“Going through hard times doesn’t build character, it simply reveals it”
The idea behind this old saying is that our true character becomes much more apparent when we are faced with difficult circumstances. I have found that true in my life.
The rapid growth of technology, information, and computerization has permeated almost every area of our lives; healthcare, education, government, business, finances, shopping and the list goes on.
How then are we as leaders going to ever keep pace with this explosion of knowledge and new ways of doing things?
Here are some things that can help us stay on top of our game:
Identify the areas of work and leadership that most reward you mentally, physiologically, spiritually, physically and financially
Determine if your present situation is the best match for expertise and interests
If it is, make a list of what you still need to learn to master your craft – then go get the training needed to do it
If it is not, make a list of projects or jobs that would be a much better fit – then put together a plan to get the training needed to pursue the new opportunity
Either way, get your mind right about the fact that “yesterday’s skills just won’t get the job done anymore”
Examine your retirement goals and determine if “life on the golf course or in the bass boat” is for you. Retirement for many of us simply means moving into work that we enjoy more and can do on our own timetable
Go to the library or bookstore and get some books and magazines on subjects you have always wondered about – but never explored. You may find that your next company or career is waiting for you there in the pages
Consider turning your hobby into a business – passion is the key ingredient in entrepreneurial success
Start viewing the concept of learning in a different way. Grown-ups realize that learning is not about cramming for an exam – it is about equipping ourselves to get the most out of life and its opportunities
What new things do you need to learn about professionally, personally, and just for the fun of it?
Enroll in a workshop, seminar or class that will start you on your new road to life-long learning!
My best stewardship happens when I pay it forward. Just like in the movie of the same name, stewardship is best expressed in an attitude of gratitude that serves the needs of others. Those of us who have been given more than we need (or deserve) have the opportunity to give back so that others who come after us will have something significant and substantial to build on.
Burnout occurs when we are required to remain too focused for too long.
In my experience, entrepreneurs and leaders are often the last people to make the time to take proper care of themselves. This and the natural aggressiveness required to run a company makes them primary candidates for serious burnout. Ultimately, they pay a big price for denying themselves the opportunity to get away and recharge.
I learned many lessons during a very rainy and cold sojourn out in the forest with the North Carolina Outward Bound School; the value of teamwork, the joy of overcoming real fear, the sense of accomplishment that comes with pushing past your limits. But the greatest lesson I took away is one that we learned on that first day. Keep it simple – travel light.