So often the high-tech-complex-world in which we exist seems to demand extra-ordinary measures of ways and means to produce any meaningful result. The message consistently rings through the corridors and byways that “You” could have the success “John” and “Jane” have, if you were super-human like them and willing to compromise your archaic values of family and community that absorbs so much of your time. However, what is seldom communicated is instead of complicated ways and means, simple common sense concepts employed consistently yield outstanding rewards. So, I want to do that in this short blog. There is more, much more. But the very uncommon commonsense will serve you well in leadership when applied consistently over time.
When counselors are called upon to serve high performing players in business and industry one of the common complaints is, “There is so much to be done and it is all so complicated.” Oftentimes the client attempts to justify hacks, shortcuts, and immoral or unethical behavior citing “the end justifies the means.” When the truth is “the means dictate the ends”. If you are feeling overwhelmed, closed-in, friendless, and without anyone, or at least very few in your community, who care if you are in your position or not, it is time for you to employ commonsense in your senseless world. Too many case histories exist wherein those who sacrificed all to reach an unworthy goal sacrificed their family, their community, their happiness, and themselves in the end, losing whatever reward they thought they were going to receive.
Let your leadership be a joy in your life by being a joy in the lives of those around you.
Here are some key principles of commonsense.
- The journey, or job if you prefer, does not overwhelm the leader, so long as only the next step is taken, followed by the next.
- A journey without direction leads to nowhere.
- A known direction allows the leader to draw ever nearer the destination. Even the slowest traveler completes the journey if he or she does not quit.
- Use this moment to be all you can be, do not let the moment dictate what it will do with you.
- The present defines you, not the past things forgiven nor the future potentialities.
- The past and future are simply markers to capture the relevance of the present.
- Neither the allure nor the dread of a perceived future commands what is possible to happen in this moment. Try as one might, one cannot make a single decision or accomplish a single action in the past or the future. So, take that step now and then the next one following in due time.
- The past is just training; it does not define you. Think about what went wrong, but only in terms of how you will make sure that, next time, you will get it right.
- Optimism — rational, reasoned, justifiable optimism — is contagious, and very, very likable.
- Taking time to build community with family and friends through love is leadership time well spent.
There is an irrelevant complaint often accepted even by counselors: “My past haunts me and I can’t get over what happened back there.” The past is but raw data to be used to build a preferred present and better future. The past can truly cripple anyone who lets it, and of a truth, consequences of past experiences can be a challenge in some cases. However, the past is powerless to hold controlling sway over present choices and actions, except as the person allows it that sway, usually in self-pity. Love conquers fear, failures, and crippling pasts. Choose to love.
1 Corinthians 13:8-13, NIV
- Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
- For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
- but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
- When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
- For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
- And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Consider a simple industrial phenomenon as an illustration. Iron ore extracted from the earth becomes steel which becomes a sturdy tool or a precision instrument which some day goes to the dump or recycling bin. The definition of the iron ore is not found in its past or in its future, it is found in its present state. Likewise, so is your leadership. Use it wisely, full of love, and in a normal routine with manageable stress building a community.
Keeping your values in order and choosing to manage your tasks instead of letting your tasks manage you is a first great step in applying commonsense to your leadership. A second great step in applying commonsense to your leadership is to rest well prior to launching a major initiative. That is Divine wisdom. When God created mankind, the very next day was a day of rest prior to the start of mankind’s husbandry of the whole earth. Thirdly, regular Sabbaths of rest are essential to keep the momentum in pace with the needs in reaching the goal. If you are feeling stressed in your leadership, almost without exception, the correct choice is to relax the tension and not to increase it to overcome the stress and restore productivity, all of which happens in the present, not the past nor the future.
Consistently use the sometimes uncommon commonsense and be content in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The LORD bless you and keep you,
The LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you,
The LORD lift his countenance upon you and give you peace.