How has leadership changed over the years? Are you the hero or the outlaw? In previous years, if you went out on a limb and took risks to bring a product or service to market that you saw a need for, you were a hero. By fulfilling your vision, you brought employment to others, increased tax revenues for governments, and supported local communities. Now, after dealing with all the red tape, regulations, and restrictions, you’re an outlaw for trying to build the economy. As leaders today, we are under attack. We seem to be the whipping boy for political hacks who want to take away our rights and our resources in hopes of creating a level society where everyone is just the same. They feel they are better judges of what’s good for you and your family then we are. Now let me get off this soapbox before my head explodes.
I think we have an incredible opportunity in front of us. Do you see it? If you’re like me you’re being inundated with information, over 20,000 messages every day. The doom and gloom will continue until morale improves. Look at it this way, no matter who is elected in November; he’ll be inheriting a bad economy from the previous president. This business environment is only going to change when we do. American ingenuity is not dead. We can always rise to the challenge, as long as we know what the rules are. So with that in mind, I came up with four tips you can use to be a stronger leader during these challenging times.
First, turn off your television and stop spending time glued to the news. I know what you’re thinking, “Where else will I get my news?” My suggestion is to watch less than an hour of news every day. Pick your sources well and then turn off the rest. While you’re at it, consider what you’re reading, as well. Many of the business magazines have more political agendas than the presidential candidates. Take time to consider what you are investing your time in. If you want to gossip, go to the water cooler. If you’re like me and I bet you are, you will get bored very quickly. You must take control of the information that goes into your mind. It’s very easy to be depressed if you are going through the news every day.
Second, go back to your core beliefs. Take time to do things that bring you joy in your life. Be selective of what you invest your money in. I’ve been reading several good books on beliefs. When I talk to other leaders I can find the best leaders have a core set of beliefs that they believe in and are not going to let the current environment change them. To do this, you must know what you believe and, as importantly, why you believe them. Next week, I’ll share some material that will help you understand what your beliefs are and why you believe them. I think you will be surprised by why you have certain beliefs and what you can do to leverage them for your long term success. You may be shocked at how many of your beliefs you adopted from others without challenging their validity and they are taking you down a failed path.
Third, find sources of inspiration every day. I’ve started reading positive, uplifting books before I go to bed and listening to educational CDs in my car when I travel. Look to take advantage of technology to increase your effectiveness. I’ve been investing my time in learning more about the areas I’m good at and learning to delegate the things I’m not. It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you focus on your strengths. You can also find inspiration spending time with the people you love.
Finally, start spending time getting back in shape. For many leaders, we have so many things to do in our busy days. We forget how important our health is. We need to get more done with less. I’ve been investing time in getting back in shape and you can’t imagine how much better I feel. My emotional resilience and my attitude have improved 1000%. Things that would have brought me to my knees two months ago just roll of my back today. I have more energy to spend on the more important things in my life and I get more done in the same amount of time.
Now that we’ve got you back on the path to success, next week we will start giving you the tools you need to take your life to the next level. But to do this we may have to challenge your beliefs, and we will. See you next week.