Roots of Leadership, Part 2

Image of the I (heart) Me written in fireworks.

Before we continue our discussion on leadership, a quick synopsis of our beginning discussion. We made a tie into Valentine’s Day, yes, the ‘love’ holiday, but instead of looking at love with our significant other, we put it in the context of love of oneself.

With all the books and publications today dedicated to leadership, why do so many seem to still struggle?

We discussed the importance of achieving love of self before it is possible to lead others. Leadership must start with the leadership of one, and that one being one’s self.

As we move the discussion along, let me convey one of my favorite quotes pertaining to leadership. My apologies for not remembering where I heard it and who to credit: “He has all the attributes of a great leader, just no followers”.

We see examples of this every day:

  • The boss no one respects and only follow because it’s mandated …
  • The person who is in position to tell people what to do but has not the wherewithal to get people to actually follow …
  • The manager who complains about the ineptness of his/her staff, never stopping to think they are simply following his/her lead.

Why? With all the books and publications today dedicated to leadership, why do so many seem to still struggle?

Look at the list below. How would you answer?

a) poor leadership technique
b) no one is interested in going to wherever it is they are being led
c) the boss/manager is just not a leader
d) all of the above
e) none of the above

A case could be made for either a or b. I think it would be a weak case. It can’t be c, because we can all be leaders, remember leaders of self. It might take a little practice, but it lies within us all. Since c cannot be the answer, d is eliminated. Through the process of elimination, the only viable answer is e. To understand my rationale, it is important to look at one’s motive and purpose.

Motive and Purpose

These two words are instrumental when it comes to leadership. Leadership, contrary to popular belief, means serving. When we serve the needs of others, they are more than willing to go where we go. They like being helped. When a boss’s sole motivation is self-promotion, he/she will struggle to get others to follow. When a business’s sole purpose is to show a profit, which we all know is important, they will struggle to get buy-in from its employees.

Believe it or not, these misplaced motives stem from a lack of the love of one self. It is the desire to prove to the world that “I am better, richer, smarter, than you.” It is going through life always thinking you have something to prove. When we have a love of self-first, we believe that each day, the only one we have anything to prove to is ourselves.

Now granted, for many that love of one self involves rising to the top of the corporate ladder, but often we do see in these people the genuine desire to help others along the way. And, generally, the people who do have genuine desire to help others are the ones who make it to the “top.”

When we have love of ourselves, we believe in ourselves. Our motives are pure, and our purpose is always clear. This gives us passion and energy, which far surpasses technique. It always leads to places of interest, otherwise why else would you go? When you are going to a place of interest, others will always want to go with you.

Love, love of one self, the very foundation of leadership. It all begins with the leading of one, one self.

Valentine’s Day, the Root of Leadership.

If you don't love yourself, you cannot love others - Dalai Lama

Today there is much said about “leadership.” Let’s just say that leadership is “in vogue” in our society today. So, let me put my two cents in on the subject as well. I know you must be wondering, okay but a tie-in to Valentine’s Day?

Ground Hog Day

Punxsutawney Phil being held on Groundhog Day

Ground Hog Day – Said to be my favorite holiday, I understand that technically it’s not actually a holiday of the year. Why?

First, it is a day of anticipation, the cold and bitterness of winter has set in and for many there is no relief in sight. People looking for any sign that will say the end of winter is near.

Second, it is a fun and somewhat silly concept like Don’t Be A Cow. Think about the modern day lifestyle with tiny cell phones and computers and all the so-called intelligence of the modern day society, yet so many still put hope in a ground hog!

Third, and final, the movie, one that I think Hollywood should remake. Think of waking everyday and applying the mistakes of the day before in a direct effort to get what it is you want that day. What a concept!

Allow the anticipation of your expectations and the mistakes of yesterday help you make today extraordinary! What are you anticipating today?

-Joe

Spontaneity vs. Planning

As the new year gets rolling to a full head of steam, I’m sure many resolutions have already fallen by the wayside. Of course, I know there are still plenty of you dedicated souls out there still holding true to your aspirations for 2018.

Tis the Season!

Winter_Lodge

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way. I’m dreaming of a White Christmas, dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh. Snow bells ring, are you listening? Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Frosty the snowman was a jolly happy soul. Fresh baked cookies, candies, pies, and cakes. Colorful lights that fill the night sky. The sights, sounds, smells, and taste of the Christmas season.

