Are you a 21st Century Leader?

I came across this excellent article called 20 Questions Determine a Brain’s Leadership Fate. The questions made me stop and think about my own leadership and whether I am adapting. Check these out:

1. What solution did you rock lately?

2. When did you last thank a bloke? (Yes, written by someone who’s English is not American!)

3. Do you cultivate curiosity? (Good job, you’re reading blogs!)

4. Are you outsourcing brainpower? (List key facts that allow others to build on what you and they know)

5. Do you collaborate to find stellar solutions?

6. What innovations mix up your day?

7. Do others deem you quaint?

8. Can you celebrate gender proclivities?

While this post talks about how these ‘exercises’ actually change and improve brain function (cool), it’s also a reminder that regardless of whether we’re employed or not, we have the opportunity to hone our skills. Reaching out and participating in group activities, appreciating others, teaching, learning and collaborating improve our mood and challenge our ideas. Pick one of the above and work on it, even a little. Your brain and your mood will thank you.

One of my favorite sayings is “Would you rather be right or happy?” Many of us get stuck in being right because our brains have ruts, literal ruts. Expand your mind, be wrong, laugh and while your at it, thank a bloke.

Walking on a Tightrope

I recently started reading a new blog by Joshua Blankenship. The post that turned me on Whose You Do You Want To Be?

If you have talent, there will always be someone telling you how to use it. Talent is in short supply, and smart people always have a vision for how you should use yours.

It’s a struggle to balance the need for earning a living and finding a satisfying way to use your talents. There are no courses in school for understanding your gifts and then figuring out how to best use them. Mostly, we tell kids to follow a career path and it’s hard to argue with that. But that doesn’t necessarily help them figure out how to be happy.

The tightrope is the journey to create the life you want. Please don’t be afraid of what other people will say. If they have time to talk about you, they’re not focusing on their own tightrope/happiness. They are likely too afraid to get up on the wire! How about thinking about your fulfillment goals instead your career goals.

When I was young, someone said to me, “be bold and great forces will come to your aid.” I never forgot that.

You don’t have to do something outrageous or outlandish to be true to yourself. But you probably have to bear the weight of people telling you that you’re wrong. Be strong, look for allies and be yourself. There’s no one like you in the whole world.

Inspiring and very entertaining video (also found in Joshua’s blog). Thanks Josh!

Just For Today

Not exactly a 'mental loafer'...

There’s a poem I think about often titled Just for Today. There are some terrific ideas here to combat the grind of daily living whether we are looking for a work or going to a job every day.

Just for today I will be happy. This assumes what Abraham Lincoln said: ‘Most folks are about as happy as they make their mind up to be.’

Old Abe really knew his stuff. It’s easy to be negative and focus on what’s not going right. Just for today, try to look for what’s good in your family, friends and colleagues. That’s usually pretty easy. But what about the people we don’t like so much; politicians for instance. I wonder how many of us would have agreed with Mr. Lincoln during his years in the white house. It’s not easy but make a decision to look for what’s good. Ask yourself, how can I make a difference in someone’s life right here, right now?

Just for today I will take care of my body. I will exercise it, care for it, nourish it, not abuse or neglect it.

Hmmm… how are we doing in this area? I need to work on getting more exercise. Take time for yourself. This is NOT about weight. It’s about caring for yourself. Try doing something different, just one thing. You can do it.

Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought, and concentration.

I love the image of a mental loafer. (A shoe with a  face!) Anyway, it’s easy to get complacent, to think, “I do all this stuff already; I’m already trying so hard.” So don’t try harder, try different.