As we start 2020, we have an amazing opportunity to clearly see our future. Did you see what I did there - with the “20/20” and “clearly see”? You will likely hear a lot of that as we enter the new year. For many of us during our early years, 20/20 was a term used to define perfect vision. This play on words could get old fast, or it could serve as a catalyst for us to get started on a more fulfilling life.
Now is the time to address any desired change in your life. In just over a month, we will approach the day when more change is attempted than at any other time of the year - the time of New Years Resolutions. Research tells us that within three weeks, most changes that were attempted on January 1st will have already been aborted with people migrating back to the way they were before.
This is my final segment on encounters/relationships that have impacted me. I hope you have enjoyed these and have been challenged by them.
In this blog, I continue to share about encounters that have influenced me…
As I noted in my last blog, through my travels, I have been blessed to meet with people from all walks of life. Each of these encounters had served to reaffirm my belief that the key ingredients to success at all levels is your willingness to learn and the relationships with which you surround yourself. Over the next few months, I will be sharing a few memories from encounters that stand out in my life and lessons I have been blessed to learn along the way.
Let me frame this blog by saying that I have been blessed to meet and interact with people from all walks of life—from John Quinn, a talented and personable tufting machine operator with whom I worked with in 1988 during my early days in the Shaw sales training program, to Warren Buffet, who I was privileged to interview several times in order to glean his wisdom and share it with the members of the Shaw Flooring Network. As a frequent traveler who has logged over two million miles on one airline, I am sure I have forgotten more of these encounters than I remember.
Fear is debilitating, yet most of us struggle with it at various points in our life. Even CEOs, managers, and leaders are not exempt. I once heard that “98% of the things we worry about never happen." Of course I have also heard that 74.6% of all statistics are made up on the spot to justify our position, so I am not sure how accurate that statistic is. I can assure you that in my own life, I have found it to be very much on the mark. Though fear can be a motivator, more often than not it controls us, binds us, and holds us back.
I have just finished a second reading of the book 212 The Extra Degree by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson. In their book, the authors share the story of Jan Carlzon, who in 1981 was named the CEO of Scandinavian Airlines System. His company was in trouble. They had just been ranked by a consumer poll as the worst airline in the world. Last in service, last in dependability, and last in profits as a percentage of sales. (Hopefully there are no parallels between your company and Jan Carlzon’s situation).
It’s that time of year again – the time of year when we make resolutions to change our lives, relationships, and leadership for the better. Unfortunately, this time is often followed by the annual failure known as the “breaking of the resolution”. This yearly “rite of passage” likely causes you to ask a couple of very important questions:
Are New Years’ Resolutions really important?
If so, how can I break the trend and create change that lasts?
Recently I have become reacquainted with a story of amazing leadership. It is the story of Sir. Ernest Shackleton – a polar explorer from the early 1900s - a story of amazing challenges met by extraordinary leadership. It reminds me that during the good times, leadership is nice to have, but during times of crisis, strong leadership is essential for survival of the organization and its employees. Here is the kicker. As in the life of Shackleton, there is usually little to no warning that we are shifting from smooth sailing to stormy seas.