Degrees of Leadership

Lead, follow, or get the heck out of the way.

Navigators Compass RoseFrom the mouths of babes comes this sage proclamation: “Today, I want to be my own boss!”

In our early development, we knew how powerful those words were.

What the heck happened?!

Why do so many people forfeit their active leadership position for a passive lemming role?

Why do they look outside for a life purpose, which can only be determined from the inside? Why do they think others have the answers to their questions?

All we do begins with a thought.

Our thoughts determine our actions.

What are we thinking?

Oh, how quickly the mighty are fallen. In the course of one month, Steve Jobs has traveled the spectrum from Saintly Genius to Villainous Extremist. Why?

He was human. As are we.

He was authentic. Are we?

Humans are either busily placing people on pedestals, or equally ambitious in tearing them down. What if that effort was invested in really making a difference in the world, in actually bringing about change?

When the student is ready the teacher will appear.

There is only one person any of us can change. I see him every morning, while shaving. Staring back at you from any mirror is your first, and only, lifetime project.

The simple Secret is to change ourselves; to learn, to grow, to teach and to share. By doing so, the world will change.

In the course of this journey (to become all that we can be) is this guarantee: half of the world will love you and the other half will hate you. Why? Because, there are 360 degrees of choice. Yes, that’s the measurement of a full circle.

We can choose to go in circles. Or, we can pick a direction. I encourage you to, please, select 1 of the 360. By doing so, you forego the other 359. Now, raise your head, fix your eyes on a destination, and take the first step. Then, another and another, until, you reach that point of no return.

Look around and you’ll find fellow travelers. Billions of people on the face of this earth divided by 360 choices is a factor of many companions for our journey.

Standing 90 degrees to our left and 90 degrees to our right are our friends. Those on the opposite hemisphere will have little use for our way of life. In fact, they view us as being upside-down in thought and deed, which is exactly our view of them, too.

Now, the ultimate question: Can I be a faithful servant to offer my inherent and unique gifts to all?

For those who answer “No,” please, find someone to follow.

The rest of us will be leading, living, laughing, loving and leaving a legacy.

www.kimfoard.com

Stewardship

Legacies are created by a dynamic focus on home, abundance, and the responsibility to give of ourselves to receive the best of all that the universe has to offer!

StewardshipThe difference between rich and poor is not money. It is the ability to manage the resources available. Many have inherited great amounts of wealth to die broke. Others were born into little and leave behind a legacy.

In the annals of history and the stories of today, Captains of industry are less influential than the Stewards of relationships. In other words, the Empire is less important than the Builders. Regardless of what is built, it is temporary and limited in effect. Those who touch hearts and souls, today, influence the future for many generations.

As we consider our “ships” of families, friends, and communities, why is our role of “steward” important; and, who, really, is the ultimate beneficiary?

Let’s take a look at what stewardship is.

Historically, stewardship was the responsibility given to household servants to bring food and drinks to a castle dining hall. The term was then expanded to indicate a household employee’s responsibility for managing a household or domestic affairs. Stewardship later became the responsibility for taking care of passengers’ domestic needs on a ship, train, and airplane or managing the service provided to diners in a restaurant. The term continues to be used in these specific ways, but it is also used in a more general way to refer to a responsibility to take care of something owned by someone else.

At the moment we fully embrace the reality of our temporary existence, our view of life changes. In the simplest of terms, our focus shifts from Stuff, to People.

Our thinking changes to embrace the concept of Service over Self. To do so, we abandon any desire to have power over another. We take inventory of our gifts and work to multiply their effectiveness by mentoring, nurturing, and sharing in authentic ways the best of all that we have been given.

Specifically, great Stewards:

•  Share Information
•  Are Accessible
•  Keep Their Hands Engaged
•  Stand For Something
•  Banish Superficial Distractions
•  Make Everything Better
•  Coach, Mentor, and Serve

To share, we must, first of all, possess something of value. We have all been entrusted with unique gifts and have a fiduciary responsibility to enhance them into more powerful tools.

People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care. We must be willing to move to where others are to guide them to where they want to go.

The mind cannot forget what the hands have learned. To fully understand the process, we must engage our hands to enlighten, empower, and encourage the mind.

We learn to walk by falling down. Those most appreciative of standing are those who have been beaten down and, yet, refuse to submit their ideals to the vulgarity of others.

The outward appearance is less important than the inward character. Rather than become copies of societal propaganda, it is imperative to enhance the unique image of who we are.

