Three Paths to Inspiring Leadership: Lessons From Olympians

“In everybody’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”   –Albert Schweitzer, Philosopher and Physician

After winning a gold medal in the 10,000 meters in Rio, the Somali-born British runner Mo Farah was asked how he was able to muster the strength to pick up himself up and get back to his rhythm after being accidentally tripped on lap ten of the twenty-five lap race. “I just had to believe in myself and get through it… I promised my daughter Rhianna I was going to get her a medal and I was thinking, ‘I can’t let her down’. That’s all I was thinking about – her.”

Mo dedicated his two gold medals in London 2012 to his then baby twinsAisha and Amani. After his 2016 victory he said, “I’ve won an Olympic gold for three of my children – now I’d like to win the 5,000m gold for my little boy.”

What I love most about the Olympics are the inspiring stories – in both victory and in defeat. The parents, the coaches, the communities that raised these athletes – there’s a story behind every one of them. And then there is the inspiration in the athletes themselves. Rosie MacLennan, Penny Oleksiak and her teammates, the Rugby and soccer players, the track athletes – all have inspired an entire generation of young women in Canada.

Great leaders, like great athletes, inspire those around them. The word inspire is derived from the Latin root spirare, meaning to “breathe life into.” The need to inspire has never been greater than it is today, when many people feel afraid, cynical and stressed. Awakening the passion of others by speaking to the inner lives and deeper needs of those we serve is the work of leaders at every level and in every walk of life.

As I allow myself to be inspired by the Olympic games, my hope is that every one of us will allow ourselves to be inspired by the people around us – to enable us to inspire those we serve. Here are three pathways that inspire:

Pay Attention. The great philosopher Yogi Berra once said, “You can observe a lot by watching.” You can be inspired everyday if you s-l-o-w d-o-w-n, pay attention to what’s going on around you, and watch for inspired action. It isn’t just during the Olympics that you will hear inspiring stories. Every life has a meaningful story behind it when you care enough to take the time to pay attention. Last week I was working with a group of leaders at Emera Energy, an authentic maritime company with a down-to-earth, humble approach to business and was inspired by many of their leaders, especially the passionate young people who demonstrated commitment, ownership, and an accountable attitude. I was also inspired by how many of these leaders – mostly engineers – had mastered the simple skill of listening carefully to people. When I work with a great organization I come home inspired. What you focus on is what grows. If you focus on what’s wrong with your workplace or your life, you will soon find yourself with lots of reasons to be unhappy. But if you care enough to pay attention and focus on the goodness around you, you will find a reason to be inspired.

Choose Gratitude. I have been reflecting lately on the many people who have inspired me. I remember how George Nelson, a long-time friend of my parents and former boxer, would get up every morning and spend the first thirty minutes of his day skipping on our front porch when he and his wife Audrey visited. I always admired George, and he inspired me to get up early and start the day with some exercise. Years ago, the great motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, inspired me to create a “Wall of Influence” – photos of the twenty-five most influential people in my life. My wall of influence has evolved over the years and as I reflect on these people, I am filled with gratitude for everyone who has helped make me who I am today through their love, their character and their example.

Care. It is inspiring to be around people who care, who choose service over self-interest, who have a sense of purpose beyond themselves, and who are passionate about making a difference in the world. People who care enough to keep their promises, to go the extra mile, and to be concerned and committed to serve the people around them make workplaces worthwhile, schools vital, relationships meaningful, and lives valuable. Caring makes all the difference. Caring is everything.

To be inspiring, you must be inspired. How do you get inspired? What inspires you? How do you inspire people around you?

Ambition, Renewal, And Why Rest Is Essential To Achievement

When my father, who was once a nationally ranked gymnast, coached me in high school track, his approach to training came from University of Oregon’s track coach Bill Bowerman. The legendary running coach, Arthur Lydiard, who presided over New Zealand’s golden era in world track and field during the 1960s, had mentored Bowerman. He introduced Bowerman to a philosophy of training that revolutionized American track and field in the 1960s.

Bowerman’s approach to training had been the same as virtually every other American long-distance running coach: push hard until you are exhausted. This philosophy was based on the belief that the harder you trained, the more progress you made. The results revealed severe limitations. Prior to Bowerman, Americans were virtually absent in the world long-distance running realm.

