The Worst Way You Could Fall in Love

I’m sure it’s happened to you before. You’ve gotten hurt or you’ve been betrayed. Isolation follows the hurt and you want to give up. There is a period of time with lots of confusion, nothing really adds up. You have thoughts of running away, finding a new place to exist so you don’t have to live with daily reminders of how it failed. Any of this familiar to you?

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This is what happens when you and I as leaders fall in love with an idea.

The idea may be a new relationship that is going to make problems go away.

The idea may be a new way to generate revenue.

The idea may be a new way to structure everything for more productivity.

The idea may be a shiny new goal.

All good things. Not one of these is something we should see as bad or risky. The wheels come off when we fall in love with an idea and the world around any of these begins to change. We can’t let go. We’re in love with an idea that no longer serves people and eventually it fails us all and breaks our hearts.

How do you know if an idea is still worth holding onto? Keep this in mind:

Love = Labor

If the idea does a work to serve those you lead than it’s worth holding onto. BUT, if the idea no longer does work for those you lead than it’s time to let go. This could be true of a relationship, or something that once generated revenue, or a former structure, and yes even in regards to some goals.  To love means it serves someone else.

The worst way for you to fall in love is with an idea that no longer serves the people you lead.

How to get your idea dismissed

I ran into a former volunteer a while back as I was enjoying some coffee and personal time with my Moleskin notebook.  When I saw this person they didn't see me.  My first thought was to let them go by but then I felt the guilt of being an extravert and so I said something (Don't you look at me like that introverts!).  The conversation went from cordial to inquiring details within a few minutes.  Of course the topic of conversation eventually became about the organization.  Prior team members.  New opportunities.  Etc... But then it happened.  I was reminded of why this person was once a team member and is no longer.

These words were spoken to me, "You know what YOU should do..."

Like fingernails across a chalkboard.  For you millennials, like a PC (If you don't get that you're probably not a millennial).

I was sitting there lost hoping a person would find me and tell me what to do.  Advice like that is the only reason I keep a Moleskin notebook so I can make sure to write down marching orders.

Absolutely irritating!  As an organizational leader the effort required to get movement can be grueling work with lots of failures.  I'm looking for partners.  Not professional advice givers.  I'm looking for co-laborers.  Not back seat drivers.

If you want a leader to hear you approach them this way.

1.  See opportunities - Every leader wants to take advantage of opportunities.  Expressing an opportunity through words like "We" instead of "You" could be the best presentation of an idea.  "I think we have this opportunity in front of us."

2.  Have a role - If it's such a great idea what are you doing!?  Are you not excited about this too?  If this is a great opportunity than what role are you going to take on to help the team get there?  If you want a leader to hear you, have a role in the idea or opportunity.

3.  Save the drama for your momma - I can't do it all.  I can't be everything.  When you bring one more thing to the "do everything party" than nothing will get done.  So don't make it dramatic!  To date, the sun has come up every morning.  Leaders want team members who have a spirit of, "We missed that one, let's get the next one."  Instead of, "That's it.  You didn't listen to what I wanted you to do.  I'm taking my toys and going home."  And all the people said, "Amen."

My encouragement for you midweek is to not be one of these people.  Don't go around telling people what they should do.  Instead, get involved.  Better yet, take permission and do what the team needs.  The worst thing that could happen is that the opportunity passes and we all move on to the next one.



How blogging can add value to your life

A very small percentage of leaders I know blog. Although all of them have something to contribute few are able to because of time constraints. When a leader decides not to blog who is getting cheated? The reader or the leader?

For years I didn't look at blogs. I thought the only men blogging were sports writers. But then Twitter introduced me to blog authors I didn't know were out there. John C. Maxwell was blogging! Few books have had a impact on my leadership style more than 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Soon after I began to hear about Seth Godin and started to read his books. Tribes was an eye opener and it changed my view on blogs from tools of self promotion to tools that challenged personal ideas.

I believe leaders are cheated by not blogging. Blogging forces me to think. It forces me to be creative. It forces me to think about relationships. It forces me to view the horizon and see what's coming next. My blog has taught me how to share ideas with clarity. My blog forces me to ship, to not wait or put off. Blogging has also allowed me to network with other leaders outside of my personal and professional life. As you can see, blogging has added a tremendous amount of value to my life as a leader.

So don't write to be read, write to challenge yourself. Write to become a better leader. Write to become a leader better at sharing ideas.

What keeps you from blogging? Or what have you gained by blogging?

If you'd like to purchase either books mentioned above, yours truly receives affiliate benefits if you use these links.

How do you protect your thoughts?

Leadership requires reflection.  Leaders need a place where thoughts and ideas can grow.  Personally, I have to move an idea out of my head by writing it down so that it can develop.  I have three great loves when it comes to reflection: 1. My Moleskin notepad, 2. Evernote, and 3. Anything I can use a dry erase marker on (mainly white boards and the glass top on my desk). My favorite of the three is my Moleskin notepad.

For some reason I've always enjoyed taking notes on graph paper.  There is something to the aesthetics of it that makes me feel like my notes are more organized so of course I grabbed the Moleskin filled with graph paper.

My Moleskin is tough.  I carry my work in a backpack because I have the freedom to work at any location that has wifi.  Since I move locations there is a lot of wear and tear on any regular notepad or notebook.  I am not very gentle when I place my backpack in my car.  My Moleskin notebook, however, has a soft leather cover and a band that keeps it closed so it travels great.  It also has a page marker to bring me back to my last idea I was working on.  Brilliant!

I use it for everything.  Planning.  Writing ideas.  Note taking.  Personal reminders.  Mind mapping.  Illustrations.  Brainstorming presentations.  All note taking ends up in my Moleskin notepad.

Moleskin notebooks come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and styles.   I made the mistake of purchasing mine at large bookstore unaware that the price on was significantly cheaper.  If you've been looking for a fantastic notepad I think you'll love owning a Moleskin.