Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.
The seasons change. It’s amazing how quickly focus shifts this time of year from gratitude to shopping. As I track the media coverage of online sales, traffic and the crowds and mayhem at the malls, I infer that there will be millions shopping for the perfect “gifts” to give.
Leaders give many gifts. I have a fundamental belief that the best leaders are the best givers. Although leadership can be a very complicated endeavor, it’s helps me simplify by reflecting on a few lessons I have learned from others. Today, I stopped for a few moments and compiled a brief list of the best leadership “gifts” I have received. I have been blessed with many great formal and informal leaders in my life. As I reflect, these are seven of the most valuable gifts I have received. I won’t take the time to unwrap them in detail. I will simply provide a brief description and challenge you to make your own list and then make it your goal in life to become masterful at the art of “re-gifting” what you have received.
Many leaders saw things in me that I did not or could not see in myself and then, at just the right moment, they shared them. Those messages inspired me and became a catalyst for self-awareness development.
Few gifts equal the impact of the delivery of an honest and impeccable word spoken with clarity and conviction. I am thankful for those leaders who were convinced that truth would help me to become the person God created me to be.
The gift of time has been delivered to me in many forms. Nothing communicates value to another person like the gift of time. When humans are fully present with one another, it is a gift of immeasurable worth and lasting impact. As I grow older, I recognize that those moments mean more to me than anything.
Many people have encouraged me. It is perhaps the most strategic of all gifts. It has breathed life into my dreams, resurrected my hope and energized my actions. Those who have encouraged me understood the importance of speaking to the heart and not just the head.
When I have received a “thank you” it has been an affirmation that my life, my efforts, my presence matters to someone. Those notes, words and a simple hug or pat on the back have left an imprint on my soul.
The word “help” is a general all-encompassing term that accounts for countless gifts of assistance, instruction and support. It’s impossible for me to calculate how many times I would have faltered, fallen or given up had I been struggling alone. Instead, I received help.
I have learned from others how service provides an escape from selfishness. The gift of love that I have received from others is a relentless reminder of what transformational leadership should be. Beginning with my parents and my family, I have received love from a long list of servant leaders.
At InitiativeOne we believe the best leaders are the best givers. We help leaders build a lasting legacy.