13 Things That Are Changing My Life and Leadership
I’m surprised at how much I want others to change and how much I resist it in myself. Change is exciting when it’s about others.
Growth is change. No change; no growth. Life without change is death.
Everything that lives changes.
13 Things That Are Changing My Life and Leadership
- Embracing inner dissatisfaction with myself, rather than hiding from it. Others aren’t what’s wrong with life.
- Accepting people for who they are, rather than judging them for who I want them to be.
- Spending one or two hours everyday for four and a half years reflecting and writing.
- Celebrating my positive impact. People go further with me on their team. I help people take fulfilling next steps in their career, service, and personal lives. I love that about myself.
- Getting in over my head.
- Conversations with leaders and authors.
- Learning what I don’t like and want to avoid.
- Having the courage to focus on what matters and say no to lesser things. (I need lots of growth in this area.)
- Believing that I make a difference by simply fulfilling my purpose. Don’t worry about changing the world. Make a difference where you are.
- Learning from failure, rather than repeating it, at least once in a while.
- Learning from people and situations that irritate me. Sometimes, the bigger the irritation, the more important the lesson.
- Coaching my wife.
I prefer the term “changing” to changed. One reflects an on going process. The other reflects the illusion of finality.
What is changing your life and/or leadership?
We just have to learn to adapt, we have all the makings in our brain, just needs tweaked from time to time, sometimes even jolted!
Thanks Tim. Glad you included “jolted.” 🙂
Made this my status update for today: “Change is exciting when it’s about others”. 🙂
Thanks Renae. Funny how that works. 🙂
Thanks for sharing your personal journey.
I personally would love to have a conversation with you on each of these 13 points – as each one is quite loaded.
So, looks like you have inspiration here for 13 future blogs as you unpack each of these items in a separate future blog.
Thanks Purposely. I appreciate the suggestion. Who knows? I might expand some of them.
I have a bright 14-year old daughter who’s just beginning to learn the finer points of leading amongst her peers in school organizations, as well as within her family & friend groups. I’ve been finding myself increasingly sharing your reflections on leadership with her — and especially those that cause us to recognize that our preferred or default ways of thinking aren’t always the best or the right ways. I’ll be sharing today’s post, and hope that several of your points will resonate with that ‘next generation’ leader.
Thanks Gerry. Congratulations on nurturing the growth of a young leader. When we do that, we impact the future. Best wishes to you and your daughter.
Great post, Dan! All great points, but #10 definitely pulls at my heartstrings and my own belief that when we are living in alignment with our core values and purpose, we are already making a difference. Journey on!
Thanks Sharon. The idea of trying to change the world sounds great on paper. It’s overwhelming in real life. Just bring yourself to a challenge, opportunity, or need and see what happens. 🙂
Journey on! <— reminds me of Wayne's World, "Party on," only better. 🙂
I am intrigued by this short quote: “Growth is change. No change; no growth. Life without change is death.” A few thoughts:
1. For sure ‘growth is change’. Since I firmly believe if we’re not growing, we’re in trouble; therefore we need to expect and embrace change – sadly very difficult for some people.
2. Therefore, a corollary to #1: ‘No change; no growth.’ BUT not all change is growth! We each must consciously monitor / self-assess change (even better: consider pending efforts to change). However, it’s better to learn from missteps or mistakes that to seek to not change!!!
3. And then there’s the last sentence: ‘Life without change is death.’ How about this as a (better?) alternative: Life without growth (positive change) is a prescription for a slow death.
Thanks John. I enjoy your insights.
Your comments makes me think about the importance of reflecting on change.
Switching change to growth gives me a positive feel. I also like the discomfort that comes with using change. Thanks for pointing out that not all change is good. Very helpful.
Thanks for adding and clarifying.
Just what the doctor ordered this morning!
Have a great day!
Ps- Don’t mean to pry, feel free not to respond, but I was curious why the last point- coaching your wife,was in red
Thanks Lori. The last point is a link. I wrote about coaching my wife in a previous post. It changed me. 🙂
Years ago I heard someone say (and I wish I could give him/her credit but I don’t remember who), “Change, if you’re for it, you call it progress.” It’s always helped me put things in perspective, “am I for progress or not?” and to do that hard thinking around why I’m opposed to whatever change is being proposed.
Thanks Kay. Love the quote! I’m glad you shared it.
I like the statement that says, “Believing that I make a difference by simply fulfilling my purpose. Don’t worry about changing the world. Make a difference where you are.” I try to stay grounded in this idea because making a difference motivates me. Learning to embrace dissatisfaction with myself is a tough one, but one I work on everyday. Great post. It gave me lots to think about.
Thanks Rita. It is a grounding idea. I find that people who are fulfilled focus on the difference they’re trying to make. Don’t seek happiness. Seek meaningful contribution and happiness will find you.
