All this back to school talk has me thinking about lessons we learn in life. As we’re wrapping up this month’s discussions and thoughts on leadership, I thought we’d discuss a few of the lessons life, and leadership, teaches us.
Leaders practice what they preach. The leaders who haven’t been in the trenches are few and far between. You could look back at leaders like Mother Teresa, the Wright brothers, President Roosevelt or Sam Walton and see that they all did hard work along with ushering in a new perspective on life. Observing leaders can help us all get our lives in shape and start taking our own advice. I know when I’m around good, passionate leaders I’m inspired to go home and work on some dreams I have.
Leaders learn how and when to say goodbye. Saying goodbye is one of the most difficult things in life, yet, as Dickens says, life is full of meetings and partings. Sometimes you don’t get a chance to say goodbye to someone, other times you finally realize you should have said goodbye long ago. That’s one of the lessons I learned a few years ago and still means a great deal to me. I had been thinking I should leave one of the jobs I was working because I didn’t agree with or respect the boss, but I decided to hang in there and ended up leaving several months later on not the best terms.
Finally, love is hard. No matter who you are, love is the best and hardest thing. But everything in life becomes richer when you add love. Adding love is like whisking the clouds away after weeks of rain, or adding seasonings to meat or veggies. There’s just something about love that has the power to transform life, and some of the greatest lessons are learned from experiences with love. Even better, love is one of those lessons you never quite finish learning; it’s always got something new to teach you.
What about you? What have you been learning about life and leadership lately?