A Slice of Gratitude

 

Gratitude.

What an opportunity to have a positive impact on someone..to enhance their experience.

Gratitude can be simple

It doesn’t take much – it just needs to be sincere. A smile is simple, but it can convey many different signals. People can see right through an insincere, empty smile. On the other hand, when your smile says, “Wow! We are totally on the same page. I can really relate. I love what you’re doing. I love what you’re saying. You rock!” – that’s a smile of appreciation, and it’s felt, not just heard. Chances are they’ll smile right back at you with that same sincerity. Bingo – you’ve made a real human connection, you have mutual appreciation and gratitude. It feels better this way.

I am honored to have written this as a guest post on Scott Mabry’s excellent blog, ELUMN8.
Click HERE to read the rest of the post.

 

Entrepreneurship and Leadership

The world is constantly asking for more innovation, more creativity. You have it, you’ve found it, and you want to provide it – and you certainly can. This is where the genuine leader and the entrepreneur in you get together.

Your Leadership is Challenged

If there ever is a time when your leadership – especially where it applies to yourself – can really be put to the test, this is it. At first it is fast-paced, it is exciting, you are energized, and it is amazing. Then, all of the sudden, things come to a grinding, screeching halt. What is it? You cannot move forward until you’ve worked through things that can and/or will be holding you back. This is when things come crawling out of the woodwork – things that you may not have known even still lurked there. Things that you may have forgotten about – or at least had hoped to.

You have to get to the source. You may already know some of the things that need your attention, some you may not. Self-awareness, my friend – you have to look inside and get aware, get fully aware. You can’t tackle it until you know what it is.

You have to face these things straight on. It takes courage, and lots of it. It takes perseverance. It may not seem like it in the heat of the battle, but you will manage to get through it. You have a vision, you have the passion – keep these with you throughout.

Your Leadership Shines

You’ve chunked up the problems and worked through them bit by bit. You’ve made tough decisions and you’ve learned more than you ever thought you would. You’ve gained skills and knowledge that you have discovered are necessary for your journey. Your endurance was put to the test, but your integrity is still intact.

Congratulations – you are well on your way to success. You are a stronger, faster, more intelligent leader than when you first set out, and you did this through your own leadership. No matter how you slice it, no matter what happens from here on out, you’ve already won a major accomplishment. At this point, your leadership truly shines.

 

Are You a Full-Time Leader or a Part-Time Leader?

Do you carry your leadership with you wherever you go?

Being a leader is what you do, it is part of what makes you who you are, it is what you are. This means that leadership is full-time – it is this way by default. In the office, it’s probably a given, probably almost automatic – you put on your leadership hat, but this is only part-time. Your integrity, your character – these hang with you all of the time, and we need to keep them respectable no matter where we are.

It Begins with You

Leadership begins with ourselves. We need to constantly tune into our own self-awareness. We can always learn and improve. We can always look within ourselves to find the things we need to work on. We can ask ourselves questions. We can journal to tap our subconscious.

When you are alone, do you treat yourself fairly, as you would others? One thing I often neglect is that everyone needs a break, a little time to recharge, and maybe even do absolutely nothing but to take the time to sit and think – this includes ourselves! You are an important member of the team, too.

It Includes Your Loved Ones

Work, home, play – we need them all, and we need to be inclusive and mindful of the ones we love. The people that live with us, the people that we play with – they usually aren’t part of your work day, so balance is essential. We always need to give them the respect, love, and attention that they deserve.

Everyone Needs Some of That

Did you give a smile at each person that passed you by in the hall? Did you say hello or give a friendly wave? Maybe you just stopped to give someone a compliment. If you’re in the habit of doing these kinds of things, you’re doing great, you’re spreading the joy, and remember – happiness loves company. People..they love being around the genuine leader that is you.

Let’s Have a Look Inside

Have you ever taken a really deep look inside yourself…what did you see? Did you like what you saw?

I know that a lot of people – myself included – need to do this more often. Lately, I have been trying to consciously develop and improve my awareness – especially my self-awareness. I decided to start by taking a deep look within.

In order to make room for growth and positive change, I need to be sure that I do not ignore things in my past, but rather look to see if things from the past might be showing up in the present, and what kind of impact they are having. Are they hindering me from moving forward in some areas? Are they having an impact on my current behaviors?

