As leaders, mentors and even friends, one of the greatest gifts we can give others is our undivided attention. While that may sound simple, consider what it really means. With deadlines, meetings, email, texts and cell phones, how often do you really give someone your undivided attention? It is incredibly easy for our thoughts to drift to something we consider more urgent. Glancing at a buzzing phone or checking our email is oh so tempting. But, there is really nothing more urgent than what we are being told by our peers, subordinates and friends. Giving someone your attention allows them to speak and truly be heard. It allows them to feel positive about their relationship with you. It allows you to focus on what you are being told and learn something from their perspective. It is a foundational piece of the human relationship. It is even more important between a leader and follower. Loyal associates deserve your undivided attention. This principle is even truer at home with spouses and children! Try it, you might learn something, and you will be appreciated!
What are you afraid of? Failure, public speaking, poor health, cold calling, old age, job loss, betrayal, heights, risks, all things that conjure up fear in our minds. Fear is a great motivator. When I started my own business several years ago I had a good friend (already a successful small business owner) tell me that he was motivated by fear every day. He felt afraid of failure and fearful of letting down those who work for him. Those fears drove him to work harder every day. Those feelings have motivated me as well over the last six years.
We all have our fears. Many of them are business and financial related, others are more personal. What sets us apart is how we attack and deal with our fears. Notice I did not say overcome them. I do not believe that is always possible. There is something healthy about a certain level of fear. The objective is to not allow fear to define us or let it paralyze us. Consider this…
“Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”
Move past your fears! Have a blessed week…
I have written often about wisdom and our ongoing pursuit of it. The MMM has also addressed how impatient we are as humans. Consider the following writing which addresses both points…
Wisdom is not proven by argument or debate. Wisdom is proven over time. Some people adamantly proclaim that their opinion is best. Regardless of how convincingly these people defend their viewpoint, time is the best judge of their wisdom. The result of a practice proves its validity, not how loudly it is promoted. 1
Be wary of those who seek to have their own wisdom acknowledged before it can be proven over time. Also, be patient with your own understanding of what is wise. Wisdom is elusive. It is easier to spot in others than in ones’ self. Be careful when claiming wisdom publically, but constantly strive to be wise.
Have a blessed week.
1 – Taken from: Experiencing God Day-By-Day, Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby
After just one month of 2017 and two weeks into the term of a new President, we find our country to be in interesting and challenging times. Our political and social landscape is changing, seems incredibly delicate, and is actually very contentious. The world of social media has forever changed how information is disseminated and opinions are formed. That is not necessarily a change for the better. We are quick to make judgments; we fail to research facts; we condemn too quickly. It is way too easy to be extremist and hateful from the safety of an iPhone or keyboard. We also think it takes too much time to truly listen, educate ourselves and fully understand issues. The issues are passionate, significant ones. The extremely divided opinions on many of these topics is both surprising and totally understandable. But remember, varying viewpoints, backgrounds and beliefs are what makes this country great.
What does all of this mean for those striving to be great leaders? Let me suggest…
· Be bold but thoughtful
· Ensure that passions and convictions are well supported by facts
· Drawing lines in the sand and jumping to conclusions are short sighted behaviors
· There is power in being positive even in debate
· Every thought or opinion, political or otherwise, that crosses one’s mind does not have to be posted to social media
· Don’t believe, nor become enraged by, everything you read on the internet or social media
· Be careful of the momentum of the bandwagon; groups with common beliefs often feed off themselves without considering differing viewpoints
· Most importantly… Listen, truly listen with the intent to understand.