I lost something. You’ve likely lost it too. We had a lot of it as kids. But something happens on our journey to adulthood that allows it to slip away seemingly undetected. We lose our innate curiosity and stop asking questions.
It happens to all of us—some more than others. We’d rather stick to what we know. But what we know won’t be enough. In fact, what we know today won’t even be enough to sustain the present let alone allow us to make meaningful contributions in the future.
We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right.
Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield.
It is easy to miss. We rub up against it from time to time but may never truly grasp the magnitude of the moment. Let alone embrace the depth of its impact. But in those brief “ah-ha” moments we can’t help but think, “I need to employ the power of compassion more often!”
I was speaking at a conference in Texas earlier this year. During the break before I was going to be introduced a gentleman urgently approached me. It was clear he had something he wanted me to hear.
Do you ever think about excellence? It may not command your daily thought but you most certainly have dreamt of what it would be like to be truly great at something. I think about achieving and producing mastery all the time.
No one (absolutely no one) works at anything thinking, “I sure hope I can achieve mediocrity!” But breaking through mediocrity and producing excellence presents a tough challenge. I hear people say all the time, “I love a challenge.” We’ve all said it, but our love for challenges has its limits.
They’ve got it! It’s noticeable and drips of something you dream of spilling over to you. You can’t put your finger on precisely what it is. But they’ve got it! It’s compelling, captivating and amazingly genuine. Swagger comes to mind, but it’s different. It’s a cool quiet confidence.
Our first thought may be they possess something that is a secret to be discovered. As a result, we might believe it is untouchable and unattainable because it is a byproduct of elite talent or status. But elite talent does not guarantee it and status only borrows it.
Sometimes I get distracted and discouraged. Maybe you do to—most of us do. Call it intellectual drifting where we lose sight of where and how we intend to create and sustain meaningful impact with the people we love and teams we lead.
Summer is the drifting season. The “lazy days of summer” invite us to take it easy. Planning for relaxation to reenergize is vital to sustained impact and is much different from intellectual drifting. Drifting is losing touch with our most important roles.
I have a birthday on Sunday! I am not sure the exclamation point reflects excitement or shock. As a kid, who doesn’t anxiously anticipate their birthday? It seemed like every New Year of age opened the door to new opportunities and privileges.
Now, I must admit, there is a bit of awe and wonder about how quickly I arrived here. I like to say that I know our lives do not unfold as we plan or wish because if they did I would have a lot more hair. I looked in the mirror this morning and observed what little hair I have left needs a trim.
Do you want the good news or the bad news? The truth in the question is we don’t like to deliver bad news so we try to soften its impact. Especially if we anticipate the news is not going to be well received.
Not all feedback is created equal. I had a boss once who spoke frequently of the need to have “courageous conversations” with people. It takes courage to coach people towards improvement.
Less then 20% of Americans receive the necessary level of encouragement necessary to raise their performance.
Why do so many leaders, teachers, coaches and parents fail to use a tool that is readily available to them every day? Equally important is wondering why so called “soft skills” like encouragement are so undervalued and appreciated.
What is going on! Why are people who’s job it is to serve behaving so poorly? But maybe the more important question is why are the leaders of these company’s seemingly so surprised.
The answer is simple—four qualities that engender people’s loyalty, commitment and effort. And here in lies the challenge, simple is not easy. Simple can be painstakingly hard and it can also reveal something in ourselves that we would never want to admit.