The Paradox of Impatiently Patient

In his recent blog post, Gary Burnison shares his insights on dealing effectively “in this frustrating time of perpetual uncertainty.” He suggests that “the answers are often found in the paradoxes and opposites. It’s time for impatient patience.” Or, in the words of Emperor Augustus, ‘Festina lente’ – make haste slowly.” He cites the findings of his Korn Ferry team of more than 70 million assessments of executives.

“Here’s what we know when it comes to this elusive quality known as patience. First of all, the best leaders are often impatient—they can’t afford to be complacent. And most of them also have a need to achieve, which makes taking on challenges a particularly strong motivator. But patience also shows up in more subtle, nuanced ways—like having empathy for people and exhibiting composure during times of high stress and crises. It’s a tall order, but that’s the yin and yang of leadership.”

The paradox is a living one for great leaders, the simple impatience to meet and achieve the many challenges and opportunities they explore, yet, also, to have the patience to step back, prioritize and assess the impacts they represent.  Success is found in a balance of being impatiently patient. Burnison adds further depth to this looking at a broader context… the world and time in which we live. Everyone needs to know and understand this balance of impatient urgency and the patience to deal with it.

On your journey, may you be impatiently patient, and bring this learning to those you serve. Remember the words of a Chinese proverb, “One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.” As Edmund Burke wrote, “Our patience will achieve more than our force.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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The Butterfly Effect

Chaos Theory states, “It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wings can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world.” This has come to be known as the “Butterfly Effect.” Said more simply, the smallest change can be the stimulus and trigger of greater ones.

The Butterfly Effect is an effective metaphor for the impact that our behaviors, words, actions and attitudes have on others. Each one is a stimulus, a ripple effect, to what follows. The repeated fluttering of your wings sends and reinforces messages of what you believe, the values you live, and your life’s purpose and meaning. It is this magnificent ripple effect that changes the lives of others through its optimistic outlook, the boldness and daring of its pursuits and its depth of caring and serving.

Shawn Achor writes, “Each one of us is like that butterfly. And each tiny move toward a more positive mindset can send ripples of positivity through our organizations, our families, and our communities.” It is the tiny moves that you make on your journey that have major impacts. May you remember the words of an unknown author, “Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tem’ wings that their vibrations, too, are felt halfway around the world. The little things that you do have that much influence. Flutter your wings proudly that others may feel and experience your magnificent impact, and that they, too, will continue your extraordinary ripple.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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In Humble and Joyous Recognition of a Role Model of Great Leadership – Colin Powell

Colin Powell is an extraordinary man who served with love. For him, both in his professional and personal life, it was all about people. His was a journey of success by surpassing. It is evidenced in his commitment to his life’s purpose and meaning, his exceptional values-based leadership which found its roots in people, his courage, passion, unconditional caring and serving of others. His words, below, capture his legacy of leadership and selfless giving.

Books on leadership abound. Powell’s words, below, however, beautifully and succinctly capture its essence. I humbly encourage you to take five minutes to read his thoughts, ones that may open your eyes and take you to new levels of leadership excellence.

1. “Leadership is all about people. It is not about organizations. It is not about plans. It is not about strategies. It is all about people-motivating people to get the job done. You have to be people-centered.”
2. “Good leaders set vision, missions, and goals. Great leaders inspire every follower at every level to internalize their purpose, and to understand that their purpose goes far beyond the mere details of their job. When everyone is united in purpose, a positive purpose that serves not only the organization but also, hopefully, the world beyond it, you have a winning team.”
3. “Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.”
4. “Great leaders are always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everyone can understand.”
5. “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
6. “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters.”
7. “Every organization needs to be introspective, transparent, and honest with itself. This only works if everyone is unified on the goals and purposes of the organization and there is trust within the team. High-performing, successful organizations build cultures of introspection and trust and never lose sight of their purpose.”
8. “The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people.”
9. “Never receive counsel from unproductive people. Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how. Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person. Don’t follow anyone who’s not going anywhere.”
10. “The most important thing I learned is that soldiers watch what their leaders do. You can give them classes and lecture them forever, but it is your personal example they will follow.”
11. “Never get so close to your position that when the position goes, your ego goes with it.”
12. “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.”
13. “Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard.”
14. “You don’t know what you can get away with until you try.”
15. “Dig up all the information you can, then go with your instincts.”
16. “Bad news isn’t wine. It doesn’t improve with age.”
17. “Give me the right people and I don’t much care what organization you give me. Good things will happen. Give me the wrong people and it doesn’t matter what you do with the organization. Bad things will happen.”
18. “There is no end to the good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”
19. “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”
20. “Always be looking for that which you do well and that which you love doing, and when you find those two things together — man, you got it.”
21. “Respect for leaders by followers can’t be mandated; it must be earned. It has to be given to leaders by their followers.”
22. “Effective leaders are made, not born. They learn from trial and error, and from experience.”
23. “All children need a laptop. Not a computer, but a human laptop. Moms, Dads, Grannies and Grandpas, Aunts, Uncles – someone to hold them, read to them, teach them. Loved ones who will embrace them and pass on the experience, rituals, and knowledge of a hundred previous generations. Loved ones who will pass to the next generation their expectations of them, their hopes, and their dreams.”
24. “Always show more kindness than seems necessary, because the person receiving it needs it more than you will ever know.”
25. “Trust is the glue that holds people together and is the lubricant that keeps an organization moving forward.”
26. “Look for intelligence and judgement and most critically, a capacity to anticipate, to see around corners. Also look for loyalty, integrity, a high energy drive, a balanced ego and the drive to get things done.”
27. “Never neglect details. When everyone’s mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant.”
28. “Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity.”
29. “When we are debating an issue, loyalty means giving me your honest opinion, whether you think I’ll like it or not. Disagreement, at this stage, stimulates me. But once a decision has been made, the debate ends. From that point on, loyalty means executing the decision as if it were your own.”
30. “In prosperity our friends know us. In adversity we know our friends.”
31. “Treat people kindly. When you are kind to somebody and I don’t mean necessarily buddy-buddy, just show kindness and consideration. Show that people are worthy and you respect them and you are glad they’re with you.”
32. “Faults are yours to fix, not to curse.”
33. “The freedom to be your best means nothing unless you are willing to do your best.”
34. “Always do your best. Somebody is watching you.”
35. “I think whether you’re having setbacks or not, the role of a leader is to always display a winning attitude.”
36. “Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds.”
37. “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”
38. “None of us can change our yesterdays but all of us can change our tomorrows.”
39. “The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people.”

