Lost somewhere in the language of postmodernism, existentialism, and other philosophies hides a sleeping, philosophical giant known as pragmatism. Though not as public as perhaps other philosophies, pragmatism has crept into the public square and informed nearly every aspect of daily life.
I once had a boss who was known for saying, “Inspect what you expect.” I have always believed that this is a good basic approach to improving operations within your department. Before you can do any inspecting though, you must clearly define your expectations.
I did not choose leadership. In fact, my personality is such that I would rather be left alone so I can get my work done. Having to instruct, guide, encourage, and lead other people is, to me, often a distraction. My goal is to work hard, to be honest, and to have integrity. I have found that when you do those things, leadership seems to find its way to you. Since I am definitely not willing to slack on those goals, I have become content with the fact that I am a leader.
photo credit: GotQuestions.org
I once told myself I’d never be the guy who said, “Just 5 minutes a day can change your life.” It sounded like a stupid advertising adage made up by unscrupulous salespeople who wanted to market some terrible product to lazy people. Unfortunately, I now have to eat my words because I have seen firsthand how making intentional use of 5-minute windows of time, or “intervals” as I like to call them, can make a big difference in our lives.
I have read more leadership books than I care to mention. But as is usually the case, the lessons I have learned from personal experience are far more valuable to me. Here are six lessons I have learned (the hard way) about leadership that I hope are a help to you.
I started running at the age of 38. I could not finish one mile without walking on the first day. But I kept trying, extending my mileage a bit more each run. Within a few months I was running a few hours at a time and started looking for an endurance race to attempt the next summer.