2011 was both a frustrating and exhilarating year for me. On the one hand, I feel like the company for which I work was not a tangible return on investment for the time I spent in various assignments during the year. I spent a lot of time stopping and starting and stopping again, in transitioning, in acclimating and reacclimating, and in building and rebuilding. A long-term venture for which I was very passionate also came to an abrupt end with a major organizational realignment late in the year. In all the shuffling, I am left with little but my own internal reflection by which to gauge my success and failure, my impact, if you will.
However, that single fact has given me the most power I have felt over my work in a very, very long time. And nothing stands out to me more than the power of my failures.
Failing has been exceptionally empowering to me because it has highlighted for me those things on which I must focus my energy. Marcus Buckingham taught us that our weaknesses are relevant only to the extent that they are barriers to our success. Marcus would tell us that we should work on our weaknesses only enough to make them irrelevant. As a friend of mine so eloquently put it, “Just make sure your weaknesses don’t act as a counterbalance to your strengths.” In other words, don’t let the scales tip against you because your weaknesses have that much weight. I still have a lot of work to do to become the open, confident, and loving human being that I want to be. My failures this past year have made that abundantly clear.
Openness, confidence, and love are the keys to my happiness. My family needs this of me. My team needs this of me. My partners need this of me. My clients need this of me. All my goals for this year will need to honor these needs, honor my commitments to all the individuals impacted, and, probably most importantly, serve my commitment to myself.
The first requires practice. I have this quality. I have exercised it with great success in the past. I need to exercise this quality to make it more powerful.
The second requires discovery. Confidence lives in all of us. Like Mayan ruins poking through the forest canopy, we stumble upon our Confidence from time to time. How do we find it? When does it reveal itself? Figure it out, and there is no telling what you might expose. The tip of the temple has been uncovered. Time to clear away the overgrowth and explore the hidden wonders within!
The third requires rediscovery. There was a time when I loved openly in all aspects of my life. After all, I am the Woo Woo Leader! The question is: what was lost? The balance between mind and heart and soul needs to be regained. I need to find it and bring it back. Only then will love flow freely.
There is still so much to contribute. My story remains largely unwritten. The potential impact of my story on others requires conscious recalibration of my efforts and focus. I must reconnect with my desire and intent: to help others see the power of personal leadership, to guide others to do more than they would have otherwise thought possible, and to help others extend their influence as far as possible for their growth and the good of those around them. Delivering on my desire and intent for others is the true reflection of my impact.
How will you measure your impact?
Ric reads a lot. Some of the time, he feels compelled to write. Jeff invited Ric to write here, from time to time, and Ric accepted.