Feedback, the Fertilizer of Growth

Following a recent and learning-filled conversation with a dear friend, Sam Daniel, about the value of feedback in leadership development, Sam put pen to paper (as the expression goes) and shared how each of us are mirrors for others. It is powerful in its imagery and beautifully captures the importance of feedback in the great leaders continuing growth.

The eye cannot see itself…without a mirror. The mirror is the ultimate visual feedback aid in determining our physical appearance, facial expressions, conditions of our teeth, hair, skin, etc. Without a mirror, unless we have a pool of water nearby, we are blind to parts of our bodies including our faces. We are also blind to many of our behaviors without the “mirrors” of feedback from others.

Others become our feedback sources in revealing our blind spots when we’re not aware. They become our mirrors if we seek their views and judgments of us. We can only change our shortcomings when we are aware of them. However, many are reluctant to give feedback, unless it’s a job requirement, for fear of ruining a friendship or relationship. That’s why it’s important to seek it.

Feedback, even when it’s critical, is friendly if taken seriously and corrections are made in time. Criticisms and positive suggestions can be fertilizers of personal growth, and when heeded, they have triggered many corrective behaviors to save marriages, jobs, friendships, etc.. Without feedback, we can risk becoming legends only in our minds. Feedback keeps us in touch with the reality around us and helps us avoid being blindsided by a sudden divorce or loss of a job.

The mirror is a key to your self-image and successful grooming. Do you also have “mirrors” reflecting your behaviors and performance? It’s worth all the time and effort to get as much feedback as you can for more happiness and success.

Bill Gates said, “We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” May your find myriads of mirrors in others that they may open you to opportunities for undreamed of growth. And may you be a mirror for others that they, too, will discover their greatest potential. As Ken Blanchard wrote, ”Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On the Gifts of Opportunities

Opportunities are the magical door openers of exploration. They are portals to new learnings of self-discovery. They are openings to unexplored paths on which self-imposed limits and boundaries are escaped. In all that they offer, they are often missed because of how they present themselves. Thomas Edison wrote, “Opportunity is missed by most people, because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Yet, this can be changed.

A curiosity mindset transforms the picture and creates an openness and receptivity to the opportunity. It asks the question, “What does this situation offer to my growth and learning?” Suddenly, the opportunity, brilliantly clothed as a problem, opens your eyes to new possibilities, opportunities and challenges which push your limits and creates the awareness to see the world differently. It also offers you the joy and excitement of new adventures, learning and growth.

May you always answer the door when opportunity knocks. Be passionate, bold and daring. As Steve Maraboli said, “Your momentum creates the door on which opportunity knocks.” Remember George Bernard Shaw’s wise counsel, “Don’t wait for the right opportunity: create it.” Change the world! Your best is yet to come.

Have a beautiful day, a happy first day of Fall on the 22nd and a magnificent week!!!

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On Your Mission in Life

Viktor Frankl wrote, “Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone’s task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.”

The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why,” wrote Mark Twain. On that beautiful day, the spark which lights a fire inside of you is found. You discover who you are and why you are here. It is a calling that you choose. It is your life’s purpose… the unimaginable ‘why’ for which you were born which motivates you and brings meaning to your life. You begin to more fully realize your gifts and see their alignment around your purpose. Your direction is clarified; you have something for which to live. You choose your path ahead, a lifelong journey of commitment, passion and joy in achieving your purpose and mission.

An unknown author wrote, “Definition of hell: on your last day on earth you meet the person you could have become.” May your life, in all its magnificent being and doing, be the stuff of extraordinary legacy. May your gifts take you and those whom you serve to the heavens and beyond. Be and do more that you ever dreamed. May they say of you that you not only lived, but that you lived for something… your beautiful ‘why’ through which you changed the world. Your best is yet to come!

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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The Long Game

In his blog post, A Year from Now…, Seth Godin reminds great leaders of the importance of their living and doing today to make better tomorrows.

Will today’s emergency even be remembered? Will that thing you’re particularly anxious about have been hardly worth the time you put into it?
Better question: What could you do today that would matter a year from now?

A purposeful and value-added life is about always doing your best while never letting life’s inconveniences disrupt that flow and get in the way. Ralph Marston wrote: “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” The words create a beautiful change of focus and mindset, one of an intentional search each day to find and sow those precious seeds which will later blossom.

