First Pursuits Take You Farthest

I still remember the moment I first saw the girl who eventually became my wife. I was 13 years old. I remember her hair, her shoes, her dress, her eyes, and a smile that still devastates me. I was 19 when we married. I’ve been pursuing her ever since.

I pursued big dreams, back then. I closed my eyes and saw myself on stage giving dynamic presentations. I wanted to changed people’s minds and lives. Today, my opportunities to make a difference exceed my expectations, but I still pursue that dream.

Everyone wants to love and be loved. Everyone wants to matter. Beyond that…

Leadership’s first pursuits:

  1. Character before techniques. Discipline, integrity, transparency, and authenticity come before strategies. Skill without character is a disaster.
  2. Kindness. Influence requires kindness especially when making tough choices.
  3. Forgiveness. Forgive every offense. You’ll give yourself to people who turn on you. Let it go. You may never forget, but always act out of kindness rather than bitterness.
  4. Forgiveness again. You’ll disappoint yourself. Let it go and move forward. Cling to your best hopes for yourself.
  5. Personal development. I spent too much time developing technical knowledge and not enough developing leadership skills. Technical knowledge matters more at the beginning of your career. Eventually, technical knowledge gives way to leadership and people skills.
  6. Listen to your nobility. I don’t always like what I see in my heart. I see fear, anger, and selfishness. I also find courage, compassion, and profound longings to be useful. Follow the goodness in your heart.
  7. Do what makes you proud. We’re all taught to seek the approval of others. Stop working for approval. Bring joy to others from wells of strength not need. Remember #2 above.
  8. Gratitude. Thankfulness tempers arrogance.


What’s on your list of first pursuits?

What should come off our list of first pursuits?


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