Bridging Leadership Lessons from the Workplace and Those Experiences Shaping Today's Youth and Tomorrow's Leaders
Recently, I was invited to speak to the Missouri S&T chapter of the National Society of Leadership & Success, a national honor society focused on helping students travel down a pathway of impact. It was an excellent opportunity to engage the next generation of leaders and share some of my personal experiences and perspectives.
My talk was titled Make a Difference Beyond Today which focused on how your ability to impact others can be magnified by continuing your personal development and that impact, ultimately becomes your legacy.
In an effort to try and provide a tangible benefit to the students, I moved from the philosophical topic of Making a Difference Beyond Today to using Continuous Improvement as a tool to get us there. I referenced the PDCA Cycle which stands for Plan, Do, Check and Act that was created by Edwards Demings in the 50’s but is still just as valid today.
It starts with a vision. It doesn’t have to be a formal roadmap with specific milestones, but you need to be clear about where you want to go. I recommend the book, Find Your Why by Simon Sinek to help you bring clarity to your purpose. Happiness comes from WHAT we do but fulfillment comes from WHY we do it.
Start moving and take action towards achieving your vision. It doesn’t always have to be forward movement, but just don’t go backwards. Focus on outcomes and impacts not simply the act or activity. What you think does not define you. What you do and how you act defines you.
Refer back to your vision to make sure you are still on course. Are you still chasing your Why? My Mentor uses the KSS Query. What do you need to Keep Doing, Start Doing & Stop Doing to help you reach your vision.
Now that you have taken stock, make your adjustments. Don’t wait, but act now! Always be improving. If you become stagnate, negativity will follow. You are either Green and Growing or Ripe and Rotting.
Your vision doesn’t and should not have to be carved in stone. Your plan will change...a lot! That is why you must constantly reevaluate and make adjustments. A vision is a wonderful gift, but a vision without action is simply a dream. Now update your plan and continue the cycle towards your vision.
Making it Happen
Look at all facets of your life to ensure balance. School, work, family, health, spirituality. All of these areas can impact you and your future so make sure you are keeping them in balance and harmony. Do you have the right “team” around you and are you being the best teammate.
Just remember, you are not alone. Share your vision with your teammates, family and/or friends to help you stay on track. Your own support group if you will. Find a mentor - official or unofficial. Books and podcasts associated with your vision or actions needed to get there; can work as unofficial mentors that you use to learn and reinforce behavior. You share with others to build trust and in turn you must honor and respect that trust by moving forward on your commitments.
The future is extremely bright and opportunities abound. Today is the perfect day to start on your journey towards your vision. In today’s world, it seems everything that is put in front of us on the news, in social media, or government policies is about dividing and distancing us from each other. It’s easy to become disengaged, cynical and negative. But it is in positivity where success will be found. Seek out the Jon Gordon’s, Simon Sinek’s and Inky Johnson’s of the world. With a positive mindset you will make a difference in the life of others and yourself. That is how your impact goes beyond today.
Tom Brown - a husband and a father who is simply trying to make a difference. Using my experience as a Manufacturing Executive to connect leadership from the boardroom to the hardwood to help teams grow and develop to make a difference in the lives of others.