I recently read a book about rules for life, and it has me thinking about my rules for my life, family, and what I really want to pass on to others. Years ago (2013), I wrote two blog posts about this, here and here. I’ve changed a lot since then, for the better I hope, so I think it’s time to write some rules to live by again. And, I’m hoping for some feedback and collaboration along the way. So, here goes my first (third-ish) draft of my rules for living:
Be kind and loving. This is a mantra we repeat to our kids all the time. I’m not sure where it came from, but over time, I’ve realized that if I can raise kind and loving kids, I will have won as a parent.
Listen well. I want to listen to people, understand and empathize with them, and be capable of responding from a deep understanding of what they are communicating. Listening well leads to better communication, relationships, work, life, everything.
Always be learning. If I’m not growing, I’m shrinking. I have no intention of shrinking, ever.
Practice extreme ownership. Be ok with being wrong. I think this is a critical leadership trait that is too often overlooked. Leaders are wrong, and that’s ok. Being ok with being wrong puts me on the right footing to make the most of it.
Practice thankfulness. Being thankful for what I have gives me an improved perspective on everything else.
Practice mindfulness. I want to be in the moment, enjoying that moment to the fullest. I don’t want to miss things while looking at a screen or be distracted by something frivolous.
Do less. The best leaders do less, focussing on the critical things and letting go of all the rest so they can make the most impact.
Know the value of your time. Your time has value in terms of dollars and opportunity cost. Knowing the full value of your time is critical for knowing how to spend it well.
Believe the best. I choose to believe the best in others. When I get an email that seems sharp or passive-aggressive, I choose to believe the best in that person, assuming that I’m adding that negativity to the email on my end. I choose to believe the best until facts prove me wrong.
That’s all I have so far, but I’m still looking to edit, grow, and refine this list. So, what are your thoughts? Do you have any rules you live by? If you do, I’d love for you to share.
Great leadership reading from this week.
How to Say No to “Grabbing Coffee” - I think we all see the value in zoom meetings these days, so saying no to grabbing coffee and offering a zoom alternative may be necessary. This article should help with that.
3 Questions to Help Your Team Solve Problems - Helping teams problem solve is critical for success. This is a simple framework to help with that process.
5 habits productive people use to get the important stuff done - Ok, I read a TON of these articles, but this one is a little different. These aren’t habits like exercising 15-minutes every day. These are habits like “they assert their needs.”
Other great reading from the week
I Asked 50 Entrepreneurs to Explain Why Fire Trucks Are Red and School Busses Are Yellow — None Could Do It - If you have a business or a product, this is an interesting read and draws some important conclusions you should consider.
A ‘memory palace’ is your secret tool for remembering information - I’ve used a memory palace to memorize a list of 10-20 items and be able to recite them perfectly backward or forward for weeks afterward. It’s a fun and interesting tool to learn. If you have never tried it, it’s worth your time.
What Ever Happened To Waterbeds? - I slept on a water bed once as a kid, it was fun (and weird), but I would never have wanted one. It seems most people didn’t.
Podcasts to check out
Tech Talk Y’all - My tech/comedy news podcast.
Real Pink - I host the national podcast for Susan G. Komen. If you want some inspiration or information about breast cancer, give it a listen.
TechBridge Talks - A podcast about using technology to end generational poverty.
That’s a wrap!
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