The Ever Day Leader: Short Cuts

“When it comes to leadership, you just can’t take shortcuts, no matter how long you’ve been leading your people” John Maxwell

Ever been on a walk that seemed a little longer than you anticipated? Or maybe the journey you are on feels like it will never end?  When we are faced with those scenarios we may be tempted to take a short cut.

Short cuts always SEEM easier.

shortcut_road

How many times have we tried short cuts only to find ourselves in a place we didn’t want to be and the situation worse than when we started out?

Short cuts are simply that, trying to cut something short.

It often means you are trying to cut something short that, if done right, could have great potential. When we take short cuts we often miss the journey and the lessons we are to learn along the way.

Shortcuts don’t work with leadership either.

If we are trying to model what it takes, we must walk the WHOLE journey.
If we are trying to accomplish something with our team, we must take the time and think through every aspect and the different angles. We must see the consequences of those choices BEFORE they happen.

 
If we are trying to make changes, it is vital that we gain support first. Changes won’t happen without a team’s buy-in.

 
If we are investing in someone, we must be willing to do what it takes and that means we must go the distance with them. We don’t stop when it becomes a hassle or inconvenience to us. We know as leaders, that investing in people is a priceless reward and WE benefit from it too.

 
If we are growing our business or even just starting out in business, we must be willing to do it right from the very beginning. This often means doing the things we don’t like or that we may struggle with because we don’t know how. Take the time to learn, take the time to do it right and in the end it will save you time, heartache and MONEY.

Every day leaders know that trying to take the easiest route is not always the best route. We know that doing things right the first time, even if it takes longer, is always what makes the difference and has the greatest impact.

It ‘s what Every Day Leaders do, we walk the journey – the WHOLE journey, knowing that as we do we are making a difference in the lives of those around us and our businesses.

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The Every Day Leader: Behind the Scenes of the Unseen

“Being unseen is not the same as unimportant” (Lance Witt)

I am not mechanically inclined. I have kids that are, but for some reason my brain just does not think that way. I do however, get the importance of assembling ALL the pieces to something, no matter how small. I get that a light fixture can look terrific – but if there is faulty wiring it changes everything.

The things that are not seen, the small parts, the wiring….they are important, even essential.

Our lives are no different.

Not everyone will play a role in the limelight, or be a leader by position. And if they do, it may not be lasting. Our culture says that being someone important is what life is all about; it is having an important title or position. If you are important you usually have money and status. Society says your life means something when you have these things.

We are drawn to what is seen, not the unseen. We are drawn to those in the spotlight. We are a nation that loves to watch the Royals, celebrities, follow Trump and Warren Buffet, and even follow and seek out famous worship leaders.

We equate “being a somebody” as important. And equally so, if you are behind the scenes you are a “nobody” and somehow you are unimportant. Many of us buy into that thinking. We think that since we have not succeeded in life in the limelight then we are just not as important even though we have lived quietly behind the scenes. The “seen” becomes the people of value and those sought after and the “unseen” people we deem as having no value to give.

I think about my parents. They have lived a quiet life. They have worked hard, been involved in their church and community – behind the scenes. They have spent their lives loving others whenever possible. They did it without thinking. They did not care about the limelight or if they mattered in the eyes of others. They did not buy into our society’s view of success. Life was not about what you did, but who you are.  To them, life was about investing in others quietly, without grandeur and announcing it.

My parents are every day leaders. I look at their life and see a life without a huge amount of material possessions, yet they have lived a full and happy life. Lives that have invested in many others over the years – kids, grandkids, great grandkids, their kid’s friends, their friends, their neighborhood, and their community.  They all love and respect them. This is a testament to a life lived well, a life that did not need fame, title, position, or money to make a difference.

They got it.. little things matter. Those things which what you can’t see… THEY MATTER.

It is this principle they have modeled to me my whole life. It’s what every day leaders do. They influence the lives of the people that they come in contact with and those around them.

What is your life about? Are you caught up in being a somebody of importance? Do you think your life is meaningless if you don’t have a great job, money, position, or title?

It is the behind the scenes people who often have a tremendous impact on others. Life is not about them – they don’t care about position or being in the center. They live their life in such a way that the limelight doesn’t matter. They get that stuff: their job, money, and more – do not equal success and likewise, without it does not equal failure.

They are comfortable in their own skin, comfortable in how God made them and how they are wired and that makes them successful in everything they do.

Every day leaders influence – sometimes quietly. They love quietly. They invest in others without attention to what they are doing. They know that what is often unseen, matters.