After returning from New Zealand, Bowerman began exhorting Oregon runners to finish workouts exhilarated, not exhausted… His credo was that it was better to underdo than overdo. He had learned from Lydiard that rest was as important as work to keep a runner from illness or injury. Bowerman realized that his runners’ training was more effective when they allowed ample rest between hard workouts. He trained and raced his men to seasonal peaks but would back off before they crashed. To incoming freshman he preached: Stress, recover, improve…

While commonly accepted now, the idea of alternating hard days in distance running training, was revolutionary at the time. And it didn’t go down so well with the coaching community. When Bowerman first articulated the hard-easy method, he was widely despised for it. Kenny Moore, one of his legendary athletes and author of Bowerman and the Men of Oregon, wrote, “The anthem of most coaches then was ‘the more you put in, the more you get out.’ In response to Bowerman, coaches were morally affronted. His easy days were derided… called coddling.” Moore adds parenthetically, “His common sense approach is still resisted by a minority, and probably always will be.”

Bowerman’s response to his critics was to “crush their runners with his.” His “Men of Oregon” won four NCAA team titles. Over his legendary career, he trained thirty-one Olympic athletes, fifty-one All-Americans, twelve American record-holders, twenty-two NCAA champions and sixteen sub-four minute milers. During his twenty-four years as coach at the University of Oregon, the Ducks track and field team had a winning season every season but one, attained four NCAA titles, and finished in the top ten in the nation sixteen times.

Bowerman also developed the first lightweight outsole that would revolutionize the running shoe. With some latex, leather, glue and his wife’s waffle iron, he created a durable, stable and light Waffle sole that set a new standard for shoe performance and helped him co-found the Nike Corporation. My dad bought me a pair of those original waffle running shoes. It was an amazing shoe at the time. Bowerman also ignited the jogging boom in America. How that happened is another great story.

Since Bowerman’s success days at the University of Oregon, the physiological foundation for the “hard/easy” system has been validated. In short, physiology has verified what Bowerman learned and applied. The trick is first to provide enough but not too much stress, and second, to allow enough recovery to replenish energy stores, heal and adapt.

As in the outdated “no rest system” for training distance runners, I wonder if we aren’t living our lives these days with an outdated belief that doesn’t take into consideration the importance of rest and renewal. In today’s world, with its unyielding emphasis on success, productivity, and efficiency, we have lost the rhythm of balancing between effort and recovery. Constantly striving, I see so many people exhausted and deprived in the midst of great abundance. How many of us long for time with friends, family, important relationships, even just a moment to ourselves, as we constantly look down at our devices and strive to achieve more? We now find ourselves compulsively checking for messages from work while in the midst of our vacations and times when we need to be connected to who and what really matters.

My challenge for you is to create some structured time over the summer to rest, attend to what is important to you, and make room for whatever you would call renewal. Whether it’s a two-week break, a one unproductive renewal day per week, or an hour a day to just to rest, take the time to simply walk in nature, spend some time hanging with kids, or sit and read a novel. Carve out some time to rest your body and mind, restore your creativity, and regain your natural state of inner peace and well-being.

We are clever people, efficient and high-powered, but in our fervor to get things done we are forgetting the simple art of living. Let us resolve that we will begin today to take a little time to relax, to be idle, to go more slowly and be more attentive to the world around us. Let us take time to be still, to be present, to notice the beauty in this world, to watch the sun go down behind the hill.

Renewal and relaxation aren’t a luxury. They, along with hard work, are a necessity to a life well lived.

Bill Bowerman knew the importance of rest in training Olympic athletes. We can all learn from the legacy he left us.

The Power Of Finding Your Genius

There’s a joke about a salesman who is driving along the highway and sees a sign, “Talking Dog for Sale.” He rings the bell and the owner tells him the dog is in the back yard. He goes into the back yard and sees a mutt sitting there.

“You talk?” he asks.

“Yep,” the mutt replies.

“So, what’s your story?”

The mutt looks up and says, “When I discovered this gift I was pretty young and wanted to help the government. So I told the CIA about my unique talent and in no time they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping. I was one of their most valuable spies eight years running.

“But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn’t getting any younger and I wanted to settle down. So I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security work, mostly wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings there and was awarded a batch of medals. Had a wife, a mess of puppies, and now I’m just retired.”

