One of the great traits I have learned from great leaders is that they constantly think about the future. Every decision is linked to a future outcome. They have developed an ability to think past the now, and see into the future. Many people do not take the time to think about the future, they rather live for the now. I am all about enjoying the moment, living in the now, smelling the roses on the journey, but it would be a great detriment not to think about the future.
Let me share a few benefits of thinking for the future......................
One of the benefits of thinking for the future is that it gives your today decisions some directions. Each day we are faced with many decisions, decisions that impact our future and some that don't. But when you give thought to the future, your everyday decisions become more valuable. Let's say your future calls for a healthy you. Well there are some things you need to do today, to make that happen. So your decision to exercise and eat right today will improve your chances of a healthy you in the future.
Another benefit of thinking for the future is that it helps you get back on track. I don't know about you, but some times I can feel overwhelmed with all the choices presented to me. When I think about my future, it helps me decide what I say yes and no to doing. Thinking for he future gives me a clearer picture. All I have to ask myself is "How does this decision play into future goals." Once I decipher if this choice moves me forward or away from my future goals, the decision is easier.
Lastly, thinking for the future gives you a sense of journey. I read in a article one time that our body and bones respond to our thinking, how we think and what we think about. The article said when you tell your body that you will need it in the future, it fights to remain healthy. If you constantly tell your body, we are retiring, we are retiring, the body begins to shut down in preparation to retire. I have plans to live for a long time, but I just don't want to be alive, I want my body and bones to be fully functional. So I tell them I need them to be strong.
This week, invest some time thinking about your future. Get a clear picture of where you want to be and how you want to look when you get there. Most of us want to be around for the future, but few of us really plan for it.
Think Better, Live Better
If you have ever heard me speak or hang around me for any amount of time, you have heard me say that you are the sum total of the five people you interact with the most. Not only is it important to interact with the right people, but what they do for you is just as important.
There are four key things you want your inner circle to do for you. And make sure you are doing it for them as well.
The first thing you want to ensure that they are doing for you is PRAYING for you. Prayer is a powerful force that they can release in your life. Ask them to pray for your health, family, projects and overall well being.
Secondly, you want your inner circle to PUSH you. Sometimes we can find our selves dragging and need a little push. This also works when you are ready to give up as well, that little push will give you the motivation to keep on going.
Thirdly, you want your inner circle to PROMOTE you. You shouldn't be in competition with those in your circle, so they should have no problem promoting you and your projects.
Lastly, count on your circle to PROTECT you. Many times we are so in the fight, that we cannot see all the danger around us. Trust your circle to protect your blind side. We all need a good corner team.
Look for your inner circle to provide these vital measures, and ensure you return the kindness.
Can you think of some helpful things that your inner circle can provide, share them with us?
Think Better, Live Better!
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Do you find yourself DOING a lot of things, but seem to be getting no where? Maybe it's because you are being busy and not productive. Productive and busy are totally two different worlds a part. I call busy the treadmill syndrome, you are sweating, you are moving, your legs hurt, but you are in the same place. You even brag that you went five miles, but actually it was the same as you riding around in a circle in your car.
Successful people have learned it's not about being busy, but being productive. Productive people can do less than a busy person, but have greater results. Let me give you an example, I am a professional speaker and I provide leadership training to corporations. Each week I devote a certain amount of time to introducing myself and my services to new potential clients. I must ensure that the corporations I contact need my services and can afford my services. I could send out 100 emails to companies that don't need or cannot afford my services. Now to say I sent out 100 emails may sound impressive, but it's not productive.
See, I could send out five emails to the "RIGHT" cliental, receive two conformations back, and that would be more productive than receiving 25 emails from the wrong client. So, do an assessment on your activities, are they really returning value to you, or are you wasting time, effort, money and energy.
The Law of Productivity says I receive high value return for my efforts.
Think Better, Live Better
Once a month, I invest about eight hours organizing my office, thoughts and ideas. Why do I invest so much time doing this, because my mentor taught me I cannot go higher than my level of organization. He taught me that being unorganized will cost me time, energy and opportunities.
So today is my day for organization. How much time do you invest in being organized. When Jesus got ready to feed 5000 people on a hill, he told his leaders to organize the people. Miracles happen when things are in order, so if you are not organized, invest some time in getting organized.
Think Better, Live Better
What are some of the key traits you deem valuable to a leader? Vision, character, trust, love and influence are some of the things that come to my mind. But one of the most valuable tools in my tool box is INSIGHT.
Insight by definition is the immediate understanding of the significance of an event or action. Developing this all important trait will prove to be invaluable on your leadership journey.
Everyday we are faced with challenges, obstacles, test, trials or whatever you want to call them. Being able to understand what happen, why it happened and how it happen is essential to successful leadership.
The quicker you are at utilizing insight, the faster you can put a plan in action or know your next movement. Now, let me put a marker right here. When I say understand why something happened, I am not talking about always knowing the reason, some thinks we cannot explain. But gather all the information you can and use your insight to make the correct decisions.
I don’t only rely on my personal insight; I have a league of mentors, counselors and advisors I tap into as well. Especially when a situation that I have not personally dealt with arises, I without hesitation call upon others. They help me chart a course for my next move.
I have learned that one size does not fit all in my leadership journey. So, I have learned to rely on insight to make critical decisions. Some times I hear leaders say it’s “Black and White” no gray areas. But in reality, there are gray areas. Two people can do the exact same thing, but for totally different reasons.
Employing insight will allow you to make the right call. Let’s say for example, two employees are late for work. One was late because they over slept, the other because they had a flat tire. Should both receive repercussions, should only one? Insight gives you the ability to make these tough choices.
If you are just starting or developing in your leadership journey, surround yourself with people that have great insight, don’t go it alone.
