Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Great Leadership Requires Inspiration

LeadershipLeadership (Photo credit: glennharper)By Michael Hume

Plant The Seeds Today For Personal Inspiration

Go out and take a walk. As you stroll around your city, town, or countryside, think of all the good things about it and remember why you chose to live there. Get out of town and take a hike in nature.

As you walk around, think about all the wonderful things about your state or nation, and why you're blessed to live there. Walk around your home, inside and out, and think about all the reasons your own home is such a blessing, too.

Pick up the phone and call someone with whom you haven't spoken recently. As you catch up, think about the friend on the other end of the line. Focus on all their awesome, admirable qualities, and reflect on how lucky you are to have that friend in your life.

Go see someone to whom you owe a visit - for extra "points," make it an elderly person. Make sure you don't leave until you've made that person laugh, and until you've learned something new from her. Remember how that person's presence in your life has added to the bounty of your personal blessings.

Go out of your way to help somebody. Just one somebody, with just one thing. Don't ask for anything in return - and that includes the sort of manipulation which makes the recipient feel the weight of your favor, perhaps as a feeling of guilt, and which forces them to pay an emotional price for your "kindness" (that isn't kindness at all, and therefore, it won't "work").

When you truly do someone a favor, you convince them it was a true pleasure for you to do it; you convince them that, for you, the act of kindness was its own reward. Really.

Keep a long-forgotten promise. Apologize for a long-forgotten transgression. Find the time and energy to volunteer for a worthy cause. For maximum effect, don't make it a political "cause" from which you (or the organizers) would seek to derive personal benefit. Make it as selfless as possible. Push that concept to the max: what organization out there needs the sort of help you could provide, but about which you wouldn't want to tell your more cynical (or mercenary) friends for fear they'd ridicule it as a complete throw-away of your time?

I exhort you to do these things for what they'll do for you. Why? Because the overwhelming majority of my coaching clients seek to become more inspirational as leaders, and the first step in that undertaking is to be an inspired person, and these things plant the seeds for personal inspiration. Do them, with an open mind and honest heart, and see if you can avoid at least a bit of new inspiration!

My clients are all accomplished, intelligent people. They're problem solvers, and their organizations value them for their ability to clean up messes. But, over time, that's a little toxic for my clients. They start to see only the problems and messes out there ... and when that happens, it drains a person's reservoir of emotional strength and (more importantly) inspiration. It's no wonder they feel the need to level-up their inspirational leadership; they need to start by renewing their own inspiration.

Whether you own your own business, or your leadership mission is in the service of another organization, you'd be well served to become a more inspirational leader. So plant the seeds today from which the inspiration inside you can grow.

You can walk around your neighborhood and see the problems and messes ... but don't do that. Today, take a walk dedicated solely to appreciation of the reasons you chose to live there. You can work on the problems some other time. Right now, you need to count your blessings, appreciate your good fortune, and invite inspiration into your life.

by Michael D. Hume, M.S.

Michael Hume is a speaker, writer, and consultant specializing in helping people maximize their potential and enjoy inspiring lives. As part of his inspirational leadership mission, he coaches executives and leaders in growing their personal sense of well-being through wealth creation and management, along with personal vitality.

Michael and his wife, Kathryn, divide their time between homes in California and Colorado. They are very proud of their offspring, who grew up to include a homemaker, a rock star, a service talent, and a television expert. Two grandchildren also warm their hearts! Visit Michael's web site at http://michaelhume.net

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