Choice in the balance …

Posted in Life on January 10th, 2011 by kjr – 2 Comments

A friend of mine does something wonderful for me. Every Friday he sends some of us a few short words of encouragement, wisdom, and often includes various quotes to make his point.

I look forward to them each week, and on the rare occasion (very rare) when he’s a day or so late, I wonder if everything is alright, or if he thinks we don’t appreciate it enough. But then he has always produced.

Thanks Jay!!

Well, last Friday he sent a quote that caused me to think again about how significant the choices we make are.

I went back and looked at my 15 Axioms and realized that 4 of them actually deal with choice. And without really thinking about it I had grouped them together, building on each other in a sense. These are Axioms:

6. Fear is not a choice

7. Courage is the proactive response to fear

8. Choose to ignore the voices of negativity – which are pervasive

9. The “right” choice is often hard

Oh, and the quote Jay sent:

“Between two evils, choose neither; between two goods, choose both.”

From the book, Wise Words and Quotes” by Vern McLellan

Well said, don’t you think?

What is the leadership lesson here?

Posted in Leadership on January 6th, 2011 by kjr – 4 Comments

A friend and colleague sent me the video below today. Over the past year I have thought more and more that we are living in times that are remarkably transformational. Times that equate to the invention of the printing press, or the impact of a World War. Different than anything experienced since the 1950s.

The digital age, the transfer of world wealth and power, the increasing life span of much of the world. All of this seems to me exponential in how it has changed the values, norms, and expectations of our cultures and societies.

This video put in a capsule for me some of those changes, especially since 1999.

Yet, what it does not say, is what was the difference in why some countries thrived in those 200 years, and what is needed in the next 10 years to help people, communities, nations, regions to thrive.

It’s the intangibles of leadership, influence, vision, direction, creativity, and more that will make the difference.


Posted in Leadership on January 3rd, 2011 by kjr – 3 Comments

Happy New Year

It’s a good time,

at a time

when we mark time,

to think about

what it is we are leaving behind.

Every leader, good, bad, or mediocre leaves a mark. In an earlier post on Loving Critics, I mentioned the book A Leaders Legacy. I believe it is important to consider– What is the legacy we will leave as leaders?

In a sense, to do this effectively, we need to hold two almost conflicting ideas in our minds- and actually our hearts- simultaneously. One is to recognize and be mindful of the fact that what we do impacts our organizations, communities, other people. The other is to acknowledge our impact is fleeting, and if we try to build an impressive legacy to be remembered by, it almost guarantees our legacy will be small and insignificant.

Being mindful of the fact we are leaving an impact is like the vapor trail in this photo. It enhances the picture, adds something meaningful to the image, but, it’s temporary.

Pride motivating what we do to leave a legacy is a falsehood that undermines our effectiveness. We won’t enhance and add meaning to an organization, or another person’s life, if we are driven by pride.

Jim Collins, in the book Good To Great, Why Some Some Companies Make The Leap …and others don’t talks about 5th Level Leadership. He describes those who reach this level of leadership this way:

They are humble, self-effacing and more concerned about the prosperity of the company than their individual success.

The pilot flying the jet, leaving that vapor trail a few mornings ago, had no idea how it enhanced my view, prompted my thoughts and added to this blog.  ….. Wonderful!