“Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” – Henry David Thoreau
Every now and then I pick up a book and re-read it to see if there is anything I missed during my first pass. (There always is.) This time I was reading John Maxwell’s “21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” and I was struck by a passage that expressed the higher the individual’s ability to lead, the more able they will be to reach their potential.
After I read that passage, I paused and reflected on what I thought my potential was a decade ago and what I think it is today.
When I read Maxwell’s book 10 years ago, I was beginning many important leadership journeys: new mom, new business owner, etc. I was energized by the idea of reaching my potential because everything was just so … I don’t know … new? I saw so much opportunity. Now that I’m a little more seasoned and more confident in my roles, this passage forced me to ask myself, “Where is the growth opportunity now?”
It forced me to confront a few thoughts that have been rattling around in my head:
- It’s easy to be busy. It’s hard to make life simple. Maybe true growth is bringing greater focus into your life so you enjoy all that you have.
- There will always be leadership roles you can fill. But the most important ones are among the people who have hung with you on the journey so far. I need to grow in the relationships that sustain me.
- Leadership fundamentals don’t change. You change. And when you change, you need to be grounded by fundamental leadership principles so you don’t stray far from them.
- Be happy … and work to be happier. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve met so many people who can’t find happiness. I think happiness is one of the most important qualities that you can bring to any relationship that you have.
I welcome your thoughts on leadership – or, rather, the things you’ve picked up on your leadership journey. Send me a note: email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you.