There it was glowing in splendor. It was like gazing at a sailing ship riding from a starry, jet-black night sky!
This was my first reaction when I saw the Burj Al Arab, a luxury hotel in Dubai. It’s sail-like silhouette was like nothing I had seen on any building before.
Access to the hotel was over a private, 280-meter long curving bridge. However, there is a dedicated helicopter transfer service if that’s your fancy.
Thinking back to my brief experience on the 27th Floor, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “What kept this hotel repeatedly voted the world’s most luxurious hotel?” I believe it was the action of the people who work in the background.
It made me think of how easy it is to miss out on leadership opportunities. The vanity of position, possessions or power can obscured our focus.
We cling to hierarchies because our place in a hierarchy is, rightly or wrongly, a major indicator of our social worth.” ~ Harold J. Leavitt
But, there are three opportunities that we all can easily capitalize on to grow our leadership.
1. Gift of Presence
I read a Facebook post from a man I deeply respect. It left me in deep thought as I contemplated my life and leadership. This is what he said:
“One of the great opportunities of life is taking care of our aging parents. At a certain stage in life, you suddenly realize how quickly that window closes on you.
Two years ago we had three of our parents alive and well between us. Today, only one is left, both her mum and dad are gone, for good. So as I take my mum this morning for a doctor’s appointment, I celebrate the hours we will spend together chatting over life, family, friends and the past.
I will take time to listen to her musings and reflections, her complaints and accolades; realizing that every moment is a gift, and every conversation a cherished record of shared history for posterity. I celebrate the ordinary things of every day’s routine when shared with a parent.”
This took me back to a conversation I had with my mentor. We were talking about life when he gave me this analogy. Life progresses through a series of closing windows. The question is what, therefore, we do with the windows that are open.
Leadership is presence, defined by our choice to fully embrace the moment. That moment, if let go, slips into oblivion.
To be present means investing meaningful time, emotion, love and care in others. Leadership is not about you. It is about how much of you lives in others or outlive your life.
2. Serve from the heart
Service is considering others before self. It is remembering that you are not the center of the universe. People feel your genuineness more than you think. If there is sizzle but no steak, they will switch off and seek another person to lead them.
But service is a refining process. You don’t have to have the perfect conditions or the right partners. It does not require that you have all your ducks in a row.
What you need is to start with this: “I have and therefore I can.” It is making a choice to take bold action to start something.
Service only amplifies what is already on the inside and sharpens it. If there is nothing in the heart, all people will hear is a resounding echo! As from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
Leadership is a personal choice that starts in the mind, into the heart and grows into a culture-changing force.
Serving from the heart is giving part of you away.
3. Pursuit of Excellence
The quality of your life is in direct proportion to your commitment to excellence, regardless of your chosen field of endeavor…
Zig Ziglar noted this: “It’s my observation that what we do off the job plays a major role in how far we will go on the job.
For example, if one hour each day were taken from watching television and spent acquiring a new skill, reading some inspirational information , getting involved in study groups, learning a foreign language, teaching a functionally illiterate how to read – anything that would make you know you are capable of doing worthwhile things – you would feel better about life and about yourself.
This increases your effectiveness on the job and in dealing with life in general.”
A leadership mindset is to also seek strength from other sources; from prayer and knowledge gained from diligent study, to motivation from other people.
A leader excels in community, not alone!
The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” ~Henry A. Kissinger
Q: What opportunities do you have to take your leadership to the next level? Have your say by clicking here.