Monday, May 19, 2014

Significant Leadership

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Studies show that the only thing people fear more than death is, public speaking.  Seinfeld says that people would rather be in the coffin than delivering the eulogy.  However, it is my belief that what people really fear is insignificance. Fear that when one reaches the end of their life, they will look back on unmet goals, unfulfilled ambitions, and regrets. Fear, that their life has not mattered, or made a difference, to anyone or anything.  

It is from this fear that I have implemented seven strategies into my life to ensure that no goal goes unmet, or ambition is unfulfilled.  That I will look back and see and life lived without regret and that has impacted the world around me.  

It is these seven principals that I lead my team with, in order to ensure that we are making a lasting difference in our company, our clients, and our personal lives.

Strategy #1:  Take Action

Start now, start where you are.  Do not wait until you are great to begin.  Untold numbers of people never start because they are afraid they cannot make it go.  Others never start because they do not see ahead to the reward, and others never get started because they are waiting to be compensated for their services.

To succeed is but the natural way to live.  To fail is contrary to nature.
If you don't start, you can't fail.  It sounds ridiculous when you say it that way.  But of course, it is ridiculous.  It's (quite possibly) the reason you're stalling.  On the other hand, there's no doubt that, "If you don't start, you will fail."  Not starting and failing lead to precisely the same outcome, with different names.  - Seth Godin

Strategy #2: Define Success

What does success look like for your organization/client/self?  

Success means much more than pure profit; it means that you have conquered; you have self-satisfaction; you know that you have a place in the world.  Success means a greater personality, a greater usefulness, the realization of one's homes, and a legacy to leave to the world which will encourage future generations. 

It is important to have a clear definition of success so that you can adequately determine your priorities, and envision the reward at the end of the journey.

Strategy #3:  Always Be Producing

Leave no time wasted.  We are given eight hours for work, eight hours for sleep, and eight hours for recreation, the improvement or our minds, and the social amenities of life.  How many are there who can put their finger on the last eight hours and tell where they have gone?  The man who has wasted the precious hours of life's seed-time finds that he cannot reap a harvest in life's autumn.  

I prioritize and utilize my work time in these three ways: (1) What can I do that will be most beneficial for my team and organization?  (2) What can I do that will be most beneficial for my customer/client?  (3) What can I do that will be most beneficial for my own professional growth?

Anything outside of these does not need to occupy my work day.

Strategy #4:  Stay the Course

Once you have defined what success means for you, your organization, and your clients, and have charted a course to get there, do not deviate.  Many distractions will come, but only acknowledge the things that move you closer to your destination (this means sometimes saying, 'no' to seemingly good opportunities).

Strategy #5:  Make Decisions

Do not be paralyzed by indecisiveness.  Lack of making decisions can derail an organization, a team, a life, faster than almost anything else.  Refusal to make a decision is a decision.  It is a decision to be taken wherever others want to go.  This will derail you from your goals and defined success path.  

If you are a leader, you are paid to make decisions.  Do the job you are expected to do.

Strategy #6:  Focus on Others

Pour yourself into the lives of your team.  Help them achieve their goals, and you will achieve yours.  Cultivate the art of seeing possibilities in others.  We live by radiation, not absorption.

Strategy #7:  Seek Results

The men who make history are the men who get what they go after - the men who get results.  To get the results you need and expect requires initiative, it requires doing the extra work, it requires resolve.  Initiative to do the thing that must be done.  Doing the extra work to achieve the results that only you can.  Resolve to see the project through to completion.