Taking a look at the present, I need to see if what I am doing now is working towards where I want to be. Are my actions and thoughts furthering my development? Are they balanced? What do I have now that needs improvement? Extremely important to me – do my actions and what I present to the world align with my core values?

Now, I need to take a look at me from a different perspective; be someone else for a bit. What do others see? I think that this is important because it reflects what I think that others perceive. I can use this as a metric when I ask someone else what they see – was their answer what I thought it would be?

I can learn a ton from examining myself in detail. Afterward, if I look for reflections of myself in others, I can see if my core values are properly embedded in the messages that I am communicating, and how effectively I am communicating. I will also be subconsciously more aware – this will affect my actions and decisions in a more positive and balanced way.  I can do this because I am now equipped with some inner knowledge.

Achievements

The other day I was complimenting a team member on a job well done for a task that he had just completed – I called it a “big win”. He was very appreciative of the commendation, however he laughed, as he though the words “big win” was an exaggeration. This is when I resolved that the next handful of downplayed achievements by the achiever are going to receive unusually large celebration. A little obnoxious…maybe, but fun and encouraging, nonetheless – this is one of those simple pleasures, this is what it’s all about.

A timely smile is simple, it takes hardly any effort, but yet can be a huge win.

The time and effort involved to complete the task I mentioned were relatively small; however, the result was very outwardly visible, provided great convenience and value to others, and saved a lot of people a lot of time and effort – a “big win” from any outside perspective.

Something that may seem small or minor to one person, may not be perceived that way by others. I’m always on the lookout for achievements by others – these come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. We don’t always need to throw a party, but even just simple acknowledgement goes a long way.

 

Shared Team Values for Support

When you first set out to build a lean, mean productivity machine in the form of a team, start out on the right track. You have a great set of people, a great set of skills, and now they all have to work together. Easy, right?

It is far more efficient to start out on the right foot, than to try and make foundational corrections later on down the road. While not impossible, dealing with this in the future, in an already established team, almost always takes far more time to correct. In the beginning, an observant leader may even be able to identify potential “issues” right up front, and either prevent them from happening in the first place, or at least be better equipped to deal, and not be surprised later on. Take some quality time to get to know each other, and feel out each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

One good policy at the outset would be to immediately establish a set of shared team values in order to support each other. Here are just a few examples:

Open communication

Place a strong emphasis on honesty. Individuals need to know that they are kept in the know as much as possible, and that nothing is a secret. They should be confident that if they ask, they will always get a honest answer from any one of their team mates. They should know that they always have the ability to ask for, and to receive help when needed.

Frequent communication

The more the merrier. Always keep each other informed. No one should ever feel left out. Everyone should be able to answer to any of the actions taken by the team.

Respect

Everyone should know that they are a valued and respected member of the team. Their opinions and insights are important. We never want to discourage input – it can lead to not getting it in the future.

Accountability

We hold ourselves accountable and we hold each other accountable. It just works this way to keep us all going forward. Just remember, everyone has a bad hair day! Stay positive.

Forgiveness

Everyone makes mistakes – and it’s always okay, just take ownership, we’ll fix it, we’ll support you, and we’ll move on. Again, stay positive.

The establishment of trust is a very important, and a good set of shared support values are a good way to start out.

Why Leadership

In the 21st century, the way we communicate has changed drastically. Through this, society has changed drastically right along with it. I personally feel that we have advanced. As more and more things have become commodity, enabled by technological advances, the way we interact with each other on both a business level and on a personal level, has become extremely important.

We are at a juncture where several generations of people must interact and do business with each other. Strong leadership is crucial in order to sustain and to continue to advance our global society. Leadership development is crucial to create strong leaders.

For me, the “why” is somewhat in the “how“. For me, the how is leadership by serving others.

Serving others is positive

Positivity is simply a good policy – it attracts good things.

Serving others promotes trust

Trust is a major factor in any relationship. How can you have a meaningful relationship without trust?

Serving others is respectable

A great way to gain someone’s respect is to genuinely want to help them succeed.

Serving others makes people happy

What can I say – happiness is where it’s at.

Serving others is a purpose in and of itself

It’s all about a purpose, right? A vision, backed by passion and purpose. Helping others to find their passions, to formulate their vision, and ultimately develop that into their success – is simply gratifying. Along this journey, we reinforce and better ourselves in the same ways. We reap what we sow.

What is your why ?