Tag Archives: inspiration

Leadership’s Dirty Little Secret

15th May 2013

There’s a dirty little secret I’m learning about leadership: you’re likely already a leader, whether you like it or not.

Whether you are leading to inspire, leading to drive action, or leading to drive people crazy, well, that’s the part you control.

Chick-fil-A’s annual leadership conference, Leadercast is hands down one of my favorite annual events. As I wasn’t able to attend this year, I found myself eagerly following along via Twitter. The Tweets alone shared a powerful message: Simply Lead. Simply Lead was the theme for this year’s event, and the funny thing is, each time I read the tagline, I found myself reading it as “Lead Simply,” a small tweak, but one that I couldn’t help but stop to think about a little further.

I tweeted my little conundrum and received this in reply from a colleague.

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 9.28.05 AM

I think he hit the nail on the head and lead to even more thoughts rolling around in my head.

 Simply Lead.

A recent conversation with another colleague of mine lead to a conversation around leadership, roles and the growth for the future. As we discussed paths, she shared with me sentiments that I’m not sure I’d ever really, truly accepted: you are leading right now. There will always be someone watching, a conversation somewhere taking place and an opportunity unfolding, it is how you define yourself in those small moments that build leadership skills. In a nutshell, if you want to hold the keys to becoming a leader in your organization: simply lead.

 Lead Simply. 

To simply lead is only part of the equation. If taking the reigns and helping to calm the chaos is the starting line, defining the route to the finish must be the next 26.2 miles. Leadership is, for a lack of a better word, leading me to two things: humility and patience. Humility is the action required to take a step back and serve those around us.  If we expect to better ourselves, we must first tend to the needs of others. As for patience, success and triumph aren’t a matter of winning the lottery, they are the result of dedication, hard work and the flexibility to alter as we go. If we expect to lead simply, we cannot expect the journey to follow the straight line of a guidebook or some pre-determined path up the corporate ladder. Becoming a leader is a team effort in order for each of us to become successful. In other words, it’s going to take a village.

It’s quite funny how a day long leadership conference can be boiled down into two words and leave such a stunning impact. I think those guys are on to something.

*Disclaimer: While Chick-fil-A is a client of mine, all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own. However, I am just as flattered and enamored by those chicken guys outside of the office each and every day.

Learning the Art of Doing Nothing

2nd February 2013

Doing Nothing This morning, I set out to run for my first weekend run in a few weeks. Lucky for me, it was also one of the coldest Saturday mornings we have had all season here (read 35 degrees, this is Atlanta, not Chicago). As I haven’t run more than four miles consistently in a few weeks, I headed out to the river for an easy six miles.

Keeping with my resolution to take things a little slower, I decided to simply enjoy the day and not focus on my pace or setting record distance. When I pulled in, I realized I had forgotten my headphones, meaning I really was forced did get to enjoy six miles in nature. The six miles surprisingly flew by, I felt great despite the cold and finished with an average pace much faster than expected. Win.

Efforts like this deserve rewards. Enter Land of a Thousand Hills. If you have not been to this hidden Atlanta gem of a coffee shop, you are most definitely missing out. Tucked away off of the Chattahoochee River within the Walton apartment complex, this little coffee shop not only makes fantastically crafted drinks, but also has a killer view. Land of a Thousand Hills

I love this spot as a post-run treat, but today was the first time I visited by my lonesome. Taking things slow is not a virtue of mine. I’m not quite whatsoever a master of “doing nothing”, as P seems to say to me once a week, “slow down turbo”.

Hot chocolate in hand {confession, I actually HATE coffee}, I spent the next hour literally enjoying the view {OK, I may have taken one Instagram and checked-in on Foursquare, but that was it, I swear}. Taking things slower certainly means moving in baby steps for me, but this was a perfect ending to a solo morning.Hot chocolate with a view

How do you spend your down time? How do you love to spend a day doing nothing?

Ways to make your week more awesome

30th January 2013

I stumbled across this video this week and couldn’t help but smile.

I’ve been in a bit of a rut this week myself, struggling to find the awesome in the days and keeping from just going through the mundane. It happens to all of us and it’s certainly nothing to be afraid of, but how do you make every day awesome with a to-do list a mile long? I sat down to think about just that and to get myself out of my boring mood. Here’s where I landed:

  • Share something nice. You never know how someone else started their day and your compliment could make the difference. Plus it just feels good
  • Challenge yourself to do one little thing different each day: take the stairs, run a new route, stay OFF of Facebook for a day. Switch it up and keep things interesting
  • Say hello to the person next to you in the elevator. It’s not awkward, and if it is, it will make you laugh in no more than 45 seconds
  • Go a whole weekend without wearing make-up or blowdrying your hair. You can’t imagine how refreshing it is. {And yes, you can actually leave the house looking like that. Seriously, no one worth your time is judging you}
  • Treat a friend to dinner or drinks, without telling them. Yes, your salary is small, but the next part is payback. Make that overdue “we should hang out again soon” actually happen in less than three months. Surprise + delight + more time in the future with the people you love, how could that be better?
  • Call someone. On a phone. There is nothing better than a catch up phone date with your BFF from high school / your brother / your Godmother. Trust me, it’s the highlight of my week, every week.

What else would you add to the list? How to you brighten an otherwise ordinary day?