I’m working at home today, so my Aussie, Fire, is by my side. She taught me things again today about leadership:
There is always something good about to happen.
In Fire’s case, it’s the squirrel that cuts across the lawn, the food that may drop from the counter or some play time. At work, we sometimes spend a lot of time stressing about the things that are going wrong, deadlines in question, someone else’s behavior. We need to deal with those things IF they happen but how about experimenting with paying attention to all the things that could go right? The respectful teamwork of some colleagues, meeting (or beating) the quarterly goal, the knock-it-out-of-the-park performance of a direct report? It could happen! Look for it expectantly and be happy when it does.
It’s the little things that matter.
In Fire’s case, it’s the chew bone she found on the couch, the nap on her bed, sniffing around the backyard. She is pleasantly surprised by the ordinary pleasures of her day, no matter how often she does them. As leaders, we have big responsibilities to fulfill, critical goals to meet, and coaching/mentoring of others. All are important. Our organizations, the job of others, and our own livelihood depend on those things. But, being grateful for those things you already have is a gift. Technology may not be perfect, but you have amazingly powerful, efficient and effective tools that make things easier. Someone smiled at you today. The weekend is almost here. Those are things to be thankful for.
There are a million ways to have fun.
For Fire, it’s wrestling with her dad, breakfast, throwing her toy in the air, agility, working sheep, getting a belly rub. Some require the participation of others, others she makes time for on her own. As leaders, time outs are critical. Moments of relaxation, deep breathing, short walks, hard workouts, movies, dates with a partner. Make time for something that is relaxing/enjoyable, every day if you can…even if it’s for 5 minutes.
Fire is a horrible counter surfer. She will steal food if we so much as look away from it for a second. She gets caught, she stops, looks remorseful for a second, and, goes on with life like nothing happened. Some things obviously require us to learn lessons and sometimes we do hurt others, we should apologize, and try not to do it again. But other things are really no big deal. Let your mistakes go and move on.
I vow to be a little more like Fire this week. How about you? Send me an email if I can help.