You continue to amaze me with your insights, Dan. They go deeper than most and touch on the parts that elevate our souls if we dare to listen and act on them.
Sincerest thanks for the courageous stand you take everyday with your blogs!
Thank you Michelle. It’s a pleasure to serve. Best for the journey.
“Believing that I make a difference by simply fulfilling my purpose.” Really struck a chord with me. I’ve been trying to figure out what my purpose is for most of my life. I recently came across someone who told me its what I’m already doing without even thinking about it. Of course I had to ask them “what is my purpose?” Its helping others, listening and providing the right message at the right time. Understanding where they are in their development & providing them the guidance they are ready to hear. Thanks Dan for making a difference by simply fulfilling your purpose.
Thanks Nancy. I just got off the phone with Bill George. You might enjoy his book, “Discover Your True North.” I highly recommend it for you. It’s all about purpose, authenticity, and self-awareness.
Dan, I’m not only a workaholic, I’m also a “hardaholic.” I see and find things HARD… and thus things are hard. I believe it’s my outlook that makes this so, not the reality of the situation. Perception is not reality—even though often “we make perception as real as what is really real.”
As a result I am making life, living, being, and doing harder than it needs to be. So I’ve asked myself two questions: 1) How can life personally and professionally be easier and better? And 2) If I am willing to let life be easy, how will I approach it differently?
We might be surprised to find that “struggle” is the offspring of perception and projection more than reality. To a victim mentality, adversity is negativity. To a leader mentality, life’s “winter” is a time to bundle up and experience another rich season, overcome “hardness,” and enjoy growth, opportunity and possibility.
Some even say life’s winter is God’s way for us to take a journey inside ourselves, and our real inside is not only our mind–but our heart.
#10 is something I am just now coming to understand. I face a medical set back and it helped me put a lot into perspective because I have had to completely reimage the dreams and hopes I had for my life. I always thought I’d be doing HUGE things and having a HUGE family. Now I’m realizing that if I do what I can it won’t make me any less valuable as a person. I just have to get creative about how I can contribute in my current circumstance. And who knows? It might be better than I ever dreamed before. Thanks for your insights!
Dan – why isn’t your wife coaching you?
Love your blog. I am still sad that the one time in the last year or so that I have been following that you mentioned women’s skills you got shouted down
Recently I have realized that I used to carry many things that I did not like in my head. That used to haunch me and used to perturb in many activities. And people who were responsible were free from what I used to think about them. It went for long time. Sooner I realized that I need to change myself. When something disturb me is my problem, not others. And my whole perspective got changed. Where I used to point problem outside, actually problem lies with me.
Now I have realized the importance to manage self and feeling. And it is not easy of course. But I feel one you realize, it become easy slowly.
Now, I try to express what I do not like. By doing this, I feel lighter and happier. Many times, people are natural in their approach but it may be unnatural to others. And we expect others to realize it. So, the problem lies in our expectation. So, it is important to hint others about the behavior that is issue. By doing this, many issues that we feel big becomes small.
Wow, I really like this one. Reminds me of the 14 leadership traits I learned in the Marine Corps. Thanks for sharing. Really powerful to me.
Liked the post and your self-introspection for focusing on the things that you have liked and the progress made so far.
I am also keen to decide on things to shape my life for future. It could be a mixture of contributions in academics, social & spiritual fields. Also, I shall prefer to spend some time with children to guide them on value-based life & inspire youth with motivational/inspirational talks. Waiting for the right moment to decide on the future agenda!
Wondering who coaches whom? Is it the wife or you? It shiuld be mutual. It can’t be one-sided! Else, the wife has to accept your claim.
That’s brilliant! ‘Change is exciting when it’s about others’. Absolutely perfect! When it’s personal change it can be painful/exhilarating/scary! Amazing, integral to life but still scary!
I needed to read this post today. Some of the things changing my life and leadership are your coaching via your blog and our young adult clients who we work with on a daily basis. Sometimes I find myself coaching them on a behavior I myself had in the past or am still working on. The client needs to want to change just as I saw, at a particular time in my life, that I needed to change. Thank you for your work.
What is changing your life and/or leadership?
Reading has been one of the biggest changes in my life and leadership. I enjoy being able to discuss books with friends and colleagues. I also enjoy asking for recommendations from new colleagues for a book that I normally wouldn’t have thought to read. Lately I’ve also been re-reading (or finally reading) classics that were forced upon my school education that I didn’t like (or bother to read) as a child. My neighborhood has a small lending library that I was lucky to find in the pandemic where other libraries are closed.
The biggest formal change to my leadership is happening now as part of my Tulane graduate degree practicum experience in public health leadership. I normally wouldn’t have visited leadership blogs or researched how to be a better leader without the guidance/assignment. I’ve been able to learn and put into immediate practice the principles in the course. Reading is fine, but practicing it is better.