Should You Live Your Resume… or Your Eulogy?

David Brooks, in his TED Talk, Should You Live Your Resume… or Your Eulogy?, poses a profound question of focus to great leaders about how they choose to live their life – the powerful question of what they do and why they do it. He introduces his discussion saying:

“So I’ve been thinking about the difference between the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the ones you put on your résumé, which are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that get mentioned in the eulogy, which are deeper: who are you, in your depth, what is the nature of your relationships, are you bold, loving, dependable, consistent? And most of us, including me, would say that the eulogy virtues are the more important of the virtues. But at least, in my case, are they the ones that I think about the most? And the answer is no”.

He shares the thoughts from Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik who, in his book, The Lonely Man Of Faith, describes what he calls the two sides of our nature – Adam I and Adam II. Brooks writes:

“Adam I is the worldly, ambitious, external side of our nature. He wants to build, create, create companies, create innovation. Adam II is the humble side of our nature. Adam II wants not only to do good but to be good, to live in a way internally that honors God, creation and our possibilities. Adam I wants to conquer the world. Adam II wants to hear a calling and obey the world. Adam I savors accomplishment. Adam II savors inner consistency and strength. Adam I asks how things work. Adam II asks why we’re here. Adam I’s motto is “success.” Adam II’s motto is “love, redemption and return.”

Brooks refers to these two virtues as being in confrontation. I suggest, however, that in the great leaders’ lives, it is more of a balancing of both virtues, and that each can be lived fully. Adam II provides the foundational balance, the internal self and character in guiding the well-lived life of Adam I. Adam II is the model of the great servant leader. The question, however, in this balancing is: Should you live for your resume… or your eulogy? Which resume will you choose to guide your life? Will the answer be “success”? Or will it be “love”? I humbly entreat you to consider love. A life of love will bring success beyond your wildest dreams. Love first, and success will follow. May your life, eulogy and legacy be one of love. As England Dan and John Ford Coley sing, “Love is the answer.” Make your song one to be remembered.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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The Joy of Growing Together

Michael Jordan said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence championships.” His powerful words are a gentle reminder to great leaders of the importance of teamwork in achieving success. It is about maximizing, with and through others, our unique and beautiful gifts in a sharing of our collective strengths. This joyous diversity of perspectives, ideas and insights add depth and richness to communal thought. What to one is self-evident may be to another a life-changing discernment.

Ken Blanchard said, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” Our journey is a magnificent mosaic of collaborations and partnerships of helping and serving each other to find and achieve our greatest potential. It is one of mutual growth, learning and exploration beyond our own worldviews. It is pushing our boundaries and being vulnerable to open our eyes to new possibilities as we see through the eyes of others.

Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” wrote Henry Ford. May you play many games on many teams and win magnificent championships throughout your life’s journey holding closely the words of Gloria Arroyo, “The power of one, if fearless and focused, is formidable, but the power of many working together is better.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On the Joy of Getting Back Up

Some of the great leaders’ greatest life learnings and successes come from falls and stumbles they face along the way. It is in those instances that they find new challenges and opportunities to push and stretch their perceived limits and see life differently. They make new adjustments to their mindset, alter accordingly and move forward more aware and better prepared for their next steps. From this, their strength of character also grows as they get back up again with even greater perseverance and passion to continue their magnificent journey.

Confucius tells great leaders, “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.” Vince Lombardi said, “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.” May you be fearless in moments of falling, always knowing that those times are not the end of a journey, but only stepping stones to greater success and learning. Fall down. Get up. The best is yet to come… and it will because you choose it to be so.

Have a beautiful day, a Happy Easter and Passover and a magnificent week!!!

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On Unconditional Love

In his daily Minute with MaxwellLove Someone, Regardless, John Maxwell speaks about the joy and power of unconditional love as the source of influence and inspiration in the lives of great leaders. He tells the story of his mother’s unconditional love for him. It gave to him, he says, the freedom to express himself as she accepted him for who he was. It also gave him a sense of self-worth and value as he “wasn’t  judged upon what I did, but loved because of who he was.”

