Leadership Minute: Lead the Peace

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Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. – Matthew 5:9 (Jesus)

This is perhaps one of the biggest dichotomies of leadership. Being a peacemaker is often seen as a sign of weakness when in reality it’s a sign of strength. Keeping the peace is about making hard decisions that are not necessarily seen as peaceful. Leadership weakness is found in a passive or casual style of looking the other way and tolerating things that otherwise would be looked upon as offensive. The decisions you make as a leader have consequences. It can please the masses or anger them depending on the day. But that’s a non-factor for the leader who bases his or her decisions on values and principles rather than on what’s expedient. Leading the peace occurs when you apply your leadership skills to make the case for the direction you are going. You can lead the peace or preside over appeasement, but know this; you will not know peace if you choose the latter. My suggestion? Be a peacemaker.

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Leadership Minute: Different Is Good

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To be one, to be united is a great thing. But to respect the right to be different is maybe even greater. – Bono

How is it that we are all different but we can’t tolerate the differences in others? It seems paradoxical. But one of the hallmarks of your leadership is to not only recognize the differences in others but to show respect. Not everyone will see the world as you and you will not see it like others. But before you dismiss the other person for their differences consider for a moment what you are missing out on. It’s as you learn to respect the differences in others you can begin to learn from them. Don’t allow your fears or prejudices to marginalize you as a leader. It doesn’t mean you have to compromise your values or you principles in order to lead. You build respect by being respectful. Besides, just think how boring things would be if we were all alike.

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Leadership Minute: The Measure of Your Happiness

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Happiness…consists in giving, and in serving others. – Henry Drummond

What is happiness to you? How do you measure or quantify it? For some it’s found in the acquisition of possessions; for others it’s their career or the sum of their bank account. For leaders, however, I’d like to submit there’s a different measurement. Yes, there can be happiness found in the success and in the rewards of your career. But leaders know and understand that it’s much deeper than that. The focal point of leadership is a servant’s heart that is more concerned about giving than it is about receiving. Your place or position in leadership is not about having all eyes on you. It’s about embracing the responsibility that comes with where you are and using your influence to serve others. The measure of your happiness then becomes a reality when you understand your purpose is far more important than you.

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Leadership Minute: Make Believe

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Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable. – Theodore N. Vail

What real difficulty are you facing? Regardless of what it is you can overcome it. With the right attitude and a lot of determination you can turn things around. But your imaginary difficulties are the ones that will trip you every time. What are imaginary problems? They are the ones created by vivid imaginations, paranoia, and insecurity. As a leader you cannot allow your imagination to get the best of you. It’s not healthy to create real life difficulties out of imaginary circumstances. It’s when you are secure and confident in your talents, gifts, and in your ability to lead that you can rise above those false perceptions. Every leader faces challenges and difficulties and you won’t always be popular for the stands you take and the principles you lead by. But that’s where you must draw the line. Don’t create additional problems for yourself with a run-away imagination. Make believe or making it real – the choice is yours.

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Leadership Minute: Redirect Your Rejection

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As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better. – Steve Maraboli

On your leadership journey you will experience setbacks, failures, and rejection. Am I a pessimist? Not at all. How you react to these experiences that will surely come your way is what will set you apart from the want-to-be leader who sulks in his or her self-pity and the one who will learn and grow from it. Every obstacle you face introduces you to who you really are. For that you can be thankful. What you choose to do with it going forward is up to you. Will you sit and sulk, or will you rise to the occasion, roll up your sleeves, and work even harder? Obstacles and rejections are merely stepping stones to something great if you will change your attitude and not take rejection personal. Redirect your rejection and use it for something good. The outcome is up to you.

 

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Leadership Minute: Don’t Lose Your Way

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Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances. – Proverbs 11:14, The Message

Have you ever been lost? When you lose your sense of direction it can be frustrating and time consuming. Good directions are essential to reaching your desired destination. As a leader it’s important to have good directions. You have people who rely on you and look to you for assurances that you know the way. One of the best things you can do for yourself as a leader is to get wise counsel. That’s right; ask for directions! There is so much you can learn from mentors and other role models who can speak truth into your life and keep you grounded. The easiest way to lose your way is to think you can do it alone. But when you are willing to humble yourself and learn from others, the better your chances are for success. What have you learned today?

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Leadership Minute: Enjoy the Journey

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The simple fact is that if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing and the people with whom you’re doing it, then there is no possible way that you are ever going to do it as well as something that you do enjoy – Richard Branson

Do you enjoy what you do and the people you do it with? That is a rather sobering question but one of necessity for a leader who wants to achieve any level of success. If you don’t enjoy what you do then you don’t need me to tell you that you won’t do it as well as something you do like. One of the reasons why you enjoy doing what you do is because of the people you have surrounded yourself with. When you enjoy the company you keep you can build camaraderie that will project you to a higher level of performance. When the chemistry is right then you can excel. Not everyone can take the leadership journey with you nor should they. But regardless of who comes or goes; make sure you stay true to your your passions and what you love to do. Life is too short to settle for anything less.

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