Transparency = authenticity…

“If you are honest, truthful, and transparent, people trust you. If people trust you, you have no grounds for fear, suspicion or jealousy.”

Dalai Lama

I despise politics. Posturing and posing in order to achieve some agenda that is masked or not transparent is just something I can’t do very well and is something that I don’t have a lot of patience with. I have long believed that being transparent in your intent is the key to building strong and lasting relationships with others. If you have this type of relationship politics doesn’t enter the picture. Transparency equates to authenticity.

But with this degree of transparency comes a great burden of responsibility. As leaders we must ensure that our actions align to our words at all times and if, and when, they don’t that we own our mistakes and missteps. I like this verse when thinking about the power of honesty, truthfulness and transparency.

“For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.” 2 Corinthians 8:21 NIV

I’d much rather be known as a person that speaks the truth, conducts himself with integrity at all times, and is transparent with my intentions towards others. I love people that are like this and they are the ones that have my greatest respect and admiration. Who are the people in your life that live like this? What is their impact on you and others they come in contact with?

Where do you find the truth?

“There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.”

Maya Angelou

I’ve long believed in the old saying: “In the mind of the believer a perception is a fact.” The “truth” is created because of the facts we want to believe in, even if they aren’t true.  The facts we choose to believe, or the ones that we seek out, can obscure the real truth from us.  

That is why it is so important to get perspective from others.  We need insight from people that don’t see the world the same way we do.  Only through searching out other ‘facts’ can we ensure that we are seeing the truth.  

Who do you go to to help find clarity and perspective?  Who’s perceptions do you trust?

Break free to change…

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

Socrates 

Sometimes the clearest way to see what change is needed is to separate oneself from the cacophony of daily life and simply be still.  The hustle and bustle of activity serves to lock oneself into a routine, a relentless hamster wheel effect.  It is hard to see what change is needed when your energy is spent just keeping up.  Sometimes it is not about fighting the old, it is about breaking free from it long enough to know what change is needed.  

Seek wisdom, or risk being a fool…

 “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
 
Proverbs 13:20 ESV
 

We are product of the people we spend time with, the things that we watch and read, the groups that we associate with.  This quote applies both to the people we spend time with, and the things that we choose to watch and read.  

I love to read and to learn new things that challenge my beliefs and perspectives.  Reading is a great way to get outside of your own perspective and find wisdom from others; it’s another way to walk with the wise.  In my mind not reading and seeking new information is the same as choosing to be a companion of fools.

It doesn’t mean you have to read to excess or try to read a book a week.  Just pick one book, and walk with the wisdom that is being shared.  You don’t have to agree with all of it, in fact you probably shouldn’t!  But pick one book that interests you and commit to reading 15-30 minutes per day.  

Seek wisdom.  Seek knowledge.  Seek to learn from the wise.  Or you will run the risk of being one of the fools mentioned above…

Do not be afraid…

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

Rosa Parks

The minute that you let the fear of being wrong, of failing, or of making a mistake paralyze you you have already lost.  You will make bad decisions when you are trying not to lose or if your decisions come from a place of fear and doubt.

Taking action is what allows you to break free from fear.  You don’t have time to focus on being afraid if you are making decisions and implementing those actions.  So what if you make the wrong decision?  What if it gets worse?  That’s okay, if you have a bias towards making decisions and taking action you can make another decision, you can learn and get better.

Did you know that “Do not be afraid” or “do not fear” is written in the Bible 365 times?  One of my favorite verses (any many others folks I am sure) is Psalms 23:4. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Make up your mind to make up your mind.  Decide to address whatever it is that makes you fearful and take action.  You’ll be glad you did.

 

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