2013 Leadership, Work and Life Lessons

I haven’t written in Workplace Wonders since late October!  Wow.  I don’t really have a valid excuse.  In fact, my lack of writing primarily can be attributed to indulging in too many time wasters during the last few months of the year.  In 2014, I am committing to write in this blog at least 3 times a month.  Writing helps clear my mind and enhances my focus.

So, what else did I decide and learn in 2013:

1)  Servant leadership is still relevant, alive and well.  I saw Nelson Mandela speak when I was in junior high school.   I had no idea what it meant at the time.  However, as an adult, I realized that I met one of the best leaders of all time.  He sacrificed his own needs for the betterment of others.

Mandela’s style made me reflect on my own approach.  I constantly have to ask myself am I leading or the betterment of the team or for selfish intentions?  You don’t have to be an activist to be a servant leader.

2)  Distractions are okay but do not let them hijack your time.  Fantasy football has sucked up too much of my spare time over the last couple of months.  Whenever I had down time, I found myself relentlessly researching players and match-ups.  If I play again next year, I am going to limit the time that I spend on it.  I do think that some distractions are necessary for fun and companionship but, in 2014, I have to more actively consider the law of diminishing returns.

3)  Get involved in your local community.  In September, I enrolled in a Board leadership program.  It has turned out to be one of the best things I have ever done.  The program featured four classroom style learning sessions (Finance, Governance, Law, Fundraising)  and networking sessions with local arts organizations.   I will likely end up joining two boards in Chicago but have already learned so much more about entrepreneurship and the specific challenges that Chicago brings.  I also have been able to spend time with CPS kids and see their talents. I am looking forward to sharing more in 2014 but, for now, I constantly am able to see how big the world really is!

4)  Goals are not as important as vision.  I used to always try to have 3-5 goals that I was working on at any given time. Now, I am starting to live my life based on vision.  Who do I want to be?  How do I want to lead?  What do I want to be known for?  What have I always wanted to do?  Over time, I expect my answers to be consistent and to live a life that supports it.  Goals present too much of a checklist.

I am looking forward to learning more from all of you as well in 2014 and beyond.  Until then, happy holidays and thanks for following my blog!

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