perspective

Learn to measure, measure, measure 📏

Learn to measure, measure, measure 📏

My eyes can deceive me quite a bit.

Over the past two months, I have embarked in some house-related projects. One was to redo our front walk. The other was to level the area underneath an over-ground pool.

Because my home 🏡 is on a hill, an optical illusion is created that makes flat surfaces appear sloped.

When I saw our completed walk, something just didn’t look right.

And after adding substantial top soil to one end of the pool 🤽 site to even things out and prevent water for building on one end, it still seemed uneven.

However, when I used a level 📐 (a tool that indicates how flat a surface is), I saw that the surface is in fact flat.

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What do you want to become independent of?

What do you want to become independent of?

“Independence means that the amount of value you take from other people is equal to or less than the amount of value you put back. It doesn’t mean you don’t need other people. And it doesn’t mean you avoid other people’s help.” Scott Young

As we near July 4, we have many things to think about, such as…

🗽 The great country (USA) that so many of us live in, that grants us so many personal freedoms

🗽 The many sacrifices of others, on the battlefield 🔫 and in the political arena, to ensure and sustain those freedoms

🗽 The awesomeness of BBQs 🌭 and fireworks 🎆, even if they have nothing to do with independence

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Choose Substance Over Form

Choose Substance Over Form

When I knew that I would be moving on from my role of school Headmaster five years ago, I considered two primary pathways forward. One was another school leadership position. The other was to become a leadership coach and consultant. A variety of factors would point me in the latter direction, which I have been traveling on for the past five years. But this was only possible due to my willingness to open up to new possibilities and not allow myself to become stuck along the one path that I had come to know so well.

In their timeless presentation on the perils of leadership (Leadership on the Line, HBR Press, 2002, pp. 218ff,) authors Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky caution leaders to worry less about the form of their work and focus instead on the substance or essence of their contribution. We tend to come to think of ourselves by the form of what we do (“I am a mayor”, “I am a business executive”, “I am a professional athlete”, etc.) and struggle to make sense of things when our positions and status change, voluntarily or not. Suddenly, the stay-at-home mom with an empty nest, the non-profit leader who had not been renewed, the politician on the wrong side of an election, the retired technician or the laid-off laborer find themselves disoriented, with a reduced sense of purpose and unclear direction.

Without question, such periods can be very difficult and confusing, particularly when they occur suddenly and are imposed from without. But when a person chooses to identify first by who they are as people and what motivates them in the service of others, they can more easily and confidently move forward.

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