Tag Archives: Goals

Are You Thirsty?

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“Sometimes we have to be thirsty to crucify

the things in life that prevent us from achieving our greatness.”

Geneace Williams

This is Easter Weekend, and many are busy with plans for spending time with family and friends, including a Sunday meal complete with family favorites.  Scores of churches have participated in Lenten Season activities that will culminate in a grand Easter celebration.  Last night I had the privilege of participating with six other ministers in a 7 Last Words service.  Each person was given a limited time to speak on his or her particular word, representing what is recorded as one of the last 7 sayings of Christ.  My task was to speak on the 5th Word from the Cross – I Thirst.  As you are no doubt aware, a thirst relates to a desire for something to drink in order that the thirst will be quenched.

Speaking on the thought – I Thirst – brought to mind its applicability to our daily lives.  For what are you thirsty?  Are you thirsty for your life’s purpose, thirsty to find your place in the world, thirsty to do what it takes to realize your life’s dreams?  Are you thirsty to tap into life at a whole new level – allowing you to achieve well beyond your greatest imagination?  And are you thirsty to crucify the things in your life that have heretofore stood in the way of your progress?

Many people dream about achieving great things in life; and dreams require dedication, discipline, time, and effort.  Hardly a dream to accomplish something significant will come to fruition without the work necessary to bring it to pass.  That means – life requires a real thirst for what we desire to accomplish, a passion if you will.  A strong thirst drives us to meet the desired outcome with the ‘work’ of our hands.  Today my wish for you is simple – to encourage you to find your life’s passion, feed it with hard work and dedication, and go after exactly what you believe you were placed on this earth to accomplish.

williams_geneace09_v3 Until next week, best wishes on your journey, Dr. G

Copyright © 2015 Geneace Williams

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Leadership – “InSide Out”

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For those who regularly read my blog posts about leadership and life, you know I am often inspired around life’s deepest ‘matters’ by the energy and power derived through engagement and dialogue with others. And this week is no different, as I was inspired while having my annual birthday lunch with a friend. She gave me a simple reminder that sent me on a “thought binge” about leadership and growth. You should also know that I highly value the strength in living and “leading” a fully integrated life. Here is what my friend said to me: “all of life is a process.” Immediately, I thought about Leadership and the value in viewing Leadership as “Process.” As such, my wish for you is that over these next two Weekly Wisdom Blog posts you will be able to further glean how you can apply this teaching to your life while connecting leadership to core values and actions that create great leaders.

In full disclosure, the conversation with my friend reminded me of a piece I wrote not so long ago on leadership and formation and the critical connection through a process often termed trans-formation. Not so ironically, I was also reminded of last week’s post entitled Living Your Legacy, which highlighted Five Living Essentials for creating a life-transforming legacy to impact the lives of others.  Indeed, the components of The Five Essentials are a part of the theory of formation I discuss this week.  Here I share portions of the former writing on formation, which views leadership as an important Inside-Out “Process.” I invite you to continue to analyze the many facets of leadership as we grow together.

Here is Part I:

The question was once asked – are leaders born, or can one learn to lead?  I contend there is truth in both camps.  But whether you are a born leader or born to lead, you must experience transformation on some level in order to be an effective leader.  In my work with leaders from many walks of life, I always suggest the best leaders are formed to meet success.

Formation is a kind of re-formation that leads to trans-formation.  In other words, formation is serious business that requires you to abandon comfort for tough internal work that promises to challenge your thinking and prepare you to operate at a different level. You will know you are ready for formation work when you are equipped to confront the possibilities that exist beyond your level of comfort and are willing to embrace the fact that positive change presup­poses confronting your growing edges. Likewise the leader who desires authentic and transforming growth is primed to resist the temptation to remain or become anesthetized by life’s challenges and/or its successes. Instead they are motivated to move as if life itself is depending on their will­ingness to pursue the journey of growth called formation.

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Formation is a moral imperative both in life and leader­ship. As such, true formation work is a prompter inviting you down the path of setting values and ethical boundaries by which you will live and lead. It is a dynamic, continual process fueled by receipt of input and feedback, both inter­nal and external, and it requires responding in an active manner.  In essence, it is a journey that occurs over time.

Formation happens at the point of intersection between intentionality and authen­ticity, two of the five living essentials discussed in last week’s blog. Intentional leaders concern themselves with who they are and the path they travel. An authentic leader is genuine beyond the surface and ever seeking her true self while working to live a purposed life shaped by a personal philosophy of integrity. With crucial ties to integrity, moral consciousness and ethical patterns are the rules of law in formation. Said another way, rules of law are standards and boundaries by which one chooses to live, and the work of formation suggests integrity, honesty, morality, virtue, honor, and service.

