When we walk into a gallery or painter’s studio, Ingrid and I perform the same action but differently. She studies, brush strokes, looks at the use of colour, and questions the medium used. When I look at a painting, none of those things matter. This gets me thinking on creators as critics.
Milestones often trigger reflection. At least for me. I don’t know if I can call today a milestone. Perhaps it is more like the inevitable we all can’t and never will escape. Sounds gloomy, right? Not really. To put it modestly, we all advance in years. Our responses to experiences in the past, are our reality today. I’ve said it before, thinking about the rest of my life doesn’t freak me out. But, here is another year, and I think on the rest of my life, again.
If you’ve read anything I’ve written it is possible you’ve seen one way or another I could be better as writer. I’m aware I’m not the best writer there is or was. I’m also not among the best of communicators.
One of your frustrations as a leader, at some point, if not all the time, is not being able to do everything at one go. I hate constraints. Managing and or leading is almost a management of constraints.
I hate that I can’t make everything happen at one go. If only it was that easy. The “no silver bullet reality” is something every leader must make peace with and simultaneously wrestle.
Despite the challenges of constraints in their varied forms and intensity, there is a solution. It may not be the one all would prefer but it is one of, if not the best, solution.
It is one of leaders and their organisations pacing themselves. Reality: you have limited capacity. You can only do certain things in a certain pace at different times of your product development or enterprise life-cycle.
As I think a little more about frustration I realise that leaders can also feel overwhelmed as they look at what needs to be done. The remedy for this is the same…
Focus is about intense attention and energy into particular areas with time factored in [Click to Tweet]
Not to get ahead of yourself and tripping yourself up, remember the step at a time rule. This is nothing new, but we need to remind ourselves often. We can only do so much with what we have. Time is and has its own constraints.
The challenge and work of every leader is establishing where focus is to go and for how long. This requires leaders to be thinkers. It calls for leaders to be comfortable with letting some things fall away, for a season sometimes.
As fast as Usain Bolt is, he can only put one foot in front of the other at a time. Every leader’s capacity has constraints. And, it doesn’t matter how much of a genius they are.
One step at a time. One step in one project at a time, consistently. Soon, what you conceived in your mind, starts to materialise. Lead well, pace yourself.
Dad tricked my siblings and I when it comes to reading as a habit. This is why I read. A lot. From blog posts to books. Being a little more grown up, I appreciate it.
He took us to the bookstores, and besides our textbooks, bought extra reading material for us. He made us value the books by covering them with us. Then he’d wait a few weeks and kinda give teasers on some of the books he’d bought for us.
Now that I think about it, there is no way he could’ve made up trailers to some of them if he hadn’t read them. This means that I read some books as boy dad also read. Am I getting a little sentimental? Oh well…
Anyway, books, have become my nemesis…
Reading, from my much younger years helped me fall in love with words. The first time I wrote a book I was thirteen. I just never published it and I don’t think I’d let it see the light of day. Terrible writing but a great clue. A great clue in that it got me thinking about having a go crafting words.
This is testimony to how some passions and pursuits are formed over decades. Decades. Time either makes us hunger more or retreat. Some of all this is our choice and some of it is a sifting to fling interests.
If you’re looking for a point to this post I’m sure there are some and maybe not so many. Maybe I should think about one or two:
Like my dad did for me, you can be responsible for helping others, by nudging and or mentoring. If you’re a parent, you have more influence than you can imagine.
Creativity is often overlooked, underused yet. It makes a critical component for influence. Think about how to influence creatively.
Leading and making a difference in people’s lives is more than just telling them what to do. It is dong it in such a way they follow through and remember it as a tether.
You have to be patient to develop and grow in your craft or passion. Instant growth or maturity is a myth. Keep thy hustle and be intentional about your growth.
It can be helpful to look back and get clues about some your passions. There are a many things you could uncover relevant to reinventing yourself, if you’re at that point.
Sometimes we have abilities or “passions” we neglect through time or circumstance. I use “passions” loosely. To get a better idea on what some of what “passion” means, go here.
So, uhm, thanks dad for the many lessons in one…
[Photo Credit: NatalieMaynor]