The salesman is amazed and asks the farmer what he wants for the dog. The farmer says, “Ten dollars.”

The guy says he’ll buy him, but asks the owner, “This dog is amazing. He’s worth a fortune. Why on earth are you selling him for only $10?”

The owner replies, “Because he’s a liar.”

Everyone is talented, original, and has something to offer the workplace where they are employed. The problem is that most people treat themselves and their employees like this old farmer treats his talking dog. We are so focused on the weakness and fixated on fixing that weakness that we completely miss the talents and the strengths and wonder why our employee engagement scores are so low.

The poet William Blake said, “He who knows not his own genius has none.” Leadership is, in large part, helping people discover – and unleash – their genius. Fit people; don’t fix people.

Here are five ways to tap into the genius in yourself and others:

  1. Look for people’s strengths: What you focus on is what grows. Start asking three simple questions of every one of your employees. Start to have the conversations. Give some feedback. Listen.
  • What are your strengths?
  • What do you do better here than anyone else?
  • What is unique about you?
  1. Invest in a formal inventory to discover your strengths and help others discover theirs. The best inventory I have found is: gallupstrengthscenter.com‎
  2. Track your energy. What energizes you? What depletes you? What fills you up? What’s working for you? What’s not? Today, it’s not about time management; it’s about energy management. Your energy level is a great indicator of how aligned you are to your genius.
  3. Delegate your weakness – at least whenever possible. Chances are, there is somebody in your organization that is good at what you aren’t. Talk it up. Discuss where you can pass on your weakness to somebody who has it as a strength.
  4. Let go of perfection. It’s unrealistic to expect that a hundred percent of your job be in your area of genius. What’s important is that at least a percentage of what you do is what you are great at. This is where the inspiration and the engagement lie. Keep working toward increasing the circle of strength and the time your employees spend there, and watch how engagement and productivity start to substantially increase.

5 KEYS TO UNLEASH GREATNESS ON YOUR TEAM

I meet some amazing leaders in my work. People hire me to work with their organization and I end up a better person by spending time with them. One such leader who has become a good friend is John Liston. John was formally a regional director at Great West Life, and now is the principal of Liston Advisory Group. John lives what he leads. He’s a person of strong character. He’s passionate. He cares. He cares about his people. He cares about the work. He cares about his organization. And his approach to leadership produces results. When he was at Great West Life, his was the top region in Canada in 2010, 2011 and 2012. This spring we ran a customer service program together for a police department.

In a recent conversation with John about his coaching experience with his daughter’s Under 19 Ringette team, he explained how he coaches the same as he leads. Same philosophy. Same approach. Same leadership. Here are John’s five keys for unleashing greatness within a team:

1) Hire great people. You need to know the skills you need from your people and, more importantly, you need to know the kind of attitude you want from the people around you. You can always teach skills, but you can’t teach attitude. Building a great team means knowing precisely the kind of person you want on your team. It means hiring s-l-o-w-l-y. Take your time. Ask questions and assess the right fit. If you study what most people do in business you find that they spend their time hiring for competence (resume, experience, etc.) and almost always fire for character. What John, and other great leaders do, is hire for character and train for competence.

2) Create an environment for people to be their best. When are you at your best? Typically it is when you are focused, but not worried about mistakes or failing. In John’s words, “When we win, we party; when we lose, we ponder.” This means it’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them. See the best in people. Fit people don’t fix people. Find their strengths and build on those strengths. Find a place where people can take their gifts, their passion, and their talents, and make a contribution. It takes coaching, mentoring, and, most importantly, time. When you create these environments, people “chose to” come to them; they don’t feel they “have to”.

3) Understand the why (the reason) before the what or the how. At the 1963 Washington D.C. Civil Rights March, Martin Luther King did not stand up with a “strategic plan.” Martin Luther King had a dream. He gave people a reason. What’s vital in building a team – as well as building a life – is to not confuse the means with the ends. John Liston understands this. He understands that people aren’t accountable if they aren’t motivated. If they aren’t accountable, it’s because they don’t have enough reason to be accountable. A vision is what gives people a reason to get on board. John uses the vehicle of sport to teach character. Character is the why. Character is the goal. Sport is the means to that goal. Some people get confused and think sport is about winning. Professional sport may be, but all others are about character. Winning is a by-product. It works the same in business.

