Energy, Not Time, Is the Fundamental Currency of High Performance

In their book, The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz remind great leaders about the power of energy in living a life of purpose and success. The following statement brings surgical focus to their message: “Energy, not time, is the fundamental current of high performance.” They write: “The ultimate measure of our lives is not how much time we spend on the planet, but rather how much energy we invest in the time that we have… The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy available to us is not. It is our most precious resource. The more we take responsibility for the energy we bring to the world, the more empowered and productive we become.”

Energy is in the hands of great leaders. But how to further maximize its strength and power? John Maxwell, in his book, No Limits, writing about energy capacity, suggests his own five questions which he uses to maximize his energy capacity:

The Plugged-In Question: “When am I fully charged?” – doing the things that turn you on (e.g. living in his gift zone of doing what he loves to do; investing with family and friends; adding value to others)
The Depletion Question: “What wears me out?“– identifying those things that deplete your energy (e.g. living in the past; living someone else’s life)
The Proximity Question: “How Accessible are my energy pluses?” – surrounding yourself with those things that energize you (e.g. people, music, experiences, places)
The 100 Percent Question: “When do I need to be full of energy?” – being aware of those special moments which Jeffrey Gitomer calls “showtime moments” when you need to be absolutely at the top of your game
The Margin Question: “Where is the space for things I need but haven’t planned?” –  preparing time for the unexpected

Five simple questions that provide a reservoir source for the great leader’s energy. It is you who are in control of finding more. May you fill the precious hours and moments of your life with “show-time moments.” Be fully charged by the things that you love to do and the people you love to be with. As Helen Keller wrote: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” Choose to live your life as a daring, exciting and magical adventure!

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Three Minute Leadership | Tagged | 1 Comment

There Are No Ordinary Moments

In Dan Millman’s book, The Peaceful Warrior, he tells of his personal journey of self-discovery.  One of his great learnings happened by accident following one of his t’ai chi practices.  During his exercise, his motions were fluid and purposeful.  His mind was emptied as he focused on each movement. Afterwards, as he was preparing to leave, his attention was drawn to some students who had been watching him exercise.  As his awareness drifted to them, he clumsily put both legs into one pant leg, and he fell.

Later on as he thought about the incident he said:  “I was struck by a realization so profound it was to change the course of my life;  I realized that I had given my full attention to the movements of t’ai chi, but not to the “ordinary” movements of putting on my pants. I had treated one moment as special and the other as ordinary.”

His learning was: “There are no ordinary moments.”  As we enter this New Year, may we learn to capture and relish the incredible beauty and possibilities that each moment of our lives present. May we learn from them and continue to grow to be more than we ever dreamed we could be… and help others to do the same. May we always remember that there are no ordinary moments. May this new year be our best yet… one filled with extraordinary, magical and life-growing moments of love, learning and selfless giving.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent and Happy New Year!!!

Posted in Three Minute Leadership | Tagged | Leave a comment

Peace and Love to You and Yours

It is that wonderful time of year again when the holiday spirit fills our mind and heart, and gently moves us away from the hectic pace of our lives… when we pause, reflecting in the quiet of our souls, and find a warm and soothing peace within ourselves. While results and commitments are no less important, holiday activities – gift buying and preparing for family and friends get-togethers – begin to take precedence in our list of priorities.

The world around us contributes to our change: stores are wonderfully decorated; holiday music streams from radios and iPods; home decorations appear. Our world is transformed around us to one of festivity and joyful tranquility. It is a time of peace. As Norman Vincent Peale, minister and author, once said, it is as though the holiday season “waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” Yes, it is a time of “joy to the world.”

Memories fill us. We remember the joys of our youth and the people who were and are integral parts of our lives and happiness. There is sadness in remembrance of those we loved who are no longer with us. This gentle memory of them, however, is our lasting gift to them, and theirs to us.  It is our way of saying to them: “I love you forever and will never forget you… never.” We embrace those around us and share with each other a very special gift of love. Hamilton Wright Mabie, essayist, captured this wonderful spirit of the season: “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”

Let us enjoy and take great learning from this magnificent and beautiful time. Let us all be embraced in this conspiracy of love. As Eva Logue writes, may you be as a candle which “makes no noise at all, but slowly gives itself away.” May this be your greatest gift to others and yourself – that in quiet reflection, you see with brilliant clarity the happiness and joy in the endless possibilities that life offers to which you will aspire.

