Archive for September, 2010
Did you know that your goals are far, far ahead of you?
Women and men have been aiming at achieving more or less the same things in their lives since thousands and thousands of years.
You are the one who is new to the game. The game itself is old. Very old.
You could think that you are setting new goals and identifying an ever-growing stream of new and improved needs, wants and must haves; all the while working toward a better life and state of being for you and your loved ones.
Don’t be fooled. Your goals are way ahead of you. They have seen you coming from miles away. Seen you peak your head around the corner eyeballing that new you, including that new purse, dress, car, house, husband, wife, promotion, status, reputation, retirement, etc. from miles and miles away.
You are not coming up with your goals, your goals are coming up with you; reinventing you, shaping you into the man or woman you will become. Unconsciously, if you are not careful.
Don’t exhaust yourself running after that future state of perfect peace and happiness that can only be found in the intense sanity of being truly, fully here and now.
You may be looking out of your office window in Midtown Manhattan right now or driving down the 101 into Los Angeles in mid-morning, bumper to bumper traffic, you may be ex-padding it on the Mexican peninsula or teaching those stern Europeans how to market to the 50+.
Whichever it is, don’t loose sight of what makes you unique. It is not your goals, it’s your capacity to be present in spite of them.
Tell us what do you think! Share your thoughts about Men Who Stare At Goals (And Women Too)!
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- Probably the most important thing you can do as a mindful leader is to become more present and clean up your own act. If there are too many things in your life which would not stand up to scrutiny if the entire world found out, you might want to eliminate them. Like the Buddha said: “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” Do not weigh yourself down with too much causal “baggage”.
- Be sure that every decision you make is an honest one and ethical. You cannot effectively lead, when your decisions and actions are not above-board, fair, and honest.
- As a mindful leader, commit to telling the truth even if it is uncomfortable. When you lie or tell half-truths, people tend to feel that your entire approach is a sham. And if you need to lie or tell half-truths a lot it may well be.
- Learn everything you can about the tasks at hand, even if it means working in the trenches for a while. No one likes to be led by someone who has never done what they’re doing every day. This doesn’t mean you have to become an expert, just participate in the menial work long enough to understand the frustrating aspects of the work. Another benefit to this is, when you have actually done the work, you can more effectively brainstorm solutions to challenges when they arise.
- Lead by example. Do you expect your employees or secretaries to arrive on time for work, and dressed well? Then you must do the same. Sometimes it is so easy to think that you have earned the right to come in whenever you feel like it, or to return from lunch whenever you wish. Sure, you may have earned the right, but you gain far more by setting the example for mindful performance Do you expect others to focus and pull through when a project is behind projections? Then you must be willing to do the same.
- Although you may feel you have earned the right to delegate away all work, continue to be involved in productive tasks. By doing some of the work, not only do you gain the respect of your employees, but you also keep in touch with the flow of things. As a leader, it is easy to become disengaged from the actual productive segment of your business, and resultantly make decisions that look good on paper and sound good around the boardroom table, but are actually worthless when the rubber hits the road.
- Constantly reevaluate your own performance. Often, you may spend so much time correcting the actions of others and solving crises you didn’t create, that you develop the sense that others might not be as capable as you. Consequently, you may not recognize when you are falling into bad habits yourself that also need to be corrected. Be the first to acknowledge, recognize and correct your own short-fallings.
- Avoid pride. Once in a position of leadership, especially if you are good at what you do, it is easy to begin to feel that you are superior, smarter or somehow invincible. Once that occurs, you become vulnerable to pride, and may be lead to make decisions you would frown upon if your subordinates made the same decisions. Maintain full responsibility for your actions, and keep them above-board at all times.
- Manage your time. When you are in a position of leadership and find yourself delegating away most of the time-consuming tasks, it is easy to lose control of your time. Again, when your employees see you wasting your time, they will tend to do the same.
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