After reading Ten Principles to Live by in Fiercely Complex Times by Tony Schwartz in the Harvard Business Review, I felt compelled to not only share his principles, but to share my own take-away for business owners leading in these “fiercely complex” times. The principles immediately struck me as being highly relevant to anyone’s journey in leadership today.
1. Always challenge certainty, especially your own.
2. Excellence is an unrelenting struggle, but it’s also the surest route to enduring satisfaction.
3. Emotions are contagious, so it pays to know what you’re feeling.
4. When in doubt, ask yourself, “How would I behave here at my best?”
5. If you do what you love, the money may or may not follow, but you’ll love what you do.
6. You need less than you think you do.
7. Accept yourself exactly as you are but never stop trying to learn and grow.
8. Meaning isn’t something you discover, it’s something you create, one step at a time.
9. You can’t change what you don’t notice and not noticing won’t make it go away.
10. When in doubt, take responsibility.
List Credit: Tony Schwartz, Harvard Business Review Blog, July 12, 2011.
Always challenge certainty, especially your own.
While at first glance, these principles may appear like basic life lessons, upon further reflection it becomes clear that they are relevant to what many of us in business face on a daily basis. How best to inspire, innovate, achieve excellence and my favorite, how best to achieve personal happiness at work? Leaders routinely ask these questions and are charged to answer them by those whom they lead. The true litmus test for growth is when the leader challenges the answers they themselves discerned.
If you do what you love, the money may or may not follow, but you’ll love what you do.
As an innerpreneur, I live my talk on a daily basis. I want to do work that I love and know will further not just my personal development, but those around me as well. I know. It sounds very “new age”, but as we’ve discussed before, it’s more than that. It’s conscious capitalism and in these “fiercely complex” times, it can be a vital step towards accomplishing larger goals.
Meaning isn’t something you discover, it’s something you create, one step at a time.
Perhaps the most important take –away from this list of principles is that leadership doesn’t just happen. It must be cultivated and nurtured in a way that keeps the leader or business owner fresh, engaged, reflecting and always looking not just inward but outward at the opportunities and challenges ahead.
Working on your business, rather than in it, is a first step to getting closer to these principles. Scan the horizon and chart a course for the future, all while maintaining the vitality and energy needed to keep yourself and your staff going today. These “fiercely complex” times demand it of us.
Article originally published in the Asheville Citizen-Times business section August 21, 2011.