4) Execute with precision. John is a master of accountability cultures. He understands that you have to inspire people, and then you have to link that inspiration to clearly defined outcomes and a precise way to get there. This is where John is tough. He models the values. While he cares about people, he has a precise, results driven process for creating an environment for people to hold themselves accountable – to themselves and to each other.

5) Celebrate success. In John’s words, “you have to know what success is, know how to get there, and know how to celebrate it when you’ve achieved it.” You have to know what constitutes success and shine a light on it. Tell the story. Acknowledge people. Catch people being successful. You have to care and you have to connect. Celebration can be big or it can be small, but most importantly it has to be meaningful.

John’s passionate, inspiring energy is contagious. It’s always been important to him to create an environment in which people have a chance to be their best, to realize their potential, and to be recognized for their achievements. John is the kind of leader people want to work for. He’s also the kind of friend people seek.

What kind of environment are you creating on your team?

LOVE AND PROFIT – 7 Ways Leaders Show They Care

During his thirty years at Meredith Corporation, James Autry was known as one of the most respected magazine executives in America, overseeing a $500 million operation with over 900 employees. “Leadership,” Autry was known to say, “is a largely a matter of love. Or if you’re uncomfortable with that word, call it caring, because good leadership involves caring for people, not manipulating them.”

Caring for people is not a fad. It’s a tried, true, and timeless principle that will always be a part of great leadership. James Autry had it right and in today’s increasingly complex, demanding, and changing world, it’s never been more true. In a position of leadership – whether executive, manager, supervisor, school principal, board chair, or parent – you are asked to hold a group of people that you serve in trust. However, having a title does not make you a leader. Holding a position of leadership is like having a driver’s license. Just because you have one doesn’t make you a good one. One measure of a leader is the capacity to influence, but another is the direction of that influence. Is the leader influencing others towards a goal worth pursuing? Leaders who influence are leaders who care – about their people, about the work they do, and about the difference they make.

Here’s what I believe it takes be a caring leader:

1. A Decision. Caring is a decision. It’s not an emotion. You can decide to care about someone. If you care enough to look deep enough, you will find a reason to care. You can’t always control how you feel about other people, but you can certainly control how you behave toward others. Caring is not how you feel; caring is how you act. Caring is not a noun; it’s a verb. It’s leadership in action. The eminent NFL football coach, Vince Lombardi, said, “You don’t have to like your players and associates, but as leaders, you are called upon to love.

2. Discipline. Almost everything humanly expressed beautifully in the world – a musical piece, a work of art, an athletic performance, or successful business venture – is manifested through discipline. The art of caring leadership is no different. Being disciplined about care means intentionally setting aside uninterrupted time to be present for people – in your office, in their office, on the plant floor. I’m not a fan of an “open door” policy for leaders. What I do like is structured office hours when employees know you will be there for them and with them. It takes discipline to carve out the time to show you care. The effort required to a build a discipline of paying attention and extending yourself for others takes work, but it’s worth it. Caring in this way is filled with rewards since having someone listen to them and acknowledge their story rewards everyone. The renowned business philosopher, Jim Rohn, once said, “for every disciplined effort, there is a multiple reward.”

3. Space. So just what do you do in that disciplined time that you have set aside? You turn off the computer and the cell phone and anything else that can be an interruption, and you give people your full attention. You create an uninterrupted space that makes it safe to be open and honest. You can create a space in your office or you can create a space in their world. Creating space means making the workplace safe to do their work, to make mistakes, and to be who they are. Space is where the real work of leadership is done – sharing the vision, the beliefs, the values – and how all this relates to where the organization is headed and where the employee is needed.

4. Kindness. Leadership is about producing results, but caring leadership involves being committed to people’s growth as you produce results together. Willingness to feel the pain of another’s journey and accepting without equivocation a person’s failings provides a sense that “we are in this together”. Kindness means expressing genuine concern through knowing the name, the interests, and the values of every person held in trust to you. Kindness means expressing appreciation, offering a word of encouragement, or catching people doing things right. George Washington Carver said, “Be kind to others. How far you go in life depends upon your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in your life, you will have been all of these.”

5. The Absence of Self-Importance. S. Eliot once said, “half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important.” Manipulation, by definition, is influencing people for personal gain. Caring means you don’t need to take the credit. Caring means you make it about others, not you. Caring means a willingness to leave your ego at the door and make others feel important.

