Bearing compass (18th century). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The 4 Points of Leadership, like a compass, we need to make sure our leadership skills, our life skills are inline with the 4 main points on our internal compass. The goal of any leader, be they corporate leaders, group leaders or mom and dads, direction and clarity are important. The 4 Points of Leadership will help you set your compass to true north and help you to set your course to a leadership style of clarity and direction.
Point One: Environment
Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them.
W. Clement Stone
The people and things we choose to surround ourselves with define us, they shape us and inform the world who and what we are. As my mother use to so, you are who you hang with, we choose to associate with like minded people, to frequent places filled with the atmosphere we thrive in. We do not often exit our comfort zone nor do we often drastically change our environment, we are creatures of habit and seek out comfort and security.
To set our compass to True North, to Clarity and Direction, we need to create an environment that is healthy and uplifting, we need to choose friends and associates that will help define us as productive and positive influences on our society. Our Direction needs to be one of upward movement, one set with the goal of creating a better world that we entered into. This includes \more that just donating to the local soup kitchen, it includes our actions and words as well. The simple act of teaching our children to say please and thank you, or to open the door for an elderly person. Respect and charity go hand in hand, and are all part of the environment we create.
Point two: Action
We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.
Abigail Adams (1744 – 1818), letter to John Adams, 1774
Actions speak louder than words, we all have heard this saying, most likely from our Mothers, and once again, our mothers were right. Actions do speak loader than words, in-fact actions define our words. It is easy to say “I will” or “Yes” or even “I love you” but if our actions do not back up the words, the words become hollow and meaningless. Yet, if we just do it, with out the words, the action stands on its own, becomes the truth with in the words not spoken. Actions are our currency, it is with actions that we gain trust and respect. And like money, we must learn when to spend our actions and on what. Well spent actions will provide us with respect and trust, where as miss spent actions or lack of action will deplete our account and render us morally bankrupt in the eyes of our creditors, our friends and family.
To set our compass to True North, to Clarity and Direction, we need to learn the value of actions, to see the outcome and consequences of our actions on ourselves and those who surround us. We need to learn that our words must be followed by our actions, and that our actions can and do define our moral character. We are what we do or don’t do. Our inaction is as important as our actions.
Point three: Laugh
A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It’s jolted by every pebble on the road.
~Henry Ward Beecher
Nothing in this world is beyond a laugh. We cannot take life or ourselves to seriously. Life is to short not to smile to enjoy and to laugh. Learn to relax and go with the flow, and you will learn that life is not all that bad. We all have run into that one person who seems to have the personality of a arm pit hair, they find no joy in any aspect of life, and fine no humor in this world. They see the world as a cold humorless place, a place that needs to be pitied not laughed at.
Before you condemn them, stop and look at yourself, are there times, moments or days that you too feel this old world is just in to sad a shape to laugh to enjoy and experience. We all could use a little more laughter in our lives, we all can light up a bit more and learn to make this world a little more bearable.
To set our compass to True North, to Clarity and Direction, we need to learn to find the silly in life’s stressful moments. We need to learn to laugh at the ridiculous and find the humor in the outrageous. We need to teach our children not to be offended so easily and to find the funny in the sometimes not so funny world. The world can be, and often is a cruel place, God has given us the grace of humor, it is up to us to use this gift to help make this world a better place, for ourselves and the next generation of leaders.
Point Four: God
God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into its nest.
Our being depends on only one Being,God, believe in Him or not does not change the simple fact that God is there and God is the Creator. God provides all that we need, but we must achieve it ourselves. We have faith in the outcome, but the work must come from within. We are not capable of achieving greatness without the graces of God flowing through us and within us. We must learn to respect and harness the graces God has provided for us, each to our needs, not our desires. God knows all our wants and provides for all our needs. Our wants and needs may not be the same, we may not understand the differences, but God does.
To set our compass True North, to Clarity and Direction we need to learn that God exist, truly exist and provides for our well being, but allows us to partake in the process, allows us to journey alongside the Creator. Our actions, words and desires need to be all for one purpose, glorifying God and praising Him for the graces He has bestowed upon us. Once again, believe in God or not, does not change the fact the God believes in you.
The 4 Points of Leadership can and should be thought of as the 4 Points of Life, a life lived well. Each person is a leader, a leader of there life, there family there destiny. We choose the path we wonder, we set our compasses on the prize we seek and we gather around us the ones whom we esteem and hold dear to ourselves. God allows us the freedom, grants us the freewill to choose the path we walk, always offering us the graces we need to walk the path with Clarity and a sense off Direction. It is our decision to take up His offer to to choose to walk the path alone. Leadership is not about going it alone, not about forging a new path or even about making a name for yourself, Leadership is about understanding, understanding self, others and your place in the universe, it is about understanding your roll in Gods plan, not Gods roll in your plans.