Friday, December 28, 2018

Lean Quote: Chance to Start Anew on Your Birthday

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.


"Every year on your birthday, you get a chance to start new." — Sammy Hagar

Today is my birthday and the older I get the more time I spend reflecting. The other day I was thinking about how birthdays are different as an adult than as a kid. If you are like me, birthdays probably aren’t as big of a deal now as they were then; and perhaps you still get gifts, but probably not as many as you once did. This reflection led me to think about the kinds of gifts we might want to give ourselves, if we are feeling a bit short in the gift department on our next birthday.

Give yourself the gift of time. Sometimes our days are so packed with events and tasks that we don’t have time for ourselves. Consider giving yourself the gift of time for your own rest and relaxation (or the time to do another item on this list!).  

Reflect on the last year. Your birthday is a milestone, so it can be a great day to review your results and actions of the past year to see how you have done and determine what is working – and what isn’t!

Set some new goals. Today is a perfect day to look forward, to project into the future, to set goals for the next twelve months. If you don’t have written goals, today is a perfect day to create them!

Give yourself a great book. Pick something that interests you. Regardless of the topic, as you read it, consider what insights you can take from it in your leadership role. I guarantee that if you read with that thought, you will garner leadership ideas while you enjoy the book on its own merits. Consider it a double gift.

Give yourself a great learning experience. In the end your leadership development belongs to you – it is not the responsibility of your organization or your supervisor to provide you these opportunities. If you want to be more effective, why not give yourself a chance to practice and improve your skills? Ask your leader for an opportunity, or open your own wallet and invest in your future. 

Give yourself an hour a week. This is my favorite of the six gifts and all it requires is desire and discipline. As a leader (and a human being), give yourself an hour a week.

To think.
To reflect.
To read.
To meditate.
To plan.
To learn.

If you will find an hour a week for this important work, I will nearly guarantee greater results in virtually every area of your life. You will benefit and you will love the recurring gift you are giving yourself. I know, you think you can’t find that hour, but you can. Maybe it’s a little less TV, a little less Facebook, or perhaps just a bit less sleep one day a week. Whenever that hour can be found, you will be glad you found it.

I know it is my birthday, but you don’t even have to wait for your birthday to give yourself one of these gifts.


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