A Moment of Reflection

The rash of celebrity deaths has caused me to pause and reflect. 

Michael Jackson had such talent, personality, energy and zest.  Farrah had such beauty, grace and personality.  I look at the manner in which they both died and it prompts me to think about my own legacy. 

I wonder if both of these people would tell you they accomplished what they wanted to in life?  I think Farrah had time for closure and the time to deliver those all important good byes.  Michael did not.  It is tough to watch his old videos.  The young talent singing “ABC easy as 123…”  How could that young man chase so many ghosts later in life?  How can someone who appears to have so much live in such despair? 

The love of family and friends is paramount. 

What are you doing today? 

How does your life reflect who you are? 

Are you living in integrity? 

Are you faithful to your heart and dreams? 

These are questions we all face.  I am humbled with gratitude to live in a country where we can all answer those questions and act on them.

We are blessed.

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Landing with Gratitude!

My day started at 3:30am.  It was a day of travel.  I got up and out to the airport on time and walked up to the gate just as they started boarding my flight.  The day was off and running. 

When travel is on the docket, I can never tell how the day will go however I have always known that keeping a sense of humor is essential.  I was delighted that I had not had to use it – yet.

I boarded the flight and sat down next to what appeared to be a business traveller.  He had a sunny disposition and I was glad to see a friendly face.  As I settled in to my seat we started talking.  It was one of those chats that you continue simply to learn and understand more.  As we talked I realized who I was sitting next to and this gentleman had a stellar reputation and was known as a very successful businessman.  I was honored with our conversation.

We talked about areas like ethics and education.  He went on to talk about his dedication to educating children and how our future depended on this area.  These topics resonated for me.  I was impressed by this man.  Successfull businessman with a compassion for community.  What a combination.

By the time we landed 2 hours later, I felt my day was complete.  I had made a terrific contact and learned so much in a very short amount of time.  It was one of those gratitude moments that we all savor.

Even though I left early and travel can be unpredictable, this trip was off to a fantastic start and I couldn’t be anything but grateful.  It is going to be a great day!  Wheels up!

Gratitude = Customer Loyalty

Gratitude is going mainstream and I couldn’t be happier!
Recently a major hotel chain announced that it would focus on random acts of gratitude as part of the customer service code of ethics.
The concept is that an unexpected gesture will leave the customer not just pleased but also grateful. “Gratitude is a powerful, and potentially quite profitable, emotion to inspire.”

Could this type of activity apply to your setting? I actually think it applies to all settings. Imagine a random act of gratitude at home, at school, at work and so forth. There are no boundaries for this type of activity….

Go in gratitude

Source; The New York Times

Diamonds in the Sky?

This morning I set out on a brisk walk with my dog, Lucy.  It was cool and the humidity gathered above the grassy areas, reminding me of the rain from yesterday.  As I walked through the park the dampness had gathered in a pool of light fog resting on the top of the grass.  I could also hear the distant sound of a train blowing it’s horn miles away.

It was a brilliant morning and the sun was making it’s debut.  The sky was lighting up in hues of yellow, orange, peach and blue.  The colors of summer have a distinct hue.  It was fairly early and the birds were waking up and singing.   We also spotted bunnies coming out to graze on grass and weeds.  As I breathed in the morning I could feel my body wake up.  My eyes and soul smiling at all of these sites.

As Lucy and I trekked through the neighborhood, another sound started emerging, a faint hissing sound.  The melody of the morning was starting to change to include this new hissing sound.  The further I walked the closer it sounded.  This change certainly helped me to wake up completely.  The sound was different and yet familiar.  When it seemed the hissing was nearly on top of me I turned around and there in front of me was the source of the noise…..

2 hot air balloons were dancing in the sky.

They looked like Christmas tree ornaments adorning the sky.  The vibrant sunrise served as a perfect backdrop for this picture.  In that moment I sealed the view in my mind.  What a lovely way to start my day.  It was a reminder of all things that are possible.  Can you imagine how Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier felt when taking flight in the late 1700’s?  Even more interesting – what if you were standing on the ground watching this spectacle?

I am grateful for the adventurous human spirit.  The thoughts and dreams which know no boundaries or the word “can’t.”  May we all be blessed with the wonder and awe of this type of moment each day.

Do Many Lead a Few?

Leader or Doer?

If you pause today, think about doing versus leading.  Do you do a lot of things?  It is tough to do a lot of things well while leading a few well.  As you grow as a leader I would encourage you to track these types of activities.  Be honest with yourself.  Think about if you had to choose between these two work areas; doing or leading, which would you choose?

For many of you fulfillment may come from doing a lot of different things.  Being a part of many areas and activities.  For others satisfaction may be found in leading a few areas.  To do this may mean doing less but leading more in fewer areas.

I would encourage you to take inventory of your actions for a couple of days and determine the difference between the doing and the leading.  Is it time to show greater focus?   Choices are good. 

Go in gratitude!

Gratitude Leadership?

 

When you reflect on leadership style I would venture to guess your response does not include the word gratitude. 

Certainly we have all heard the quote;” lead by example.”  What does that mean?  Do as I do?   In the case of gratitude leadership do I lead by showing appreciation? Gratitude? 

Expressions have energy behind them.  The type of energy is dependent on the type of expression.  If I am mad and I am yelling, my expression is probably tight, agitated and loud. 

If I am thanking someone, my expression is probably soft, humble, open and pleasant.  From an expression of gratitude, is it possible that this could amplify my leadership skills? 

My overwhelming answer is YES!!!!

Leadership is an important attribute in life.  It applies to both our personal and professional lives.  It can be a trait or an act.  Some people might argue whether it is a noun or a verb.  Leadership and context are connected.

On a sports team, leadership may take the form of a captain.  In the military it may take on a new title and rank which will also reflect leadership.  In other professions, title will often denote level within an organization as well as reflect the potential level of leadership expected.  Leadership is a quality that can be cultivated, nurtured and measured. 

Success relies upon appropriate leadership and great success demands it.   

Simply saying the word leader creates a vision, a power and an expectation.  This is also probably why most people wrestle with this attribute at some point in their professional life.  There have been influential leaders who have used different fuel to lead, motivate and inspire.  The fuel may come from emotions like fear, hope, anger, and joy.

Let’s trade traditional words associated with leadership and cultivate a new one; Gratitude.   Take the time to reflect on the situations presented to you and look for opportunities to express gratitude. 

Say thank you in a note, in an email, in a voicemail.  Find the people around you doing the right things, meeting expectations – creating a better environment.  It is happening we just need to look for it.

My challenge to you – take a step towards Gratitude Leadership.

Gratitude brings prosperity

I want to share a thought with you; the more you share gratitude the more available you become to life’s blessings. 

What?

Just sit with this idea for a minute.  Have you ever noticed that the more you focus externally (outside of yourself) the more you grow internally.  There is a shift in consciousness.  By focusing on others you open up inside allowing for additional growth, prosperity and possibility. 

Gratitude is an act of strength and confidence.  It is like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it becomes.

Don’t believe it.

That is not a typo – do not believe what I have written…..try it.  Challenge yourself in the area of gratitude.  What can you do within the next week to add more gratitude to your life?  Try it, reflect, write about it – whatever works for you but give it a shot and see for yourself if gratitude awakens a different part of you.

I think you will like the results and I know that people around you will prosper.