What Will Matter

Does Linked 2 Leadership matter?

That’s why I read the many blogs posted by regular contributors.  How much of this matters to them and how much matters to the more than 10,000 who have joined Linked 2 Leadership since we started it nearly two years ago?

Is it even necessary for me to blog any more, now that so many have “found their voice” and a loyal following of readers, all who choose to put this blog in their RSS feeders and other cool tools that deliver desired content to the browser and viewing device of the moment?  I asked that of a room full of eager, extra bright, young and visionary Rotarians, all gathered for the annual Rotary Leadership Institute in our state this month.     Like Linked 2 Leadership, that roomful of “leaders of leaders” had something worth sharing with all 10,000 or more of you.

You may have seen or heard this.   It was my first experience with this piece from Michael Josephson.  For me, that day, it put all of 2009 in perspective and I hope it does the same for you. Write and tell me what will matter to you.

What Will Matter by Michael Josephson

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end. There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.  All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else. Your wealth, fame and temporary power will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed. Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.  So too, your hopes, ambitious, plans and to-do lists will expire. The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.  It won’t matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.  It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.  Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought but what you built, not what you got but what you gave. What will matter is not your success but your significance.  What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught. What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence but your character.  What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you are gone.  What will matter is not your memories but the memories of those who loved you.  What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.  It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.  Choose to live a life that matters.

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Georgia Patrick is President of The Communicators, Inc.
She can be reached at georgia@communictors.com

Leaders and Businesses Turn Off Cruise Control Mode

Cruise Control

What a whopper of a year!

We are fast approaching the one-year anniversary of Linked 2 Leadership. What does that mean for you?  How will you celebrate?  For me it has been more intense, more accelerated, more profound, and totally over the top–every day.  I remember a year ago when I drank two cups of coffee and took a brisk walk to feel this energized and now I operate at this level with only the stimulants of servant leadership and the inspiration that this amazing, unprecedented group provides 24/7.

The Dow Index was climbing to 14,000 a year ago.  This morning is it below 7,000.  Every month of the first year of L2L is memorable.  Each month stands out with experiences and new relationships as thousands of leaders joined our group, told their stories and played out their leadership vision.  For leadership, for businesses, for the world, the last 12 months can be summarized and characterized with one word:  Unprecedented.

That means we are all thrust into a 100% leadership role because there is no reference to anything behind us.  What worked yesterday no longer does so we have to find a ton of strength, courage and faith to blaze entirely new trails.  This economy is now the brave new world and the dramatic change we all knew would arrive soon.  We did not know it would be in the middle of the first year of L2L.

How do you feel about all of this? How do you feel right now?  What are you choosing to do about it?  Would you like to know how 30,000 active subscribers to ChangeThis answered those questions?

Optimistic. Anxious. Hopeful. Cautious. Frustrated. Confident. Stressed.   Go to the ChangeThis site and download this report. See where it aligns with your answers.   Get out that yellow highlighter and mark your favorites.  It will help you feel much better.

This one is my favorite: “I believe the current status of the economy is bringing a healthy gut check for consumers.  This creates a need for them to wake up and engage in helping create global change.  Leaders and businesses can no longer survive in cruise control mode, and must focus on helping them emotionally engage their employees and customers.”

As we move into Year Two of Linked 2 Leadership, make sure you check your leadership compass with the excellent summary of retrospective and forward thinking in the annual report authored by Tom Schulte.  It’s right here in this blog. The words that come to mind for the first year and the next year are these:

Unprecedented.  Change. Growth. Servant Leadership.

Image source BMW

Leadership Looking for Balls—Crystal and Otherwise

The goal of this blog topic—Future Leadership Issues, in the Linked 2 Leadership constellation of conversation, is to uncover future issues and equip leaders to be more effective with their teams and others who follow their lead. In recent weeks, we have asked just about everyone we meet, “Where are you looking for answers and some indication of what’s around the corner?”

This is a popular question and one we hope you are asking. And we hope you will come back to this blog and write what you are finding out in the comments area below.

People want to talk about this because the scramble in on for smarter, wiser, bolder leaders. We want to find them. When we focus on short term situations, such as the economy and failure of leadership all around us, many like to discuss where they are searching for answers and who they are listening to.

Does it seem like the more the market drops, the demand for crystal balls increases?

Taking time to think seems to be very important now, more than knee-jerk reactions and highly-emotional decision making. Slowing down long enough to read a book, reflect, “get away for a few minutes” just to take deep breaths and look at the much bigger picture seems to be working for those we consider savvy and bold leaders.

Here are the books that have been recommended to me this month and I’m heading to my library to put these on reserve for my reading next weekend. Please add the name of any books you are finding especially helpful in your role and journey as a leader.

Blue Ocean Strategy – looking at the big picture and seeing the opportunity where everyone else is not clamoring.

Leadership by Design – some of the best future thinkers are designers because their stuff has to last a few decades or centuries.

Bold Leadership for Organizational Acceleration—“What you have been today isn’t good enough for tomorrow”

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