Category Archives: Personal Development
If many leaders took the time to be self-aware and accountable, they would discover so much about how they hamper their credibility and effectiveness in their role.
In today’s world of shifting blame, wanting immediate (though unrealistic) results, and rushing from task to task without deep thought, many leader’s today run into traps that an honest self-assessment and shoring up can avoid. Here are some ways that leaders, and perhaps yourself, may be destroying our credibility as an effective and respected leader:
- Blaming others for a ball dropped on our end
- Not listening to instructions, expectations, feedback, or requests
- Pushing through to get results, or other subtle or overt ways of bullying
- Making hyperbolic claims to generate an emotional response and get a desired outcome
- Having an unrealistic time frame or expectation
- Being frustrated at other’s inefficiency or incompetence when they were not properly trained
- Not communication expectations and being frustrated when they are not met
- Being late, short in tone, or barely engaged in any personal interaction
- Calling others to account for failed performance without having all the facts
For any leader to have any success, they must be able to understand their thoughts and communicate them to everyone in their sphere. They must also come to grips with realism, both within themselves and with others, to ensure they know processes and improvement measures. Great leaders speak plainly, with facts, and take the heat for any missteps on their end. Overall, the best leaders are astute at gathering information, communicating if to everyone involved, and processing the feedback to improve performance, expectations, and processes with maximum engagement and minimal disconnect and confusion.
Determine to build these skills within yourself and watch the impact and turnaround your organization will reap from having a credible and capable leader who can properly process what goes on around them.
Why do some people succeed, and others fail miserably?
Why do some leaders get derailed (mostly due to self-inflicted behaviors) and others succeed over the most impossible odds against them?
Why do Olympic archers hit bulls-eyes with remarkable accuracy?
Why do servers never spill a drop of your beverage as they move quickly across the restaurant?
And finally, why do so few overcome adversity, while others are overcome by adversity?
The simple answer, is they keep there eyes on the prize.
Seriously from any cliche, those that succeed don’t waver from the goal set before them. They know what lies ahead, forget what lies behind, and set aside those things that easily encumber them on their road to finishing their race well. They are goal oriented, instead of circumstance oriented.
It’s not enough to know the steps to succeed, the processes, the mindset, and even the jargon. It’s essential that you only keep focused on what really matters, what has long-lasting positive impact, and is profitable, not merely monetarily but in the impact it means for others around you as well.
Those that fail to succeed simply have taken their eyes off the ball. They did not keep the finish line ahead of them and real enough to run their race well. They allowed the pain of running and the easy way off the course to shipwreck their race.
But the great news is that if you’ve been one of those who has allowed your circumstances to pick you off course, you can start afresh … today.
Write down your goals, marinate your thinking in what is good, true, and profitable, and enjoy the hard fought journey towards that calling or goal that satisfies.
Never, ever, ever take your eyes off the prize. It’s hard work that pays huge dividends.
Dr. John Izzo’s new book, The Five Thieves of Happiness, defines insidious mental patterns that steal happiness. The five thieves are control, conceit, consumption, coveting, and comfort. In this guest post by Dr. Izzo, he looks at the thief of coveting. The thief of coveting makes it a challenge to enjoy the success of others without becoming less happy yourself.
Big Dogs, Little Dogs, and Happy Dogs
One of my mentors early in my life told me that when you spend your life comparing yourself with others, you will always find yourself feeling like a Chihuahua among Saint Bernards. Simply translated, there will always be a dog bigger than you or who has qualities you wish you had. Instead of celebrating the dog you are, you will always find yourself wishing you were another breed.
This thief is a trickster. It comes disguised as helpful ambition, focusing us to achieve and grow, but then it tricks us by making the reference point for happiness how we compare with others instead of whether we are being ourselves or developing our gifts to our best capacity. Life becomes a contest instead of a journey.
This became real to me when I published my first book. It was a great accomplishment, and I thought for certain that once it was published my heart would be filled with gratitude. But suddenly instead of comparing myself with those who had never written a book, I compared myself with those who had written multiple books. Then when my first book became a best seller, instead of being filled with gratitude, I found myself focusing on those whose books were mega–best sellers. Whatever happiness writing a book had brought me was stolen when the thief had me comparing myself with others instead of focusing on what I had accomplished.
The thief keeps us asking the wrong question. Instead of asking who we are, we find ourselves focusing on how we compare. The great task of life is not to be better than others but to truly be ourselves. When I wrote The Five Secrets, many of the people I interviewed warned me about comparing ourselves to others, but even more profoundly they told me that the great the third task of life was to be yourself! That is, to know what makes you happy and to live by that internal compass rather than by what others tell you matters. How we compare is a question that will never have a positive answer because either the mirror will tell us that someone else is fairer or we will have to keep checking in with the mirror every day to make sure we haven’t lost our spot! It is hard to imagine a more exhausting life than one forever lived in comparison with others.
A magazine editor asked me years ago to write a 1,500- word essay on the theme What matters most? A group of compelling personalities were all taking a crack at that question, and I felt honored (and intimidated) to participate. It also felt a bit daunting to forever put down on paper my view of what mattered most. For weeks I racked my brain. What matters most—love, world peace, spirituality, health, relationships, family, legacy? The list seemed infinite. In the end my essay posited a simple idea: what matters most is to know what matters most to you and to live your life focused on that.
This is exactly why the third thief can be so dangerous. If we live our life comparing ourselves with others, we can easily find ourselves climbing up a long ladder to the top of a building we aren’t even sure we want to be on. When we look in the mirror, rather than ask how we compare, we should be asking questions like What do I value? What matters to me? What is the best use of my one life?
Banishing the Thief
Now that we are aware of the impact this thief has on our happiness, we must be intentional about banishing it. Once again, the three steps become an essential tool. Aware now of the thief, you will start to notice its presence on a regular basis. It will show up even in simple daily circumstances like when a colleague or friend comes to work looking particularly good or when something positive happens in the life of someone you know. It will show up on your best days, when you realize that what you accomplish never seems to be enough for you, and also on your worst days, when you find it hard to connect to gratitude. Remember that in meditation the goal is always to gently brush aside thoughts that do not serve us.
Begin to notice the thief’s presence with a sense of humor, if you can. Imagine yourself saying, Now there you go again, comparing yourself with others. The act of noticing may not seem like a powerful force, but it is. The first step in all matters of the mind is to see what is really going on. Noticing and naming something often goes a long way toward disarming it. When a friend launched a new online leadership program with success and I felt a hint of coveting, just by becoming aware of it I was able to brush it aside and move into a place of gratitude for her.
Once a thief loses its disguise, it can’t trick you any further. It’s like the moment you find out the secret behind a magic trick. Suddenly, the trick, or even a similar one, can’t fool you anymore, even if you wanted it to. Try to become adept at identifying the thief’s disguises. The more you uncover it, the better your mind will become at disarming the thief before it even triggers your reaction.
Dr. John Izzo is a corporate advisor, a frequent speaker and the bestselling author of seven books including the international bestsellers Awakening Corporate Soul, Values Shift, The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die, and Stepping Up. His latest book is The Five Thieves of Happiness.
Over the last twenty years he has spoken to over one million people, taught at two major universities, advised over 500 organizations and is frequently featured in the media by the likes of Fast Company, PBS, CBC, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and INC Magazine.
LinkedIn: Dr. John Izzo