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.

The Value of Vulnerability

vulnerability

When was the last time you were vulnerable, really vulnerable? What did you feel? What was the situation? How did you react? What did you learn?

There is incredible and life-changing power when we are willing to be vulnerable. Let me provide a couple of quick definitions to ensure there is a clear understanding of what we are talking about:

Dictionary Definitions:

  • capable of being physically or emotionally wounded
  • open to attack or damage easily hurt or harmed physically, mentally, or emotionally

Expanded Definitions:

  • the courage to be yourself no matter what
  • willing to take risks
  • the ability to express ones feelings openly
  • increased humility to receive feedback and criticism

Now, it is important to clarify something, many focus on being vulnerable as a sign of weakness, shame and fear. The issue is they often stop with that singular vision and thus do not allow themselves to be vulnerable. Although those are a part of what vulnerability is, the truth is it is also where we find real peace, joy, belonging and creativity.

As we learn to increase our willingness to be vulnerable we will increase our ability to reach our goals, dreams and become who we want to really become. The greatest teachers and learners are those that value the need for vulnerability. They understand that the more open and real they are with themselves, the more opportunities they have to grow and achieve success.

One of the most rewarding aspects of having at the top of your values list vulnerability is that you will pave the path to living with greater happiness. This happiness will come as you express gratitude for opening yourself up by learning to live with increased vulnerability. It will take courage, faith and a willingness to confront truth head-on. It will not be easy but the more you practice living with vulnerability, the more it becomes a part of who you are and ultimately one of your core values.

I have personally seen the power of living with increased vulnerability. It has stripped me of pride and given me new hope and faith in the future. It has allowed me to become a learner in ways I never thought possible. It has strengthened my self-confidence and helped me to be a leader. It has helped me be a better father, husband, son, brother and friend. I still have work to do in this area but it feels refreshing to know the more I increase my vulnerability, the more I can become who I want to become.

What can you do to increase the value of vulnerability in your life today?

What have you learned?

what have you learned

With 2015 coming to a close and 2016 getting ready to make its presence known it is time for some reflection. Whether you have done this before or have only ever actually thought about doing it, taking some time to reflect can have a number of great benefits. There are numerous ways to reflect upon the year that was but I would like to share one way that you may find useful. It’s all about focusing on what you learned.

See, we may be able to quickly reflect about what happened in 2015 by thinking of key experiences that took place. We may simply think about them for a minute then move on to the next experience. Although this is a good start, what if you took some quality time to really ponder what you learned from those key experiences? Two very important things happen, first you document what you have learned which helps to reinforce those items and second, you now have the opportunity to set some solid goals for 2016 based on those learning’s.

Click on the image below to see a helpful tool I created. You can recreate this tool any way you want; this is just a simple example.

what have i learned

 

 

As you can see with this example, based on a Key Learning from 2015 I was able to establish a goal for 2016. It is important not to overwhelm yourself by listing tons of learnings and/or goals. You may actually go through a couple of iterations to help you narrow down and focus on those experiences that provided the greatest learnings for you. Then you can dial in on the 1 to 3 goals for 2016.

Leaders have the ability to learn from every experience. The best leaders have the ability to take those learning’s and make both themselves and those they lead better. Ironically, heroes are those that are always learning from their experiences, it makes them more effective in the future as they are in situations that require them to act and react quickly.

You are a hero and a leader. I have said it before but you don’t need a title to be a leader and most people will not be called a hero even though do heroic things. There are people around you watching what you do and what you say whether you notice it or not. You have the ability to make a positive impact every day on others. I hope you will take some time to identify what you learned in 2015 to make 2016 even better.

Here is to each of you, my heroes, to an awesome and successful 2016.

Seth

Hero boss [Converted]-01