Take a close look at the post photo. What do you see? If you were asked to write a description of what you see, what would you write?
Every year a teacher took a white sheet of paper with a black circle on it and passed it out to his students. Then he would ask them to think about what they were looking at and write down their answer to a singular question— “What do you see?”
May I have your attention please? Please, can I have your attention for a brief moment? In a world of digital distractions, brief is sometimes not even long enough for someone to read a headline. Today, the ability to get and maintain focus is waning and it is robbing you.
Our inability to focus and concentrate on important relationships and goals is a critical! It may be the primary obstacle to creating and sustaining meaningful personal and professional impact.
Everything rises and falls on leadership. The impact leaders can have on the people they love and the teams they lead is immeasurable. At the Global Leadership Summit I had the opportunity to learn from some of the greatest leaders in the world.
I was quickly and profoundly reminded why leadership is an essential key to changing the course and trajectory of the world we live in.
Some of the greatest failures in histories resulted from not learning from past mistakes. Truth never ceases to be the truth just because we deny it. This is true—experience is inevitable, but learning is optional. There is nothing that says a mistake can’t be repeated—goodness we see it all the time.
One of the key qualities that separates high-impact people from everyone else is their ability to apply their own experiences and the experiences of others to improve their skills and results.
Do you know anyone who gets up in the morning, thinks about the day in front of them for a moment and proclaims, “I hope I get a chance to struggle today.” As a parent, do you think about your kids and say, “I sure hope they are challenged today?” Do leaders and coaches look at the teams they are leading and wish for them to experience failure and defeat?
I need to be reminded, sometimes frequently, that the goal of struggling should be growth and improvement—ultimately greater impact. Embracing struggle and the reality of being a work-in-process is not easy or comfortable. In the midst of struggle, the path to victory is fueled by learning how to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Have you ever set an outrageous goal? A goal that you may have been ill-prepared to pursue, maybe lacked the skill, talent, or support to reach, but you pursued it anyway?
I remember setting my first out-of-reach, crazy, outrageous goal in the 7th grade. I loved basketball and after we moved onto Andrews A.F. B., in Washington D.C., I decided to try out for the Benjamin D. Foulois Junior High School basketball team.
Have you ever been unaware of something that has been going on for sometime? Have you ever had something not work out as you planned it?
A number of years ago I was sitting around the table, with my family, for dinner. My oldest son, Matthew, was about ten at the time and was seated across from me. I must have had my head down concentrating on the food in front of me when I looked up Matthew was looking at me, with a smile on his face. As I made eye contact he said, “Hey dad, I think you are losing your hair.”
It was embarrassing and painful. After weeks of careful preparation, it ended in a humiliating defeat. We enter a race with the idea of winning.
Would we remotely think of entering a race with the thought of not finishing it?
If you aren’t an NHL hockey fan it’s likely you would not recognize him. Yet in his native Finland he is the subject of a top grossing biographical documentary. He is one of the most popular and beloved hockey players in the history of the game.