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Authentic Leadership Principle: Passion Energizes!

W.B. Homes is a Pennsylvania-based family-owned business founded in 1986 by William Bonenberger. Woven into W.B. Homes’s very successful business strategy is its philosophy that great houses help raise great families in a secure environment. Its passion isn’t really architecture and framing and stucco and landscaping. It’s family and community. And Bonenberger and his staff go the extra mile to support organizations that share a passion about family, such as Young Life and the Ronald McDonald House.

What’s your passion? What motivates you? 

Marshall Goldsmith said passion is that “positive spirit toward what we are doing now, that starts from the inside and radiates to the outside.” (In Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It.)

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morris pruning 2 copy

Pruning Your Schedule: Get Ready to Grow Some Time!

You’ve heard it before. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, the same 365 days in a year. How do some people seem to get more done? How can we find ways to add to our jammed schedules that mojo-maximizing “white space” we discussed last time? (Read about it here.)

To get started, here are two areas to work on. Follow these tips and you’ll begin to reclaim your day and free up blocks on your calendar in which you can add 1) planning white space, 2) creative white space, and 3) recovery white space.

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White Space: Why It Will Benefit You

Last month we discussed the second Authentic  Leadership Principle: Bust Chaos with Boundaries. If you set boundaries in regards to 1) self-care, 2) time, and 3) other people, you will be able to accomplish more and live a healthier and more energized life. Guaranteed!

Why? One reason is because you’ll be creating “white space” in your professional and personal life. What is white space?

Planning, Creating, Recovering

When I talk about white space, I mean time for thinking, for creating, and for relaxing. Yes, it may seem counter-intuitive to add time in a schedule that is already over-taxed. However, until you block off protected time for yourself — and I mean absolutely uninterruptible time —you will not have the energy and thinking power to approach your work from fresh perspectives.

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Do you find yourself going from meeting to meeting and not having time to get your “real work” done?  Worse, do you find yourself catching up at night, during soccer games and in the early morning hours, rather than getting to the gym or spending time with your family?

This constant, nagging feeling of being behind is a common complaint – and a serious problem. It costs leaders their health and wellbeing, and prevents them from being able to truly relax and recharge.  As a result, precious time with children is lost, marriages are neglected, and leaders lose sight of their most important goals and values.  Moreover, they contribute to building a culture of burnout that impedes effectiveness and limits the ability to retain talented people.

That’s why the second principle in my new series on Authentic Leadership, which I’ve designed to help you take concrete steps toward becoming a better culture-building leader, focuses on establishing boundaries that protect your time, enable you to recharge, and improve balance in your personal and professional relationships.

Authentic Leadership Principle #2: Bust Chaos with Boundaries

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Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed some much deserved time off with family and friends, and are approaching this year feeling refreshed, energized and ready to take on new challenges.

I’m excited to share with you a new series focused on Authentic Leadership that I’ve designed to help you take concrete steps toward becoming a better culture-building leader.  Each month, I’ll share one of six key principles that will help you bring out the best in yourself and others. This month’s principle focuses on the step that makes all the others possible: building self-awareness. Now is a great time to tackle this principle head-on, as many of us are naturally reflecting on the lessons of last year and planning for the year ahead.



Authentic Leadership Principle #1  Build self-awareness

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Profile-photoBy Elaine Morris

While you are in the holiday flurry of activity, reduce your stress and carve out a quiet spot on your calendar between December 26 – January 3 to do a Five Part, 90-minute exercise that will change the course of your upcoming year!


Part One:

Reflect On Your Past Year

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Profile-photoBy Elaine Morris

A client was recently promoted to president of a mid-sized company and suddenly faced the challenge of building a solid working relationship with his new direct reports, whom he’d known for many years as co-workers.  “Now that I’m their boss, I need to somehow establish a new way of relating,” he told me. “I don’t want to be heavy handed and yet I do need to hold them to account.”

I have seen this scenario before and it can be awkward. One way to establish rapport and maintain a healthy balance of accountability is to hold regular one-to-one sessions with each of your direct reports.

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Profile-photoBy Elaine Morris

Wishing you a Happy New Year and a welcome to the new year!

I hope your Christmas holiday season was full of family love and all the crazy, chaotic fun that goes along with it!

Getting back in the saddle can be painful on Monday, so I wanted to share a few tools that you may use today and through the weekend to make that transition more joyful.  These two tools always help me bridge the gap between the old year and the new one.

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Profile-photoBy Elaine Morris

As a longtime student of time management, I’ve gained tremendous insight from reading books like Stephen R. Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and First Things First, David Allen’s Getting Things Done, and Jim Loehr’s The Power of Full Engagement, which advocates managing energy rather than time.

Admittedly, I needed everything these mentors taught me.  I’m not naturally organized; I tend to run late, try to do too much in one day, and am obsessed with being fully used up when I die. Over the years, I’ve worked hard to develop rituals that enable me to live a well-balanced life, enjoying quiet time, exercise, and play in between periods of rigorous work.

And yet, sometimes emotional factors overwhelm me and I just don’t do what I know I should.  Instead, I wear myself out, overeat, skip my workouts, and end up feeling depleted and discouraged. Can you relate?

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Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now, a gift from a friend in 1994, is more meaningful to me now, hearing of Angelou’s passing today.  Here is a quote from her chapter on The Sweetness of Charity:

“The New Testament informs the reader that it is more blessed to give than to receive.  I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.  The size and substance of the gift should be important to the recipient, but not to the donor save that the best thing one can give is that which is appreciated.  The giver is as enriched as is the recipient, and more important, that intangible but very real psychic force of good in the world increased.”

Let’s celebrate Maya’s life this week by giving generously!

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