In executive leadership it has often been said that the leadership decides what gets done, and the management gets to do it. Said differently, an essential ingredient in leadership is purposefully deciding what you or your company are going to do and not do.
This is perhaps the single best definition of being strategic.
Many of us have deep, well thought-out strategic plans for our companies detailing how, why and what we intend to do. Imagine if we harnessed even a small portion of that discipline and focused it upon ourselves? I once heard a colleague describing their day as showing up for work and letting the horrors of their calendar reveal itself. What a negatively slanted and victimized way in which to view the world.
Instead, imagine looking at your life as though you were managing a personal portfolio of meaningful realms of existence.
Clearly there is your work and professional existence, but also that of your spiritual wellbeing, your health and physical wellbeing, your personal development away from work, your family and friends, your significant other and your financial wellbeing.
Like any portfolio, this could be left to drift and for you to react to as the need arises, or it could be managed with purpose and deliberate intention.
This portfolio approach dismisses the idea that each segment must be balanced with the others. We are far too complex to think that each element of our lives must fit neatly into a well formatted spreadsheet. Instead, I only mean to suggest that each aspect can be managed with purpose. In this way you get to choose how and where you spend your time.
This dynamic set of choices will shift over time, but can always be done with intent. For example, you may choose to crank up on your personal development while your financial well-being slips all in service of funding additional training or education. Or your health may falter as you invest in your profession or vice versa. Alternatively, you may choose to put up guard rails around work and profession in order to regain time with family, friends or spouse.
Each of these can be purposeful decisions that guide how we want to live. The last time I checked, the mortality rate was still one per person and there were still only sixty seconds in a minute so choose wisely.
Research tells us that people have more remorse for NOT trying things they wish they had, than they do for trying something that did not work out.
It harkens back to the old phrase, “I never met someone who in their last moments of life wished they had spent more time at work.”
Regret is a powerful emotion. Wouldn’t it be amazing to live a life with little or no regret and to feel fully actualized and fulfilled as you choose? This is the idea of leading life by intention. Countless self-help books exist, as do articles and other resources.
Of course, for those willing to engage a support person, executive coaching is a wonderful option as well. As an executive coach, I have seen people reinvigorated and reconnected with their core. It is a magical thing to see and brings as much joy to the coach perhaps as it does to the individual.
So, if this article speaks to you, consider putting some of this intentionality into play in your own life. Be the change you want to see and start living the life you always wanted.
Copyright © 2020 Bruce Flareau
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