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Become the light

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This handbook is for anyone interested in spreading hope in a world quickly losing faith in itself. The free e-book is a compilation of some of my popular blogs from 2015 and is a Christmas gift to my LinkedIn readers, followers and contacts - but anyone can download and read the book. Just click the download button to acquire the file. My hope is that the 3 chapters will soothe your soul and motivate you to become an ambassador of hope.

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Become the light

  1. 1. December 2015 By Cory Robert Galbraith This free e-book, based on some of my most popular blogs from 2015, is a Christmas gift to my readers, followers and contacts on LinkedIn. You have made me think, challenged me, shown me your friendship and given me the strength to keep on writing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. BECOME THE LIGHT A handbook on spreading hope in a world quickly losing faith
  2. 2. 1 BECOME THE LIGHT Times are tough. Some would say they've never been tougher. It's a dangerous world and the headlines are filled with bad news - a struggling economy, random acts of violence and unspeakable evils. It would seem the world has indeed gone mad. A closer look at history shows that things have always been a mess. From the days when we clubbed each other over the head, to the bubonic plague of the mid 1300s, the crusades of the 1400s where religions tried to wipe each other off the face of the planet, to the sick mind of Adolf Hitler - this old world has had its fair share of trials and tribulations. But through it all, there have also been miracles. Humanity has had its moments of glory and even today, when many say we are at our worst, there are still many examples of kindness, charity and caring. They seldom make it to the headlines but they exist never-the-less. The challenge for us all is to see those moments of humanity and celebrate them - to rise above the chaos and clutter so we can adopt our natural state of positivity and contentment. If more of us bravely and defiantly stare down the planet's problems, then we will see a better day. Our lives will have meaning and we will make a difference. Refuse to let the world beat you down and you'll become a beacon of hope for others - the light they need to restore their belief in themselves and others. THE PURPOSE OF THIS BOOK It is my goal that you will take up the challenge of becoming an ambassador of hope in a world that badly needs more of us who prefer to see the glass half full than half empty. I pray, with all of my heart, that this little book - with its 3 chapters of encouragement and sage advice from great historical figures - will help you on that important and urgent journey throughout 2016 and beyond. LET THE JOURNEY BEGIN.
  3. 3. 2 Table of Contents Chapter 1: Refuse to let the world beat you down  You’ve got to dance like nobody's watching 4  Norman Vincent Peale explains how to stay positive 7  Buddha's 7 tenets for a better life in a nutty world 10  Look at your career and life as an adventure 13  Maya Angelou says it all starts with self-respect 17 Chapter 2: Be an effective leader of yourself and others  Carnegie's recipe for leading a happy, worry-free life 22  Einstein showed how to lead without being a genius 26  Aristotle's top leadership traits for today 30  Gandhi's words of wisdom for today's leaders 33  Mother Theresa showed what's really important 36  Shakespeare knew that doubt was the real enemy 40 Chapter 3: More ways you can make a big difference  What the world needs now is empathy 45  The power of unconditional giving 50  Da Vinci shows us how to get things done 53 Epilogue 57 © 2015 Cory Robert Galbraith All Rights Reserved.
  4. 4. 3 Chapter 1: Refuse to let the world beat you down
  5. 5. 4 YOU’VE GOT TO DANCE LIKE NOBODY'S WATCHING Now in my mid 50's, I have hit the realization that maybe, just maybe, I'm not going to live forever. It's time to forgive, time to take things as they come - time to stop fighting those things I cannot control. It has taken the better part of a lifetime to understand that happiness doesn't come from leading a perfect life. It comes from the joy of being alive. It comes from feeling good about one's self. It comes from accepting everything that has become of our life, warts and all. We must replace the time we spend in frustration and resentment with the pure joy of feeling the miracle of our heartbeat - the miracle of the devotion and love of those close to us - and the miracle of being able to make a difference in this world for the brief moment of time we are here.
  6. 6. 5 1. You’ve got to dance like nobody's watching There is no greater joy than the freedom to be ourselves. Be yourself, regardless of what people think. Be professional in a business setting, of course. But don't turn into someone you're not. Avoid trying to be important. People will spot a fake from a mile away. Avoid trying to impress. People are far more impressed if you just relax and be you. 2. Love like you'll never be hurt Many of us are stingy in the love department. You don't have to think of love only in the romantic realm. You can love somebody's laugh. You can love a project. You can love a company. You can love your dog. You can start using the word "love". Love comes in all forms and we humans need to give it. Every person deserves it. 3. Sing like there's nobody listening Express your joy, laugh and smile more. Get rid of the serious face. Show people that it's safe to be around you. Know that you have the power to share joy, contentment and kindness. While others may be stuck in a state of gloom, they will open up and begin to shine if they feel some of your sunshine upon them. If you sing, others will sing along with you. Be that rare person who refuses to be beaten down by the world and you will become the most attractive person in the room. 4. Live like it's heaven on earth If we open our eyes wide enough, if we are still and silent, and if we let our heart listen - we can appreciate life's finer moments. The smallest of things - a smile, a word of encouragement, a moon lit sky - are often the things we remember most. Heaven need not be a far off place accessible only through death. It can be here. Now. If we want it to be. 5. Why do all of these things? Because life is short.  Life is too short to spend it in anger.  Life is too short to hold grudges.
  7. 7. 6  Life is too short to argue with people. (Ever notice how both people in an argument are often saying the same thing?).  Life is too short to spend it worrying.  Life is too short for regret.  Life is too short for jealousy and pettiness. Today, make no time for these chains and burdens. Instead, dance. Like nobody's watching.
