Monday, December 12, 2011

Time Well Spent

I spent the day with a mentor in my life many years ago and something life changing occurred for me. While I realized this mentor of mine did not accomplish a lot of things from his goal list or his agenda for the day, he was having influence in the lives of people. I found myself watching this mentor talking and encouraging every individual he came into contact with. I then realized something I had always known: people are more important than tasks.

Leaders often forget this great truth. It's very easy to get caught up with the "To Do" lists and let that drive how our minutes are spent every day. However, leaders who live with a vision of impacting people do not let the pressures of the "To Do" lists override the time needed to influence people. In short, leaders must balance the agenda with the more important reality of building and mentoring relationships.

A second realization occurred just this year as I found myself stuck to my computer one morning before school while also trying to have a conversation with a student. While I'm a believer in multi-tasking to a certain degree, this was one of those moments I shouldn't. It wasn't long before I realized I didn't hear this student talking anymore. I then realized my lack of attentiveness led this student to believe I didn't care about her situation and she left. I was very disappointed with myself. However, I made an apology and explained I did care and was failing by showing this by letting the pressures of my day interfere with what was more important.

Time is never wasted when it's used to accomplish a vision of mentoring the lives of other people.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Effective Teen Habit #7 - Sharpen the Saw

All great leaders know one important ingredient of their success is recharging. Leaders recognize they can only give what they receive. In other words, too much giving and the leader will end up "spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically" weary. Leaders MUST make time to refuel the WHOLE person.

Personally, I do this both morning and night. Every night I have a devotional time where I clear my mind and conscience and gain strength and inspiration from reading fruitful sources of wisdom such as the Bible. Every morning, I exercise. Every day I make sure I am recharging myself spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. In addition, every week I meet up with like-minded people and socialize and fellowship to recharge as well. Finally, once a year, I take a personal get-away to refuel what I call my "dream tank."

Once a year, on my personal mini-vacation, I regain perspective. Every person needs to step back and gain the big picture on life and renew their purpose in which they are living. Without the refueling of the vision and purpose, leaders including myself will lose sight of the big goal and grow weary of the day-to-day necessities of life.

Many people think they recharge with vacations but those are simply times of rest. Actually, I have known families say the opposite! Vacationing is not the main goal here. Sharpening the saw means you set aside time to recharge and refuel yourself, the WHOLE self. Furthermore, this principle recognizes the need to maintain an alertness of one's personal health (spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally). A lack of alertness and a lack of refueling often leads a leader down a path to burnout.

Without WHOLE health, any leader will fall short of his or her goals. You can only achieve what your mind, spirit, soul and body allow you too! Keep them healthy!

What inspires you? What do you rely on to recharge and refuel yourself to maximize your leadership and success?