Why Personal Vision Matters

I know a few people who are being confronted by a changing environment in their respective career paths.  It’s striking how they ignored the signs of decline.  There were evidences years ago that something was coming, but either the money was too good or they were just plain comfortable.

Personal vision is important many ways.  Not the least of which is having a sense of where things are headed.  In other words, is it a dead-end or a short to meadium-term ebb.  Seth Godin has written a wonderful book called “The Dip” that speaks well on the matter.

So where do we learn personal vision?  Sadly, not many places in the world we live. 

Corporate America is too fixated on quarterly numbers to bother.  There are tons of consultants and coaches out there, but many of those are just looking for a “gig.”  Churches have fallen into the trap of teaching people to be religious.  You need someone or some group that will help you, in an authentic way, to deal with your greed, deal with your pain and without a doubt deal with your fears.  Everyone of those issues will block you from seeing clearly.  You cannot become what you cannot see.

Here is a brief list of those I’ve encountered who’ve helped me in an authentic way to develop my personal vision:

  1. Terry Walling and Leader Breakthru
  2. Seth Godin
  3. Rick Williams
  4. Guy Kawasaki
  5. Larcel McGhee
  6. John Eldredge

Who is authentically helping you in the pursuit of your vision?  Give me your thoughts…

Character and Skills

A mentor of mine reminded me this week of something I’d heard before, but didn’t really understand until now.  He told me that one of the biggest threats to a leader is when their skills development outpaces their character development.  Quite frankly, the problems we’re seeing in corporate America (H-P, Converse Technology, etc.) is very likely a result of this chasm.  Think about it, no one would question the skill level of the executives at H-P.  But obviously we would question their character.

So how much time does the average leader spend on character development vs. skills development?  If the most recent headlines (Business Week Online) are to be believed, more time is spent on the skills side.  Isn’t funny how the thing that can wreck a life or career is the thing we ignore.  Some call it arrogance…I call it stupidity.  We’ve all been warned about what happens when character is left in the dust (see Enron, Citigroup or Adelphia).

You have a chance to turn the ship around by giving your character some attention-major attention.  Start by putting as much time into the development of your character as you would on skills.  For example, if you’re taking fifteen hours of classes at your local university to get your MBA, then give your character that much.  Believe me, their are churches, universities, books and more that can offer you the right material on character development.  Do it now!  You thank me for it later…

The world needs more leaders who are well balanced in their character and their skills.

The Love Affair

Ever thought about how much time you spend working?  Ever thought about how much of your identity is shaped by work?  Ultimately, I’m speaking to those that work eight or more hours per day in an organization (profit or non-profit).  Much has been written about the work place and all of the dysfunctional goings on.  But where should all of this land, in light of LIFE?

Some of you will spend thirty or more years working.  Your happy, your sad.  You get a promotion, you get fired.  As someone whose experienced all of those things, I can tell you that my life is not measured in large portion by work.  I am learning more and more each day that what matters is what is in my heart.  My life will be truly defined by that.  Even more importantly, will what’s in my heart “get out?”

Many of you are thinking that you can’t put time and focus on things of the heart.  If you’re reading this then you’ve been given the gift of life, therefore successs in the things of the heart is what you should be pursuing.

By the way, you’ll be more of a success in your work when you pursue being a success in the things of the heart.

Why the Past is Past

If you’re in the mode of trusting in your past successes, then beware!  It is a dangerous trap that many leaders small and large fall into.  For some reason, our past triumphs lead us to believe that the future is discovered by them.  In many ways this is not so.

The past is a time-frame of occurrence.  It was a place of experience and opportunity (if we were awake for it).  The only value in the past is to “connect the dots.”  We derive learning and encouragement from those “dots.”

Don’t be fooled, the future doesn’t care about your past…it was birthed by your experiences of yesterday.

Start today by realizing that the future is about forward movement.  You must make a conscious choice to look forward…it doesn’t happen naturally.  If you’re living an Epic Life, then you know this is true.