Monday, July 2, 2012

Building Future Leaders Starting With My Own!

As I was thinking through this blog post and laying out how I wanted it to look, the popular expression "charity begins at home" immediately came to mind.  It's one of those practical truthful phrases that just makes sense and no matter how long its been around and I thought it was an appropriate fit given the topic.

As a parent, I feel that one of my main responsibilities is to create positive memories that my children can fondly reflect back on when they become adults.  Much of our learnings and behaviour can be traced back to our childhood so starting with a firm foundation is a great first step to leading a life full of greatness.  In addition, I also feel parents should be equipping their children with the necessary skills needed to be the personal leaders they're capable of being.

It's my sincere desire, hope and wish that my own children are able to use their innate talents and abilities to positively impact other people as a way of making their personal imprint on society.  Through the process, they're not only demonstrating leadership skills but also taking one step closer to their serving their individual purpose.

I take the job of a parent very seriously and that's one of the main reasons why I wrote my motivational quote book, "Gifts From Others".  I wanted to give Vanessa, Jahleesa and AJ something tangible with substance that can provide some form of guidance as they continue to grow and develop into the personal leaders they're individually destined to be.

To that end, I thought I'd pass along 11 quick important points in no particular order that I'd like my children and other future leaders to bear in mind as they embark on the journey of life:
1. Treat People With Respect & Dignity
Your ability to progress in life has a lot to do with how you treat others and the respect you show towards them, you're setting yourself up to reach new heights when you do and say the things that demonstrate both respect and dignity to those around you.  We all want to be treated this way and made to feel that we're valuable and of importance so extend to others and you'll see the returns.

2. Don't Forget The Sandbox Lessons
We were taught the importance of playing in the sandbox as kids but for whatever reason, we grew into adults and those skills got lost along the way.  Because our lives weren't meant to be lived in isolation, the ability to work cooperatively with others is an valuable skill to have.  Our minds will never be big enough to hold all the answers so somewhere along the road we're going to have to look to others for help through an obstacle or problem.

3. Give To Get 
The law of reciprocity says that every single action has an equal and opposite reaction. Smile at another person, and they'll most likely smile back at you. Be critical of others and they'll most likely have something negative to say about you.  Much of what we get from life is based on what we give to others but let's bear in mind that this only happens if we do so from a place of genuineness and sincerity and not because we want something in return.
4. Be Positive
A positive attitude is contagious and enough can't be said about the importance of maintaining a happy outlook on life for yourself and others.  A point that's oftentimes overlooked is that people tend to like being around others who help make them feel good about themselves and positively influence the enviornment. So while everyone has bad days, do everything in your power to limit those days to moments.

5. Keep Your Word
Establishing a reputation as someone who keeps their word will get you much further ahead in life then someone who is unreliable and untrustworthy.  Through the process, you'll also develop an attitude of accountability where you'll accept 100% responsibility for your actions, keep your promises and mean the things you say instead of pointing fingers, laying blame or falsely accusing others.  The quickest way to have people lose their faith in you is to demonstrate a lack of accountability for your own actions.  Remember, we don't only look to leaders for answers, they also turn to them for inspiration and support.

6. Eyes Wide Open
No matter how much insight and knowledge we amass, there's always more to be learned about ourselves and the people around us.  Life is always offering tons of learning opportunities and it's our job to be ready for the lesson when it comes our way even during our perceived mistakes and failures.  You see, the only time we truly make a mistake or fail is when we walk away from an experience without learning the lesson.

7. The Power of a Good Deed
I'm a firm believer that the true measure of success is tied into the number of people we're able to positively impact over the course of our lifetime. As a result, I would encourage you to never take for granted or underestimate how much of a difference our actions can have on others.  As the saying goes, even a single candle can light an entire dark room.

8. Be Truthful & Honest With Yourself
The importance of being truthful and honest to yourself can't be overstated because if you're unable to be truthful and honest with yourself, how can you possibly expect to do so with others?

9. Take Others Along For The Ride
Having a general idea which direction you want to go in life is important but the journey takes on an entirely new meaning when you can take others along for the ride with you.  The psychology behind it is that by helping to create positive experiences for others in the present, you're also contributing to their future outlook where its only natural to expect the best from life.  These positive expectations can lead to a healthy state of mind that makes the ride that much more enjoyable for all.

10. Be Satisfied With Your Efforts
I've always felt that it's far more important to tie our happiness and satisfaction into our level of effort as opposed to the end result.  Unfortunately, the end result doesn't always come out in our favor and at the end of the day we have to know that we tried our absolute best and be satisfied that we did as much as possible to achieve what we were after.  The results will come eventually and our level of satisfaction will serve as the bridge to keep us motivated to push ahead.

11. Find The Things That Bring You Joy and Stick By Them
This is very similar to the expression that reminds us to do the things we love and we'll never have to feel like we're working ever again.  Take the time to figure out the things that drives you to stay up late at night, motivates you to see a task through to its completion and excites to the point that its always on your mind.  Once you figured what they are, keep them close by your side at all times.  They'll serve as a reminder of the great things life has to offer and help build up your resiliency particularly when things don't go your way.

See you on the court!

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I appreciate the kind words - For me the big thing to understand about leadership is that its all about you as the individual and has nothing to do with the title or position. Its pretty clear to me that you get that too. All the best!


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