Beyond these words is the man who lived their reality at every moment of his life’s journey. His life is a treasure he left for us in all its wisdom, inspiration and motivation of which he is the role model. Let us continue to live the gift of his learnings. May the legacy of his life and words be an inspiration to us and future generations. May we be as he is, role models of leadership excellence, servant leadership, selfless-giving and caring.

Thank you, Colin Powell, for being a magnificent leadership role model… a joyous legacy that continues in the lives of those whom you touched and served, and which will be passed on by them to others and to the generations to come.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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Learnings from Pygmalion

In his book, The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor reminds great leaders of the great learnings from the Roman poet, Ovid, in his story about Pygmalion. Pygmalion had the gift of looking at a piece of marble and seeing the sculpture it held. Pygmalion’s story tells of his vision of his ideal and how the power of his gift made it a reality.

Pygmalion had a vision of his ideal, the zenith of all of his hopes and desires – a woman he named Galatea. One day he began to chisel the marble, crafting it to his vision. When he was finished, he stepped back and looked at his work. It was beautiful. Galatea was more than just a woman: The statue represented every hope, every dream, every possibility, every meaning – beauty itself. Inevitably Pygmalion fell in love.

He realized that he could not love a stone, and asked the goddess Venus to grant him a wish to bring the stone to life. And she did. His vision became reality. The lesson of this story, today, is known as the Pygmalion Effect: “when our belief in another person’s potential brings that potential to life.”

May you always be someone’s magical Pygmalion, seeing in others their magnificent and unique gifts and treasures, and helping them see it in themselves. May you remember Albert Einstein’s wise counsel, “There are only two ways to live your life: one is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Fill your life with making miracles, and help others in making theirs. Your expectations, the priceless keys to those you serve, are magnificent catalysts to their growth.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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Going Back to the Beginning to Find Your Way

St. Augustine reminds great leaders of the importance of continuing growth of their self-knowledge writing, “Men [and women] go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.”

Deepak Chopra heightens this importance writing, “By becoming self-aware, you gain ownership of reality; in becoming real, you become the master of both inner and outer life.” Stephen Covey brings impact to its importance, “In our personal lives, if we do not develop our own self-awareness and become responsible for first creations, we empower other people and circumstances to shape our lives by default.”

May we remember always the wise counsel of Laozi, “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” In each moment of your magnificent life’s journey, continue to discover the wonderment of you and the immensity and awesomeness of the gifts you bring to life and others as you fulfill your life’s purpose and meaning that will be your legacy. At end of days, may you look back and say proudly, “I carried my own water, and learned the value of every drop.” Life is so very, very good.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On Daring Greatly

There is a flame burning deep within all of us,” writes Tracey Osborne, “It is up to you to turn your flame into a roaring fire.” Each of us holds the keys to finding and living dreams undreamed. It is this continuous search to explore ourselves, life and its infinite possibilities. It is that magical step we take to do things we have always wanted to do, should do and have not yet done… to be the who we want to be, should be and have not yet become. The journey begins in that exciting and precious moment of daring, daring to be more than you ever dreamed you could be… and more… so much more.