  8. 8. 7 NORMAN VINCENT PEALE EXPLAINS HOW TO STAY POSITIVE When author Norman Vincent Peale's "The Power of Positive Thinking" was first published in 1952, even he was amazed that it stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for 186 consecutive weeks. Although his best seller was first released 63 years ago, the words of Peale continue to be an inspiration to many. Here are eight of his teachings to help us stay positive in a negative world. 1. Become an Actor “If you want a quality, act as if you already have it. If you want to be courageous, act as if you were - and as you act and persevere in acting, so you tend to become.” When a friend had to give a presentation in the hopes of securing a job, she was understandably nervous and unsure. But she loves acting, so I told her to act. "You're
  9. 9. 8 doing a role in a movie". She discarded her true nervous self and played the role. She got the job. We are all actors to some degree. If you lack the confidence to apply for a job, meet a special person or undertake a project - turn to your acting skills. We become what we act. 2. There are opportunities hiding in adversity. “Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities - always see them, for they're always there.” Even in troubled times, there are opportunities. We need only to keep our eyes and minds wide open. Ten years ago, I launched a videoconference business but competition was tough. The business was dying. One day one of my employees told me that a client needed a lot of help in understanding how to use the software. Our service and training business, in which we teach people how to use new media technologies, was born. Look for every possibility. 3. Be different. “If you want things to be different, perhaps the answer is to become different yourself.” Only when we change ourselves - adopting a new and different outlook, can the world around us change. So many of us go through each day fighting reality. Take a deep breath, slow down, take things one step at a time. Adopt an alternative outlook - one that is open, accepting, serene and positive. 4. Think Big. “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.” Most people shoot low, trying to avoid disappointment. But shooting high often requires no greater energy and commitment as shooting low, so why not? The worst that could happen is you end up short, but still way ahead. Years ago a friend of mine wanted to be a famous singer. He was shooting for the top. He never made it big,
  10. 10. 9 but he did land lucrative engagements at large nightclubs and made an excellent living for himself. 5. You will outlast your obstacles. “Stand up to an obstacle. Just stand up to it, that's all, and don't give way under it, and it will finally break. You will break it. Something has to break, and it won't be you, it will be the obstacle.” Of all Peale's teachings, I like this one the most. It reminds us that we can outlast, work around, or otherwise push down obstacles to move forward. Most problems are opportunities in disguise. Most so-called obstacles eventually die. And many are never as big as we think they are. 6. Inaction causes fear. “Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all.” Peale believed that fear is what happens when we don't have a plan. We don't know what to do. By taking action, even if we're not sure it's the right thing, we can push fear aside. That fear dissipates further when we realize we can change gears if needed. Everything is going to be okay. When his famous book was released, a number of theologians, doctors and other academics at the time called Norman Vincent Peale a fraud. In fact, some said his teachings were dangerous because they made people feel good while avoiding the real issues in life. Time would prove the "experts" wrong. Upon learning of his death in 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton said "Peale will forever be associated with the wondrously American values of optimism and service." Stay positive.
  11. 11. 10 BUDDHA'S 7 TENETS FOR A BETTER LIFE IN A NUTTY WORLD Buddha, who lived 2,600 years ago, is said to have been an ancient prince who pained to see the suffering of people and wanted badly to free them. Today, the advice from Buddha can dramatically change our lives for the better. 1. “Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.” We tend to think what we say has little impact. It has great impact. People are constantly judging us - on our appearance, our attitude, our energy level and what comes out of our mouth. Similarly, many people with low self-esteem take whatever
  12. 12. 11 you say as the gospel. Our words have influence, whether we know it or not. At work and everywhere - why not use them to lift people up? Why not stimulate change for the better? Why not speak for a better world? A single compliment can change a life. You have that power. 2. “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles.” It's not the outside world we need to fight. It's not other people. It's not our boss, our friends, our family or even people we dislike. It's us. We cannot control the outside but we can control ourselves. How we react to things in the office or at home is the key to balance and peace. Always pause before reacting. Train and tame yourself and don’t worry about others. 3. “You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” I see people getting angry more and more over the smallest of things. Frustration, anxiety, confusion - all play into growing resentment and anger. Will the world get angry back and punish you? The world is indifferent. But you will be destroying yourself - your health, your sense of balance, your reputation. We need to see the big picture. Most things in our lives are not as horrible as we think. Take time to reflect. Take time to see and feel what is going right. Use patience to create solutions. Let go of your anger. 4. “We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.” The entire universe exists between our ears. We live within the confines of our mind. What goes on inside there - every feeling, every memory, every experience, every perceived slight or injustice, every pleasure - is our life. Can we deliberately feed the mind with more positivity, more hope, less fear? We can. Think about your thoughts. In so doing, you are reshaping your life. 5. “It is better to travel well than to arrive.” We often think too much about the end game. But finishing a work-related project, or
  13. 13. 12 anything in life, is fleeting. The "getting there" is what takes all the time. So make sure you're enjoying it. 6. “You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” We all need to love. Nobody to love? Wrong. You have yourself. Stop beating yourself up. Stop being so critical of yourself. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. You are as deserving of love as anybody on this planet. Say something nice about yourself before going to bed tonight. I dare you. 7. “Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence.” Chaos at work, and the world in general, is a given. We should not be surprised or even disgusted by it. We need to accept it. But through our ability to carve a path - with diligence, focus, self-esteem and faith - chaos doesn’t have a chance. It is said that Buddha left his palace and retired to the solitude of the forest. There, he would meditate and attain the enlightenment which created a religion and philosophy for living. We have far more power than we know. Let us take comfort in our power to live a meaningful, balanced life, despite the chaos around us.
  14. 14. 13 LOOK AT YOUR CAREER AND LIFE AS AN ADVENTURE He was known for coining the phrase "Follow Your Bliss" which means to follow your dreams, heart and desires. Writer and thought leader Joseph Campbell believed that the life we are living now is the one we were meant to live. It's not that we have a bad life which needs to change. It's more that we need to accept the life we have and turn it into an adventure. Here, in these 6 quotes from Campbell, we can release our anxiety and take a fresh, positive look at our career and life.
  15. 15. 14 1. Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. So many of us agonize over the meaning of life. Here, Campbell is reminding us that we have the power to give our lives meaning. We start off as a blank slate. Helping your friends, doing your best at work, letting others know that you love them and contributing to your community - all are ways to give life meaning. Seek not to find meaning, but rather to create it. 2. I think the person who takes a job in order to live - that is to say, for the money - has turned himself into a slave. Millions work hard for a paycheck, hating their job, their boss and their plight. The key is to find work that makes us feel good, giving us something more than money. Contributing to a cause we believe in, working with people we like and finding ways to serve others - are priorities that can remove the imprisonment of employment. If you resent the low pay of your job, act as though you are a highly paid consultant. Offer ideas, assist others and show what you are made of. Give it your all. Suddenly, resentment will disappear. And more than likely, it won't be long before you're in a much better place. Work in a job in order to grow and serve others, not just to make money. 3. Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain. As difficult as it may seem, there is always something to be happy about. Even if you feel you're in a go-no-place job, think about those things which are positive - relationships you've made, things you've learned. Look for the positive to downplay the negative.
