Leadership Simplified: Doug Van Dyke

Leadership Blog

Staying Authentic

Recently, I met a fellow named Mark. Nice guy, talented, a fine professional. Mark works for an organization that is being challenged with some cutbacks – imagine that. In an effort to learn more about the cutbacks facing his organization, Mark decided to visit his congressman – in the State Capital. Mark was surprised at the ease with which he was able to make an appointment. In addition, he was pleasantly surprised that his congressman actually listened to his appeal. When he started his journey Mark admitted saving his job was foremost in his mind. During his journey he practiced what he would say to the congressman. Listening to himself, Mark questioned his motives and thought about his colleagues and the bigger picture. Mark jettisoned his speech, took a deep breath, and started saying what felt authentic. By the time he entered his congressman’s office he had reached this conclusion: “If my intentions are pure, I will be successful.” Isn’t that a marvelous mindset: “Pure intentions!” For many people, the current business climate is quite a challenge. It is during challenging times that we learn so much about ourselves, and about others. Far too many people are currently operating as lone wolves, adopting a mantra of “every person for themselves.” Frankly, it is hard to blame some people – they are faced with tough circumstances. Perhaps they would be wiser, however, if they recognized that “we are all in this together.” Good times, tough times, all times, we are collectively in this wonderful game together. Stand back. Take a breath people. Stop talking about the economy. Honestly, I challenge you, that’s right, you. Do not mention the economy at all today. Bet you can’t do it! And that is the point. Many of us have been driven off center by crap (note: this is a literary term for crap) that we have heard in the media and cannot control. Yet, we allow this “stuff” to negatively impact our demeanor. Keep in mind, when we are our most powerful we possess a confident, positive mindset. The good news is, we can choose the mindset of our liking. Let’s return to Mark for a moment. Did his actions solve anything? Well, rather than face a huge cutback, his organization settled for a palatable 4% cutback. Did Mark enable the savings? Who knows, but his actions certainly didn’t hurt. What Mark definitively did was inspire his colleagues. When they found out about his journey (from another colleague, not from Mark) they were blown away. They sat open-mouthed while he was asked to tell his story. They committed to each other to make a difference and to keep their intentions pure. So I submit to you, keep your intentions pure. Focus on the positives in your world. Then, go out there and make a big impact on them. No idea where to begin? Perhaps a visit to your State capital is in order.

Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2009-02-09 at 08:11 AM
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