Today starts the unique religious tradition of Lent. To some, lent is simply a 40 day period where they do not eat meat on Friday. To others, it is a time where they choose to give up something as a sign of sacrifice for 40 days. The 40 days originates from the time that Jesus spent in the wilderness preparing for his ministry. The word lent actually comes from the word “lencten” which means spring. I can still remember going to church as a child and writing down what bad things I did during the year on a piece of paper, taking them to a cross and burning them to signify a clean slate. Most of us can probably think of a time in our life where we could have used a clean slate from which to start. As a leader, I try to give everyone a clean slate from which to start. If someone makes a mistake and we talk through it, I try to move forward without holding a grudge or holding that previous action over their head. If someone really does want to change I give them the opportunity to do so.
- I am very big into journaling and goal setting. Every month as I look forward to the new month, I write down 1 habit that I would like to stop doing to be a better version of myself. Lent is always about giving up something or making a sacrifice. My challenge to others is to also look at the other side of the coin. Every month I also write down 1 habit that I would like to do more of to be a better version of myself. I feel that this exercise really makes me self reflect every month as I realize that continual growth is foundation to becoming a better leader. The other point that this helps solidify is the idea that you should only compare yourself to yourself yesterday. So many times we look at others and compare ourselves to unattainable targets which leads us into despair. The more we measure our progress against ourselves, the more momentum I believe we can build. Challenge yourself by asking yourself the following 2 questions. What should I stop doing and what should I do more?
- One other thing that I have just recently started doing that I feel has really helped me focus is OTED. One thing every day. Everyday in my journal I write down one thing I need to do today to move myself forward “personally” and I write down one thing I need to do today to move my business forward. Basically it is writing down the number one priority to accomplish in each of these two areas. So many times we have a long list of things to do and we try to tackle the easy ones first to get more things crossed off the list. The real question is if we were able to accomplish the most important task of the day to move towards our goals. Brian Tracy is famous for saying “eat that frog.” This leadership tip is to tackle that biggest task first no matter what. Put the most important thing first.
- One final thought as we go through the Lenten season is that it is a time of reflection and a time where we should realize how lucky we are to live in such an amazing time and place. We need to remember that we all have so much for which to be grateful. Thank you to everyone that takes a few minutes out of their week to listen to my thoughts.