  16. 16. 15 4. When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness. Service to others is an amazing thing. Firstly, it makes us feel good knowing we are helping others. Secondly, it is the fastest route to career success. So many people are seen as self-centered. Replacing "I want" with "How can I help?" has the power to change lives. In your job, think not about what you want and cannot get, but rather, what you can do to help others. Then witness change for the better. 5. Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls. You cannot go wrong if you pursue what your heart tells you. Many years ago, I wanted to start my own business. But others told me the odds of success were very much against me. There were many walls. But as I pushed forward, I saw doors open. Each failure brought a learning experience and an opportunity. Don't wait for the perfect moment, for that does not exist. Just start and have faith that you will figure things out. As you move forward, many things will happen that you did not plan for, or did not plan. Campbell said that is okay. Let go of the life you planned. Accept the one that is happening, the one which is being formed through your efforts to pursue your dreams. Look upon life more as an adventure - a kind of game, and enjoy the ride. Get started, believe in your ability to make things work, and don't worry if the plan changes.
  17. 17. 16 6. Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging. As we pursue our dream job and life, many obstacles will appear. Expect them. Invite them. "Bring it on" is your new motto. Each challenge will make you stronger. If the road is easy, you won't be growing. This weekend, finally make the decision to do what you really want to do. Write down "Bring on the challenges!" and create a mindset that welcomes growth and learning through failures and missteps. Joseph Campbell's writing provided the inspiration for best-selling novels and Hollywood movies (Batman, Star Wars and Indianna Jones). Characters in these movies lead their lives as an adventure. Never knowing where they might end up, but following their bliss and becoming transformed as a result. Let the adventure begin!
  18. 18. 17 MAYA ANGELOU SAYS IT ALL STARTS WITH SELF-RESPECT She once said that hate causes a lot of problems in this world but has never solved even one. Author, actress, dancer, activist and poet Maya Angelou left this world one year ago this month. But her words of wisdom on how we can be our best will live on forever. 1. “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I can't remember anything my grandmother said, but I remember the joy I felt, week after week, when she would give me and my brother a chocolate bar. Feelings. It's what we really remember. Showing others that we care, expressing empathy, and being generous with our time - these are things that will stay with the people in our lives. Be giving. Be caring. Be remembered.
  19. 19. 18 2. “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.” Being the best you can be demands that you respect yourself. If we allow others to treat us poorly, if they have no time for us, if they tell us how busy they are - drop them. There are others far more deserving of your friendship and support. You are not an option. 3. “If you don't know what you're here to do, then just do some good.” So many of us are in limbo on what we should be doing with our lives. I have friends in their 50s who have no idea what they want to be "when they grow up." A challenging economy and bombardment of negative news makes us wonder if there is anything we can contribute. There is. Helping others is the most worthy of jobs. 4. “If we have the effrontery to talk to anybody with less than courtesy, we tell ourselves and the world we are not very intelligent.” Courtesy is all too rare in a world moving at lightning speed. If you're a young man, what will most impress the ladies? Old fashion courtesy is at the top of the list. Man or woman - showing courtesy will make you very attractive. Those who show courtesy are seen as smart and professional. It's cool to be courteous. 5. “If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?” To be effective in this world, we need to take care of ourselves first. That's not being selfish. It's the opposite, because we cannot be of service if we are in poor condition. Chained to my desk for years, I developed diabetes. I had to learn this lesson the hard way. Being good to yourself means eating right, exercising, getting enough rest, challenging yourself mentally, and maintaining a positive outlook.
  20. 20. 19 When others see that we are good to ourselves, they want to help us along. Take care of yourself first. 6. “Giving liberates the soul of the giver.” It is a society of "want" and "take". That's why people who give stand out from the crowd. The greatest gift is not money or materialistic things, but your time. Often, we believe that we have no time to give. The reward for being selfish is emptiness. The reward for giving is a heightened sense of purpose to our lives. We're at our best when we give. 7. “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.” Each day, our subconscious mind is nudging us to have courage. The courage to apply for a certain job, to meet certain people, to start a new project - to leave our comfort zone. Courage is acquired when we act in spite of fear, knowing that every human being has doubt and insecurities. Focus not on the fear, but on the job that needs to get done. Having courage is not about being fearless, but rather, pushing fear to the side and focusing on what we need to do. 8. “Don't let the incidents which take place in life bring you low. And certainly don't whine. You can be brought low, that's OK, but don't be reduced by them. Just say, 'That's life.' ” Now in my mid-50s, I look back at the rocky road I was on to get here. When we are young, troubles seem disastrous. But every one of the tough times carried incredible lessons. I tried to say to myself: "One day, I am going to be thankful for this." There was a time in my 40s that I was flat broke with no future - so I thought. I learned that
  21. 21. 20 complaining made things 100 times worse. We will have great lows in our life. The key is not to sink to the same level. You win when you refuse to let life's challenges bring you down. Maya Angelou knew what she was talking about. Traumatized after being sexually assaulted as a child, Maya suddenly stopped talking. She stayed silent for years. But this courageous woman refused to be kept down. She became a successful actress in the 1950s and went on to become a prolific writer. Maya Angelou, despite a life of many challenges, became the best she could be. Let's commit to doing the same.
  22. 22. 21 Chapter 2: Be an effective leader of yourself and others
  23. 23. 22 CARNEGIE: 8 WAYS TO LEAD A HAPPY, WORRY-FREE LIFE He believed it wasn’t technical knowledge that made people succeed in business. But rather, their people skills. Dale Carnegie, author of the classic best-seller “How to Win Friends and Influence People” was a genius at people relations. Even though his book was first published in 1936, Carnegie’s recommendations on self-leadership are just as relevant today, if not more so. 1. “It isn't what you have, who you are, where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It’s what you think about.” It took me over 50 years to learn this and I still sometimes don't get it. Many of us look to a partner, spouse or best friend for happiness. Others believe money, romance or materialistic things will bring eternal joy.