With these opening thoughts on the critical nature of formation in leadership, I will pick up next week with more in reference to Leadership as Process, but first I invite you to challenge yourself to do the following over the next few days:

  • Identify an area in your life wherein you desire to or know it would be beneficial for you to grow.
  • Focus on that one area over the next week.
  • Identify at least one thing you will do intentionally to spark growth in this area of your life.  Don’t be afraid to set your bar high. As I often say, you must abandon comfort to experience the extraordinary.
  • Once you have set your goal, begin your work, and remember – EVERYTHING BEGINS WITH A START…

williams_geneace09_v3    Until next week, Best Wishes on the Journey! Dr. G

Excerpts borrowed with permission from Leadership DASH: Breaking Through the Finish Line by: Geneace Williams.

Original Copyright © 2013 Geneace Williams.                                                   Edited Edition Copyright © 2015

Living Your Legacy

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In life, we often hear talk of legacy associated with a famous person who has passed on. For a longtime now, however, I have contemplated the question of legacy, spoken on legacy, and written about it.  In conversations with clients and those I have the privilege of mentoring, I am certain to ask – “What impact do you desire to have achieved once your work on earth is done?”  And I personally practice what I preach by asking myself the legacy question at the conclusion of my work with others. It goes something like this, “What value did I add that is certain to outlive the work I have done here?”  I ask these questions not to focus on the accomplishments of the leader.  Rather, the impetus for such questions is to turn the attention toward the people a leader has the chance to impact.  In other words, what have you done with the gift of opportunity to positively impact the lives of others – both now and into the future?

After a recent speaking engagement, I was humbled to hear one of the leaders in the room comment openly on how she had been helped when I raised the legacy question with her in preparation for her move into the role of President for the organization.   Frankly, her critique of the value of being asked the legacy question “up front” inspired this week’s discussion.

Truthfully, when I first embraced the idea of legacy leadership as a tool in my work, it was a lot like talking about legacy after a person had passed on, as it was an “after the fact” question.  Conversely, in more recent times, I have been able to help others experience the greater value of asking and answering the legacy question at the point of engagement, instead of at the end.  This path allows others a more clear opportunity to set specific goals on approaching an assignment in a manner that will yield the greatest impact in the lives of others.

Beyond simply asking the legacy question, specific action steps are necessary.  There are, I argue, five action steps or better Five Living Essentials for creating a life-transforming legacy to powerfully impact the lives of others.  I call them the Five Living Essentials because they must come alive and be lived in order to make a real difference.  You might want to jot them down for personal application.

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Intentionality – Intentionality in leadership means you approach leadership intending to achieve something great. You do nothing by accident; rather, you operate from a well thought out and written strategy and plan of action.  In other words, the best leaders live with purpose.  The intentional leader searches to find the precise reason they live on this earth and are deliberate about the journey to achieve just that.  When intention meets purpose, it sets the stage for transformation, and authentic leadership is born from life’s transformational moments.

Authenticity – Authentic leaders are true to the person they say they are and practice ‘what you see is what you get’ type leadership.   These leaders refuse to profess one lifestyle while living another.   As such, authentic leaders immerse themselves in self-awareness and self-development and emerge more mature with the ability to remove the masks that prevent them from walking in purpose and developing into the unique persons they were intended to be.  As an authentic leader, you will ably express vulnerability thus inspiring others to do the same.  In fact, authentic leaders admit wrong and embrace change.  Instead of simply imitating others, authentic leaders boldly live life as they were created to live.  In doing so, these leaders are more capable of being their true selves with others.

Transparency – Transparent leaders operate from a place that allows the light of their innermost selves to be seen by others, as they are marked by the uncanny ability to be candid and open with self and others.  In short, authenticity is about self-awareness and self-development while transparency is more about self-disclosure or self-expression that allows others to see your true person.  In other words, transparent leaders reveal self in new stratospheres.

Influence – Influence carries the power to produce results, and the most influential leaders realize they both influence and are influenced by others.  Influence is an ethical question about you as a leader knowing and understanding your power to influence or be influenced in an ethical manner.  Power is simply possessing authority, but influence is the ‘know how’ in using power to achieve good.  As such, you strive to know those who are within your sphere of influence and understand you often influence just because you hold the title leader.

