Monday, September 21, 2015

Leaders Do Something

Live your dream.  

Too many of us followed a path that has lead to jobs that pays the bills.  But I believe we can, with effort, find a way to follow our dreams.  I like to think I have done that.

Real leaders, when faced with adversity, find a new path. When some problem appears in the path they build a bridge, tunnel under, or drive around.  The other option is to sit down and feel sorry for ourselves, but that leads to mediocre.

I met a gentleman recently who is pursuing his life-long dream to become an actor.  He is 35 and for 20 years followed a safe path and became a teacher.  His parents, and society, told him a traditional career was a better way for a family man. While he wants to continue to provide for his wife and kids, he does not want to grow old with regrets.  He looked up a few months ago and decided he had to try his hand at professional acting.  He took his first acting class six weeks ago and tomorrow has a call-back for a major television commercial.

This guy is my hero.  

Waiting and wishing is not going to get anyone closer to their dream.  Actions are the key.  You have to lead, even if you have no followers.  Being a leader has nothing to do with others always being on board.  You have to lead yourself first. To get to live your passion you have to do the things that take you to your goals.

Do something.  You need not succeed all at once, but you have to build momentum.  Know what you desire and find small things that can help you get clear about how to go for your future with real intention.

However, bad things will happen along the way.  Everyone faces adversity and the best people get knocked down.  It is not what happens, but how you respond to situations that sets up the future.  I relate well to the Japanese proverb "Fall down seven times - get up eight".

I write this blog post in September 2015 as Carly Fiorina rises in the polls in the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary races (this is not political support for Ms Fiorina).  She was let go from Hewlett-Packard in one of the most public CEO firings in history, lost a daughter to drugs, and failed in a bid for the US Senate.  And yet today she is running for president, and gaining traction.  She did not get here by accident.  She is doing things.

Opponents focus on our failings.... but many who are at the top have dealt with hard times and done whatever was needed to rise up again.  Harvey Mackay wrote a book in 2008 called "We Got Fired" where he profiled some of the most successful people in our society who had bounced back from very public failings.  I love this book as it is a reminder that we just get up and find a new route to the top.

The people I admire get over disappointment quickly and create something new.  They are people of action.

Have A Great Day

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