And it also requires that you have many other positive qualities to be able to demonstrate this one. Doing the right thing when it counts most and when it may not even be noticed. You do what is right for others, not with yourself in mind. You have the moral compass built in to your dashboard. You should never have to search for it, its always helping you navigate your way through LIFE.
2. Composed – You never panic. Others turn to you and see a quiet calm that is not only reassuring, but is quite contagious. Too often managers have only two modes – laissez faire and CODE RED!! Being composed does not mean you are indifferent to the world around you. It is that you remain level headed and have your mind in a state that allows you to make the best decisions when it counts most.
3. Responsive – not quite the same as one that only reacts to issues or problems. This is a trait that is seen in leaders that hear or see things that others do not. In your every day experiences, you challenge what you see and respond to a situation that others consider as being “just fine’. In other words, “status quo” is the root of all evil for the responsive leader.
4. Motivated – the great leader knows the hardest part of any project is getting started. Great leaders take the initiative to get things started and get things done! Their work also inspires others to get their hands dirty and get things done!
5. Humble – it’s just as important to know what you don’t know. Many managers are running around the office letting everyone know what their expertise is. I admire those that are running around learning from the expertise and experience of others.
Communication is simple. Quite simple, actually. People hear what they want to hear. Conversely, people also express what they think others want to hear as well. It shouldn’t be surprising, with these two tenets of communication then, that there is often communication mishaps that occur on a regular basis. This happens at work, this happens at home – it happens in life. Communication is almost always filtered through another person’s perception. The messages that enter into one’s mind have a lot of information and experience to compete against – and that is not even considering the emotional aspect.
Good leaders know how to do many things very well. In fact they excel at almost everything. However, the most effective leaders that rise above even the greatest of leaders, know best how to skillfully communicate. It is the hallmark of great leadership – to be able to convey to others the vision and the mission of the organization, put succinctly to inspire and motivate others to ACT. The most intelligent people can have the greatest ideas and vision and believe that they have inspired others to act. But did everyone hear the same thing? Is each individual inspired to carry out their task knowing where they fit in the big picture?
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
George Bernard Shaw
My earlier post talked a bit about what I think leadership is. I mentioned that there can be great discussions that lead us to conclude what leadership might look like if we talk about what leadership is NOT. Leadership is NOT so many things that society believes it might be. If someone is elected to a powerful public office, does this person automatically earn the distinction of being a Leader? Being elected to a political office implies only one thing for sure (without examining specific examples of the actions or inactions of that person): they have successfully lead a team of people to earn enough votes to be elected. I am certainly not going to get into a political discussion here. There are way too many blogs out there that you can read if you are