Carpe Diem Leadership

As a leader, do you assume that you have time?  For example, are you assuming that your company will be around tomorrow?  How about your industry?  I don’t want to scare you, but let’s face it there are no guarantees. 

Carpe Diem Leadership is when you understand (really understand) that life is brief, and therefore not to be squandered.  It also creates a sense of urgency toward what’s in front of you.  This type of leadership embraces vision as well.  As odd as that may seem, an oppotimistic view of the future is a statement of gratitude toward the time given.

There is a shortage of leaders practicing the art of "carpe diem."  Most of us think we’ll live forever, and thereby put off the most important things.  Its really quite an arrogant attitude.

Sieze the day!

They Just Don’t Get It

The premise of this story Freakonomics is about seven years old, but the moral remains the same.  As a clear leader, I will never waiver in my belief that all human beings are made for a great purpose.  Mr. Levitt (the University of Chicago ecconomist in the WSJ article), sadly, misses this reality.  The idea (abortion reduces crime by keeping unwanted children from being born) is based on pure statistics and nothing more.  You know what they say about statistics…

Don’t forget, you were born for a purpose.  I for one am glad you were born, because I know there is something in you that will change the world…for the better. 

Maybe Mr. Levitt will understand this one day.  Life is bigger than statistics!

When Mortality Whispers

Today I got some news from my eye surgeon that stopped me in my tracks.  I have Type I diabetes, so for me this is just another part of the script.  I won’t bore you with details, but the art of urgency calls to me. 

Urgency should scream, while mortality whispers.

Happy or sad, life is a limited-time offer.  You should be urgent with me in making it count.

Just Make It Clear

Want to know if you’re a quality leader (in a family, church, association or business)?  Then ask your audience/followers whether you are clear.  Is your message full of clarity or fog?  So many problems that plague organizations would be mitigated if the leaders would be clear.

Mark it, clarity requires confidence, boldness and courage.  Is it risky?  Absolutely!  Fear rules hear and we’d better overcome it.  The Marines have a slogan around leadership that makes a lot of sense.  The words of that slogan basically say; ‘lead, follow or get out of the way.’ 

There are employees and volunteers who are dedicating significant hours to the "cause."  Most of these folks want to do a good job, and they want to be a part of something special.  The venture should live up to our highest aim.

Gifted individuals shouldn’t have to guess "what’s the plan."  As leaders, we owe them clarity.

What Could Be

I heard a leader (I believe it was Marcus Buckingham) once say that “what can be, is more important than what is.”  I think he also said that this is the place that quality leaders live.  Count on this, it can be a lonely place…the unknown, the unseen.  Quality leaders are compelled to go to this place.  It seems like they are “hard-wired” for this type of journey. 

A friend once told me that children that are born with this are targets of the “dark side.”  He said that these are the ones who must be taken out early.  Obviously, my friend has a very vivid imagination.  But I agree with him. Think about the many schools and corporations who choke out vision.  Ask someone you know (or don’t know) to cast vision around their work, life, family, etc…  Do they hesitate?  Do they seem awkward?  The response will be telling.

When Change Isn’t Really Change

I read an article ( that made me think about Corporate America’s definition of authentic leadership.  The lady profiled in the article talks about changing, but seems motivated to change by career aspirations, not by a sincere desire to look at people differently.

Corporate soldiers are famous for creating their own fantasy worlds.  Sadly, this process keeps them from finding meaning in their work.

Keep in mind…the more you serve, the more you will succeed.