Helen Keller wrote, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” May you live each moment of your life as a daring adventure, an opportunity and challenge to find and give the gift of your magnificent self to the world, your organization, community and the people whom you touch and serve. May you turn your flame into a magnificent roaring fire. Dare greatly!   Dare to be more than you ever dreamed you could be. Your best is yet to come.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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Sometime Later Becomes Never

In his recent blog post, John Maxwell speaks of “sometime”, the word we often use is our planning to do something. He suggests that our use of “sometime” in our thinking, doing this or that sometime, we allow it to take precedent over our planning and we are not doing those things we plan now at this time. “Sometime,” he says, “becomes comfort food to the emotions.” We relax in the thought that ‘sometime I am going to do that.’ There is no action, no real commitment, just the silent quiet of procrastination. He cautions against this, however, with the joyous possibility that “the sometime out there will give them the reward they want in life.”

Maxwell says, “Sometime is no time to believe in…. Sometime, somewhere, someplace, somehow robs them of what they need to do today to receive what they deserve in their life. Don’t let that happen to you.” May you turn your magical sometimes into the realities you do now, always remembering sometimes later becomes never. May you realize your joys, not sometime, but now. Life is so very precious.

Have a beautiful day, a magnificent week and an awesome, fantastic  autumn!!!

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You Are Absolutely Unique

Walt Disney said, “To be successful, you must be unique. You must be so different that if people want what you have, they have to come to you to get it.” His words emphasize the value of the unique difference you bring to life. The reality of your uniqueness is already there in you. It is the beautiful you who is unique in this infinite universe. An unknown author captures the joy, beauty and uniqueness of you in the following. Pause a moment to reflect on your magnificent gift.

You Are Absolutely Unique
Just think what a remarkable, unduplicatable and miraculous thing it is to be you. Of all the people who have come and gone on the earth, since the beginning of time, not one of them is like you.
No one who has ever lived or is to come has had your combination of abilities, talents, appearance, friends, acquaintances, burdens, sorrows and opportunities.
No one’s hair grows exactly the way yours does. No one’s fingerprints are like yours. No one has the same combination of secret inside jokes and family expressions that you know.
The few people who laugh at all the same things you do, don’t sneeze the way you do. No one prays about exactly the same concerns as you do. No one is loved by the same combination of people that love you . . . No one before and no one to come.
Enjoy that very special uniqueness. You do not have to pretend in order to seem more like someone else. You weren’t meant to be like someone else. You do not have to lie to conceal the parts of you that are not like what you see in anyone else.
You were meant to be different. Nowhere, ever, in all of history, will the same things be going on in anyone’s mind, soul and spirit as are going on in yours right now.
If you did not exist, there would be a hole in creation, a gap in history, something missing from the plan for humankind. Treasure your uniqueness as it is a gift given only to you. Enjoy it and share it!
No one can reach out to others in the same way that you can. No one can speak your words. No one can convey your meanings. No one can comfort with your kind of comfort or bring your kind of understanding to another person.
No one can be cheerful and light hearted and joyous in your way. No one can smile your smile. No one else can bring the whole unique impact of you to another human being.
Share your uniqueness. Let it be free to flow out among your family, friends and people you meet in the rush and clutter of living wherever you are. That gift of yourself was given to you to enjoy and share, so always remember . . . YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY UNIQUE!

Your uniqueness is a wondrous gift which separates you in all the beautiful value, joy, love and caring you bring to everything and everyone you touch. Revel in your gift. You are absolutely and beautifully unique. And in your uniqueness, may you expand and broaden its depth by remembering the wisdom of Margaret Mead, “Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.” May you enjoy and celebrate the rich diversity you and others offer each other in your beautiful uniqueness. The offerings of your uniqueness and that of others will change the world.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On the Gift of Your Being Human

Great leaders are very, very human. These are men and women who, when things don’t go right, say, “I was wrong.” They don’t hold themselves up on pedestals to which people may see them as better than they are and bigger than life. Theirs is a humble, values-based and vocal acknowledgement that they are not perfect. Even in their words is a sense of security, not shame, in who they are. People are attracted to their simple humanity. They are simply one of them… one of us. And from this humanness, a great gift is given them, the precious, highly treasured gift of trust.

George Orwell wrote, “The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.” Tony Robbins adds, “Don’t try to be perfect, just be an excellent example of being human.” May you show people the real and beautiful you in your transparency, values and selfless giving, that you continuously and joyously journey, as Og Mandino writes, from human being to human becoming.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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The Power and Joy of Engagement – Walking Slowly Through the Crowd

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit,” wrote Aristotle. For great leaders, one of their greatest acts is that of serving… their selfless engagement with others that they may achieve their greatest potential. Tony Robbins said, “Engaging people is about meeting their needs, not yours.” John Maxwell adds to this saying, “You cannot be an engaging leader until you have engaged in the lives of people. Walk slowly through the crowd.”

The gift you give to those you touch and serve is one of caring… listening to them, respecting and valuing their opinions, understanding the beautiful uniqueness they bring to the world. And in your act of giving, you may receive a gift in return – their engagement and giving with you. And they will follow you for what you have given. It is not about your charisma, as Maxwell says, but about the connection that you make with them. It is a simple act of intended attention to those in your life. It is the beautiful you who walks slowly through the crowd. May you enjoy every beautiful step on your magnificent journey.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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