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.
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,
PBO at LIFE Leadaership
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.