  24. 24. 23 We are looking for happiness in all the wrong places. Happiness stems from our outlook on life. It doesn't come from external conditions - rather, what we say to ourselves the second we wake up, the moment before we go to bed, and everything in-between. To be happy, think happy. 2. “One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.” Too many of us are trying to be important. In business - we use buzz phrases (that serve to confuse rather than communicate), exaggerate our accomplishments, and tell others how great we are. For a lot of people, it's a never ending quest to get attention. It's exhausting, often insincere and usually futile. Far greater satisfaction comes when we impress ourselves instead - accomplishing something we thought was previously difficult or impossible. Let us give up impressing others and just make sure we’re pleased with ourselves, regardless of what others think. Be like a bird or horse. 3. “When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.” Arguments could be avoided, company sales could go through the roof, and a lot more people could like us - if only we remembered this fact. People look at things based upon their background, culture, experiences and their position in life. This filter is feeling- based. In business and in life, let’s put less emphasis on "being right" and more emphasis on empathy. We'll get a lot farther. Replace the need to be right with empathy for others.
  25. 25. 24 4. “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” I had lunch recently with a friend who is an accountant. He enjoys his work, but he loves travelling a lot more. So much so that he works part-time at a travel agency, not as an accountant, but as a travel co-ordinator. I have urged him to switch gears and enter the travel business full time. That, after all, is where he's having the most fun. We've all heard stories of people dramatically changing careers - engineers becoming belly dancers and executives turning into stand-up comics. We live but one life. Make it fun. 5. “Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.” Worrying and being frustrated is far more difficult than working hard. In my own life, I’ve noticed that I can work 10 hours straight and feel okay, but if I’m troubled by something, I won’t be able to sleep, I get headaches and I feel drained. Sound familiar? Today, take action to address those things in your life that are worrying you. Even one tiny step will make all the difference. 6. “Take a chance! All life is a chance. The person who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.” Have you been thinking of changing careers, starting a business or launching a new project? I dare you! You should also dare yourself. So many of us enter our older years with regret. “I should have done this or I should have done that.” Replace future regret with daring moves today.
  26. 26. 25 7. “Even God doesn't propose to judge a man till his last days, why should you and I?” There’s a reason you love seeing your dog at the end of a hard day’s work. Your dog will not judge you. People will. The less secure among us, knowing this, will choose not to try anything new. It’s one of the quiet tragedies in our society. We become happier when we are not in judgement of others. They do too. 8. “Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation, for your character is what you are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” We know ourselves. We know when we’re lying to ourselves or when we go against what we believe. Others may not know it. But we do, in our hearts. We’ll be happier when we can go to bed at night in the knowledge that we did our best and stayed true to ourselves. Be yourself. There is a line in Carnegie’s book that says “Learn to love, respect and enjoy other people.” Enjoying other people is not something we think about in our hurried lives. So this week, when you meet people, enjoy them. It'll make for a better week.
  27. 27. 26 EINSTEIN SHOWED HOW TO LEAD WITHOUT BEING A GENIUS He never attributed his accomplishments to his brilliant mind. Rather, he credited his character - his simple curiosity combined with relentless determination. Albert Einstein went so far as to say he was not smarter than other people. He just stuck with things longer than anybody else. It's a great lesson in self-leadership for us all. There are many smart people in this world going nowhere fast. Here is what Einstein had to say, and how we can apply his words of wisdom to our daily lives today.
  28. 28. 27 1. “Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.” Character: The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. What exactly is the "character" to which Einstein referred? And why did he believe it to be so important? Character is who you really are, deep down. It's your moral compass. Your ability to do the right thing. Character includes qualities that do not necessarily depend on intellect, such as your curiosity, confidence, being alert, persistence and being open to all possibilities. While being smart is important, intelligence in and of itself is of little value unless it is guided by a strong character. Lead with character - your resolve to get the job done, no matter what. 2. “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” Imagination: The ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful. Einstein had his biggest breakthroughs, not by conducting experiments in a laboratory, but rather, by dreaming things up in his head. He had what we all have - an imagination. Start today by asking "What if?" and dream about all of the things you could be doing. Things are nowhere near as restrictive or as bad as you think. Not at all. Let the ideas flow and the possibilities emerge. 3. “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” Curiosity: A strong desire to know or learn something. There is indeed an Einstein in all of us. We can all lead ourselves with passionate curiosity. This child-like quality never left Einstein. He had it his whole life, and was interested not just in mathematics or theory, but in politics, people, places and the world at large. This week, make time to research those things that interest you.
  29. 29. 28 Become a curious leader of self. 4. “I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.” Present: Existing or occurring now. Most of us are constantly thinking of the future. We spend all of our time worrying about it, planning it – and some of us try to avoid it. The man who developed the theory of relativity lived in the here and now. Be present - for others, for yourself. Your drifting mind is a message that you are alive but not here. Lead yourself into the present. 5. “Information is not knowledge.” Knowledge: Awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation. In my role as a business owner, I meet many people who have incredible amounts of information at their fingertips. Yet, they seem to know nothing. They cannot provide me with the answers I need. A wealth of information may be a curse. “Knowledge” is knowing what to do and what is happening. Trust your instincts. Dig into your personal history. I would rely far more on that than I would your spreadsheet. Worry not about having all the information. Instead, look inside for answers. 6. “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.” Miracle: A surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws. It is a miracle that our hearts are beating. What is keeping us alive…really? Our emotions, intellect, the ocean, trees, animals…all highly complex, all incredible miracles. Einstein, while not religious, was a firm believer in life as a miracle. Today, we are too busy to realize this. Everything is taken for granted and nothing is seen as special.
