A Need For Harmony

There is no question that the world we live in continues to become more chaotic, negative, contentious and divided. What is interesting is that feelings run deep and emotions are controlling actions. When this happens in what I call a negative tornado the results are never good as we have seen all over the news. It is heartbreaking and sad to see such division and hate.

The real-time access we have to pretty much everything today because of technology and social media no matter how hard you try it is difficult not be exposed to all this negativity. We are seeing the media, celebrities, business leaders and individuals pointing blame at others for not saying the “right thing” when expressing regret and condemning acts of hateful groups and individuals. I will say right here that there is no place in this world for those who make it their mission to destroy the lives of others for the color of their skin, their beliefs, who they are, etc, these groups and individuals are the bottom of the bottom and will not ever win. However, the truth is, the more people try to point blame the more they are adding to the viciousness we are currently experiencing and actually helping to add fuel to the fire of those despicable groups and individuals. So what does all this have to do with leadership?

We are seeing the rise and fall of great leaders on a regular basis. Why is that? Leaders must be able to lead no matter what the situation is. There ability to quickly address problems and then create a movement to resolve the issue sets a great leader apart from others. However, when there is so much division and disdain for what is happening, even great leaders will stumble and fall short at times because of the scope or breadth of the issue. What I have experienced is that during these times, leaders need to take every opportunity to learn from their missteps and then quickly make a course direction without compromising their values or who they are. This takes incredible inner-strength and self-awareness. In short what a leader must find quickly is a way to bring some type of harmony. Harmony is defined as an “agreement; accord; harmonious relations; a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity.” It will not always be a conscience but it provides the opportunity for all parties to move forward in a positive manner.

harmony

I feel this quote is perfect for what our world is experiencing right now:

“Where there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character. When there is beauty in the character, there is harmony in the home. When there is harmony in the home, there is order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world.”  A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Can you imagine if each of us, especially are leaders, could make this quote a reality in their lives? We would quickly see a complete paradigm shift that would have incredibly positive results. When there is harmony there is an environment where healing and happiness can happen. As a leader, there are going be times where decisions are made that will have negative impacts. These impacts will be felt most when it effects the lives of others. The key is to quickly find a way to create harmony so that the culture becomes one of healing and happiness. This will ensure your success. I know because I have experienced this numerous times in my career.

Let’s commit today to increase our willingness to create more harmony in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. Let us be proactive in showing love, concern and empathy. Let us remove from our thoughts anything that would promote negativity and hate. We can all be great leaders, we don’t need a title.

Time to go be hero.

Finding Strength In Times of Adversity

This may be a pretty big assumption but I will make it anyway, we will have times where we will face major adversity in our lives. This adversity will come as a result of losing ones job, death of a family member, financial shortfalls, marriage problems and thousands of others ways. We have also probably all heard that we need to be strong during those times. Well guess what? It’s true.

To make a quick analogy I will put it this way because I am one who actually makes this statement quite often, “if it’s good for you it probably doesn’t test good.” Now, I know this is not 100% true but stay with me on this. Let’s say it does not taste good but it does make you healthier, it does give you energy to exercise, it does provide the right nutrients to help your muscles recover and so on. So what is actually happening is while I am “forcing” myself to eat this healthy food (adversity), I am actually providing much needed strength to my body.

So it finding strength in times of adversity is so critical, how does one go about doing it? Here are some quick ways that have helped me:

  1. Take a step back and see the bigger picture. Too many times when a challenge or trial enters our life we react in ways that can often make things worse. It is crucial to be able to try and see the challenge within a larger picture. This will help provide perspective and can even help you to see that maybe things are not as bad as they have initially appeared.
  2. Be positive. There is a difference between being positive and happy. Being positive means you are focused on seeing the good in things and pushing forward. Being positive means you refuse to sit and talk about all the bad things that led to this specific trial or adversity. Being positive means you put into action a plan to make things better.
  3. Find a go to partner. You will need to talk with someone. This person maybe different based on the type of challenge but be sure you have a trusted person you can speak with. It maybe your wife, a close friend, a past boss, a sibling or your church leaders. The key is, you need to find someone so you do not feel so alone.
  4. Note the lessons learned. Be sure and grab a pen and paper and write down your feelings. Within those writings, be sure and note what you have learned about the adversity you are facing. This can be so helpful as there will be times in the future where you will face a similar challenge or someone you know will. These writings can be key in helping you or them through the situation.

I will be the first to admit that finding strength during times of adversity is actually a lot easier to say than do. However, I have found that there is so much peace, comfort and joy that comes as I apply the four points above. There is nothing wrong when we are faced with adversity, in fact it is a sign we are normal.

As crazy as this may sound, I am thankful for those times in my life when I struggle as it brings me to my knees and reminds me that I am human. It reminds me to swallow my pride and look to others for support. I will always be thankful for those who have been there for me and hope I am someone that others can lean in their times of need. Leaders find way to turn times of challenge into learning and teaching opportunities. Most likely because this is an area where more people can relate unfortunately.

One last thought, as you learn to find strength in times of adversity, you will feel more empowered  When you feel empowered, there are no limits to what you can achieve so do all you can to find that strength so you can feel empowered.

Now, it is time to pump some adversity.

Seth