Leading For Impact
Entering a new year only means that we have a reference point for change. If you want more of what you had in 2021, keep doing the same things. If you don’t, then change. You can do it at any time. You don’t have to do it in January. I have found that most of the major changes in my life happened between May and November. See? When we decided to do things differently, it doesn’t really matter. Making the change is what matters.
Here are three observations and responses that can help you make 2022 a better year than you have had a decade. Does that sound too optimistic? Then read on because you are trapped in a mindset that is holding you back from leading your organization.
Behind every mask is a human being longing to be set free. We dream of returning to a normal life. We long for what we once had that now seems to be gone. Behind the most hopeful and optimistic dream is its counter-story, the one that captures the darker experience of longing.
Our dreams are usually about what we want to add to our lives. We dream of the ideal mate, that special vacation spot or new position at work. Our longings reveal instead what is missing or what we have lost. We long for peace or freedom, a return to some past state of comfort or security. These longings tell us more about ourselves than our dreams because they are the products of our experience in life. Our dreams reveal what our imagination hopes and believes is possible in the future.
My conversations with people over the past decade have been about the longings of people. I would say very few people during this time have talked about what they hope to achieve in the future. Most of these moments of engagement are about what is missing and about how to return to a time that they remember with joy and comfort.
In this post, I decided to look at the stories of longing that emerge from literature and the films that brought those stories to a wider audience. I believe these stories point towards an understanding of who we are as individuals and as shared citizens of planet Earth. Mostly I hope these stories and the various videos that I am using to illustrate what I see will provide each of you a moment of contemplation for understanding what you long for and how you might take personal initiative to bring wholeness and resolution to your own sense of longing.
Simon Sinek speaks about how homeless people ask for money. He convinces a woman to change her message, and she makes more in two hours than she does in a whole day. Good move on Simon’s part. Then she leaves. She met her daily quota.
The question that this raised for me is whether Sinek was actually successful in his advice to the woman.
Sinek wants us to focus on the giver and his or her motivation. I am glad he does. He wants us to think about why we should give to people in need, or affirm workers in the workplace.
Now, as good as this video is, Sinek needs to look more deeply at what is required to change the social and organizational environments that we all inhabit. If you want Mark Laita’s videos, you see the effects of broken environments on people. From my perspective, the range of crises that we are experiencing globally is the product of broken environments, whether social or organizational.
Have you ever prepared to cross a street, and there at the curb is a big, deep puddle? You don’t want to step in it. So, you look for a way around, or you try to decide if you can jump across it. I believe this is where many of us are right now. We are stuck trying to figure out a way around the complexity of a global coronavirus pandemic, the swings of political ideology upon our lives, and what the future holds for you, your family, your business, the organizations you contribute to, and your community as your home.
Four years ago as I was preparing to publish Circle of Impact: Taking Personal Initiative To Ignite Change, I put together a set of five guiding principles that I felt were a simple summary of the book. Over the past several months, I realized that the time for a refresh of the principles was needed. Several new things had begun, and I needed to reflect it a revised Guiding Principles of the Circle of Impact.
CIRCLE OF IMPACT FIVE GUIDING PRINCIPLES
1. ALL Leadership Begins with Personal Initiative to Create Impact.
2. We are ALL in Transition. Every one of us. ALL the time.
3. Impact is the Change that Makes a Difference that Matters.
4. Impact Expands through Networks of Relationships.
5. Start Small. Act Locally. Share Globally. Take the Long View.