“A sobering thought: what if, right at this very moment, I am living up to my full potential?” – Jane Wagner
It’s confounding. How one can spend so much energy learning and growing and trying to be better, only to realize you’ve hardly scratched the surface – that you’ve still a ton of work to do on yourself. It’s easy to see why people check-out and just focus on something else. The to-do list. The latest fire at work. On fixing the kids, or on sports, or food-TV.
And yet, I’ve come face-to-face with the reality that time is precious and our legacy isn’t something that we get to put off – we’re creating it every moment of every day. Our legacy is now.
So what does that have to do with leadership? Well, everything.
I tend to be a pretty big-picture person. One of the reasons I get so fired up about working with leaders is the amazing ripple effect we can create together. When a single leader – let’s say you – works to show up as authentically and powerfully as you can, and focuses on driving constructive action to have an impact outside yourself, think of what can happen.
The difference that can be made in the lives of the people you lead.
How that difference is passed down through an organization.
The effect that has on a culture.
On your customers’ experience.
On your results.
On the lives you’ve made better by your thriving, healthy business filled with people who are engaged.
I always tease my husband when he talks about loving what he does. I tell him I want to personally thank the people he works with because I’ve learned that a happy-Tim makes for a happy-home. And I think that’s true for all of us. When good stuff is happening in our work, it bleeds into every other facet of our lives. It touches our kids. Our friendships. It impacts our health. Our self-esteem. There’s nothing off-limits. With each leader’s commitment to being and bringing their best selves, it sparks a cascade of positive actions that can transform our teams, our organizations, and the world as we know it. We’re that powerful.
But gosh darn it, that means we all have to keep growing and learning and working on being better. Not just to meet client demands, hit your deadlines, and drive revenue, but to be the best leader YOU can be. For the human beings around you.
Trusting that, while you may not see the difference right away, it’s there.
So are you living up to your potential? It’s a big question. One to grapple with on a minute-to-minute basis. Because that’s all we really have – this minute.
Whether you’re the leader of a company, a team, in your community, your family, or simply yourself, your legacy isn’t something to put off to tomorrow. It’s in every conversation you have and every action you take. It’s now.
©OnStage Leadership, 2014 (revised from blog originally posted November, 2013)
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Kimberly Davis is the Founder/Director of OnStage Leadership, a full-day experiential leadership workshop. Click here to read what people are saying!
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