Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile. –Vince Lombardi It goes without saying that organizations fail because of poor leadership. Poor leadership can range from toxic leaders…
I frequently hear from business owners and others in leadership positions about problems relinquishing responsibility or control with regard to their work. They just HATE that feeling of having “no control” and do all manner of things to avoid it; they worry that the business will fail the very moment…
“Millennials can be very hardworking,
but it’s easier to tell the story of the ones who are entitled.”
My company is a solutions based coaching and training company. We take leadership lessons and present them in ways that can be applied to business and life in general. We have all heard the complaints… You wonder how to apply the principles of Effective Leadership to Millennials.
Perspectives on goals, values, and what defines them are as different from person to person, as people are unique unto themselves as a group. That being said, as different as we all are, common threads of experience run through all of our lives. Some of those threads are fact-based, while others are meaning-based. It is at the boundary between those two areas where life gets interesting.
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.”
—Robert A. Heinlein
Men, you are human beings too. You are imbued with a dignity that you can tap into if you recognize it. There has been a great deal of discussion about what makes up a contemporary “gentleman” and after polling numerous professional woman who are confident in their own dignity and their own professions, here are some suggestions for men today to keep in mind.
I am often asked why I changed from agriculture to coaching, particularly when you consider how much I simply loved every part of growing trees.
I read a book the other day that made these suggestions and/or asked these questions of the reader:
- “Consider your circumstances
- Start small
- Have you taken full advantage of the opportunities offered to you?
- Are you working hard on your career, or even your job?
- Are you letting bitterness and resentment hold you back and drag you down?
- Have you made peace with your brother or sister?
- Are you treating your spouse and your children with dignity and respect?
- Do you have habits that are destroying your health and well-being?
- Are you truly shouldering your responsibilities?
- Have you said what you need to say to your friends and family members?
- Are there things that you could do, that you know you could do, that would make things around you better?”
Not so fast….
If you are 30 or younger you are currently living in a unique historical situation. You are the first generation that has been simultaneously taught two completely contradictory ideas about morality. This contradiction has left many of you uncertain or maybe disoriented in a way that, deprived of guidance that many of us had over the years, leaves you unable to enjoy the depth of a world of which you fail to even be aware.
You might think that being human, you are a member of the alpha species. However, when you use the word “human,” people often think of traits such as faulty, fallible, or guilty. It might just be that we are at our most fallible when we get in our own way.
“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress: Working hard for something we love is called passion.”
It doesn’t come as any surprise that in today’s world working seven days a week is more common than it used to be. The reason I say seven days a week is that with the way mobile technology has changed the workplace, it is much too easy to see that text from the boss—he had a great thought at 10:30 pm Saturday—or check your email to see if that deal went through. That means that your “time off” is rarely off. Getting ahead often requires a Sunday evening of review of the upcoming weeks’ work rather than attending that family bbq.
I work with a lot of type-A personalities and my day is regularly filled with exhausted people. We all know that experiencing occasional stress can act as a motivator and provide energy boosts that help encourage creative energy and a strong passion to succeed. But un-managed, stress can become toxic especially during times of crisis. Unfortunately, in some quarters exhaustion has become a symbol of virility. That is to say, it has become synonymous with toughness.
I was recently having dinner with a client who bragged that he had only gotten four hours of sleep the night before. I felt like saying to him, “You know what? If you had gotten five or six hours, you might not have needed this conversation with me.” I didn’t say that, but it is certainly possible. There are a number of issues with trying to work through exhaustion. We’ll address them point by point.
IF YOU ARE MAKING MISTAKES, IT MEANS YOU’RE OUT THERE DOING SOMETHING.
–NEIL GAIMAN, AUTHOR & GRAPHIC NOVELIST
Changing habits is just the same. Habits are created by repetition and changing them takes practice. You practice your habits the same way a baseball pitcher practices his pitch and because it’s practice, count on lots of mistakes…his and yours.