The magic and joy of your future rests anxiously in your hands – in every word, thought, action, behavior and attitude. May you be intentional in capturing the opportunities and challenges of what today holds. May you begin each day with the question: What will I do today that will matter a year from now? Let your responses be the value-added and exciting foundations of your dreams, goals and purpose, and improve all your tomorrows. Your best is yet to come! It is all in your hands. Life is so very good.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On Enough

Enough is defined as, “as much or as many of something as required.” It is a word used when something is exhausted or finished, time for example. John Maxwell asks the question, “How do I know that I have given enough as a leader to really help people reach their potential?” The answer to his question is not a delimiting one, a time when your limit is reached or satisfied. For the answer to the question of your selfless giving to those whom you serve is to continuously give them more than enough.

Likewise with yourself. Brené Brown writes, “Believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable, and imperfect.” Know, always, in all who you are and do, enough is never enough. Good is not good enough. Great is not great enough. There is always something more. May you fill your life and the lives of those whom you serve with more than enough because… you are so beautifully more than enough. As William Blake wrote, “You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On the Joy of Yes

“Everything in the world began with a yes. One molecule said yes to another molecule and life was born,” wrote Clarice Lispector. Yes opens the door to possibilities. It creates a mindset of adventure and challenge, an invitation to explore new ideas, seek new approaches in accomplishing something or step into the unknown in search of the unthinkable. Yes is the road of doing and accomplishing. Yes is about more; no is about less.

Thomas Dreier said, “No is always a door-closing word; yes is always a door-opening word.” Yes creates an abundance mindset; no creates one of scarcity. Yes is the permission you give yourself to take your next step in adding to your life’s experiences and successes. May you passionately embrace John Maxwell’s wise counsel to always “live on the other side of yes.” An unknown author wrote, “We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” Become more than you ever dreamed you could be… and more… so much more. Your best is yet to come. Just say yes.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On the Power of Your Impact

Who are we, if not measured by the impact we have on others,” wrote Carl Sagan. Words, attitudes, behaviors, actions all have an impact on those who receive them. Even a smile on our face or the softness of our tone of voice, they leave an impression on their recipients. The reality of this impact reminds us that it is yet another gift we offer others, a conveyance of our love and passion for life, an inspiration and motivation to others to find what we have found or a simple moment of uplift in making their day brighter. The choice of sharing these gifts of our impact rests in our hands.

We are each called to be a beacon of light in the world,” writes Joy Andreasen. May we be that shining and brilliant beacon to those whom we touch and serve. In all our magnificent being and doing, may we remember the power of our impact. May you hold closely the words of Mother Teresa, “I cannot alone change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Cast your stones into the waters of life. Change your world and the world of those touched by the ripples you have joyfully created.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On Seeing What Others Do Not

Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others,” wrote Jonathan Swift. It is the magical ability to think with imagination and wisdom, to see what others do not see and see it before they do. Visionary thinking unlocks the gates of self-imposed limitations and the confining thinking of others. It is big-picture thinking at its finest… no boundaries, only endless speculation on possibilities that move life from the ‘as is’ to the ‘what can be.’ Rosabeth Moss Kanter writes, “ A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.

Warren Buffet said, “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” May your vision of life’s possibilities and its undreamed beauty and richness be the seeds of those trees which will bring joyous, peaceful shade to the lives of many. May your vision be your call “to become something more,” something and someone so much more. Your best is yet to come.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On the Value of Appreciation

The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated,” wrote Marcel Proust. On appreciation, Margaret Cousins tells us, “Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it all into words is all that is necessary.” It is in this gift that you give recognition to the great value someone brings to your life… in who they are, and in what they do.

Your appreciative words that acknowledge a significant impact that someone has brought to your life engenders in them a deep personal sense of self-value. Their gratitude for this recognition gives you the joy and feeling of your own beauty and greatness. What you give opens you to the gifts you will receive.

Proust counsels us, “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” May your words sow seeds of happiness and appreciation in those you serve that they, too, will be the charming gardeners to others in making souls blossom.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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We Can’t Do It Alone

In his recent blog post, Leaders Find Accountability Partners to Help Them Cement New Habits, Larry Center speaks to the importance of accountability partners in life’s journey.They are those wonderful friends, coaches, mentors and others who provide you “with tough love, wise feedback and compassionate caring” in your continuing growth and development. Center describes them as:

    • Someone who believes in our aspirations
    • Someone who believes in our capabilities
    • Someone who trusts us and who we trust
    • Someone with whom we can communicate on a regular basis
    • Someone who is willing to hold us accountable and tell us the truth
    • Someone who we can be truthful with regarding our feelings and our hopes
    • Someone who will not think any less of us if and when we fall down and who can help us get back up

These are the beautiful people who have your back in your continued journey to be more than you ever dreamed you could be. Charles Stanley writes, “An accountability partner is able to perceive what you can’t see when blind spots and weaknesses block your vision.” May you embrace and enjoy those in your life who see and believe in your fullest potential, take learning from them and come to find it in yourself. Your best is yet to come!

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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