“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” Clarence B. Kelland
No one ever says “boss me” or “manage me.” People say “Lead me, please!”
Leadership is different. It requires active participation in so many ways. Fathers(and mothers) are the most important leaders out there. They set the foundation of the future at the earliest stages. You think that baby is just babbling – he or she is watching your reaction – are you paying attention are you participating? If so, they know they are valued.
Listen – do you have a commitment to listening with the intent of understanding? Are you receptive to the message without judging the messenger? Will you seek to learn and clarify the will of the group? Do you listen without interrupting? Are you willing to listen to someone’s rant and look for why they feel that way? And while you listen, will your non-verbal communication reinforce that you are in fact listening with an open mind?
Envision – Do you know someone who can balance the need for focus on the immediate needs but also see a great vision of the future? The story of how executing day to day connects to a great the future is the tale true leaders weave. They know the importance of execution but also of placing the brick in the foundation for the future. Yes, today’s problem can seem overwhelming but we can turn it into a piece of what makes us great and differentiates us.
Be Aware – Are you in touch – with your team, with your family, but most of all, with yourself? When you dedicate yourself to being aware, you will discover things. They might be scary but they will lead you to new understanding and new horizons. Your inner strength will carry you through the scary parts.
Finally, be sure to say “Thank you” for even the small things – better yet, write it. That will be your legacy. I recently heard a story of a Senior Chief in Afghanistan who offered a bunk spot to a new Lt. who was passing through the Operations Base. The Lt. sent him a thank you note. The Senior Chief said it was the first time in 25 years an officer ever really acknowledged him that way. So,