What Have You Left Behind?

What Have You Left Behind?

Well, we’re approaching the end of the year, and many are transitioning out of their current occupations for various reasons: resigning, retiring, becoming an entrepreneur, or seeking a better experience. Before making a significant transition, I always ask the question, “What have you left behind?”.

I’ve learned that it is essential to have a clear understanding of your accomplishments before leaving an organization. Not only is it vital for the organization and your resume, but it also gives you a sense of confidence and closure. Hopefully, you’ve accomplished what you set out to do when you first took on the role. If not, I understand that there could’ve also been reasons that prevented you from doing so. However, if you never planned to accomplish anything, then that’s another topic that I’ll have to cover in another article.

Regardless, you should still ask yourself whether it’s truly time for you to leave or if you’ve left anything behind that is both memorable and tangible that will help the organization move forward successfully. You never want to leave behind an experience that you or your colleagues would rather forget. As leaders, we have to be intentional about resolving as many conflicts as possible before our departure while yet understanding that some may not get fixed for whatever reason. At times, some issues are beyond our control, but it’s still worth a try.

Your goal is to move forward peacefully. Complete your part as well as remove any baggage. It is especially important to ensure closure with your boss. If you’ve been mistreated or undervalued by him/her, it will be tough, but find a way to forgive them and humbly get through it. Focus on your future and the next opportunity ahead! Leave a legacy that’s worth remembering. Be known for delivering something great and set the tone for your history. The worst thing you can do is start a new job and bring your baggage along with you. Leave the past in the past. Start fresh!

Also, be careful not to divulge anything negative about your previous organization. It can come back to bite you in the end. The very person with whom you share negative information might see you as the guilty culprit. Please don’t give them a reason to worry or dig further into your past. You’ll have them thinking that you’re someone inflexible or challenging to work with when that is not the case at all. Try your best to speak positively of others at all times. As Steven R. Covey says in his book, The Speed of Trust, “Speak of others as if they were present.”

You genuinely want to focus on leaving a positive experience, whether you’re coming or going. Your stories will follow you for the rest of your life. Make it a good ending. In the end, your reputation and character are what matter most.

A Wandering Mind is a Troubled Mind

A Wandering Mind is a Troubled Mind

Mind wandering is something that most deal with on a daily basis. It appears to be our brain’s default mode of operation. Although mind wandering has benefits such as allowing people to plan, learn and be creative, it seems there might be an emotional cost associated with it.

Over 2000 adults were sampled during their day to day activities and 47% of the time, their minds were not focused on what they were currently doing (Killingsworth and Gilbert). When we focus on events that happened in the past, might happen in the future or may never happen at all, it means that we’re worried about something.

As a matter of fact, we hardly ever contemplate on things that will cause us to relax, unless we’re having sex, preparing for an upcoming vacation or something fun. Many of us tend to have multiple irons in the fire. However, we must truly learn to live in the present if we want to live stress-free lives.

In other words, we shouldn’t be spending our time each day ruminating—re-living a negative experience over and over again or stressing about an upcoming event. Killingsworth and Gilbert found in their study that even when adults were having a positive experience while mind wandering, they would still venture into a negative place. Mind wandering simply tended to make adults unhappy.

Well, I’d like to encourage you to enjoy each and every day to the fullest. Practice having a non-judgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of your thoughts and emotions or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis, which is called mindfulness. Rest or exercise when your body needs it. Make peace with family members, friends, colleagues and contemplate on positive memories. Always keep your mind sharp and clear. If you have to, take multiple 2 min breaks each day just to breathe. It not only slows you down, but taking deep breaths requires dedicated concentration which also clears your thoughts. I strive to do this daily!

Focus on what you will do today. Although you think you can control it, know that you can never completely control what will happen tomorrow. Something new is always waiting around the corner and it has stress written all over it. However—you can control today.

