Learning to say I am sorry is more difficult for some of us than others. I’ve learned that the art of the apology is not as straightforward as you would think.
On the other side of the apology is the forgiver. That can be just as difficult to master. Truly forgiving isn’t just uttering a few words and moving on. We often hold on to the events, the past, the words long into the future. And they drag us down.
One of a leader’s most powerful attributes is the ability to forgive. Forgiveness can be a powerful opportunity for reconnection both with the offender and with ourselves. Learning to forgive can help a person move forward in life rather than becoming a roadblock to success.
The bookstores have volumes and the media is full of examples of people who believe the way to success is to crush the competition—out-strategizing people and pressing your advantage till they are crushed by the wayside. Young leaders are told to step on faces to get ahead or aim for short term goals of size and profit.
But there is another way. There is a clear path to have stunning success and still be able to sleep at night and be proud to tell your grandchildren how the world is a better place because you were in it.
Values-based, not ego-based, leadership focuses on serving the greater good and accomplishing a higher purpose. It is not complicated. It is just difficult.
“Values-based, not ego-based, leadership focuses on serving the greater good and accomplishing a higher purpose.” -Jeff Thompson
Let’s take for example the last broad economic downturn.
How are the priorities in your department or company organized to deal with this problem? Who were the first to be affected? The most vulnerable? The last people who were brought in the organization (your future)? The people with the least power and the least influence? Who took the biggest beating? What won the day? The long-term good of the organization or the short-term financial performance report for the board? Shareholders may clamor for short-term wins, but there is no law that says you have to sacrifice the long-term health of the organization or its people to satisfying this immediate clamor. Decision making guided by values takes courage, discipline and durability.
“Decision making guided by values takes courage, discipline and durability.” -Jeff Thompson
It’s July 4th weekend, Independence Day in the United States. Celebrations in the U.S. generally include cookouts, games, music, and, of course, fireworks.
Regardless where you reside around the world, it is a reminder to celebrate freedom and opportunity.
The founders of America led with classic leadership traits: determination, perseverance and an unwavering commitment to ideals. Commitment to the cause meant risking everything. John Hancock reminded the group that they must all hang together. He was referring to the various states. Benjamin Franklin responded with one of his classic quotes: “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” Leadership, at that point, meant risking it all.
Here are some facts, quotes, and saying about freedom and liberty.
Fact: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the same day: July 4, 1826
Some people collect things. When I was growing up, I watched my father collect degrees. He was always taking a class, learning a new skill, or listening to an educational program. In fact, way beyond retirement and the age when most of us would consider it, he’s finishing up a doctorate in yet another field.
I learned early on: one of the secrets to happiness and success is to become a lifelong learner.
Kay Peterson and David Kolb delve into how you can renew and enhance your natural ability to learn. How You Learn Is How You Live will inspire your learning journey.
I recently asked Kay to share more about her research into learning styles and lifelong learning.
“Deliberate learning is a skill that is developed through practice.” –Kay Peterson
A learning style is a way of navigating the ideal process of learning- the learning cycle- that emphasizes some parts over others. It’s not a fixed trait. Learning style preferences can change to meet life situations.
How and when do we develop our primary learning style?
Culture, personality, education, career choice and the demands of life influence learning style. Your preferences start early; yet they are not fixed traits. An active child may prefer to be outside exploring rather than sitting in a classroom. If she finds success through actively experimenting, it will lead to greater skill in these areas and a greater desire to use this style. The child may practice the Acting style until it becomes a habitual way of approaching any situation. Your learning style and life path are based on the choices you make.
“Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.” –Martha Graham
At the risk of sounding too idealistic, there are few things in life that are more rewarding or more meaningful than being instrumental in helping others have better lives. I often refer to coaching as a calling or mission because I believe there is something inside each of us that comes alive when we have an opportunity to be of real service to others. One of the key foundation stones upon which successful coaching is built is conversation – the dialogue you have with the people you are coaching.
But this conversation involves much more than just talking with others about their goals and dreams. As a coach, your job is to create a space in which other people will regularly have conversations that not only uncover new ideas and generate innovative solutions, but that result in entirely new attitudes and behaviors, and that forge commitments to make significant, sustained personal changes.
However, while rich dialogue can uncover new ideas and generate innovative solutions, this kind of interaction alone is not coaching. Where dialogue pursues new ideas, coaching pursues entirely new attitudes and behaviors. Dialogue is the talk; coaching is the walk. How many conversations do you have during an average day? How many of them really matter? The great coach understands why some conversations matter and some conversations do not. Most on-the-job conversations involve the exchange of information, instructions, advice, and opinions and have relatively predictable outcomes. While these conversations are quite suitable for normal business transactions, they are quite ineffectual in the coaching process.
“A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.” -John Wooden