Freedom isn’t Free

 

We often hear the adage, especially from our military servicemen and women, or our First-Responders, “Freedom isn’t Free!”  Here, FDR gives us another angle: “…it must be earned.”  Just like leadership cannot be given away, it must be taken away, freedom and leadership both must be earned.  What have I done today, to earn my freedom and leadership?

 

-Paul

Happy Independence Day! 

We often hear this proclamation, but what does it mean to us today? For business leaders, it has special meaning. “This is America!” Where we can become anyone we want to be, and work in any career we choose. We are not told what to study, which fields to work in, or which employer to work for. Leaders know this freedom can be both a blessing and a challenge when building a business.
Being able to lead a business is a blessing, and we thank our forefathers and our previous generations for this gift of opportunity. We also know that it was a choice on our part to pursue our careers and ambitions. Our challenge is in the reality that our teammates have this same choice…same freedom of thought and career commitment.  They can be totally committed, or they can leave our team at any time.
Business leaders need the commitment of our teammates and followers to be able to pursue our dreams and goals of building our enterprises. They have the same free will as we do, and chose to commit to our team. We must give them good reason to join us, and stay with us, on our journey. They have the same independence of choice given all of us in this country, and all free countries of the world.
So on this Independence Day, let’s reflect on the gift of career choice, and, as business leaders, earn our teammates’ commitment for another year.
-Paul

Maintaining Focus to Achieve Your Goals

“GOALS…What you see when you are not focusing on the challenges.

A Parable on Careers

I set a goal for myself to qualify for the 2017 Boston Marathon.  Goal achieved.  It was not easy…in fact, there was time, effort, and some degree of pain.  But I had a dream, consulted with coaches and mentors, wrote out a specific plan, and then put in the work.  Gratefully, the work, planning, and coaching paid off and I realized my dream of qualifying by running the California International Marathon in Sacramento in goal time.

Then I set a new goal, this time to run the Boston Marathon and beat my previous marathon time.  Having achieved success before, I got a little laid-back in my pursuit of this new goal.  Distractions and set-backs became too common during my training.  One week I caught myself about to give up on meeting my daily training goal, when a fallen tree blocked my trail.  Turning back would have cut my run  short by about 4 miles.

Whoa! Large tree blocking my path.

Focus on this spot!

At first, I turned back.  Then I caught myself…how easy to lose sight of my goal.  I needed to run another 4 miles to stay true to my goal workout.  I reset my gaze on the fallen tree, examined it from different angles, and squinted for signs of the old trail on the other side.  Voila!

Upon determined inspection, I first saw the old trail, and then discovered a way through to it.

With a little extra effort, re-dedication to my goals, committed focus and determination, I made my way past this obstacle and continued my journey to success.  Having persisted and prevailed, I found new confidence in the pursuit of my goal and staying true to my workout.

Persistent focus unveils new pathways.

Next I was to run 19 miles on paved roads, and I attacked my work with renewed vigor.  I’ve since encountered more obstacles and challenges, but am stronger in my conviction, more confident I can overcome, and more determined in my commitment to my training and eventual success in achieving my goal!

I also am proud to say that in April of 2017 I successfully finished the Boston Marathon.  In fact, I re qualified to run it again next year.

What challenges are you facing in successfully achieving your goals?  Are you focusing on those challenges, or your goals? Where have you successfully overcome challenges and “found your path“?  How can you use this story as a parallel for staying focused on achieving success for yourself and your team?

Wishing you much continued focus and career success!