Look to the Big Picture

Michel de Montaigne wrote: “The value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use, we make of them; a man may live long yet live very little.” Great leaders live every moment of their life. They push the boundaries around themselves and live a life of rich and vivid wholeness. John Maxwell writes in his book, How Successful People Think, it is the great leaders who develop a ‘big picture’ mindset which opens their eyes, mind, and heart to new people, ideas, and possibilities.

“People who see the big picture expand their experience because they expand their world. As a result, they accomplish more than the narrow-minded people. And they experience fewer unwanted surprises, too, because they are more likely to see the many components involved in any given situation: issues, people, relationships, timing and values. They are also, therefore, more tolerant of other people and their thinking.”

What exciting richness we add to our life when we look at it in all it majestic and almost endless beauty. May we choose always to think big. May we be daring and bold to look beyond ourselves and our own world. May we see with new eyes. May we see through the eyes of others. And on that journey, may we remember the wise counsel of Alvin Toffler, American writer and futurist: “You’ve got to think about ‘big things’ while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.”

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“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” Karen Clark

To: the Great Leaders Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning
The life of great leaders is beautified and enriched in its continuing rebirths. Boundaries and limits are the cocoons within which they journey. With each one they experience new learning, acquire new eyes that open to discover fresh possibilities, and they dream dreams of what can be beyond what they know. Within each cocoon they enter, they read the haunting words: “You don’t know what you don’t know.” They search and explore the world around them and, most importantly, within themselves, to discover and find answers to the question. It is those beautiful moments that that their freedom occurs. The cocoon no longer can contain them – their dreams, aspirations, passions and purpose push to expand the limits. They release themselves – not by chance, but by choice. And they fly to another world, another cocoon, in which they will grow, struggle and again emerge transformed by their experiences.

In a recent article, The Magic and Necessity of Bringing People Outside of Their Comfort Zones, Jon Katz writes: “Does the butterfly fear leaving its cocoon or exhilarate over the chance to fly? If only humans would exhilarate over the opportunities outside their cocoons/comfort zones.” Great leaders are energized and inspired by the possibilities the world and their life offers. They are the risk-takers and adventurers who live life to its fullest, who dare to challenge the “as is” to find the “what can be.” It is they who choose the struggles of transformation to achieve its great reward. For them, emmersion from the cocoon is not the end of the world, it is the beginning of a new life. As Karen Clark said: “Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” May you fill your life with continued rebirths and with each, may you find beautiful, powerful and magnificent wings to take you to heights undreamed. Life is so very good.

Michael ReuTER

Jim Collins Top 10 List

Jim Collins’ Top 10 List — Jim led a highly insightful 3 hour opening session at last week’s Fortune Leadership Summit in Atlanta (and beamed to 9 locations around the globe). He capped it off with a top 10 list for growth firms:

Change “what” questions to “who” questions
Double your question to statement ratio
Embrace the “Stockdale Paradox” – keep getting up when knocked down
Discover your personal “hedgehog” – what are you both passionate about and best at
Be clear your Core Values, Purpose, and BHAG
Establish a 20 Mile March
Create a “Stop Doing” list
Turn-off electronic gadgets one day every two weeks
Focus on getting a huge return on your next “luck event.”
Strive to be useful (would the world miss you if you/your company was gone?)