13 Inspirational Quotes by Nelson Mandela

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Today the world says goodbye to Nelson Mandela.  He once said that “When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace.”  May he rest in peace.

The man who spent 27 years in prison for opposing apartheid before becoming the President of South Africa inspired millions around the world.  Here are 13 inspiring quotes that remind us of his spirit.

 

Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies. –Nelson Mandela

 

It always seems impossible until it’s done. –Nelson Mandela

 

It’s not where you start but how high you aim that matters for success. –Nelson Mandela

 

Lead from the back, and let others believe they are in front. –Nelson Mandela

 

Where you stand depends on where you sit. –Nelson Mandela

 

Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world. –Nelson Mandela

 

For to be free is…to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. –Nelson Mandela

 

Tread softly; breathe peacefully; laugh hysterically. –Nelson Mandela

 

Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again. –Nelson Mandela

 

Quitting is leading too. –Nelson Mandela

 

Remember to smile. –Nelson Mandela

 

After climbing a great hill, one finds that there are many more hills to climb. –Nelson Mandela

 

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. -Nelson Mandela

 

 

 

Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing

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Lessons in Waiting

Years ago, I remember taking a personality test as part of a leadership class.  The instructor looked up at me and started to explain the results.  She was laughing as she explained my patience level, which was exactly zero on the chart.  Full of positive energy and spin, she showed how patience and a sense of urgency are flip sides of the same trait.  I may not have any patience, but the good news is that I was driven and was full of urgency.

Waiting is not one of my best skills.  If there is a long wait for a table at a restaurant, it is unlikely I will stay.

The best moments are the ones happening right now. -Jeff Goins

Picking up my friend Jeff Goins’ book, The In-Between, I was not even through the introduction when I realized how convicting this book was to me.

“We all want to live meaningful lives full of experiences we can be proud of.  We all want a great story to tell our grandchildren. But many of us fail to recognize that the best moments are the ones happening right now.”

Ahem.  I put the book down, picked up my highlighter, and then read on.

“Maybe the good stuff isn’t ahead of or behind us.  Maybe it’s somewhere in between—right in the midst of this moment, here and now.”

Jeff’s powerful message hits me squarely in the midst of my busyness.

After a few weeks of contemplating the book, I reached out to Jeff to talk about his latest book.

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Jeff, we are all so busy.  Everyone seems to be rushing to get somewhere and do something.  You look at that time differently.  What made you pause and look at the “in-between”?

The birth of my son, Aiden. When he was born, everything seemed to slow down. But the irony was that whenever I spent some time away, due to a work trip or something, I ended up missing a lot. During the time that I was gone, my son had learned something new, some new expression or saying. And I realized that when I miss even a moment, I miss a lot–with Aiden, and with the rest of my life, and I don’t want to miss a thing.

So I wrote this book about the moments we tend to miss, about the times in between the milestones in our lives — and how those just might be the most important parts of life.

The subtitle of the book is Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing.  Again, that’s counter to what we learn.  Usually we want to let go of tension.  You want us to embrace it.  What do you mean and how do you do it?

Tension is inevitable. It’s part of our lives. Either, we learn to embrace it or deny its reality. But the fact that there are slower, less exciting times of life is a reality; what we do with those times is what makes our lives interesting… or not.

5 Ways to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

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If there was a drug with no negative side effects that helped you eat healthier, exercise more, experience less depression, and sleep better, how long would it last in the pharmacy?  We would flock to doctors for prescriptions.  The pharmaceutical company would have a hit.

It may not be a drug, but gratitude may be as important to your health as nutrition.   Let’s look at some of the benefits.  People described as thankful tend to:

  •             Eat healthier
  •             Develop stronger immune systems
  •             Experience more energy
  •             Demonstrate optimism and mental acuity
  •             Cope with stress better
  •             Describe life with high satisfaction
  •             Exercise regularly
  •             Solve difficult mental challenges easier
  •             Have deeper friendships
  •             Sleep better
  •             Have increased self-worth and self-esteem
  •             Show increased productivity
  •             Enjoy work and perform better on the job

There’s no happier person than a truly thankful, content person. -Joyce Meyer

Successful people practice gratitude.  After all, I don’t see how you can be called successful if you aren’t happy and thankful for all life has to offer.

Here are five ways to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude”:

1.  Write it down.

Keep a gratitude journal.  Try it for 30 days.  Be specific about what you are thankful for.  Watch how your thoughts develop over time.  You may start out simply, but when you add stories and color, it becomes more powerful.

When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others. -Dalai Lama

2.  Talk about it.

Sharing what you are thankful for isn’t just for Thanksgiving.  Make it a habit to talk about what you are grateful for all year long.  It will reinforce your feelings.

My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

 

John F. Kennedy

5 Leadership Traits for High Performance

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This is a guest post by Eric Lowitt. Eric is the author of The Collaboration Economy and an advisor to entrepreneurial CEOs worldwide. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Want to Lead Your Company to High Performance? Change How You Lead.

Growing up in the 1980s, I viewed Jack Welch as a model of the ideal CEO.  Tough minded, wildly successful, and more than a touch human, Welch provided inspiration for millions looking to go from rags to riches.  While Jack Welch the man deserves to be revered, his most often cited management mantras require a second look.  Here’s why and what your company should do instead.

Be number one or number two in your market, or exit the business.

Fire the employees in the bottom ten percent of performance every year.

The CEO mandate is to maximize shareholder value.

These three management principles were the core of GE’s management system two decades ago.  A massive number of books were written on GE management practices; hundreds of thousands of business students studied to emulate Welch and his business actions.

The opportunity to connect around a shared purpose is needed more than ever.

Times have changed.  For companies to access resources – environmental and human – they need to provide significant value to the local communities from where these resources come. As a result, companies are no longer able to control their corporate destinies.  Now they must work with these local communities and other stakeholders to access the resources they need to prosper in perpetuity.

So what are the leadership traits these companies’ executives – and any entrepreneur interested in growing her company – need to embrace to outperform their competition today, tomorrow, and in the coming decades?

  1. Seeing your leadership position as a privilege, not a right
  2. Serving as activist-in-chief for your constituents
  3. Operating in a time frame longer than tenure
  4. Believing in and relying on partnerships
  5. Feeding constructive discontent

Seeing your leadership position as a privilege, not a right

Twenty-first-century CEOs are keenly aware that their role comes with great responsibility. Rather than view their remit as “maximize shareholder value,” they realize that it is to serve their stakeholders’ best interests.  As John Replogle, CEO of consumer goods company Seventh Generation explained,

The difference [between CEOs operating with twentieth- versus twenty-first-century mind-sets] starts with how we view our position. Understanding how you view your position as CEO informs where you put your emphasis. I approach my role as CEO as one of privilege, responsibility, and stewardship.

While some CEOs emphasize the creation of shareholder value, my view leads me to emphasize actions and investments that further Seventh Generation’s mission.

Serving as activist-in-chief for your constituents