About a mile from my house there’s a big ol’ pothole in the road.
The first time I hit it while driving I didn’t even see it, since it was dark out, and it’s on a shaded curve so it blended into the shadows. WHOMP!
I muttered a few choice words under my breath and made a mental note to beware next time I was on that part of the road.
It’s probably not a surprise to learn that I hit that same darn pothole more times than I care to count, even when I remembered in advance that it was coming up and was looking for it.
It made me feel only marginally better to know that this experience is not uncommon, because – as the saying goes – “Where focus goes, energy flows.”
In other words, the natural reflex is to stare directly at the object you want to avoid, but because we’re staring directly at it, our body homes in on it and coordinates all energy and motion toward that same point.
Although counter-instinctive, the remedy is to look NOT at the pothole (or other object) itself, but at some other part of the road, where you DO want the car to go; then you’ll be most likely to avoid making contact and steer the car to safety.
But that expression, “Where focus goes, energy flows,” can work IN our favor too.
In particular, in our personal and professional lives, often the hardest decisions to make are regarding where NOT to focus time, attention and efforts, when everything seems important.
By eliminating anything that is not the top priority, we are able to focus 100% of our attention on what matters most so “energy flows” in that direction, and we get the job done.
That’s when we create our greatest value.
And that’s what Rachael Jones, Founder & CEO of NewCo @ Redesign Health was talking about this week on the Speaking to Influence podcast, when she explained how “energy drives action” and shared her emphasis on communication that promotes “clarity of goal, clarity of role.”
In other words, not only do we need to ensure that everyone is clear on what the collective goal is, but we need to be equally sure that everyone on the team is clear on their individual role and the value they create for any and all other stakeholders in order to help the team and company overall to achieve that goal.
That clarity helps them focus their own energy flow in the right direction to get the best results.
Of course, sometimes we’ve outgrown our current position and know that we could be providing much greater value to the world through a different opportunity.
That’s why I’m teaming up with April Mason, a top-tier career consultant with years of experience working at the forefront of hiring for Fortune 100 and Fortune 1000 companies, along with 20 other experts in her free series Lead Your Career in Turbulent Times beginning December 5th at 12 noon EST.
This is your chance to turbocharge your leadership, discover your purpose and learn to LOVE your work again.
In other words, our goal is to help you get clear on where you can create the greatest value.
Now, I also understand that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed in the context of all this talk of “greatest” value, “maximizing” productivity, contribution and the like. So there’s one other detail that’s important to bear in mind in order to keep perspective that nurtures a life of gratitude, balance, joy and fulfillment every day.
One of my favorite quotes is from the humblest of heroes, Mother Theresa, who reminds us that “Not all of us can (or want to) do great things, but we can (all) do small things with great love.”
Sometimes it’s the smallest acts that have the greatest meaning, when done from the heart.
So in the spirit of Giving Tuesday, today, I invite you once again to support one of the non-profit organizations we’ve featured on the Speaking to Influence podcast (links to the episodes as well as the organizations’ home pages are below) but WITH A BONUS TWIST.
You may recall that in last week's podcast episode, Dave Rowan, CEO of BLOCS challenged everyone to donate not just money but some TIME to a charity of your choice.
(Side note: Dave's episode was so popular it hit an awesome rank of #129 on Apple management podcasts! If you missed it then, check it out now!)
Well this time, as a special “thank you” to anyone who accepts my invitation, if you reply to this email and tell me which organization(s) you supported and how (no need to disclose any financial specifics), I will send YOU a free digital e-copy of my book, Speaking to Influence: Mastering Your Leadership Voice, in PDF or ePUB (Kindle/iPad/etc.) format as you prefer!
Here’s our list of fabulous not-for-profit guests and the organizations they lead:
Perhaps tell a loved one you're going to make a donation in their name/honor, as an “alternative” holiday gift that brings joy to the receiver, the honoree AND the giver!
Remember – no act of kindness or value created is too small, if done with great love.