Leadership, Where do I start?

When it comes to the subject of leadership it can be hard to figure out where to start, especially if you’re new to the subject.

Resolved-Book

One of the best books I’ve ever read on the subject of leadership is RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE By Inc. Magazine’s top 20 leadership expert Orrin Woodward! In his book, Orrin discusses leadership through 13 resolutions divided into three phases.  The three phases of leadership build on each other; first, through private achievements then moving into public achievements and finally culminating with leadership achievements. In this post I’d like to discuss the first resolution as a foundation for the rest;  Resolution 1: Purpose.  Before I continue I want to inform you, the reader that I am not writing this as a person who has this totally figured out.  Rather, I am writing this because I am in the process of figuring these things out just like you.

Resolution 1: I resolve to discover my God-given purpose.  I know that when my potential, Passions, and Profits intersect, my purpose is revealed.

“Sadly, many will live their entire life without purpose, allowing life to lead them rather than leading their lives.” –Orrin Woodward  We must first find the place where potential and passions intersect with profits in order to find our purpose. God has placed within each person specific passions and potential to use those passions. When you can find or create an income (profits) to be able to do the things you’re passionate about; That is where your purpose can be found and accomplished.

WHY?  Why work on improving in my leadership skills.  Why go through all the tough trials to get better?  Why put myself (and potentially others) through the hardships I know I will face?   These are important questions that must be answered before one can move forward in his/her leadership journey.   These are foundational questions.

Without a purpose, a dream, a bigger driving force, there will be no reason to make the tough or even the small, daily decisions ahead.  There will be no overarching, higher purpose to propel you forward. Stephen Covey called it the “big rocks first” principle. Steve Jobs called it a “hedgehog” purpose/principle.  By aligning your decisions with your purpose you can make better decisions to propel you toward your purpose faster.  This also makes decision making much easier.  Orrin quotes Steven Covey in this chapter on purpose; “…If something is important, it contributes to your mission, your values, your high priority goals.”

Time Management is made easier by clearly understanding your own mission, values, and high priority goals.  One of the best time management tools I’ve ever used is described through a conversation between Charles Schwab of the Bethlehem Steel Company and Mr. Ivy Lee who is considered by most to be corporate America’s first public relations man in the early twentieth century.  Ivy Lee called on Schwab and through a 25 minute conversation tells him to write down at the end of every day the top five things that need to be done tomorrow, giving each a numbered priority.  Lee then tells Schwab to work on the most important thing on that list untill it is finished or nothing else can be done toward it.  Schwab is told to complete this pattern for each of the top 5 most important things each and every day.  Lee’s parting words to Schwab were “spend the last 5 minutes of every working day making out a “must-do” list for thge next day’s tasks. After you’ve convinced yourself of the worth of this method, have your people try it. Try it out as long as you wish and then send me a check for what YOU think it’s worth”  After 2 weeks of implementing this “top 5 to-do list” method, Schwab send Lee a check for $25, 000!  At $1,000 per hour, that’s a 25 minutes well invested, don’t you think?

Understanding your God-given purpose, your values, and your high priority goals will help you say “no” to the good so that you can say “yes” to the great.  It will help you replace the urgent with the important.  It will guide you through each and every day to help you live the life you’ve always wanted!

So begin today, take the next week if you must, and start asking yourself the important questions.  Figure out where your passion and potential intersect with profits and you will be well on your way toward living your life intentionally for excellence!

I hope and pray that what I’m learning can also help you on your leadership journey,

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Philip Brittain
PBO at LIFE Leadaership
Philip@life-leadershift.com
http://www.life-leadershift.com
 

If you’d like to purchase a copy of Orrin’s book, RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE, You can do so easily by visiting my online store.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Leadership, Where do I start?

  1. Kristen Brittain

    Great post! I agree, Orrin’s book Resolved 13 Resolutions for Life is one of my all time favorites. I love the first chapter on finding your God given purpose. It is however sad that so few people take the time to discover their true purpose in life, nor can they even identify what they are passionate about 😦 We often see people going through the motions of life, settling for mediocrity and watching life pass them by without purpose, without a Dream big enough to propel them forward. But, I too am human and find myself falling into the same traps of not managing my time, not keeping my eye on the Dream, and not focusing on my priorities in life. Why is that? I don’t want to settle, I want to live Life on purpose, to have a big Dream, to be someone who strives to live intentionally for excellence, and who helps others to do the same!. I believe we can live a life of purpose, it starts as an inside job, taking the time out of the hustle bustle of our busy lives, to slow down, to quiet our thinking and focus on those important questions like: What am I passionate about?, What am I good at? What do I value most in life? Does the way I spend my time reflect those values? I encourage you, take some time to reflect on these questions, to write down your Dreams and think about what it is you are passionate about. Get around others who share your same values and priorities in life. We were made to be in community, to live a life of excellence, to live out our God given purpose! One of my favorite quotes: “You have to have a dream to make a dream come true!”

    • Great comment! You are right on!
      Keep asking those great questions. Get silent, away from the distractions of life in order to really focus on the more important things! Good stuff. Well said. I look forward to reading more of your comments.

      Check back tomorrow for a follow up on this topic of purpose.

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