Weekly Thought – September 27, 2016
Fred’s desire for productivity and accomplishment was core to his personality. Being useful was lived out in his life mission: stretching others. Even in his immobility, he mentored, developed, and prodded. The methods changed, but the motivation remained the same.
Energized by Accomplishment
I have learned if I end my day feeling beat, I probably didn’t accomplish much that is worthwhile. Accomplishment gives me such joy it actually restores my energy. But activity for its own sake is draining. There must be a sense of direction and purpose.
As I have gotten older, I have found I am more selective, more thorough, more conscious of what I am trying to do. I have learned staying busy isn’t the hallmark of accomplishment – there must be production. And, leadership isn’t synonymous with activity.
The more I can delegate tasks that are not uniquely mine, the more attention I can pay to those that are. Do you ever catch yourself doing someone else’s work? Why? My friend who was head of a large, international company once told me, “I am not going to pay someone and then do their work, too.”
A leader may feel he or she doesn’t have the luxury of only doing a few things well, but the principle still applies. I have run small organizations, and I have run large corporations. I have never been short of time because I believe I know how to prioritize. I keep for myself the things that only I can do and delegate the rest. But many fall prey to the temptation to keep others dependent upon then in order to make themselves feel important.
I don’t get joy from feeling needed. I have told my family when I die; I want them to remember our love, not an unhealthy dependence. I want them each to mature to the point they don’t need me. I never want to be like the criminal who, seeing himself on the post office wall quipped, “It is so good to be wanted.”
To me, identifying and defining my uniqueness is critical for human contribution. Unless I know my gifts and skills, I cannot do what I am called to do. But when I am clear about that, I can then freely see what only I can do in almost every situation – whether it is a board activity, organization leadership, or church participation. Doing what only I can do is the proper leadership philosophy.
Many leaders tie ego to activity, forgetting that results are the measure. Opening the door in the morning and turning off the lights at night doesn’t define leadership. Clarifying the particular contribution leads to true accomplishment – and the energy of productivity.
This week think about: 1) When do I confuse active for productive? 2) What is my particular contribution? 3) What should I delegate this week?
Words of Wisdom: “Doing what only I can do is a proper leadership philosophy.”
Wisdom from the Word: “A person’s gift makes room for him, and leads him before important people.” (Proverbs 18:16 NET Bible) Fred’s life verse which he paraphrased: “Take the gift that God has given you, AND USE IT, and you will stand before great men.”