6. Service. Albert Schweitzer said, “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know. The only ones among us who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” Servant leadership is being committed to serve those in your care, insuring that they have what they need to get their job done and grow in the process. Servant leadership is different than “pleasing” leadership, where your effort is spent trying to give people what they want. Pleasing breeds resentment, results in burnout, and turns you into a slave. Serving leads to freedom, self-respect, and wellbeing within and around you. You can’t make everyone on your team happy. What you can do is support their success by helping them meet their needs. Start by making a list of what you think your staff needs – resources, training, support – to achieve the results that are expected of them. Simultaneously, have them make a list. Then compare lists and have continual conversations about how you will work together to meet those needs.

7. Clear – And High – Expectations. Caring means building a platform where people can grow. You don’t show caring by having low standards or letting people off the hook. You have to care about people and the results they produce. Caring requires high support and accompanying high expectations. You care by supporting people to go beyond what they thought they could do. Then hold them accountable for what they have agreed to. These expectations are part of a leader’s value system that must be communicated to those being led. It is important to define your top priorities with your workers and clarify the results and the attitude that you need from them. Then model what you expect – so you will be credible to hold them accountable.

Organizations don’t give a leader power. Power comes from the people you serve. You earn power by earning the trust of others. And if you don’t use this power well, they will take it away from you. They take it away by making leading difficult for you by resisting and refusing to be influenced, even if they pretend to follow you because you have a legislated title.

When you choose to extend yourself by serving, sacrificing, and caring for others, you increase your capacity to influence. My good friend and former high school principal, Larry Dick, says, “Caring leaders are invitational leaders.” When you care, you invite people along on a journey, and inspire them to join you. You offer them a seat on the bus – not because they have to but because they want to. A leader who knows how to influence through genuine caring will be a leader who is in great demand. The paradox, of course, is that caring leaders don’t do it to be in demand. They do it because they care.

When James Autry wrote his best-selling book, Love and Profit, he examined carefully the financial benefits of the timeless principle of leading with love. But I think he would agree that profit comes in many forms besides income, including personal and professional growth, increased confidence, friendships, community, an opportunity to contribute and make a difference, and a fulfilling, meaningful life. At the end of the day, why else are we going to work?

Nine Questions That Will Change Your Life

For the past twenty years my work has been devoted to helping leaders, at all levels and in all walks of life, realize and express their true greatness in the cultures where they work and serve. I have been fortunate to work with thousands of leaders from around the world and it has been a remarkable journey thus far.

I have learned from the conscious, authentic leaders that they need more than techniques, tools, and strategies to be a successful leader. The best leaders I have met understand that they also need to grow as people. They understand the importance of character, integrity, wisdom, maturity, and caring. They understand that great leadership starts with being a good person. It is that simple and that difficult.

When asked what life experiences prepared them for leadership, rather than management training seminars or MBA programs, leaders say such things as, “coming to terms with a life-threatening illness”; “spending a month in a silent retreat”; “recovery from an addiction”; “facing the death of a family member”; “raising a family”; or “investing in a long-term coaching or psychotherapy experience.”

Leadership is not an event. It’s not a noun. Leadership is a verb, a life-long process, a journey of coming to know yourself. You don’t get promoted to being leader. You have to earn the right to be called one. There are no effective tools, only tools that allow greater effectiveness by the person using them. Without a tool-user capable of applying the tools consciously, there is no lasting effectiveness. For this reason, the user’s development and maturity are just as important as the development of techniques and their objective excellence.

One of the ways you can mature as a person and thus prepare yourself to lead, is to make room for reflection and contemplation in your life. Below are nine questions that, when reflected and acted upon, will deepen your personal leadership presence.

  1. How much is enough?

Normal body cells grow, divide, and die in a relatively orderly fashion. When cells start to grow out of control, it’s called cancer. Rather than dying, cancer cells continue to grow and form new, abnormal cells. When the human instincts of ambition, achievement, and material success are unbridled, they become cancerous. How much work is enough? How much money is enough? How much success if enough? Work is a tool to create and sustain the quality of life that we most desire. All action, including work, needs to be measured against your values. How much do you need to sustain a good life?

