6 Things I Learned (or relearned) in 2020

We never fully learn anything. Leadership Freak

6 things I learned (or relearned) in 2020

#1. Contribute:

Instead of following your passion, find your greatest contribution. Tom Rath

Tom Rath answered my long-nagging concerns about self-indulgent-passion-following by focusing on contributing.

The question is how to use your talent to make the greatest contribution.

The pursuit of happiness is like chasing the horizon.

Pursue meaning if you want happiness.

#2. Bring others in:

Seek advice or the responsibility of leadership will grind you up. Leadership Freak

I sought more advice this year than ever before.

Arrogance bristles and resists when receiving advice. Humility opens its heart to the possibility that others might be right.

Humility expands leadership because it allows you to try suggestions others make.

#3. Relationships:

Who you know influences where you go. Leadership Freak

Relationships matter more than you think.

Strong relationships are foundations for great results.

Develop and strengthen relationships if you expect to achieve great results.

#4. Stories:

The most powerful words we hear are the stories we tell ourselves. Leadership Freak

We use negative stories about others to justify self-serving behaviors. People judge you by the stories they tell themselves about your motives and actions.

You can sincerely serve the best interest of others and get kicked in the teeth.

All the stories we tell ourselves about others are only partially true.

#5. Stockdale principle:

When in doubt, go with your highest point of clarity. Leadership Freak

Focus on what you can do today. You never know when difficulty or adversity will end.

Perhaps you thought COVID-19 would be over in a month or two.

Admiral Stockdale, the highest-ranking POW of the Vietnam war, explains the danger of optimism.

“The optimists. … died of broken heart[s].”

Stockdale said, “You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

#6. Gratitude:

Gratitude is noticing and acknowledging benefit or advantage. Leadership Freak

Gratitude expressed is energy received.

Small sincere expressions of gratitude energize both the receiver and the giver of gratitude.

A small notepad on the corner of my desk reminds me to record one expression of gratitude every morning.

What did you learn (or relearn) in 2020?

Which of the above ideas seems most useful to you today?