Brian Tracy writes: “The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance.” Our selfless giving of unconditional love, Maxwell says, tells someone: “I will always be in your corner. You look around any time, I’m not leaving. I’m right there.. to love you, care for you, help you, believe in you and bring you back. I will always be in your corner.” It is a magical gift that will change the lives of those whom you serve, and yours also. In return, they will give you an even more precious gift, the gift of their trust and belief in you. Be in someone’s corner today… and every day. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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Weathering the Storms

Life is a constant challenge. It’s full of unexpected detours that no one but you can navigate.” said Sheryl Crow. Dolly Parton wrote, “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” Life’s beautiful journey is sometimes interrupted by unexpected happenings that challenge the very core of our happiness, plans and dreams. We are tested, seemingly, to our limit by the pain, disruption and impact they may bring. Rationally and emotionally we struggle for balance to find a solution. Yet, may we pause for a moment and reflect on what we have already learned from our life’s journey.

Throughout our life, we have experienced similar challenges, perhaps not of the same magnitude or content, yet alike in their impact. Having lived through them, we think of how we approached them, what we learned and how we navigated them. Among the evidence, we will find answers to how we will successfully address new happenings. We will see confirmations of who we are: values-driven, resilient, passionate, compassionate, purposeful, caring, deliberate, ceaseless (among others). We will rediscover that we have what it takes to, once again, get us through another of life’s unexpected happenings.

Henry David Thoreau wrote, “I learned this… that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” May the wise counsel of Winnie the Pooh inspire you during challenging times, “You are braver than you believe, smarter than you seem, and stronger than you think.” Assuredly, you will find your rainbow. Your best is yet to come!

Have a beautiful day, a happy first full day of Spring and a magnificent week!!!

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On Your Purpose

In a recent blog post, John Maxwell speaks about finding your life’s purpose. He says that many people come to him with the question, how do I find my life’s purpose. His reply is, “If you want to discover your purpose, two things: what are you passionate about and what are you good at?”.  Your passion and love of what you do can sometimes lead you to your purpose, but what you are good at,  “your giftedness”,  will always lead you to your purpose.

You have been given infinite gifts, and you are unique in this entire universe in those gifts. Your journey is one of joyous and exciting discovery to find them in each moment, each minute, each day helping you to understand who you are in your magnificent journey of becoming… of finding and living your purpose. It is all there already inside of you. Find them through others in their beautifully diverse views of the world, their unique gifts. Find them in pushing your boundaries and taking daring and bold challenges. Find them in quiet moments of reflection.

Buddha wrote, “Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.” May you hear Oprah Winfrey’s words quietly echo in your ears as a gentle reminder on your magnificent journey, “There is no greater gift that you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.”

Have a beautiful day, a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and a magnificent week!!!

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The Magic of the Countdown

Zig Ziglar speaks to great leaders about commitment writing, “Most people who fail in their dream fail, not from lack of ability, but from lack of commitment.” Commitment transforms your hopes and promises into realities. In his blog post, The Magic of the Countdown, Seth Godin shares his thoughts of the metaphorical excitement that accompanies the great leader’s act of commitment.

Thea von Harbou invented the countdown. 10, 9, 8… It works. It focuses the attention of everyone involved and ensures that we’re truly alert for what’s going to happen next. It helps that the numbers go down, not up (because up might never end). And …

It focuses the attention of everyone involved and ensures that we’re truly alert for what’s going to happen next.
It helps that the numbers go down, not up (because up might never end). And it helps that as we get closer to lift-off, tension goes up, not down.
But what really matters is this: There’s a commitment.
When we get to zero, we’re actually going to do this.
The commitment has to happen before the countdown can.

Jean-Paul Sartre writes, “Commitment is an act, not a word.” May your commitment to your life’s purpose and goals be unrelenting and filled with passion, excitement and enthusiasm that transform your dreams into blissful realities. With great positivity and joy, choose to be on the playing field every precious moment of your life. Commit to realizing the greatness and beauty that is you that, at end of days, you can loudly and proudly say, “No regrets! I have lived my life to its fullest. I have truly lived every day of my life.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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There Is Always More Than One Answer

Raymond Feist writes, “Never accept the proposition that just because a solution satisfies a problem, that it must be the only solution.” A one-only solution mindset is limiting to the great leader’s choices and selections. Challenges and opportunities can be viewed through many different lenses creating multiple options suggesting different dimensions for consideration. Each one provides a unique way forward, an alternative that further opens our eyes and mind to new possibilities.