There is always a better way. What got us here will not take us to where we need to go. Good, Better, Best — Never let us rest, ’til our good is better and our better, best.

The greatest enduring gift of love is a chosen, purposeful effort, often done in the face of fear, to nurture our own growth and the growth of others.

In summary, stewardship is a dynamic focus on home, abundance, and the responsibility to give of ourselves to receive the best of all that the universe has to offer!

www.kimfoard.com

Post Turtles

The greatest dangers in life are Pedestals, Ivory Towers and White Horses. What goes up must come down. Rather than perching, let’s all get down to the business of living!

Post TurtlePedestals, Ivory Towers, and White Horses

A country doctor is suturing a laceration on the hand of an old Montana rancher.

Rancher: “At least this hurt comes from building something. Just imagine the pain of a post turtle.” 

Doctor: “Oh? What is a post turtle?” 

Rancher: “Well, when you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top. That’s a post turtle. You know he didn’t get there by himself; he doesn’t belong there; he can’t get anything done while he’s up there; and, without help to get down, he’s stranded!”

How often do we get stuck?

Do we ever consider: “Why?” Is it because we allowed someone to place us on a pedestal, in an ivory tower, or on a white horse? It is one thing to work hard to earn our place in the world — it is quite another to be placed somewhere. Even more dangerous than the physical geography is the mental fantasy. It can be our mind playing tricks on us — or, the imaginations of another person.

From our earliest memories we are indoctrinated with the propaganda that, to be somebody, we must rise above. Movies, novels and childhood stories revolve around the themes of a princess in an ivory tower attracting the knight in shining armor who gallops in on his white stallion.

What goes up must come down. Down to the reality that the greatest joys in life are found by serving — not swooning. Life is all about attitude — not altitude. Love is defined by giving — not getting. Let’s all get down, to the business and pleasure of accepting others for who they, really, are — not who we want them to be.

While the grandeur of heights is intoxicating, the grounded efforts of servants produce harvests of abundance. Those who are the greatest, purposefully, take the lowest rank. They are recognized as true leaders by their efforts to serve.

They are the ones who know where they are; how they got there; why they are there; what they are doing there; and, who have absolutely no fear of falling down. When they stumble, it is to learn a new lesson on their way to another opportunity, of service.

www.kimfoard.com

Power Of One

Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.

Number 1We have all witnessed the spectacle of someone in front of a crowd banging on their drum, making noise and giving the appearance of a parade — when in reality, they were being run out of town. Those who once followed are now in pursuit.

The scene captures the essence of human nature: we’re constantly moving toward something.

The ancient scholars gave the instruction that we cannot serve two masters. We will love one and hate the other. The one who hung one sun and one moon in the sky of our unique earth — as a reminder that there is one designer and master builder — is known simply as “I Am.

Acknowledging that higher power allows us, as an instrument of His goodness, to boldly proclaim, “I’m the leader of one and boss of me.

At the beginning of each new day is a reminder of our limitations, as we subject ourselves to the law of gravity and put on our pants — one leg at a time. Then, with a knee bent, we remember the one great commandment, “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” And, one similar, “Love your neighbor as yourself.

A working definition of love might be, “Love is patient, Love is kind, It rejoices with the truth, Always protects, Always trusts, Always hopes, and Always perseveres.” The result of that effort will always be growth in ourselves and others.

The secret mantra becomes, “If It Is To Be, It Is Up To Me.” Because, it is impossible to drag — or, ride on the coattails of — anyone else, to any destination.

In the course of our journey, we will discover ‘one more‘ as the difference between failure and success. Our greatest success comes when we commit to a singular focal point —  able and willing to give our all for that one choice.

We can choose to make the world better for days by planting flowers. We can improve it for years by planting trees. And, we can change it forever by planting ideas in the minds of those we touch.

From one tiny seed grows much. Whether a bountiful garden, productive orchard, or fruitful life, it all begins with a single thought. Individually, we have the right to choose.

More than a right, it is a responsibility. As students of life, we begin with our choice of teachers, coaches, mentors, and heroes. At some point in our growth, we become the teacher and accept the mantle of leadership to guide another on the path they have chosen.

To do so, we become their servant. As a shepherd cares for a flock, we lead by gentle nudges. It is then we understand the story of twelve guys debating among themselves who would be the greatest — and, the Master replied, “Whoever wants to be first must take the last place and be the servant of everyone else.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has power, genius, and magic in it.

www.kimfoard.com