Impact – Leaders of impact drive to make a difference in the lives of others.  They are driven by the very possibility of leaving behind for future leaders valuable lessons that will cause them to also become leaders of impact.  Influence is about how a leader uses power.  On the other hand, impact is the result of powerfully using influence in an ethical manner.

In whatever role you work, live, or play, it takes all of these elements to create legacy, and to be distinguished as a leader.  Which elements have you already embraced?  Which ones do you yet have to adopt?  What will be your legacy?

williams_geneace09_v3 Until Next Week, Best Wishes on the Journey, Dr. G

Copyright © 2015 Geneace Williams

Just Say No!

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The popular three-line statement after which this Blog is named was born out of former first lady Nancy Reagan’s passion for discouraging children from experimenting with drugs. Since then, however, “Just Say No” has taken on considerable popularity in an untold number of venues. From credit cards to relationships to the foods we eat, “Just Say No” is a household term that has gained and maintained significant notoriety around the power and importance of saying no. Just googling this simple phrase led me to a website of the same name that is self-described as the “No Community across social platforms.” In short, wherever you find strung together these three one syllable words they are meant to encourage you to say no – where and when appropriate for you.

In reality, however, it is not as easy as it sounds. As I look around the world, I am constantly baffled at how difficult it is for some (including me at times) to say no while others find NO something they deliver with ease. I was reminded of this fact during a conversation with a friend this week wherein she said, “I am amazed at how it is so easy for me to say No to me and yet so difficult to say No to others.” Of course, her statement got me to thinking about the reality of how difficult it is for many to say no – even when it is in their best interest to do so. Whether it is saying no to a family member, friend, employer or client; an organization whose cause we love, or a solicitor who sends an email promising the world in exchange for little or nothing, saying no is a healthy essential in life that allows us to maintain balance and boundaries. It is often said – saying no is easier for men than women; but I dare not tackle that subject in this short blog. My goal is to encourage ALL of us around the growth that is achieved when we learn to give and receive the necessary – No.

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This thought provoking conversation with my friend prompted me to think about how the inability to say no is often associated with an “addiction.” And here I use the term loosely as I am aware the word addicted has its own set of issues and can trigger all types of responses. But hear me out before you hit close and stop reading. I suggest it is possible many have trouble saying no because perhaps we have become a world that is addicted to saying yes. While addicted often points to substance abuse, according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary and other sources I referenced, addiction is “to devote or surrender to something habitually,” or as another source recorded – “enthusiastically devoted to a particular thing or activity.” The truth is, we find it difficult to say no for a variety of reasons including guilt, pressure from others, co-dependency (a term used by my psychologist friends), threats both perceived and real, and of course our habitual “friend” – fear. And fear, I argue is what keeps us addicted to saying yes. That is, we are often afraid of the outcome if we do not say yes.

But consider the following: In life, we must find balance where we are able to say no to some things so that we can partake in self-care, self-development, and yes self-actualization. If you always say yes to everyone else and what everyone else needs, it is almost a surety you are saying no to yourself on matters that really matter and particularly matters that make you better for achieving what you were born to accomplish. So today, I encourage you to learn the art of saying No, as it is often in the best interest of not only you, but also the person to which you are struggling to say no. If it is a “thing” to which you cannot say no like too much stress or eating too much of the wrong things, you would be surprised the sense of freedom you feel after just the first time of saying No.

So I offer you this “Call to Action.” In the upcoming week, take courage to confront fear by saying No to something you have struggled to say No to and experience a new sense of freedom. Take that newly found freedom and allow it to help you begin to establish healthy boundaries for when you say yes and when it is absolutely OK (in your best interest) to “Just Say No.”

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Until next week, Best Wishes on the Journey – Dr. G

Copyright © 2015 Geneace Williams

Kindness Bears Fruit

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During a recent dining experience, I was favored to share a conversation with the Chef/Owner.  I will never forget how he looked me in the face and with all sincerity said, “Kindness alone saved me.”  Needless to say I was so impacted by his statement that I scrambled for a pen to capture this small but profound account of his life.  In just that moment, he had gained my undivided attention, and I wanted more.  His statement moved me so much so that I repeated it and knew immediately it was “ripe” for my upcoming Weekly Wisdom blog post.  He went on to explain how Kindness was the one thing in life that had permeated him to the very depths of his being.  It was kindness that had led him to change and lead a more simple life.  Kindness had inspired him to both eat and live healthier.  Kindness had led him to a greater spiritual existence, and kindness dictated the manner in which he would live out the remainder of his earthly existence.  Wow – there was so much packed into this small but life-altering testimony.  I could hardly wait for time with pen and paper and the opportunity to inspire others with what I had heard this night.  This small town Chicago suburban “restaurateur” had not only served me great food, but also great lessons for life. So, here it is…

