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.
It’s not rocket science! This is a bold declaration of hope for those of us who scraped by chemistry class with only a vague recollection of the details. I don’t remember a lot (okay very little) from my chemistry classes. But I do remember the power, importance and potential of a catalyst.
In chemistry, a catalyst is a substance that speeds up a chemical reaction, but is not consumed by the reaction. It creates, speeds up and ignites a specific change but is not consumed by the reaction. In life, the catalyst is a purpose or mission that truly motivates.
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.
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.
Do you ever think about what it truly means to be all in? We all have had a time in our life where we believed with our whole heart and every fiber of being that we were all in—fully committed.
But have you ever been committed to the point that it could cost you your life? Now “all in” takes on a whole new meaning. We might certainly not hesitate to lay down our life for the sake of our spouse or one of our children. But that would certainly establish the “all in” boundary for most of us.
What if what you are working on right now is the most important project or assignment of your career? What if you didn’t know it? The truth is what you are going to do today matters because you are building your legacy.
Peter had proven himself to be the best in the business over the course of his career. He had overseen every important project his company had built for as long as anyone could remember.
The text message read, “I am tired of living on the defensive, can you help?” I could have pecked out that text message many times. I think most of us could. We might say it any number of ways but it screams one thing—“I’m stuck, can you help me get unstuck.”
Stuck is that sinking feeling you have in the pit of your stomach that says you are on the defensive. It a position in the race where progress is halted and you begin drifting away from the finish you envision.
What are the five greatest days of your life? If you are a parent—with few exceptions—your list will most certainly include the day you welcomed a child into the world. Welcoming a child into the world is woven together with amazing, magical and scary.
A day engrained in your memory and brought back to life every time you think about the flood of emotions that swept over you the first time you held your son or daughter.
What would be different in our lives, relationships, performances and contributions if we focused on the wildly important? You know the people and goals that we plan to focus on when our feet hit the floor in the morning—maybe after the first cup of coffee.
I knew this was the right question after hearing my friend describe his past week as, “Crazy, busy, overwhelming and out of control.” Ever feel this way—maybe all the time?
High school graduation—you are pretty sure you know everything. But to remove all doubt you head off to college. College graduation—now you have added four years of profound life experience and a degree thus eliminating nearly any doubt that you know everything.
Graduates will send out dozens if not a hundred graduation announcements to friends, family and a few potential donors. Yes donors—people who just might wrap a card around some welcomed cash.