All is Calm

A reflection on the personal dynamics of leadership. As leaders, we sometimes find that our character, reputation, and past successes have earned us new responsibilities, and new challenges: these are opportunities under our stewardship. Some of these will come with new teams, new staff, and new initiatives. Some of these will be strategically important to our companies and our careers.

These meditations, I find, provide the bedrock of the river of success, for my teams and myself.

Time will always be our most precious and fluid resource, and also the most easily wasted.

It’s safe to lose strategically unimportant opportunities. Identify these pressures and rebuff them.

The right opportunities are the ones you’re ready to pursue when they arise. Be ready.

There will be more opportunities than you can possibly pursue. Be selective.

Better to succeed in the important few, than fail by taking on too many.

Things change. Sometimes the strategy was wrong. Sometimes the strategy must adapt to what we didn’t see coming.

Some things cannot be changed, but we can leverage time to change our plans and commitments; the strategy need not change just because the tactics had to evolve.

Pressure is largely virtual; we create it by being overcommitted or distracted. Most of them are not strategically important.

There is no pressure that cannot be managed. There are no pressures, that when mixed, will not require management.

I am a steward, responsible for the well-being of my team, and their growth in skills and capability.

I am a leader, responsible for communicating and executing the vision, mission and strategy, of my company, regardless of my station.

I am a mentor, responsible for raising new leaders.

I am a servant, responsible for enabling my team and others in my company to succeed in our strategy.

I am a guide, responsible for lighting a path, and helping others walk in it. I cannot walk it for them.

I am a change agent, responsible for making tomorrow better than yesterday.

The problems of tomorrow may require methods we did not understand yesterday.

What’s good for my people is good for my company.

Without hope there is no creativity or experimentation, and therefore no innovation.

Without calm, we hazard poor judgement, and create liabilities. (Sometimes technical debt.)

My emotions, thoughts, and perceptions are tools, which I will govern and leverage for my teams’ success. I create my team’s environment, and my well-being influences their outcomes.

My hope becomes my team’s hope. When I am hopeful, I speak with hope, and my team becomes hopeful.

My calm becomes my team’s calm. When I am calm, my team joins me in considering calmly, and we make better decisions.

The inner calm begets the outer calm; the inner hope, the outer. Calm begets calm. All is calm.

I felt it important to share this finally, after months in draft, yet I think it deserves further revision. Eventually I will update it.