March 13, 2015

Are You A Leader?

READY  Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position.”  ~ Brian Tracy

AIM… Are you a leader?  It’s an interesting question.  Some folks might answer immediately with yes or no.  Other folks may need to ponder that answer due to the situations they’ve encountered in life.  

I attended two days of intensive training with my executive team at work this week, and one of the exercises involved sharing the characteristics of the person who has had the most influence on you (not including your family members.)  Here are the results:  

mentor, caring, approachable, motivational, responsible, encouraging, consistent, passionate, structured, sacrifice, teacher, integrity, good listener, instrumental, helpful, not afraid to get dirty, provides accountability, honest, character, dedicated, empathetic, courageous.”

The end result was the observation that all those influential people were leaders to each one of us in one way or another, whether they were teachers, coaches, friends, bosses, co-workers, advisors, etc.  I think you’d probably agree with that list and might even have a few more to add yourself. 

The characteristics that the people in our lives need most from us at home, at work, on the field, at church and at your social events are in that list above.  Take a moment to reread that list of characteristics and ask yourself, “Are you a leader?”  Why are (or aren’t) you giving people what they deserve; the very best version of you, their leader?  A good thought to evaluate as you continue to target excellence in all areas of your life.

FIRE!  As you reviewed the list of good leader characteristics, choose one in which you feel you need improvement.  Take the time to foster growth in that area by finding resources online, in a new book or ask YOUR most influential person to give your pointers and tips on being an excellent leader.

Be Excellent!

March 5, 2015

Bring Your Own Sunshine

READY  “Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.”  ~ Anthony D’Angelo 

AIM… I’ve heard so many people grumbling about us having a long winter this year.  You know, I think, here in Ohio, it’s just been that we’ve had more larger snowfalls than normal, causing everyone to stay home, which leads to several severe cases of cabin fever.  The official first day of spring is always March 21st, so winter is no longer than normal; we’ve just had to stay indoors WAY longer than usual!  Winter is also tough because we have limited exposure to the sunlight, and feeling the warmth of the sun on your face is enough to brighten anyone’s outlook.  (I know my warmer climate readers will agree wholeheartedly!)

Interestingly, we may encounter seasons in our lives, when we feel like we are in a perpetual winter.  Some days you may feel like you just want to pull the covers over your head, snuggle down in bed and stay warm and insulated from our cold-hearted world.  However, as cozy and secure as that sounds, it doesn’t get us any closer to stepping into a fresh new season of life.  Sometimes you just have to make up your mind that you are going to create your own sunshine.  It’s not always easy, but you can CHOOSE to get out of bed and do something that makes you happy.  It’s not always fun, but you can CHOOSE to watch a comedy or read a few jokes to make you laugh.  It’s not always convenient, but you can CHOOSE to make plans with a friend to get out of the house, do something different and get some much-needed positive encouragement.

While we cannot control the weather, we can control our choices each day of our lives.   Today, I encourage you to choose to do something that makes you feel the warmth of the sun in your heart.  You’ll feel one thousand times better AND your light will brighten the day of another, guaranteed.
FIRE!  Trying to beat the winter blues?  Do something different.  Have an indoor picnic and eat your dinner on the floor on a blanket.  Have an indoor snowball fight with rolled up socks.  Got more ideas?  Share your sunshine with others and watch them smile!

Be Excellent!
Lori Bodkin