“You can do more in ten years than you think you can and less in one year than you think you can.” ~ Rick Warren
As I pen these updates I have thoughts that we have less than ninety days to go in this decade. Edging closer and closer each day where we won’t just be celebrating the transition into a new year but also into a new decade. So much can happen in a decade. In just technological terms, these products all went public inside the last ten years.
- The iPad arrived in 2010.
- So did Pinterest (March 2010).
- Stripe, the online payments company, officially launched in 2011.
- Snapchat launched in 2011 as did the App Pictaboo.
- The work chat App Slack began in 2012.
- The ride sharing App Lyft arrived in 2012.
- Oculus VR began in June 2012 and was sold to Facebook in 2014 for $2 billion.
- All this, and more, happened in the decade we are closing out in less than three months.
I wrote a post recently on the importance of intentionality and personal growth as a leader because I believe Jim Rohn when he says “If you want to HAVE more you must BECOME more.” Being intentional about who you intend to become and what you intend to accomplish is critical for life and leadership.
If you go back to life in October 2010, you know one thing is for sure. This day and time was always going to arrive, what matters more is who we have become and what we have done.
In order to make the most of the decade ahead you need to do three things.
Clarify your direction
Where do you want to go?
Andy Stanley says “It’s your direction, not your intention, that determines your destination.” Where you are facing right now in every area of your life and leadership is exactly where you will end up. No exceptions. Your direction guarantees a destination of some kind, the question isn’t are you headed somewhere, the question is will you be happy to end there! If not, you have the opportunity to pivot right now.
When cricket Australia was designing the BBL 20/20 Competition they courageously decided that they were in the entertainment game before they were in the cricket game. That ‘choice of destination’ if you will, then determined what they did to build up what is now a significant competition and franchise.
When you know where you want to end up any old route will NOT do. You are forced to be more intentional about what you’ll do with your resources and capabilities.
Emphasise personal transformation.
Who do you want to become?
Leadership inputs must exceed leadership outputs. We are leadership beings before we are leadership doings. Sadly many of us function out of order with that and slip into deficit without a sense of who we are and what our place is in the world. The current emphasis on mental health, emotional well being, and psychological safety are all a matter of the inner world. They are all matters of the mind and heart before they are matters of KPI’s and calendars.
Who do you wish to become? In your character? In your mindset? In your view of the world? In your passion to contribute? In your legacy? These big shaping questions must determine what you allocate attention, time and unity to moving forward.
Just this week I had news of the passing of Des. Truly a great man. He celebrated his 90th Birthday and just days later passed from this world. Des never missed an opportunity to encourage people specifically and personally. Des was a man that lived from the inside out for the totality of his life. His legacy is who he is far more than what he accomplished.
Decide on your contribution.
What do you want to create?
The longer I lead the more convinced I am that leadership is an artisans work. We are craving, creating, designing, tinkering, innovating, collaborating, and improving as much as we can most of the time.
I believe you have an assignment. A calling if you will. Something sacred and transcendent that is your gift and contribution to the world. In all honesty, you have the responsibility to make that contribution with all your heart, all your mind and all your strength. We need you to do and give your best. We need you to be grown up and diligent about your work because of who you will become and what you are able to contribute.
Hillel the Elder reminds us with “If not now, when? If not you, who?”
The benefits of getting direction, transformation and contribution right are following three game changers:
- Themes – from clear direction and purposeful transformation.
- Habits – from purposeful transformation and compelling contribution.
- Milestones – from compelling contribution and clear direction.
Themes give you a place to nest your goals. Habits provide you with the practices that deliver results and milestones remind you of progress over perfection. You have 3650 days to be more and do more than you ever considered possible. Use it well, use it wisely.
I’d invite you to do only two things after reading this. Answer the following two questions:
- Who do you want to become?
- What do you want to accomplish?
Spend the next 5 mornings reflecting on that and writing down some dreams and ambitions and get really clear on what you resonate with. What motivates you. What you want to see happen.
This is for leaders. I am for leaders.