Every leader recognizes the necessity to maintain a focused determination and an intrinsic motivation to reach, maintain, and advance their goals. In a picture-perfect world we would move forward unhindered always growing and succeeding. The fact is, however, that the world is not perfect and neither are we. It’s often hard to reconcile this internally knowing that there are doors waiting to open, opportunities to explore and people and societies to impact for good.
Assumption is the lowest form of knowledge. This is so because when we assume we view situations, make decisions, and lead others from a basis of what may not be entirely true. My assumptions become my bias and are the foundation of my decisions, knowledge, thoughts, and feelings. By my own determination, this positions me to be the standard through which everything is arbitrated.
Disappointment and unfulfilled expectations are experienced by every person—young and old alike. Though common to all, every disappointment is a seed planted in our minds; each one—either subtly or obviously—bringing emotional pain and laying a foundation for fearful mindsets to take root and grow. The moment we are exposed to risk, this fear-based memory will erect its internal self-protective walls in an attempt to keep us from being hurt or disappointed again.
There are many individuals of influence walking the streets, sitting in boardrooms, enacting legislation, teaching our children or interacting within culture in a multitude of ways. Many of these leaders are wearing masks hiding various types of prejudice. Prejudice is simply pre-judgment as assumptions are made without accurate information; opinions are formed without facts and beliefs are established without truth. All prejudice is destructive fear-based attitude that affects relationships, partnerships and sabotages the ability to lead with justice, honor, and validation.
Whether past events or present circumstances, let’s face it, some things we are powerless to change. This, however, does NOT make us completely powerless. My internal response to unchangeable facts actually has the ability to em-power me! It’s through this that I can interpret my past with thankfulness, my present with courage, and my future with hope.
Leadership is conceived from intrinsic vision and purpose-driven motivation that influences others to partner together. I have never lacked in inspired vision or the willingness to pay the price to accomplish it. However, I have never embarked on a journey that was absent of conflict, surprises or setbacks. Growth and change inevitably bring conflict. Conflict invites emotional responses that could either sabotage or empower any worthwhile endeavor.
The honor to invest your heart and soul into others is one of the greatest forward-paying acts you can do; by it you are positively touching lives and societies. Our world needs the innate contribution you intrinsically carry. When your contribution is both needed and wanted, you experience a deep fulfillment. You also gain an unshakable awareness of your value, which is priceless in every way. As a perpetual result, your life will be a catalyst to generate value in others so their contribution can also be unleashed. This beautiful cycle of life is contagious as dreams are revived and vision is empowered.