  30. 30. 29 Rediscover life as it was meant to be – a journey of wonderment. Slow down. Think about how wonderful your children are, your spouse – yourself. Start seeing the miracles in your life. 7. “The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.” Creativity: The use of the imagination or original ideas. As a child, Einstein was slow. He even spoke slowly. He valued quiet and contemplation. Today’s world of noise is killing creativity. The modern workplace, filled with interruptions, distractions and conflict is no place to get work done. Get away. Breathe. Find solitude wherever you can get it. Whenever I take a long drive, I begin to see things I could never have seen while at the office. Lead in silence. 8. “The only real valuable thing is intuition.” Intuition: The ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. Can you believe this statement came from one of the most intelligent people the world has ever seen? If intuition is the valuable thing, then you can be as effective as Einstein. You can solve big problems. You can get yourself through a jam. You can point yourself in the right direction. Never underestimate your own hunches. You don’t need to be a genius. But you do need to trust yourself more. Albert Einstein was not known for his memory. He had difficulty remembering names. He took little care in his appearance, often looking like a hobo. But what he did possess, and what we can all have, is an active imagination. Exercise the Einstein in you.
  31. 31. 30 ARISTOTLE'S TOP LEADERSHIP TRAITS FOR TODAY He was perhaps the first great thought leader. Greek philosopher Aristotle had much to say about ethics, logic, politics and science. While only a small portion of his writings have survived the ages, they contain powerful messages relevant to today's leaders. 1. “To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” Many people in positions of authority avoid action so they will not be criticized. We must accept that we will never please everyone. It is more important to do the right thing than it is to please all parties. If nobody criticizes you, you haven't been noticed.
  32. 32. 31 2. “He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader.” Aristotle believed that to become an effective leader, we must first be a follower, to intimately understand the needs and wants of the group. Even after we become a leader, we still need to follow – the concerns, the plight, and the progress of those we serve. Every good leader is a good follower. 3. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” If you stand for nothing else, stand for excellence. That doesn’t mean doing an excellent job at one thing. It means promoting excellence, in yourself, and those you serve, every moment of every day. Make excellence your number one habit and message. 4. “To run away from trouble is a form of cowardice and, while it is true that the suicide braves death, he does it not for some noble object but to escape some ill.” Many people avoid conflict like the plague. They believe it's better to run the other way than to risk a confrontation. But a true leader does not run away. She or he faces it head on, and right away, so that the problem does not grow (as it inevitably will if untreated). Stare trouble in the face as soon as it appears. 5. “Liars when they speak the truth are not believed.” Your reputation is your number one asset. The fastest way to erode a reputation is to try and deceive people even if you’re doing it for all the “right” reasons. As a manger in the broadcast industry, I told white lies to try and help people. I paid some of my people more than I was allowed to and tried to hide that from my superiors. Even though I thought I was being a good person – in the end – I was seen as someone who could not be trusted. This view was held, not only by my bosses, but to my surprise, the employees I tried to help. There is so much deception today that many people just
  33. 33. 32 assume they are not being told the truth. And that includes what you have to say. Be upfront and direct about all things. Call it as you see it. Integrity is valued more than ever. 6. “Happiness belongs to the self-sufficient.” The greatest gift you can give your team are skills and knowledge to help them be self- sufficient in life. Through tasks and projects, teach and emphasize self-esteem, responsibility and the rewards of hard work. Leaders who help people get ahead in this world are those who leave the greatest legacy. 7. “Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying society.” If we're tolerant of laziness, infighting and insubordination, and indifferent to the concerns and achievements of our people - death to our position, team, department or entire organization could come knocking. If you don't have the courage to oppose bad behavior and if you ignore the good works of your people, you're not leading. 8. “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” As a leader, show that you don't give up easily. Be patient with your plans. Be patient with people. Patience is sometimes mistaken for stubborness. The difference is that when you are patient, you are leading. When you are stubborn, you are controlling. Patience shows strength and conviction. Take the wisdom of Aristotle into your workplace this week.
  34. 34. 33 GANDHI'S WORDS OF WISDOM FOR TODAY'S LEADERS He was a poor public speaker and changed his mind often. Mahatma Gandhi knew he wasn't perfect. But he practiced a series of leadership principles which remain valid to this day. If you're a team leader, manager or running a project - learn how Gandhi would have handled things. 1. Let your team know that you are always learning “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” People look up to leaders who admit they don't know it all, and are searching for answers - just like they are. By committing to continuous learning and improvement, you're setting an example for others to never stand still. You're also admitting that
  35. 35. 34 you're human and not above learning a thing or two from your team. They'll respect you for that. 2. Passionately articulate a clear vision of where you want things to go, then set an example by acting upon that vision “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Your vision comes from the heart. You need to let people know what success looks like when it's achieved. You'll be passionate about the vision because passion is contagious. That's how people buy into a vision. They'll also buy in if they witness you doing the things, and saying the things, needed to make the vision a reality. They'll follow along. 3. Use your people skills, not your position “I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.” Gandhi viewed the human spirit as infinitely more powerful than the deadliest weapons on earth. Just as he used non-violent means to achieve his goals, today's leaders will be far more effective if they rely on their people skills, and not their position, to influence others and cause change. The best boss is someone who never has to say "Listen to me because I'm the boss." It is not your title that will make your team listen to you. It's your character, integrity and ability to care. 4. Listen twice as much as you talk “It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.” In business, I still see many managers doing nothing but talk. Meetings start with the boss's view on everything - often turning into an endless tirade. Talk, talk and more talk as people feel helpless and tune out. In one-on-one meetings, these managers occasionally ask what you think, cut you off, and then keep going as though you said nothing. A real leader spends most of her or his time listening - to the concerns of the
  36. 36. 35 team, their views, ideas and problems. Build a reputation for listening. Listen twice as much as you talk (for we have 2 ears and 1 mouth). You'll be amazed at how much more influential that is, compared to talk, talk and more talk. 5. Get rid of the serious face “Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.” Too many of us take ourselves way too seriously. Gandhi was not afraid to be human. In daily business life, put on a smile and be hopeful, but most importantly, be yourself - and not some fake person who is pretending to be important. The effective leader is authentic. 6. Make the "doing" of work interesting and meaningful “Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.” One of the biggest challenges of anyone running a team is to make the work meaningful, fun and interesting. Even the most menial tasks can be more engaging if you turn work into a game. Set targets with rewards. Explain the "why" of work so people can connect what they're doing with the final result. They need to know that they are important - and what they are doing is contributing to the common good. The Gandhi brand of leadership, with its quiet persuasion, is needed now more than ever.
