I’ve been reading a book by Robin Sharma, The Leader Who Had No Title and I had so many thoughts go through my head. One of the key points is that everyone has a responsibility to be a leader. That just kept going over and over again in my mind. Wow, let that sink in for a minute…..

That is truly revolutionary statement. That changes the entire paradigm of who is responsible for what. I find myself constantly leading everyone at the company. The problem is that at the end of the day, I have precious little juice left to lead myself. Now for my entire lifetime, I thought that was my role, to constantly lead others, and lead others, and still lead others. I just now came up with a takeoff of the old saying ‘Give a man a fish and he eats for a day…Teach him how to fish and he eats for a lifetime’. It’s time for me to not only model leadership, not only teach leadership, but for all to take the mantel of responsible to transforming themselves into leaders.

They say in theater, There are no small roles and that makes sense because how important that one line or one scene makes to the entire play. I need to make sure that everyone in the company understands just how truly important they are to the entire company. And not only just this one little thing they do but how they do it, how they innovate their small corner of the process, how they encourage the employee to their left and right (and how they encourage me, I might add), how they take responsibility for results and most importantly how they show they are absolutely devoted to expressing their absolute best.

And we need to understand that we all have a place in our company’s and in this world. But wherever that is, in NYC or San Antonio, doing whatever it is we do, pushing a broom or making billion dollar decisions, we are called to lead where we are placed and in what circumstance we now find ourselves. And the best part of the deal is that we are 100% responsible for how we show up in our current condition. It is a matter of choice, baby and that is what sets us apart.

And what happens when we choose to operate at our peak, when we choose to take on that mantel of leadership, and when we choose to take on the responsibility? You and your organization get to world class, very quickly.

What Was Does Not Have To Be

So here we are at the end of another year…another very good year for me and my clan. But what does that really mean…and why should it matter to you?

I was just on the phone with a very dear friend of over 45 years named Bob. Now the fact of the matter is that he and I had not had much contact over the past 20 years, nothing wrong but just not much contact, life just happening and all. He really went MIA about 3 years ago when his business went belly up and just decided to leave and start his life anew in a small country town in central Texas. He is rebuilding his life, starting to build his confidence up and then BOOM! Everything blows up again. He has a very serious disease.

What I had not mentioned is that I did not let him go quietly into the night when he disappeared over 3 years ago. He kept his cell phone on…but never answered it. But I left voices mails…sent text messages, just basically never gave up on old Bob. Well he called me last week and let me know about his illness but mostly he called to apologize for not calling me because of his ‘shame’ of going bankrupt (self-imposed I might add) and to say thanks, a half a dozen times, for continuing to chase him down and not give up on him. Nice story….but so what?
I had some concerns that if he survived this disease and its treatment that he would just lose his ‘juice’ and just live out his life…humbly, lovingly, appreciatively…but just living it out, not going out there and grabbing Life by the Throat. This I will just not allow. I have seen many a hollow shell of man, just sitting, marking time, without Juice, without purpose, without a Destiny. We all have a Destiny folks. Some of us just wait for it to show up at the front door and when we open it, Destiny is dressed as the Grim Reaper. The others (me for instance) THROW OPEN THE DOOR and chase down Destiny, on crutches if need be and it shows up as this giant ball of Fire.

I wrote a published column where I said ‘YOU ARE NEITHER A VICTIM OF YOUR PAST CIRCUMSTANCES NOR HITTING A GLASS WALL IN FRONT OF YOU’. Bob is facing a bunch of challenges, some today, and certainly even more tomorrow but just like his success in years past did not guarantee him his future, the problems of business and health are not glass walls stopping him from making his future into whatever he and his sweet bride want to make of it. A belief in himself and the love of an old friend might be all he needs to make the next chapter of his life, the best one yet.

So back to the opening paragraph: Why should you give a tinkers damn whether or not I and my family had a pretty good year? Our futures are not necessarily formed by our pasts. Bob would be just as much a fool by giving up on his future because of the past few years of setbacks and the upcoming year of medical problems as I would be if I got complacent because we had a few successes this year. Remember, I am the cat that took twenty five years before I made a profit.

Until next time…….