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Appreciating the Best of the Best

Military Thanksgiving2013 is drawing to a close and it has been one heck of a year.  My husband and I settled into a new home in Denver this year.  Our daughter had her fourth knee surgery and continues her college journey.  She is now a junior.  Our son graduated from college and got his first ‘real’ job using his degree.  I tell him he is living the 13-year old boy dream since he works as a video game production guy!  My husband joined The Human Factor full time.

I have spent a lot of time on the road, working with clients of every shape and size.  Which brings us to today’s subject.

As I pause to take stock of all the things I have to be grateful for, it certainly includes family, friends, health and many other things we sometimes take for granted. On the professional side, I’m grateful for the fact that my work brings me in contact with so many great companies, the great team at The Human Factor, and great leaders – and some not so great.  I learn from both.

The great leaders teach me about discipline, focus and winning, but especially about focus. Whether it’s something they were born with or worked hard all their lives to develop, today’s great leaders have the ability to rise above the endless sea of interruptions and distractions that we all face on a daily basis. Regardless of what’s going around them, they find a way to stay focused on their most important priorities and continue moving toward the goal. More important, they work to create an environment whereby everybody in their organizations can do the same.

The not-so-great-leaders?

Well, they teach me what not to do. Like focusing more on the past than the future. Buying in to their thought bubbles rather than pausing to examine their attitudes, beliefs and assumptions. Letting distractions and interruptions control their daily agenda rather than doing first things first.  Constantly attempting to prove themselves right even when they might not be. Playing not to lose rather than playing to win. And of course, not pausing to get clear on winning.

It’s easy to get distracted in today’s world, especially when our brains are constantly telling us that speed is more important than everything else – including our safety or our survival.  The trick is to recognize distractions for what they are, and make a conscious decision to focus on what’s really important rather than what seems so urgent. And that’s what great leaders do on a daily basis.

So I say ‘thank you’ to those who remind us of the importance of staying focused on winning, and to those who show us what happens when we don’t. What are you thankful for this year, and why?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Call to action: Think of one leader or role model who has made a difference in your life and thank them.

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