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The experience that evening was so powerful it drove me to my dictionary for a closer look.  Classified as a noun, kindness was defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.  In reality, this definition did not come close to capturing the depth of what kindness had clearly accomplished in this man’s life and truth to tell in my life either.  It left a void.  So I turned to the Greek Dictionary where indeed I found my answer.  Translated from Greek, kindness equates to moral excellence suggesting if real in your life kindness will permeate your very existence.  And moral excellence is intentionally setting higher the bar for the manner in which you will live and setting it higher than your comfort zone allowing you to continually stretch toward what is good, just and right as you encounter others.

As I learned from this restaurant owner, kindness is not a matter of how you are served at a restaurant or even that you are served with a smile.  Kindness is a fruit that when properly nurtured, cared for, and pruned, like a healthy fruit tree, can bear life-giving, life-inspiring, and life-transforming fruit.  When kindness exists as fruit in your life, it becomes a part of who you are not just what you do. Kindness is not a box that you can – without more – check completed.  It is more than please and thank you, or being polite when circumstances dictate; more than benevolence, or even philanthropic pursuits.  It is more than patting yourself on the back for lending someone a helping hand.  Kindness is an attitude, belief, and core value.  It is character and integrity.  It is humility and humanity.  Kindness is a difference-maker!  And it reminds me of a quote from my book on leadership that really applies to us all, “Leadership is not advanced by the number of people you encounter; rather, its power is in the depth of the transaction.”  Where do you measure on the making a difference meter?

My hope for you after having read this blog is that you will never be able to view kindness in the same manner and that it will move you to thought AND action. Kindness is a moral imperative for life that reaches capacity within when you so impact the lives of others that they will never be the same as a result of having had an encounter with you.

Quote borrowed from Leadership DASH Breaking Through the Finish Line.

williams_geneace09_v3   Until next week, Dr. G

Copyright © 2015 Geneace Williams

Fuel Your Passion

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“A Desire for Success Without the Drive and Discipline of Pursuit Is Nothing More Than a Wish. Live Beyond Interest”  – Geneace Williams

Several years ago, a client began calling me Dr. G.  And – It Stuck! He often thanked me and said he appreciated the “Wisdom” I shared with him on his journey in life.  I must admit I cannot take credit for being wise or having substance to share with others. In fact, I am clear it is a Gift from God – one that I do not take lightly or for granted. It is something I have been doing since childhood – even before I had the ability to recognize I had been given a Gift. Thankfully, and because of the gift of great parents, one thing I have learned over many years is that a Gift is to be shared.  So with the gift of time, and for such a time as this, I have made a commitment to use this ‘Gift of Wisdom’ for the greater good of those who follow, read and find value in what I share.

That said – you have stumbled across Weekly Wisdom with Dr. G. It is our place and our time to connect on a regular basis.  It is my opportunity to share this and that, tips and truths, and yes a bit of opinion and encouragement as you strap on your shoes and continue ‘the journey’ called life.

Today I encourage you to “Fuel Your Passion.”  It is the beginning of a brand new year – the time when many are busy setting new goals.  This year, challenge yourself to do something different, something more. Resist the temptation to simply set another goal.  Rather, set an Intention!  In other words, a desire for success is not sufficient to drive you to achieve what you were born to do.  Intention must be turned into intentionality and become words in action. Intentionality is having the drive and discipline to pursue your purpose until your destiny you have reached. Intentionality means you do the things for you that will lead you to work until the work is done. When you fall, as we all do, Get Up, and Get Up Quickly. Dust yourself off, re-examine where you are headed and the path you have chosen to get you there.  Doing so will help you live beyond a mere interest in something and live into the required commitment and pursuit that allows things to happen.

You would never get into your car headed on a long road trip without fueling your automobile.  How much more important is it that you fuel the temple that is facilitating the fulfillment of your life-long passion.  So begin anew today!  Develop a morning routine that fuels your mind, body and spirit – exercise, meditate, read, recite affirmations, listen to energetic music, and eat a good breakfast.  These simple kinds of things will take you much farther than you ever imagined.   They are the precursor to a full tank.  Start each day with ample fuel to get you through the rigor of pursuing a passion.  Don’t wish for success in life.  Go after it, and begin today by giving it all “you got”!

Until next week, Dr. G

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