With all the special Christmas recipes, we hope you don’t forget about the two important ingredients for a  Happy Christmas season.

Smile and Laughter!

With all the special Christmas recipes, we hope you don’t forget about the two important ingredients for a  Happy Christmas season.

Smile and Laughter!

They are both contagious. And, unfortunately, are often lost in the hustle and bustle of the season. After all, we must find the perfect gift, we must cook the best roast, we must bake the perfect pie, yet sharing a smile and a laugh can be the greatest gift. One that could last a life time.

And remember cows neither laugh or smile: Don’t Be A Cow!

We hope you enjoy this Christmas season to the fullest.

Joe & Jane

A Thanksgiving Gobble

Gobble, gobble, gobble

Another toast,

A little more wobble!

O, to Thanksgiving

To the feast

That brings forth the day!

O, to family

To friends,

That brings forth the joy!

Have You Ever?

Grizzly Play Time

Now that the ghost and goblins have vanished for another year, we enter the month of Thanksgiving, quickly followed by the month of giving and receiving. I think it might be a great time to ask the question, “Have you ever … ?” Let’s look at dealing with Thanksgiving’s frantic pace. But first let me lay a little ground work.

We all lead busy lives. For most of us, our days are filled with “to do lists”: goals, sets of accomplishments, and routines. On top of this, we have to analyze diets and evaluate which are the most effective. Not only for losing weight, but maintaining “good” health. Then, there is the exercise component. We have to somehow figure out how we are going to work exercise into the schedule on top of everything else. It is as if we are always on the go, always something to do.

Through this rigorous lifestyle, I wonder, and feel certain that most of us have – I know I have– how many of us have taken some time to blow it all off. Now I’m not talking about a vacation, heck those end up being just as rigorous, if you’re not careful, as the “to do” list.

And, I’m not talking about living it up on the weekend. I’m talking about times when maybe you’re trying to get your day started and you wind up cleaning your office, or maybe you start cleaning the house before you leave for work. Maybe you go out to lunch and you spend some extra time doing a little window shopping. I’m talking about unplanned and unscheduled events. You just stop everything and spend a few minutes, maybe a few hours or even a whole day, just doing what it is you want to do. I knew a person that used to love to just take an afternoon off and go to the movies by themself. I remember, once years ago, blowing off an entire morning to finish a Tom Clancy novel. Man was that nice! I put on an extra pot of coffee and everything (even though I realize the mortal sin of drinking too much coffee!). I’m not really sure why these moments happen but often wished they would happen more frequently. I think that sometimes our insides, our gut, our heart, is simply telling us we need some down time.

Regardless of the reason and the timing, I like to think of these times as “feeling good” times. A time to just be! That’s got a nice ring to it doesn’t it? “Feel Good” time. I do believe that taking some time, more frequently than most of us do, to simply feel good is very rejuvenating. In the long run, I’m certain that it will make us more productive and successful managing the rigors of today’s lifestyles.

Have you ever, have you ever taken the time to feel good? You can learn more by reading “Don’t Be A Cow!”

As we approach this special, but often very hectic time of year, Jane and I hope that you take some time to just feel good.

Tell us: How have you spent some feel good time?

ANTS

Have you ever noticed how quickly ants (Pronounced, aints, in the South) are able to relocate? You run them over with the lawn mower, or even spray poison on them and the next day, three feet away, is a new mound that is bigger than the first. (That image is an anthill in Africa, by the way).

Read more

TODAY

Have you ever played the “Today Game”? Now, before I explain, let me give a little background. Maybe you have experienced this to some extent, too.

There are times in life when everything seems to be going wrong. Some say it comes in threes, but there have been times when I wished it would have stopped at three. Transmission goes out, roof springs a leak, drier stops drying, and then …

When we are going through these times, we hope for better times. We are assured that it will certainly come, although sometimes we wonder. Friends and family assure us that these better times are just around the corner, and it is these times that make us tough, so we learn to be strong. We forge ahead waiting for tomorrow and better days.

