New Year Invites Us To Renew Our Personal Commitment to the Leadership Journey
By Tony Daniello
In this new blog for the new year ahead, leadership mentor and Director of Infrastructure Services, Tony Daniello cautions that even the best leaders can sometimes lose their way. Without gimmicks, short-cuts, or a quick fix leadership pill that offers instant immunity from life’s little challenges, Tony offers insightful rock-solid advice we can count on to get the new year off to a great start.
Let’s face it, the constant professional demands of our career and turbulent changes and choices in our personal life are going to present us with challenges. Things can appear to be going smoothly in the short-term, but at some point along the way, all of us experience major challenges over the long haul.
It’s easy to assume you will always find the strength to “keep the faith” but what if your beliefs and values come into question? At times, you might be challenged to uphold your values, especially after something happens that makes you question why you are doing things day in and day out. Being a leader isn’t different. Sometimes we question why it is we want to lead, what impact we are making on certain individuals, and whether we can find the strength to offer even more of ourselves. Perhaps your leadership journey may have presented something that made you question yourself. It happens to all of us.
For those of you struggling with a challenge, the new year provides a good opportunity to reflect and to try new concepts and practices. Below are some thoughts and ideas to help you find your way and renew your strength and confidence so you can be at your best:
- Rediscover: It may be time to rediscover exactly why it is you do what you do. One of the best speakers, authors, and leadership consultants out there, Simon Sinek, believes that when you “find your why”, you find your passion. I believe that rediscovering your passion, your why, is so important because it puts you in touch with the purpose behind whatever you are doing. When you lose your way, rediscovering your purpose and reigniting the excitement that you once had is a great way to get back on track. Perhaps it may be time to tweak your purpose a little bit to tailor your actions to align with your current situation. But it is important to believe again in why you do what you do.
- Refocus: Focus on things that provided fulfillment, whether it is for work or in your time off. It can be something that seems insignificant at the time that provides a feeling of fulfillment; for example, simply finding time to spend with family, friends, or co-workers. Reflect upon how you helped someone along their way and how that made you feel. Reconnect with that sense of purpose in doing what you did and want to continue doing. Focus on the tasks at hand and that may lie ahead of you especially those that can help bring meaning back to you.
- Regroup: Sometimes it is best to just walk away from a situation and not think about it. Sometimes clarity comes when we least expect it. Being able to regroup and strategize is key to getting back on track. Sometimes things may seem repetitive and no longer challenging. Regrouping and strategizing can help create a different path that ultimately leads you to your overall objective and now you see the challenges in a new light that reinvigorates and inspires you.
As a Rocky Balboa fan, I want to weave in here a motivational quote from the sixth film in the successful series. With an average budget per film of just 20 million dollars, there is no question about the brilliance of this gritty franchise that has earned over 1.3 billion dollars at box offices around the globe. And tens of millions of viewers continue to exchange comments about lines of dialogue from the inspirational screenplays to these films. When it comes to my personal mantra for leadership success, I find that the following words, from Rocky to his young adult son, paint an accurate picture of a winning leadership mindset:
The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!
Keep in mind that you are not alone. We are all going to encounter roadblocks and question what we do and why we do it. That’s just part of being human. Next time you feel out of sorts and are not sure how to get back on track, remember to find your purpose again, to rediscover your passion, and to reconnect with what drives you. Seek honest fulfillment in what you do at work or in life, and practice the art of knowing when to walk away so that you can come back stronger than ever.