A Chinese proverb states “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.” You can’t do anything about 20 years ago. Are you ready to plant your leadership trees?
Today is different. You can do something about today. You can create the next 20 years.
A good decision today (now) is better than a great decision later. You just need to commit to it and drive forward. Do something. Start. Until you decide the next 20 years can’t get started.
What tree can you plant today?
Get Past Your Past
Everyone has a 20 years ago. The deal you didn’t do. The risk you didn’t take. The relationship you didn’t put enough time in. The failure you wouldn’t let happen. The degree you earned but the education you missed. The leadership opportunity you passed up. The family events you missed to climb the ladder.
Today’s 20-years ago is now 6 months, 1year, 2 years and 5 years. Change is exponentially faster. It’s complex. The key is to simplify it. Make sense of it.
Five years ago Twitter and Facebook were nothing. The tree grew. You can focus on the opportunities you’ve missed or you can plant today.
Don’t let your past mistakes or missed opportunities dominate you. Don’t be trapped in the past or by it.
Let it die so you can live.
What trees do you need to plant today?
This is a great tree. You may be 25 or 55. It doesn’t matter. Cultivate this tree. Plant it. Water it every day. Feed it. Nurture it. Invest in yourself. The return is huge. Leadership starts here. It’s the foundation. Selt-mastery is where leadership starts.
This tree makes a difference. Influence someone every day. Make an impact. Be a difference maker. The people you lead are always watching. It doesn’t matter what level you lead at. The impact tree doesn’t care about titles or positions. It cares about character, integrity and influence. Plant this tree today.
The servant tree is one every leader needs to plant. Leaders serve. If you don’t serve you don’t lead. You control, dictate, intimidate or command but you don’t lead. Leaders serve with humility.
What are you reading? Leaders are always learning and growing. Sit with this tree every day. Opportunities to get better are everywhere. Get better at leading and life. What leadership conferences are you signed up for? Who is your mentor? What leadership material are you soaking up? Leaders learn.
Leaders are faced with information overload. The speed of change and information make communication more complex than ever before.
The key is to simplify the complexity. Sounds difficult and it is. The great leaders simplify the message and process so everyone understands.
- Simplify the message (vision).
- Be authentic and genuine.
- Communicate at the right time(s).
- Repetition is a key.
- Make sure all of your communication and behavior aligns with the vision.
- Don’t assume people know and understand everything. They don’t.
There is power in simplifying.
It all starts with you. Your tree begins today. Pick a spot and plant it. Don’t wait.
What tree do you need to work on?