Monday, December 18, 2017

Service & Joy

This morning, I have been thinking of the following poem by Rabindranath Tagore:

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold service was joy.”

That last line is so deep and powerful, “service was joy.”

This past year I have been blessed with many opportunities to work with great people. We have explored ideas, reflected on lessons learned, and dived deeply into complex problems and complicated issues. It has been a good journey.

And through it all, I have been so grateful for the opportunity to be of service to so many fine organizations and good people. From the bottom of my heart, thank-you for these opportunities. They have brought me great joy. 

I look forward to what we will experience together in the new year.

With Christmas being next Monday, this week will be my last Monday Thoughts Blog until the new year. Warm wishes to all of you at this special time of year!

See you on January 8th for more Monday Thoughts!!

Geery Howe, M.A. Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change Morning Star Associates 319 - 643 - 2257

Monday, December 11, 2017

Planning for the New Year

With the holiday season happening all around us, we as leaders and managers can get pretty busy trying to complete all of the end of quarter projects and reports plus stay on top of all of the family events and traditions. The days fly by and then sooner than we think it will be 2018. And with the new year will come a new list!

However, before another day goes by, stop for a moment, and reflect on the following questions: 

What went right this year?

Where did your team show progress?

Who stepped up and embraced the mission, vision and core values of the company?

What were the major lessons learned this year for you and your team?

Did you become a better leader?

In the rush to get it all done, reflection often takes a back seat. Given the many challenges that have taken place this year, maybe we need to pull over the proverbial car and pause at the nearest rest stop. Then, get out of the car, stretch our legs and look beyond the hustle and bustle of the moment. We need to reflect on the year and then share these reflections with others. In this way, we are building on the lessons learned rather than repeating the same mistakes of 2017.

This week, schedule an hour, and step away from the piles of work and e-mail. Sit down with a good cup of coffee or tea, and a pad of paper. Then, write down the answers to the above questions. It will be worth the time and the effort. Planing always works best from a place of clarity rather than a place of rushing around.

Geery Howe, M.A. Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change Morning Star Associates 319 - 643 - 2257

Monday, December 4, 2017

How do leaders recover from burnout? part #2

Once, maybe twice, in every life time there is a turning point. This is a point when you see the world differently, a point when you gain a new perspective. For me, becoming a father for the first time was one of these transformative life experiences.

My wife and I fell in love in college. Later, we worked at the same high school. As time passed, we got married and started a family. Once the baby was born and when my parental leave was used up, I went back to work.

At the end of each work day, I would do everything in my power to get home to be with our new born. While my wife had personal time, I would pick up our little bundle of joy, tuck him into the front baby carrier and just go for a walk. Just hours before I had been overwhelmed with the needs of the school and my teaching, but at the end of each day with him in the baby snuggly, I would just see the beauty of the world. I would walk to see the apple trees in the school orchard. I would walk to see the western sky and the setting sun as it hit the clouds. I would walk on the school prairie to wonder at the miracle of waves of grass blowing in the wind. All my worries and fears would melt away.

The miracles of the world were every where and I carried this little one to as many of them as I could. We shared the moment. We just shared the time and space together.

I still carry him and his younger brother in my heart each and every day. My challenge now is to remember to not loose touch with the miracles of this world that are still present each and every day. Now I have to go out and discover them again. I need to see the world and not let my challenges, fears and struggles define the world. I need to not let my burn out overwhelm my hope

As I have learned from the wise counsel of others, clarity of purpose can propel me forward through my challenges; my skills are often sharpened in times of challenge and difficulty; being humble is a powerful antidote to arrogance.

This week and for the rest of this month into the new year, I encourage you to adopt or re-kindle a new perspective in your life. It is the continual revelation that we are surrounded by miracles each and every day. It is time we open our eyes and see them. This is the blessing of this time we have together.

Geery Howe, M.A. Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change Morning Star Associates 319 - 643 - 2257