  1. What do you do that you love?

Authenticity is where ability and passion intersect. What do you do that fulfills you? What fills you up? What do you do that brings you meaning? Often people get trapped doing what they are very good at but not passionate about. While these efforts may bring rewards, they don’t bring fulfillment or meaning. What brings you deep satisfaction may or may not be found in your paid work. When you discover work that you both love and are good at, count that as a blessing. Where in your life do you do what you love?

  1. What is your gift?

Every one of us has a unique talent. As the Celtic writer John O’Donohue put it, “You were sent a shape of destiny in which you would be able to express the special gift that you bring to the world. If someone else could fulfill your destiny, then they would be there in your place, and you would not be here. It is in the depths of your life that you will discover the invisible necessity that has brought you here. When you begin to decipher this, your gift and your giftedness come alive. Your heart quickens and the urgency of living rekindles your creativity. When you can awaken this sense of destiny, you come into rhythm with your life…” What is your destiny? What is your gift?

  1. Who do you love?

“I need somebody to love,” sang the Beatles, and they got it right. Devoting yourself to someone and experiencing the full range of the anguish and ecstasy of love, makes you a better person. To love requires courage, vulnerability, compassion, and presence. All these are not just qualities of a good lover. They are qualities of a good person. And they are qualities of a good leader. The decision to love is always a risk, and it is in taking that risk that one meets the full life. In leadership, if you cannot connect, you will be incapable of leading. Embracing love, in all its challenge and splendor, will teach you to live and to lead.

  1. For what purpose?

Leadership is both passionate and consuming work. So strong are the emotions of leadership that they will overwhelm those who have not developed a sense of purpose. A life without purpose is like a ship’s captain without a compass. The winds of demands and distractions, accompanied by the whims of emotions, would shipwreck even the best of us onto a reef of frustration. A sense of purpose inspires you, gives you traction on the steep slopes of self-doubt and discouragement, helps put failures and successes in perspective, and shines a light that enables you to keep walking in the darkness.

  1. Who do you listen to?

Leadership, by its very nature, is a force of attraction. Attraction means others will demand your attention. Technology makes us even more accessible to the wrong or unfocused messages if we aren’t both mindful and strategic. In the frenetic world of overload, listen to the right people through selective hearing and focused attention. Leadership requires both the capacity to listen and the capacity to know who to listen to. It also means learning to listen to oneself, distinguishing your inner voice from the voices placing demands upon us. And one has to structure in time for a nourishing community and self-reflection that helps regain perspective and restores spiritual resources.

  1. What are you committed to?

The poet William Blake once asked, “Does a firm persuasion that a thing is so, make it so? …All poets believe that it does, and in ages of imagination this firm persuasion removed mountains; but many are not capable of a firm persuasion of anything.” What immovable conviction do you have? What is your firm persuasion? What do you know you will complete, regardless of the obstacles?

  1. What difference do you make?

Ultimate success, the success that surpasses success, is significance, the difference you make in the lives of others. Significance is not measured in the balance sheet, the win-loss records, the trophies, or the fame or notoriety you manage to attain. Significance, or supreme success, is found in the hearts and lives you have touched that are in some way better because of knowing you. Significance is ultimately measured in changed lives, strong character, and sustained values, rather than in material gain, temporal achievement, or status. As David Brooks states in his book, “The Road To Character,” there is a difference between résumé virtues and eulogy virtues. What is written on your résumé is very different that what will be said at your funeral. What difference do you make?

  1. What are you grateful for?

I learned years ago from one of my mentors, Dan Sullivan, to make your gratitude bigger than your success. Gratitude is what makes success rewarding and a life-long journey rather than a destination. Gratitude will bring joy and change everything in your life. What you appreciate, appreciates. All efforts to achieve with the intent to impress others, gain approval, avoid rejection, or gain fame will eventually be unsatisfying. Gratitude is what makes success worthwhile, because gratitude enables you to come from a place of wonderment, joy, and personal satisfaction. Don’t climb a mountain so the world will see you, climb a mountain so you will see the world.

My father used to say that it isn’t the answers that determine the character of a person; it’s the questions. Being a good person and a good leader doesn’t require pristine answers to these questions. What it requires is a willingness to carefully seek the truth that speaks to you and the patience to persist, even in the midst of doubt and uncertainty. Becoming a person who has earned the right to be called a leader is a matter of continual investigation and vigilance.