May we pause in gratitude for all that we have, for what others have given us – our family, friends, those whom we serve, our God – and remember fervently that ours is the joy of giving, serving and caring. These are our greatest gifts. Let us join together every moment of our lives in a beautiful and magnificent “conspiracy of love.” Life is so very precious. Capture and embrace it with passion, joy, exuberance and love.

May you and yours have a joyous and beautiful Holiday Season, a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and may this New Year be the best yet – for you, your loved ones and the many people whom you touch and serve.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Posted in Three Minute Leadership | Tagged | 1 Comment

On the Joyous Freedom Imagination Brings

Albert Einstein wrote: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Einstein’s words bring an exhilarating freedom to great leaders – a knowing and realization that there exists a magical key to those words often said: “We don’t know what we don’t know.”

It is imagination’s joyous power and excitement that move great leaders beyond the limitations and confines of what they know. Perceived limitations are abandoned as they dare to open their eyes, minds and hearts to dreams and possibilities of a new being.  “Imagination is the beginning of creation,” writes George Bernard Shaw, “You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.”

May we take learning from Einstein’s wise counsel: “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” May your imagination be the magnificent daily portal in creating new worlds for yourself, your business, family and those whom you serve. May we boldly dare to imagine and dream of life’s magnificent and exciting coming attractions. Become more than you ever dreamed you could be… and more… so much more.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Three Minute Leadership | Tagged | Leave a comment

Everything Worthwhile Is Uphill

John Maxwell said: “Everything worthwhile is uphill.” The great leaders’ uphill climbs are the products of their continuing and relentless search for those things in life that bring value and richness to achieving their life’s purpose and meaning. Their pursuit is one of passionate intentionality and commitment to accomplish each new climb. With each step, they find solace in the words of an unknown author: “When everything feels like an uphill struggle, just think of the view from the top.” This visualization motivates, inspires and  brings reality to the joy and rewards their climbs will bring.

Great leaders are far different from Sisyphus, a man in Greek mythology, who was punished for all eternity to roll a rock up a mountain only to have it roll back down to the bottom when he reaches the top. Their life is a magnificent and endless series of spectacular and challenging ascents to summits and views of life and living undreamed. They hold closely the words of Edmund Hillary: “It’s not the mountain that we conquer but ourselves.” For it is in the climb, in each precious step, that great learning and becoming take place. In each new ascent, may you remember the wise counsel of T. S. Eliot: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Three Minute Leadership | Tagged | 1 Comment

On Dreams

Great leaders are great dreamers. They realize that dreams are realities in waiting, the seeds that they will nurture, grow and eventually harvest. They take form quietly as they go about their daily interactions – seeing life as it is, then in a moment, seeing a new and exciting possibility of something that can be. It is the great leader’s mindset of curiosity, a challenging of the ‘what is’ for ‘what can be’ and the constant striving for positive change in people and things. As Carl Sandburg wrote: “Nothing happens unless first a dream.”

Dreams are paths to happiness and, ultimately, success. They are transformative in their joy and power as they provide inspiration to achieve more. They expand our mindset to future possibilities, the first steps to something even greater than we first see. On your magnificent journey, may you remember always the wise counsel of Colin Powell: “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” Never stop dreaming for the best is yet to come. Your greatest dreams are already within you awaiting their time for you to find them. You will go to the stars and beyond because you have the passion and courage to pursue them. Life is so very good.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Three Minute Leadership | Tagged | Leave a comment

Learnings from the Story of the Touchstone… Intentionality

In the blog, A Gift of Inspiration, is found the story of the Touchstone. It speaks about a book that survived the burning of the ancient Library of Alexandria. A poor man acquired it and found within it a thin strip of vellum. On it was written the secret of the “Touchstone.” This Touchstone, a small pebble found at the seashore, was said to have the magical power of turning any common metal into pure gold.

The man was captivated and allured by this possibility and sold everything to spend time at the seashore to find the stone. One by one he raised a pepple to feel for warmth, discarding it into the sea if it was cold. He spent weeks and months doing this. One day, however, he picked up a pebble and it was warm. He threw it into the sea. He had formed such a strong habit of throwing each pebble into the sea that when the one he wanted came along, he still threw it away.

