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Archive for the ‘Personal Responsibility’ Category

A mark of great leadership

You know that sucking sound you hear?  It’s caused by the vacuum of leadership we continue to experience. At this exact time in history we continue to muddle through the mess we’re in and there is an absence of leadership to show us the way forward.

Is that too bleak?  I’m not a pessimist even while I try to stay realistic.  Since the worldwide “reset” (recession, currency devaluation, drop in trade–whatever you want to call it) that began in 2008, the signs are clear that we’re looking for direction and the old order has passed.  We’re not too sure what the new order is, while many act confused, some put their heads down and soldier on while the true entrepreneurs smell opportunity and are moving aggressively into action.  You’re going to hear their stories become public in the coming years, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

What are some signs of the times?  (more…)

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We remember today a speech given 100 years ago in Paris by Theodore Roosevelt at the Sorbonne one year after he left the presidency.  The larger speech was about Citizenship in a Republic, and the most quoted section talked about the man in the arena.  Many people have borrowed the words or echoed the sentiment, perhaps most famously Richard Nixon in his 1974 resignation speech.  The original attribution to Roosevelt seems mostly forgotten except by historians.

But I think it’s important to look at the fuller context of this speech which I’ll show with some select quotations and my own comments as they relate to personal development.  Roosevelt addressed an educated French audience and his topic was about the kind of citizenship that makes a republic strong.

“In the long run, success or failure will be conditioned upon the way in which the average man, the average women, does his or her duty, first in the ordinary, every-day affairs of life, and next in those great occasional cries which call for heroic virtues.” (more…)

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Key truths of leadership

There are plenty of myths about what leadership is.  What can we say is true about real leadership?

We learn some of the truths of leadership by listening to people who are great practitioners of the art of leading people.  

1.  Leadership is not about the leader. (more…)

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Time to get moving

“Let him who would move the world first move himself.” (Socrates)

January’s resolutions are long gone–time to get moving on what you’re really committed to.  I’m still hearing from people who are writing their own version of what the year ahead looks like using my free workbook “The Year Ahead 2010″.  You can get a copy for yourself and start  moving yourself, then watch out–the world will move too.

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I always have a choice

“I always have a choice.”  A simple, bold declaration begins my personal philosophy of choice that includes both personal and interpersonal axioms in it.  This is bold because on a subjective level it oftens feels that I have no choice.  But the deeper truth is that I really do.  In a cascade of consequences, everything flows out from fundamental choices that I make.  What I choose to focus on becomes more vivid and real.  If I pay attention, I become more aware of all that’s happening.  I cannot always understand the choices of others, but I can choose whether to see them with empathy, and I can really choose how I see people–either as competent or pitiful.  I came across the essay by Catherine Royce recently.  She speaks a similar message very poignantly, arising from her own life experiences.  Recently, a close friend of hers told more of this story.

I have seven axioms in my personal philosophy of choice, and these guide me when I get confused or bewildered or just need perspective.  What about you?  Do you have a personal philosophy of life and are you willing to share any of it with us?

I always have a choice, and I’m going to make sure I make better choices today from greater awareness and wisdom.

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I’ve been writing in a journal occasionally over the past 20 years.  Recently I’ve started writing almost daily for the past five months.  Sometimes I write personal reflections/recollections of what happened, or how I’m thinking about the present situation, or I look to the future.

Today, I posed a challenging question to myself:  What is the most important, greatest impact, longest lasting activity or objective I could get involved with right now? (more…)

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depressed_by_vinayshivakumarI see a lot of hand-wringing going on around me these days.  “What will happen in the economy?”  “When will things get better?”  The causes for worry and uncertainty are endless, but I have a simple way to respond.

(more…)

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Talent and hard work

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”  Vince Lombardi

vlombar09

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A new era of responsibility

obama_inaugurationToday was a momentous day for the US and the world with the inauguration of Barack Obama.  In my opinion, the most meaningful line from his speech was when he invoked “a new era of responsibility”  and talked about the need to put childish things behind us and do some growing up.  This looks like a much-needed dose of reality and “tough love”  by an emerging leader who now has a very difficult and challenging job to do.

Leadership and change always begin with personal responsibility and truth-telling.  If you want to develop top talent, start by leveling with people.  Tell them the truth and enlist their help in being part of the solution.  Now is the time for responsibility and assertive (yet humble) leadership.

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