  37. 37. 36 MOTHER THERESA SHOWED WHAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT The words “love” and “leadership” almost never appear together. But leading with love can produce amazing results, the most significant of which is to show ourselves, and others, what’s really important in this life. Mother Teresa was not a business leader. But her belief in the power of love, and her dedication to helping the poor of India, carry relevant lessons for today’s leaders. In this post, I examine 8 quotes and teachings of Mother Teresa to illustrate how “loving leadership” can make a difference. 1. “One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.” Mother Teresa believed that loneliness was the ultimate form of poverty. Money is important but being appreciated, recognized and validated is more important for lasting
  38. 38. 37 job satisfaction and rewarding relationships. At work and at home, pay attention to people. Tell them how much you appreciate them. 2. “Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” Is this really possible on a daily basis in business and in life? If you can smile at people, and make them feel important, despite circumstance, then yes...they can walk away feeling better. In business, this is crucial as it will encourage your people and generate repeat business. In life, it is equally crucial, to keep relationships fresh and meaningful. 3. “Even the rich are hungry for love, for being cared for, for being wanted, for having someone to call their own.” If you're a manager, don't ignore your star performers. Top salespeople and executives may be making top dollar, but they need to know they're wanted, as much as anyone else. They will leave or become disgruntled if ignored and not feeling the love. Everyone, from new recruit to seasoned pro, needs a pat on the back. 4. “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” What's really important? Your job is important, the company is important - but your family is the most important. Yet, many of us choose to ignore this ultimate priority in the name of busyness or profit. Mother Teresa believed that if we all just loved each other, world peace would happen automatically. This week, put off that report you planned to do at home. Lead yourself into spending time with the really important people who are waiting for you and rely on you. 5. “God doesn't require us to succeed, he only requires that you try.” Whatever you hope to do, whatever your dreams - you owe it to yourself to try. Trying is more important than succeeding, because without action, there is nothing. There is no such thing as failure since trying and not achieving, still produces lessons learned. As a result, there is a lot of incentive to try. Try more at everything - to repair fading friendships, get closer to your spouse, to understand people better. Similarly, create a corporate culture of “trying” to stimulate innovation.
  39. 39. 38 6. “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” The next time you struggle with whether or not people will appreciate your efforts, realize that actions today can multiply over time and impact more people than you realize. A kind word to a co-worker could inspire that person to start a business and employ hundreds of people. One small act - incredible results. Your good deeds are never insignificant. You really can make a difference, and not just to one person. 7. “Live simply so others may simply live.” Do we really need everything we have? In the New Year, let's share the wealth. Make time to give to those less fortunate because one day, we could be where they are. I am always taken back by stories of the homeless, some of whom were once respected and prominent people whose lives came apart due to mental illness or circumstances beyond their control. Rather than spending our time in judgement, let's spend more of it helping out. 8. “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” This statement becomes more meaningful to me each day as I meet new people, some through LinkedIn - and begin to realize, that if I combine my skills and experience with that of others - new opportunities, businesses and learning experiences will quickly emerge. In the New Year, think about reaching out to your connections. Together, we'll all be the stronger for it. Mother Teresa was one of the greatest humanitarians the world has ever seen. She was also one of the most organized and efficient managers, creating a vast organization of missionaries the world over, dedicated to helping the poor. If Mother Teresa had chosen a career in business, she would most certainly have been one of the world's top CEOs.
  40. 40. 39 Lucky for us, she did not. Instead, she built a legacy of compassion and love. Let us commit that, for the rest of our years, we will lead our own lives, and adopt a leadership style towards others, to include compassion, love and an acknowledgement of what is really important.
  41. 41. 40 SHAKESPEARE KNEW THAT DOUBT WAS THE REAL ENEMY It is not well known, but William Shakespeare, in addition to being one of the greatest writers of all time, was also a successful entrepreneur. He was part owner of an acting company, helped build the largest open-air theater in London, England and purchased a great deal of real estate which doubled in value. Shakespeare also understood what his audiences wanted in his plays - providing comedy, drama and a combination of both. Over 400 years has passed, but this genius has much to teach us today about how we can lead our own lives to improve our careers and businesses. In this post, I study 8 texts and beliefs of Shakespeare and apply them to self- leadership in this modern age.
  42. 42. 41 1. Believe it or not, you are in total control “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” Forget fate. We are in control of what happens to us every moment of every day. God gave us free will, we need only to use it in the best way we know how. Far too many people are expecting money to fall from the sky or a miracle to take over their lives. Your destiny is indeed in your hands. You are the miracle. Take back your power. 2. It's all about how we see things “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” There are, of course, bad things that happen in this world. But in our daily lives, how we view things will determine whether we act and what actions we will take. A manager who is demanding may appear to some as a bully, but to others he or she may be just what is needed - a person who will challenge us so we can become the better for it. Things can be seen as positive or negative. It's our choice. Much of what happens in a daily work environment, while seemingly "bad" may in fact be "good." Think first about potential benefits before condemning a thing or a person. 3. Effective self-leadership is admitting we don't know everything “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.” It's about humility. Arrogance is a fast track to disloyalty. Be humble. Be appreciative. Admit when you don't know something, rather than pretending you do. People will respect you more and be attracted to you as a result.
