Simple things are really the best, aren’t they?
Playing a leader in real Life is exhausting. It can be mentally, physically and emotionally draining. That is the truth. We all must find ways to keep ourselves grounded and in the zone.
A friend of mine shared something with me a few years ago that I have never forgotten. I wish I had received this list in my twenties. Then, I could have avoided so much negative stress.
This is about the five simple things we all need to remember. I can’t claim any of this as original. Rest assured, it is my spin on his categories.
Here are the five simple things —
1. Don’t ask Permission
You have ideas, and others don’t. You see opportunities; so many don’t. Great Leaders NEVER use the words, ‘May I’ or ‘Would You’… No Great LEADERS, go ahead and make it happen! Don’t over-analyze or get all caught up in your head. Remember that old phrase Analysis paralysis? It is real. Great leaders take a chance, follow it and see what happens. The absolute WORST case scenario is you beg forgiveness — after the fact.
2. Be Odd
We need odd because there is too much sameness in how we look, think, argue, produce and lead. It is all so painfully dull. Dull loses attention. Lack of attention means you never get noticed. Never being seen means you always lose.
You ARE different – so let your positive quirks shine brightly. First, they prove you are a real, messy (non-perfect) human being. Second, they make you endearing and memorable to your particular tribe of people.
Memorable is the name of the game.
3. Stay Home
Over the last twenty years, we have all learned how to play on the web. It is great fun to network on social media, fantastic to explore Mr. and Dr. Google, and delightful to dump our opinions on strangers halfway around the world. Then there’s our ability to buy dirt cheap products made someplace else and have them delivered right to our doors.
You know I believe Business IS Personal. So too is Life. Unfortunately, too many of us have gotten out of the Life habit.
Talking, laughing, and sharing a meal with real people like our families, friends, neighbours, and communities. Real people live, work, and play right within our ten-mile radius. And they too need acknowledgement, a job, some more business or maybe just a kind gesture.
4. Be Sincere
Snark is the one thing we have in spades. Sometimes called sarcasm, sometimes irony, occasionally plain bullying. Just because everyone else appears to be better than you, sounds wittier and smart or in some way makes you distrust that you measure up, remember. When you are sincerely yourself, you stand out and stand apart. You make others take notice.
Don’t cover up the good impulses in yourself. Spread them around. Lavishly.
5. Stop Competing
For far too many of us, we were raised, taught, and then pushed into believing the ultimate goal is competition. That there is a race to capture the customers, the market share, the power and the cash. We all see today we have reached the point where these things only help a few and hinder the many.
You exist, I exist, and we all exist to make a generous and lasting impact in and on our worlds. Our teams, customers, market share, power and cash are merely bi-products of our efforts.
So stop competing and start obsessing about the impact you want to make or the legacy you want to leave. The other stuff will fall into place, as it should.
Now here is the unfortunate truth. In two months, you and I will forget these five simple things. We will focus only on the urgent matters of the day. How about you jot down the five issues and a piece of paper and keep it in your drawer? Here are the five one more time. Don’t ask Permission. Be Odd. Stay home. Be Sincere. Stop Competing.
Every year, I start a file of ‘stuff to remember for this year to keep me better focussed and committed to my legacy. And this list is the first thing I put in it.
Remember, I believe in you, know you can make the impact you want in your world, and I am here for you. And if you are like me, you will need a shot of adrenaline to keep you focused and committed. My superpower is keeping leaders like YOU focused and committed. Reach out.