Insight has served me well, and I am sure it will be a great companion for you as well.
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Think Better, Live Better
I have had the privilege to lead in many different leadership positions in various types of organizations. I have lead in government, church, colleges, non-profits, sports teams and the Army. In each of these arenas I was able to achieve great success, because I learned not to abuse my influence.
Great leaders understand that leadership is about influencing those that they lead in a positive way and direction. Your team looks to you for guidance, instructions and direction, you are a symbol.
As a leader if you are not careful you can abuse your influence, and manipulate those you follow. I see this all the time, this can even happen in relationships between two individuals. Often I see it in churches, where the leader will use their influence to accomplish personal goals, this is abuse.
So, how do you check yourself to ensure you are not abusing your influence over those you lead? Here is a quick check list to ask yourself:
1. Is what I am asking them to do, benefiting the team
2. Have I considered their goals as well
3. Will asking this individual create a hardship for them
There are times when we require our teams to come out the comfort zone and push beyond the normal; I’m not talking about these times. Influence abuse occurs when we as leaders become more concerned with our own goals and lose sight of the overall vision.
Don’t become influence abusers; check your motives at all times.
Think Better, Live Better!
I don’t know about you, but I am a stickler for great service. Nothing annoys me more than a person who offers bad service. I really can’t define bad or great service, but I do know when I see bad or great service. And just as bold as I am about getting great service, I am the same way when it comes to receiving great service; I think a person should accept great service with an attitude of gratitude. I try to never think I am above someone because they are serving me.
I wanted to write this short blog because I witnessed some great service a few days ago. It wasn’t directly directed towards me, but I benefited from it immensely.
I am a part of a group on Facebook called “Social Media Swag” (http://www.facebook.com/groups/socialmediaswag/), a great group that was started by Pam Perry, the PR Guru (www.pamperrypr.com). It is an awesome group; I have received so much great applicable information from the group members.
Well, the other day one of the members Tai Goodwin (www.careermakeovercoach.com) posted a link to her free Social Networking Checklist (http://ht.ly/6q1CP), which I happily downloaded, it is filled with remarkable information, I included the link, make sure you download it.
Then that’s when I spotted it. Spotted what you ask? Great service! Within an hour of Tai posting her resourceful checklist, one of the other members of the group, Ramon Williamson (www.mavenaire.com) provided Tai with some great tips to enhance her check list and presented a more precise way to offer the checklist on her website.
Now people are always offering to tell you how to improve your stuff, but what was great about this, Ramon didn’t only point out the improvements, but he actually created a video for Tai and the rest of the group to see a visual of how the changes would improve the offer. As I watched the video, I was so impressed, not by Ramon’s skill, which he does have skills, but with the service he was providing. This all occurred several days ago, but I couldn’t shake the overwhelming service I was graced to witness.
Three things I was reminded of when I saw Ramon’s service:
1. Someone’s experience of your service should overwhelm them that they tell
2. Great service goes the extra mile
3. Look for opportunities to share your service
I was so impressed with the service I saw, I decided at 1:00am to write this blog, I couldn’t let great service go without a mention.
THINK BETTER, LIVE BETTER!
As I travel and talk to audiences around the world, without fail, I am asked the same question time and time again. “Are leaders born or developed?”
I have heard other leadership experts answer this question in humorous ways, serious ways and in objective ways. I have heard some say “I have never met a leader that wasn’t born.” I know some who feel that not just anyone can be a leader, there are many answers, so today I add my billion dollar sense.
For almost two decades I have studied the subject of leadership, leaders, best and worst practices of leadership and so on. I consider myself a student and teacher of the subject of leadership. I constantly glean from others as well as my mentors on the subject. So let’s tackle this common question.
In short, I believe EVERYONE is a leader, so that would presuppose that leaders are born. But to reach your full leader potential, you must be developed, place in the right position and be willing to learn and grow. You may disagree that everyone is a leader because you are thinking of some people you know that had a “Leadership Position” but was terrible at leading the unit or team.
The problem with that scenario is that you encountered a person who was not devolved in leadership. Many times a person is given a position because they are good at a task or with a system. But this doesn’t mean they are ready for a position of leadership.
Leadership is about people, not systems and task. So a person can be recognized for their work, but may not be ready to love, lead and help others. Often times we place people in positions of leadership and they fail, because they have never been developed for leadership.
Let me give you a visual if I may. If you are familiar with the game of basketball, especially team basketball, you know that on the court there are five positions, two guards, two forwards and one center. Now I’m sure you have heard of Michael “Air” Jordan, who is said to be one of the best to play professional basketball.
Air Jordan was a guard, that was his position, but think for a second, if his coach made him play center. Do you think he would have had the same degree of success? Would he have won six championships, numerous scoring titles, and multiple MVP awards? I don’t think so. Why not? Because he would have been out of the proper position to bring his potential to the greatest level on the court.
Think about that person that is great with systems, the boss sees them and says this person should be in charge of the unit or the team. Yet the person hasn’t been developed to lead people, the person is equipped to handle systems. Maybe they can be a lead trainer, or be a leader by example in how to run a particular system, but not ready for a position of leadership.
A leader is a person that provides an example, whether that example is good or bad, that person is a leader. That’s why I believe EVERYONE is a leader. Take for example, a mother of three children may become a leader for a new mother and become an example for this new mother. But does that mean the mother of three is ready to become the head of the New Mothers Association, a leadership position. Maybe not, but she still can provide guidance and instructions for new moms.
So to wrap this up, EVERYONE is a leader, but everyone should not be given positions of leadership until you know they are ready. If you are given a position of leadership, remember that it is no longer about systems and task, but about people.
Moreland On Leadership Development™
Dr. Will is an author, speaker and leadership consultant....