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!
You know by now that I like questions. I have not always had a warm relationship with questions. I am sure I am not alone. Goodness, learning to invite inquiry capable of exposing ignorance is uncomfortable.
Through years of being rewarded for having answers we learn to lead with confidence and rely on what we know. Slowly but surely we extinguish our innate teachable spirit and insistently rely on a base of knowledge that grows more fragile every day.
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.
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.
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.
It took me awhile to understand being a father is easy but becoming a great dad is difficult. You don’t need a degree or license to become a father. Fatherhood rarely begins as you expect it to or unfolds as you plan. It is indiscriminate in its ability to reveal and demonstrate how ill equipped you are to run this race.
Fatherhood is a strange paradox—testing your resolve and commitment like few things can and providing joy like nothing else can. It may be the essence of clinging to the obligation and responsibility of being a father long enough to understand how becoming a dad creates a lasting and rippling impact on our kids.
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.
It is so easy to glance over or miss the power our words have to breathe inspiration into the people we love and lead.
Words are powerful. Organized in the right sequence, delivered in the spirit of true concern they can change the course and direction of life.
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.