I’m impatient. When I was a kid, a plaque hung on my bedroom wall that reminds me of my impetuous nature. It read, “God grant me patience and I want it now.”
Now with the changing seasons of life it feels like more than a few years slipped by more quickly than I could have ever imagined. I can now see life’s journey coming together like a four-quarter game. It is now it is clearly evident that many of the seemingly small decisions we make along the way are critical to living out a successful forth quarter.
Everything rises and falls with leadership.
Leadership is powerful and transformational because it is relational. The connection between strategy and success can only be bridged with people.
It’s important, vital and critical. It is stirring inside but unless you really pay attention, you’ll miss it. There are signs, the statistics are shocking but how were you to know? We simply don’t talk about suicide.
This past week suicide claimed the life of a family member. I didn’t know Tyler Hilinski personally, but I knew him. I admired him, cheered him on and cried when I heard the tragic news—he was part of our Cougar family.
I wrapped a couple Christmas presents this week. It is the season we hope to give and receive great gifts. What is the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
Here is a tougher question. Do you still have it? Or have all the “must have,” “just gotta have” desires that ruled that particular season faded to a faint memory?
Christmas is about extravagance. But do we really know what extravagant Christmas gifts look like? I watched “A Charlie Brown Christmas” last night. It premiered 52 years ago which means I’ve watched it at least 52 times. When it premiered in 1965, I am sure I watched it in black and white. Today, in vivid color, it reminds me of my dad.
Lucy appoints Charlie Brown to be the Director of the Christmas play. In the midst of chaos, Charlie Brown raises his head (I’d say chin, but he doesn’t have one) and shouts, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”
Simple is good. Albert Einstein is credited with saying if you can’t explain something simply you don’t understand it. Ever found yourself rejecting simplicity because you didn’t think it could be that easy?
Isn’t it ironic that many (likely most) of the greatest thinkers, inventors and creators in history commonly made the seemingly complex simple!
It was a moment like few we ever experience. This was a moment of significance that will be remembered forever. People will be talking about the setting and event for years to come. But for me the significance of a brief moment was more—much more!
I have dreamed of these moments. But try as we might, these indelible experiences can’t be planned for or manufactured. We are unlikely to see them coming. They sprout from seeds we sow along our journey possibly never realizing we had nurtured them along the way.
We all carry a question around with us every day. It’s a persistent question that doesn’t have a singular answer. We may not verbalize this question, but it always presents itself anew each and every day. Am I making an impact?
Who do any of us know, including ourselves, that doesn’t want what we do to matter? We can’t suppress our desire to make a difference because it is embedded in our DNA.
It happens over half of the time. It may be happening right now. Sometimes we don’t even realize it is going on. Then we catch ourselves and wonder how our minds got sidetracked.
It is easy to get sidetracked and lose focus. We all lose focus. The question is not whether we are going to lose focus—we are! When we employ clarifying personal filters it enables us to focus on the people and outcomes that are most important to us.
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.