As we come to the end of the year, many people take a moment to reflect on what has been accomplished, or not, during the past twelve months. Did we meet our goals? Did we stick to our plans? What threw us “off course” and what unanticipated opportunities presented themselves to us? With each of these questions is the seed of the true issue, are we growing into the person we truly want to be?
While goals are important milestones that help us measure progress, living the Leadership Choice is a life-long journey of expanding our ability to create happiness and fulfillment through the contribution of our authentic talents to changes we would like to see in the world. Building an expansive life filled with ever-widening impact means understanding that success is measured not only by the benchmarks we hit, but also by the way in which we are reaching them. In other words, by maintaining attention on our intentions we assure we are headed in the right direction, even if the timing is not exactly the way we “planned” it.
One begins moving through the Cycle of Leadership by cultivating a keen awareness of our authentic self and understanding our unique talents and skills. While the essence of those attributes does not change throughout our life, the way in which we wish to express them and the emphasis on a particular skill evolves over time. As that evolution occurs one needs to assess if their life is still in alignment with their current expression of their talents and if their leadership skills and team are optimal for the new circumstances. After determining where shifts need to be made, establishing goals for each element of the Cycle of Leadership is important to move from day-to-day, week-to-week and month-to-month.
When it comes time to reflect on the past year and look to the next, it is a wonderful opportunity to get beneath the “doing” and focus on the “being.” Leaders who experience the greatest success clearly identify with the intentions of their life; that is, is there a balance between the quality of their experience along with the progress toward their goals. Are you happy doing what you are doing? Are you pursuing your passion? Do you feel your work is contributing to the betterment of the world? If you answered “yes,” to these questions you are likely on the right track.
The next question has to do with real world results that are essential for success and they don’t always happen at a pace we would like to see. Another term for this phenomenon is timing. Perhaps we are doing the right thing and it isn’t quite time to have it move they way we want. Patience becomes a great asset in these circumstances and provides an opening to look at what may need to shift to create forward movement. Often this qualitative reflection affords the opening for the necessary insight to surface and moves us beyond the inertia and desire to throw in the towel. So often, I sadly witness people who make a commitment to pursuing the Leadership Choice only to quit moments before the change is about to begin . . . simply because they couldn’t see the quantifiable results while the qualitative experience was taking root.
If you allow yourself the full range of reflection you will Achieve Real World Results and experience:
• Increased satisfaction and peace of mind with your activities
• Deeper understanding of where your efforts have the greatest impact
• Faster response times to changing circumstances
• Fulfilling communication with your team and those beyond it
• Lasting change as a cornerstone of your work
By paying attention to our intentions we know how to better evaluate our goals. By simply looking at the quantitative we miss important qualitative points. Moving toward integrating both will help us better value what change we are creating while moving forward and feeling good about ourselves and our work.
Change doesn’t happen overnight . . . it is the result of a process of focused intentions and attention to what we want to create. Leaders are constantly creating change, although it is not always visible. As with most transformation, the results become real at the culmination of our creation, leading us to believe our whole world has simply changed “overnight,” while we know it is the result of our focused attention to our intention over time that has created our Real World Results.