Then, there are the times when everything seems to be going really well. We finally get that promotion, raise and bonus all in the same day; the kids bring home perfect report cards; the cars and appliances are all functioning perfectly; and the cat isn’t pregnant after all! In fact, things are going so well that we begin looking over our shoulders. Our minds keep reminding us that these times can’t last forever. The wheels are certainly going to come off at some point! We think back to yesterday to recall how long this has been going on, and we think about tomorrow and when it might all come crashing down.

All too often what is lost in all the ups and downs in life is “today.” Today is a great day! It is such an easy concept. Yet, as with many simple things in life, we tend to make them complicated. Sometimes I think that it is so simple, we just ignore it, getting caught up in the moment(s). Life just isn’t that simple is it? Or is it?

*****

I challenge you to play the “Today Game.” Let today stand on its own. Forget, just for today, yesterday’s highs or lows, and put tomorrow out of your mind. For we all know, that tomorrow never really comes anyway. Think Today. This may seem easy and straightforward, but it can be a little more challenging than you think; however, the rewards are huge. It can be like a giant cleansing of the brain. Good luck!

  • I’m only dieting today (Ah, is that a comforting thought!).
  • I’m only exercising today, not all week (Ah, is that a comforting thought!).
  • I don’t care how fast I ran, or how many sit-ups I did yesterday, and I’m going to ignore my goal for some point in the future – Today … I’m going to do the best I can! I’m not even going to time myself or count. I’m just going to do what I can.
  • The hours I worked and what I accomplished yesterday don’t matter; I’m going to focus on today and accomplish all that I can today.
  • I’m going to spend time where I need to today.
  • Come up with your own focus on today.

Today is a Great Day! Make sure you enjoy all today has to offer you. Then with luck, you will have another Today awaiting you when the sun rises in the morning. Along with the sun, will be a rainbow just waiting for you to explore where it leads!

Don’t Be A Cow! Live a Happier Life – Today!

Soulful Quote: “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day” Mathew 6:34 RSV

Song: U2’s, “It’s a Beautiful Day”

 

 

 

 

Blurred Vision? Blink, Blink, Blink!

If you are a frequent reader of our blogs, you realize that we love taking everyday life happenings and making analogies to a deeper meaning. I like to think of it as making the simple out of the complex; however, Jane tends to think I just do the opposite and make the simple complex. In any event, see if you can follow along with this thought.

We all experience times where our vision becomes temporarily blurred. So, what do we do? Blink! When do these moments tend to occur?

When we are too focused

Times when we are really concentrating and focusing hard to see something, even straining to see. Maybe it’s early morning or late evening or something almost out of eyesight. We stare so hard that we must blink to refocus.

When we are distracted

We are looking at something, and something quickly pops up somewhere in our field of vision, and we become distracted, if but for a brief second. We then have to blink to refocus on what we were looking at.

Life

There are the times, for no particular reason we lose focus and we must blink to refocus.

Now think about life in general. There you are focusing on your dream, your goals, really making progress and then all of a sudden you realize that something has happened. I have heard it said that it only takes a small object to derail a fast moving train. And, just like that we realize we have been derailed from pursuing our dream; something has happened! When and why do these moments tend to occur?

When we become too focused, we become so absorbed in a project perhaps submersed in the details that we are no longer moving forward. Blink, in these cases, blinking may involve a small vacation, a break in routine, some type of diversion. A chance to think and do something else for a while.

When we become distracted with all these outside issues that pop up and at times they seem to pop up one after another after another. After these times diminish, we often have a difficult time getting back to our dreams and goals. Blink, in this case blinking may involve finding a quiet place and turning the cell phone off. Find a place to write your goal or dream again so you can see it in writing and refocus.

Life; it moves quickly at times (most of the time). I love the definition of life that goes like this: “life is what happens to you while you are planning what you are going to do with yours.” Sometimes life places, in front of us, some tough obstacles. Blink, check your resolve. What do you want? and just how bad do you want it? Maybe it’s not your resolve that needs checking but what it is that you want that needs to be re-evaluated.

Blink, an important visionary tool and an important tool in life as well. Have you ever noticed how cows are able to stare forever? It seems that they can stare without ever blinking! Don’t be a Cow, Blink! We would love to hear your comments!

Joe & Jane
PS Also please note that sometimes even after blinking several times, we still have a hard time focusing. In these cases, nothing works better than splashing the face and eyes with a little cold water!