An unknown author wrote, “Open-minded people don’t care to be right, they care to understand. There’s never a right or wrong answer. Everything is about understanding.” The words suggest the need to move beyond a single answer to a more comprehensive consideration and understanding of alternative views. For great leaders, there is always more than one way, another option. In your search for answers, continuously look for options… a lot of them. May their multitude bring exponential value to the richness of your choices, and may their impact contribute to the efficacy and value of your extraordinary leadership.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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Great Leaders SEE Things Differently

In his recent blog post, Leaders SEE things DIFFERENTLY, Ryan Walter, former professional ice hockey center, Stanley Cup winner, motivational speaker and author, writes of the power and magic of SEEing in the lives of great leaders. He begins with a story of his experience that he and his wife had on a shuttle bus at an airport during a recent trip.

Jenn and I were being transferred by a shuttle bus from landing in Pearson Airport (Toronto, Canada) to the terminal where we would clear customs and exit the airport. The bus was packed full of people and a number of elderly people were standing right next to us. Two feet away from them sat a well-dressed lady who had decided to place her bag on the seat next to where she was seated. During this 10-Minute shuttle trip she never once offered to move her bag, (she just looked out the window,) so that the elderly lady standing next to her could be more comfortable. Her bag was more important than humanity. She decided not to SEE.

The story captures a real life example of the differentiating value that SEEing can provide in the great leader’s journey. Walter writes:

We believe that every team has 3 general types of players: ME players, WE players and SEE players. Through hard work, practice, growth and resilience, SEE players have developed a different frame, a different sight-line, a different way to SEE things.

SEE players are your effective leaders. They SEE people doing great work and thank them. They SEE the better future. They SEE their desired future-self. They SEE the clear path forward for their team. They SEE differently. Leadership is not always about being a hero, but it is always about SEEing the opportunities to create HERO moments for others. Great leaders SEE people differently!

Walter asks: “WHAT and WHO will you and I choose to SEE differently this week?” May you continually open your eyes to SEEing the joy, beauty and learning each moment of life offers. Let actions follow your vision as you create new possibilities for your personal and professional growth and the development of those whom you serve. May you remember Marcel Proust’s wise counsel: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Be a SEE player and change the world!

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On the Power and Magic of Being Vulnerable

Leo Christopher tells great leaders: “Vulnerability is the essence of connection, and connection is the essence of existence.” In his recent podcast interview on Player Networking Event (PNE), Quentin (Q) Williams speaks about the power of vulnerability, a  magical and crucial cornerstone in connecting and relationships.

Vulnerability, for many in society,” Williams says, “is considered a weakness… but it’s really a strength because you are relieving yourself of shame…. It takes a burden of shame off our shoulders. It’s simple. The way you allow yourself to be vulnerable is to just tell your story. Anything that will bring some humanness to you, it now connects you. And that’s the power of vulnerability. Vulnerability will change everything.”

When we open ourselves to others, they will begin to see the richness and gifts we have to offer. It opens to them the window of who we are, what we value and represent and how much we may be similar in our beliefs and values. It is a magical transparency that invites openness and sharing, peeling back others’ perception of us. The unexplained is now open to understanding because we revealed who we are.

Melissa Joyce writes: “This is the beautiful and terrifying thing about vulnerability. We must be willing to completely reveal layers of ourselves in order to reach an authentic, tangible connection with another soul.” Brene Brown adds, “Daring greatly means the courage to be vulnerable. It means to show up and be seen. To ask for what you need. To talk about how you’re feeling. To have the hard conversations.“

Vulnerability takes great courage. Your openness becomes that beautiful, magical and magnetizing connecting link to all whom you meet and serve. You are human in all your magnificence. Gary Burnison, CEO, Korn Ferry, writes, “Developing relationships with others—being human—compels us to be vulnerable and authentic,”

May you always remember Rumi’s gentle counsel, “Take off the mask. Your face is glorious.” Be vulnerable and enjoy an undreamed of journey of new connections and relationships. It is a magical key for you to change the world and the lives of those whom you touch and serve.

Happy Valentine’s Day and have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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