The desire to create lasting transformation in the world is what really drives us as leaders, right? Since the news of her death, I’ve been thinking a lot about Maya Angelou. Her legacy offers several valuable insights for living a life of true significance.
Maya Angelou speaking at Burns Library, Boston College. Creative Commons.
The odds were against Angelou in her early years. Her parents divorced when she was three, and she spent several years under the care of her grandparents.
Several years ago, we had an English Setter named Nelson. He was gentle and patient. He let our grandchildren pull his tail and climb all over him. He only had one real fault.
My Dog Nelson
Whenever the door would open, he would bolt like a convict, drunk with his new-found freedom. It would often take twenty or minutes or more to retrieve him. On more than one occasion, he narrowly escaped being hit by an oncoming car.
What keeps you going when the going gets tough … when you want to quit and walk off the field? I recently had an experience that made me dig deep and reconnect with my calling. I share it in this episode.
But I’m not alone. Tough times are inevitable for each of us. If you aren’t clear about your calling, you will cave in and quit. This is why it is so important to understand what it is.
Charisma may be useful in attracting a following, but it is largely useless when it comes to achieving a long-term, positive impact on the people and organizations we lead. For this, we need character. Effective leadership is an inside-out job.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com/Thirteen
In helping people build their platforms, I often meet individuals whose public image is better developed than their personal character. They are one person on stage and another when the spotlight is off. It is this fundamental lack of integrity that undermines their effectiveness and, left unchecked, can destroy their legacy.
Instead of posting a new episode of my podcast today, I want to encourage you to listen to Andy Stanley’s recent podcast series, Breathing Room. I just finished listening to it yesterday and knew I had to share it with you.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com/Peshkova
Do you ever feel like you can’t catch your breath? Do you run from one activity to the next without any margin? Are you stressed, overwhelmed, and close to burnout? If so, this series is exactly what the doctor ordered.
In a Commencement Address at Stanford University, Steve Jobs said,
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Ric Elias was a passenger on flight 1579, the plane that crash-landed in the Hudson River in New York in January 2009. What went through his mind as the doomed plane went down? In this short five-minute speech, he shares how facing his own death gave him a new perspective on life. It’s well worth watching. (Thanks to Darrell Vesterfelt at the Storyline Blog for sharing this.)
As a busy blogger, podcaster, author, speaker and consultant, I get asked all the time about the tools I use to get it all done.
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