So it is, at times, in the lives of great leaders, when their resolute focus on a goal becomes so internalized and deliberate that it becomes a habit. Its pursuit becomes transformed into a rote activity whose special purpose and importance is minimized. The lesson learned from this for great leaders is be always intentional and vigilant to one’s purpose and goals. John Maxwell writes: “If you want to reach your goals and fulfill your potential, become intentional about your personal growth. It will change your life.”

It is this intentional mindset that adds vibrancy and intensity to the ordinary and seemingly mundane in life’s journey. It is this which is the great leader’s eternal flame that brings focus, clarity and priority in all that they be and do.  May you embrace it that you may be attentive and sensitive to the warmth of all the magnificent touchstones in your life.

Have a beautiful day, a magnificent week and a peaceful and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Posted in Three Minute Leadership | Tagged | Leave a comment

Because You Are Still Growing

In his book, The Sower’s Seeds, Brian Cavanaugh tells the story of Sir Edmund Hillary as a reminder to great leaders of the power of their commitment and steadfastness in achieving their life’s goals and purpose.

Sir Edmund Hillary was the first man to climb Mount Everest. On May 29, 1953 he scaled the highest mountain then known to man – 29,000 feet straight up. He was knighted for his efforts. He even made American Express card commercials because of it! However, until we read his book, High Adventure, we don’t understand that Hillary had to grow into this success. You see, in 1952 he attempted to climb Mount Everest, but failed. A few weeks later, a group in England asked him to address its members.

Hillary walked on stage to a thunderous applause. The audience was recognizing an attempt at greatness, but Edmund Hillary saw himself as a failure. He moved away from the microphone and walked to the edge of the platform. He made a fist and pointed at a picture of the mountain. He said in a loud voice, “Mount Everest, you beat me the first time, but I’ll beat you the next time because you’ve grown all you are going to grow… but I’m still growing!”

Simon Sinek writes: “Greatness is not born from one success. Greatness is born from persevering through the countless failed attempts that preceded.” Also, an unknown author wrote: “Someone once told me not to bite off more than I could chew. I said I’d rather choke on greatness than nibble on mediocrity.” May you live your greatness every moment of your life, knowing always that you are still, and always, growing… bigger than any mountain. The best is yet to come.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Three Minute Leadership | Tagged | Leave a comment

On Magical Beginnings and Endings

What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet” wrote Anne Frank. Thousands of new beginnings and endings are yet to come in the lives of great leaders. They will open their minds and hearts to undreamed of possibilities, adventures and challenges that will enrich and deepen their life’s journey. Great leaders will embrace those moments with excitement and positivity, with the realization there is continuous learning and change that they bring.

Vivian Greene captures the excitement and joy of beginnings and endings saying: “Life is not about waiting  for the storm to pass… it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” May you dance wildly in the rain holding closely the words of Louis L’Amour: “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” Know always that every ending is a new beginning. There is always something more to find and love in life… and you will, because you choose to.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Three Minute Leadership | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Choices You Make, Make You

Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.” wrote Albert Einstein. Great leaders know that their life is the reflection and consequence of the choices they make each day on their magnificent journey. John Wooden poetically captures this reality: “There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. So keep in mind that, in the end, the choice you make makes you.”

Each choice adds a touch of paint to the exquisite mosaic of who they are and what their living represents. Many are their choices: personal priorities, health, financial situation, learning, friends, character, career and service and the myriad of choices in their business and professional life requiring attention and focus. Each choice is a moment of preparation, a stepping stone… forward, backward or sideways… defining who they are and the direction of their life ahead.

Robert Louis Stevenson tells great leaders: “There will come a time when we will sit down to the banquet of our consequences.” May your banquet be extraordinary in the depth and breadth of its rich contributions, in the lives you have changed in your caring and servant leadership, in the joy, beauty and value of the legacy of your life’s purpose and meaning.  May you remember that each word, action, behavior, look, attitude is a choice that will have its consequences. Choose wisely, and choose well, realizing always that “the choice you make, makes you.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Three Minute Leadership | Tagged | Leave a comment