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I choose… Leadership Wisdom

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Today I participated in the Chick-fil-A Leadercast that featured a wide array of visionary leaders. The event featured many great speakers and inspirational leaders, some of my favourites of the day being @AndyStanley, @AngelaAhrendts, @johncmaxwell, and @TimTebow. It was a great event full of amazing wisdom that left me inspired and motivated to continue to grow in my leadership capacity. After listening and tweeting #cfaleadercast leadership wisdom all day, I thought I would take a few moments to reflect upon and share some of my biggest take-away leadership principles of the day that spoke to me the most.

  1. Great leaders are vulnerable. Intentional vulnerability by leaders creates an atmosphere of trust imperative for any great team. I choose to be transparent. 
  2. A leader is a dreamer with a plan. Innovation is the starting block and the implementation of the of the vision is the race. I choose to plan to dream.
  3. People will live DOWN or UP to the expectations leaders set. Creating an atmosphere of high expectations in a culture of trust, fostered by mutual collaboration, with the freedom to take risks is essential to great achievement. This is true of students and staff. I choose to expect a lot of myself and others.
  4. Managers manage everyone in the same way… leaders lead everyone differently. People are individuals. It is the mission of a leader to foster an environment for team members to flourish. Leading everyone the same will not motivate or inspire. I choose to seek to know the people around me as individuals.
  5. The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda. Growth is not passive; it is intentional. My daily habits and choices will either lead me to where I want to go or take me father away. The greatest investment you will ever make is in yourself. I choose to be intentional about growing.
  6. Once you make a decision, you need to manage that decision. It is one thing to make a choice and completely another to live it out. Making a different choice requires intentional maintenance of that choice, in order to make a life habit. I choose to intentionally manage my choices.
  7. Catch excellence and reflect it back. Look for excellence, find excellence, and share excellence. Excellence inspires excellence. A transparent and collaborative environment breeds excellence. I choose to learn from the excellence of others, strive for excellence, and share excellence.
  8. Put vision creation in the hands of the younger generation and have the older/experienced generation execute the dream. Recognize the value that all people on the team bring. Empower the younger people to lead the dream and capitalise on the wisdom of the experienced. I choose to recognize the value of all team members.
  9. Leaders are in the people business… put the right people, in the right place at the right time. All three components working in conjunction: people, place, and time are essential to an effective team. Ignoring an ingredient will limit the potential contribution an individual can make. I choose to find and maximize the contribution of every team member.
  10. Leaders sacrifice for the people around them. Leadership is about influence. Great leaders care. People follow leaders that care. I choose to sacrifice.
  11. Focus on the things that you can control. Identifying and putting energy into the things that fall in one’s circle of influence empowers effective leadership. Everything else just causes unnecessary worry and stress. I choose to live with peace.
  12. Every decision you make becomes a part of your story. Money will come and go, but your story stays forever. Don’t make choices that will make you a liar for life. Make choices that you will be proud to talk about in the future. I choose to leave a legacy I am proud of.
  13. Uncertainty is not an indication of poor leadership. Uncertainty is the very reason why leadership is needed. Leaders don’t need to have all of the answers, in fact need to be willing to admit that they don’t have all the answers. Instead, facilitate an environment of working together to find the best possible solution to the problem. I choose to transparently problem solve with others.
  14. Leaders make decisions objectively. Ask the questions, “what would my replacement do? and “what would a great leader do?” This removes emotion from the situation and brings objectivity to the decision making process. I choose to make decisions objectively.
  15. People always have enough energy for the things that they are passionate about. Requirement + return + reward = passion. What is required of me? What gives me the greatest return? What is rewarding to me? I choose to live passionately.
  16. Leaders invest their personal growth effort in their strengths. Investing energy and time into weaknesses will only produce a result of mediocrity. Great leaders pursue extraordinary significance. I choose to play in my strength zones.
  17. Leaders create growth environments. Be around people better than you in an environment that is forward focussed. Take risks and get out of your comfort zone with no fear of failure. I choose to be continually challenged.
  18. Leaders act today. “I can’t wait until…” or “one day…” is not the attitude and approach to live by. If you do “that day…” will never come. I choose to ask, “what can I do today?”
  19. Leaders remember what is most important. Keep priorities straight. Never sacrifice family for the sake of a career. I choose to always make my family first. 


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