  43. 43. 42 4. Be known for action, not words “Talking isn't doing. It is a kind of good deed to say well; and yet words are not deeds. ” There are people who "say well" as Shakespeare would put it. They are good talkers, and they believe their talk will win them points. But far too many people make promises they have no intention of keeping. Desperate to get others to support and like them, they say what they feel others want to hear. But their failure to follow up results in discouragement and disbelief. Actions always speak louder than words. People will judge us, not on what we say, but on what we do. Become a person of action, not a talker. 5. Adhere to your values and you can't go wrong “This above all; to thine own self be true.” Have you thought about what principles you adhere to in business and in life? What are your values? Do you, for example, value honesty above all else? Do you believe in helping others? Whatever your core values, you must make every decision in your career and life according to them. Let your values guide you. Decisions then become much easier and natural. When applying for a job, find out if the company shares your values. When selecting a friend or partner, find out if they have the same values as you. Shakespeare believed that being true to yourself was the most important thing. He was right. 6. Doubt is the enemy “Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” Doubt. It stops so many of us from even trying new things. There are countless inventions, new products and services, and new ways of doing things - that have yet to
  44. 44. 43 see the light of day because their creators experienced doubt. Act in spite of your doubts because along the journey, you will uncover the answers. 7. Be brave “Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.” Each time we decide not to follow a dream, we experience death. That part of us dies. Years ago, I opted not to follow my ambition to be an artist. I was told that I was quite good and just needed some practice. But I didn't have enough faith in myself so I gave up. The artist in me died many years ago but I still wonder today what would have happened had I decided to at least try. 8. Be brief “Brevity is the soul of wit.” I am always amazed how impressed people are of me when I say nothing and just listen to them. At social functions, I ask the odd question and let people talk about their favorite subject: themselves. Later, they say, "It was so great talking with you" (but I didn't say anything!). When it comes to conversation, less is more. We live in a world where everyone wants to talk and few are willing to listen. Be among the few and you will stand out from the crowd. Take back your power, follow your values, and forge a reputation for action. Let the wisdom of Shakespeare lead you to success.
  45. 45. 44 Chapter 3: More ways you can make a big difference
  46. 46. 45 WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS EMPATHY According to a Harvard Business Review study, empathy was the one trait most entrepreneurs lacked. Always in a hurry, and demanding the most from their people, empathy is given a back seat. Today's business leaders have forgotten empathy. So in the culture of their corporations, small and large, the practice of empathy is sadly lacking. Recent studies by the Saratoga Institute in California concluded that up to 75 per cent of all American employees are disengaged. One of the main reasons? Workers feel devalued and unrecognized. Definition of Empathy: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
  47. 47. 46 Hyperactive managers, insecure and constantly trying to prove themselves, have little time to listen to the problems, concerns, and hopes of their people. Equally damaging is the inability to empathize with clients. Now, more than ever before, we need "empathy leadership" to stimulate a corporate culture of empathy. Clients Want To Tell Their Story People have a story to tell and they want you to hear it. When clients call my business, the thing they talk about the least, when they first make contact, is what they need from me. Instead, they tell me about what conference or event they have coming up. I learn about their problems in organizing the event. I learn why they feel the event will be a success. And then lastly, they ask me about the online streaming services we can provide for their event. I let them talk. They need an empathetic ear. If they get it, they are much more likely to keep the relationship going. Let people tell you their story. Empathy Reminders When was the last time you did any of the following?  Sat down with an employee or client for the sole purpose of listening to their current plight? I mean...really listened. That means you gave no advice, but showed empathy, as in, "that must have been rough" or "I understand how you must have felt."  Called up a client simply to ask how things are going and if there was anything you could do to help?  Held a meeting in which you didn't talk?  Listened to a child?
  48. 48. 47 We are all-consumed by our own lot in life with very little time left for the concerns of others. Be that rare person who wants to know how others feel without being judgemental in any way. Not just how they think, but how they feel. Why is there an Empathy Deficit in the World? Empathy is the hidden casualty on our planet. Today's obsession with profits and the need to get things done quickly, leaves no time to listen. The trend towards "Self" is another factor. As people fuss over how to take a selfie, they're not concerned with the suffering person next to them. Many of us have also become hardened, living in a world of war, fear and uncertainty, putting the focus more on our own survival and far less on the plight of others. People are starving for empathy - to be heard, to be appreciated, to be loved. Adopt a Pre and Post Purchase Empathy Policy From a business perspective, empathy can, and should, be formalized within policy. Caring, listening - showing empathy...these are the building blocks of trust. Make these practices part of the sales cycle, before and after a purchase. It is after a purchase that most businesses drop the ball. It's in those critical weeks following a purchase that we need to reach out and ask how things are going. The missing question is this: "Is there anything else we can do?" Consider entrenching empathy in your company's purchase policies. This will nurture a corporate culture where people care about other people. It’s simply good business practice. The Case of Herman Miller
  49. 49. 48 One company that has put empathy into policy and is leading the way in "empathy leadership" is Herman Miller, which manufactures furniture, including products for hospitals and health clinics. The company states, "We gain empathy by engaging with nurses and other caregivers in multiple ways. Facility tours, focus groups, gaming sessions and job shadowing help us develop insight into the work of caregivers, to really understand what they do, what their workday is like." From there, the company creates furniture that meets the precise needs of customers. Little, but Powerful Ways, to Show Empathy It's not hard to express empathy. I start off many emails with "I know you're very busy". Or, when writing promotional content, I will first describe the plight of my readers: "I know you're trying to accomplish more than the hours of the day will allow." This is content they can relate to! Once people feel understood, they're more open to my services. I am waiting for the day that a hotel, upon my check-in, will say to me "Sir, we know you've done a lot of travelling and you must be very tired." Oh, how I would feel appreciated and understood and go back to that hotel over and over again. It hasn't happened yet. People Won't Ask for Empathy Empathy is not something people will ask of you. They will silently hope for it. They will listen for it and look for it. But they won't ask for it. Your physical stance and conversational style is as important as your ability to listen. Are you looking around the room when people talk to you? Are you nervous? Do you put
  50. 50. 49 the focus back onto you as soon as the other person is finished speaking? Do you interrupt people and think you know what they're going to say before they say it? Empathy is now seen as so vital to business success that there is an emerging trend in "empathy training" where people are taught how to ask open-ended questions and use the correct tone of voice. Practice Showing Empathy You may not be as empathetic as you think. Time constraints, life's pressures, deadlines - all steal our ability to show empathy. Today, make it a point of seeing one person with whom you rarely meet, and listen to what that person has to say. See things from their point of view. Empathy takes practice. Make empathy both your leadership style and corporate culture. In business, show it towards employees and customers alike and have a successful business. In life, show it to everyone and have a more enriching life.
  51. 51. 50 THE POWER OF UNCONDITIONAL GIVING Most people say I love you and expect the other person to say it back. But that's the wrong reason to say it. If we truly love someone, we'll express that love without expecting love in return. Doing a kind deed without waiting for something back is equally rare. It is that rarity which makes unconditional giving so powerful, with unexpected results. Giving for giving's sake Giving unconditionally is a shock to people. Giving your time, expertise, wisdom - a helping hand, especially to a stranger or someone you've just met, is just not done in today's world where time is finite.