If you’d like to learn more about mind wandering and how to live in the present, there is a full chapter in my book, 10 Reasons Communication Brings Transformation: Unleash Your Greatness.

How do you live in the moment? Please like and share your experience.

What is Your Leadership Philosophy?

What is Your Leadership Philosophy?

Someone recently asked me, “What is your leadership philosophy?” Well, just when I was about to answer the question, I paused. I thought about whether my philosophy had actually changed as a result of any recent or past experiences, failures or lessons learned. I knew some things would never change because of my core values; the things that are most essential to me. However, after having pivoted across several industries such as information technology, government, manufacturing and now academe, I’ve learned that there are a few more soft and hard skills I’ve found to be easily transferable across industries.

Ultimately, know that there are no right or wrong answers to this question. Every successful leader has an individual leadership philosophy which is typically based on their core values, experiences and failures while leading. If you’re early in your career and have not yet established your philosophy, I highly recommend you do so. Your philosophy is similar to your guiding principles and should be practiced across every environment you work or live.

My leadership philosophy is below. This is not an exhaustive list. There will always be areas where we can grow or continuously improve. However, the purpose of having a leadership philosophy is so that we have principles to stand upon in the face of circumstances that might be beyond our control. We cannot let the influence of others or even extreme challenges interfere with the principles we stand upon.

We must hold fast to our core values at all times. This is what makes us unique and genuine. Most importantly, it is what your family, employees, and colleagues can trust.

  1. Family and faith always come first.
  2. Get to know your stakeholders.
  3. Be open to the input and perspectives of others.
  4. Listen, respond and follow through.
  5. Communicate, communicate, communicate, and if needed, communicate again. Never get tired.
  6. Build relationships and partnerships. Be a connector.
  7. Always speak kindly of others and find something positive in everyone. “Speak of others as if they were present” (Stephen R. Covey).
  8. Break down silos. Ensure internal and external collaboration.
  9. Remain innovative and embrace change. Be a change maker, not a change breaker.
  10. Allow creativity and witty ideas to flourish, especially during strategic and project/initiative planning.
  11. Be fiscally responsible and plan wisely to avoid costly mistakes. Enough time must be allotted for planning prior to executing.
  12. “We’ve always done it that way” is not a solution to a problem. First, understand the problem you’re trying to solve before determining a solution.
  13. Be open to creating new rules when applicable, and possible.
  14. Live each moment in the present.

What is your leadership philosophy? If you don’t have one, start thinking about the things that are essential to you and the areas you’ve been successful. Also, ponder on the lessons you’ve learned and mistakes you’d rather not repeat. I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback.

Embracing Diversity, A Personal Choice

Embracing Diversity, A Personal Choice

I took a #leap of faith and God opened the door! My article, “Embracing Diversity, A Personal Choice” was recently published on #ThriveGlobal. I’m super excited!

Please read and help me create a buzz around this very important topic. I’d love to hear your comments about how you personally embrace diversity.

#linkedinpost #diversityapersonalchoice #leadersleavinglegacies

Click here for Article: https://thriveglobal.com/…/embracing-diversity-a-personal-…/

I would like to thank all those in my diverse network that allowed me to use their face to grace the cover photo:

Cindy Lechuga, Silverio Gomez, Estela Marquez, Norma Gutierrez, Kira Lafond, Jennie Roanhouse, Danielle Bly, Lynnea Katz-Petted, Jen Dirks, Traci Cain, Marikris Coryell, Rex and Marel Nelson, Perry and Debbie Kerney, Chandra Cooper, Linda Krieg, Leslie Moran, Dracy Lockett, Lee and Pam Schlenvogt, Kiley Peters, Rochelle Robinson, Jill E. Fox, Paula Mayer, Roslyn Henderson, John and Laura Leszczynski, Ronette Hopgood, Bekki Yang, Paula Mayer, Tammy Saffold and Isioma Nwabuzor, Bob and Ruth Lennon, and Marissa Williams