  52. 52. 51 If you do it, you'll be met with blank stares, disbelief, questions about what you want, and tears. It's that rare. It's that powerful. Can it be real? A popular video (4 million views) on YouTube shows a man pretending to be homeless, and when given some change turns around to give that person a $20 bill. The giver is, of course, in shock. Unconditional giving shows that you care, that you are genuine, down to earth and loving. But, as in the YouTube video, it is so unusual, many people may distrust you, until time proves your sincerity. Unexpected rewards Giving unconditionally does not mean that nothing ever comes back to you. In many cases, nothing will. But in some cases, unexpected returns do take hold, like these:  Long-term relationships of mutual support.  A customer for life.  Word of mouth marketing.  Media publicity.  Loyalty from others. The key is not to expect any of these things. One thing you should expect, however, is to feel good. Helping two people, not one The primary reason to give unconditionally is to help another person. But a secondary reason is to make yourself feel good, and there's nothing at all wrong with that. Because, now, you've helped two people. The other person, and you.
  53. 53. 52 While you expect no monetary and materialistic return, giving of yourself will:  Improve your mood;  Confirm that you've accomplished something in this life;  Allow you to love yourself;  Give you purpose;  Show you the best of yourself; and  Give you inspiration. All of these benefits are extraordinarily helpful in your personal life, career or business. Give unconditionally to someone this week Help put an end to the "what's in it for me" syndrome by doing someone a good turn this week. Whether it's giving to a homeless person on the way to work, buying lunch for a co-worker, or sending someone helpful information for their career in an email - the act may be small but it could well be remembered for a lifetime.
  54. 54. 53 DA VINCI SHOWS US HOW TO GET THINGS DONE Perhaps nobody in all of history got more done in less time than Leonardo Da Vinci. When it came to productivity, Da Vinci stood alone. Born in 1452 in Italy, Da Vinci was an inventor, scientist, engineer, architect, musician, writer, painter, botanist, mathematician and sculptor. Today, getting things done can be a real challenge. There are many distractions and interruptions. And yet, getting things done is crucial for career growth and effective leadership. In this post, I examine 8 quotes from the man who has been called the greatest mind of all time, creating a list of key ways in which we can live a more productive, fulfilling life.
  55. 55. 54 1. A little fear is not a bad thing “People react to fear, not love - they don't teach that in Sunday school, but it's true.” Concern over the consequences of not getting things done is a strong motivator. My fear of being flat broke, as I had been for a period in my life, motivates me daily to work hard and stay ahead of the game. I remember all too well how I felt in those days, for my poverty brought depression and a lack of self-esteem. Don't be afraid to be afraid. Too much fear can paralyze. Exercise just a little fear - enough to make you want to create a plan and start doing. 2. Break it down into simple parts “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” We often procrastinate because we haven't quite got our mind wrapped around a task or goal. It seems too daunting, complicated and hard. As a result, we do nothing. Yet we know that what is before us is important. Da Vinci would break down complex tasks into simple steps. Create a starting point that you can understand. The rest will get easier. 3. Dream it “Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams?” Put your subconscious mind to work. See yourself doing and accomplishing the things you desire. Da Vinci believed that everything becomes clear in dreams. That's how it all starts - in your imagination. Historians believe that Da Vinci's paintings and works were inspired by his early life exploring caves as a boy. His imagination went wild, believing that monsters lived in the caves. Dreams. Imagination. Vital to getting things done and expanding your career.
  56. 56. 55 4. Make sure you're interested “Just as food eaten without appetite is a tedious nourishment, so does study without zeal damage the memory by not assimilating what it absorbs.” Things won't get done without our interest, passion and fascination. If the end goal is important, but not particularly interesting, find ways to make the journey more enjoyable. Some of what I do on a daily basis is fairly tedious. But it becomes a joy when I do it while listening to my favorite jazz music. 5. Go out and "happen to things" “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” Happen to things! You have to love Da Vinci's twist on "things happening to you". Don't wait for miracles or the so-called "right" moment. Far too much time will be wasted as a result, or worse yet, opportunities will slip by. Don't fret about things happening to you. Instead, do the opposite and "happen to things." 6. Have a sense of urgency “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” People who have a sense of urgency get things done. Those who do not, accomplish little by comparison. Steve Jobs, as a young man, wasted no time in developing Apple. But urgency isn't always about speed, and in fact, it's often more about just getting something started, progressing step by step. Da Vinci, for example, was a master of starting things, but not doing them quickly. It is believed that it took him between four and seven years to complete the Mona Lisa, one of the world's most famous paintings. (Some historians argue he never really finished it). He started with a sense of urgency.
  57. 57. 56 7. Create your own legacy “As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.” When we die, people won't remember how much money we made. In Da Vinci's words: "He who wishes to be rich in a day will be hanged in a year." They also won't remember how much time we spent at the office. But what they will remember are things we accomplished that helped other people, made a difference in our communities, or created things of lasting value. Leaving a good legacy is a strong reason to get things done - to make our lives count. 8. Monitor your activity “Time abides long enough for those who make use of it.” Here, Da Vinci is telling us that if we do not waste time, then we'll have enough of it to get things done. Our time must therefore be monitored. Be aware of how you spend your time. If you audit how you spend your time in a typical day, you may be shocked to find out where it's going (I know I was!). We all have the exact same amount of time. Be Known for Action Having a reputation for getting things done is a vital trait of career development and leadership. It's also the best way to create a powerful personal brand. Take the mind of Da Vinci to work this week.
  58. 58. 57 Epilogue Staying positive, encouraged and hopeful is not an easy task in today's world. I believe we need to be fed the nourishment of wisdom from past and current thought leaders in order to stay inspired. Please feel free to read the chapters more than once. In doing the research for this book, I found myself having to go back, again and again, to allow the truth to sink in. Whether you choose to be an ambassador of hope, or whether you simply read this book to feed your own soul, I invite you to join me in working for a better world today and tomorrow. We owe that to our children and the future generations that will inherit this big old world. THE END