Do you have a zest for life and (want to) squeeze every bit out of it? It rarely involves doing more than others are willing to do; it involves laser-like focus.
Great leaders understand the importance of ‘What’s Important Now?’
Leaders come in all shapes and sizes! An 8-year-old, Tess, heard her parents one evening talking about needing a miracle to save her little brother, Andrew. He was very sick and needed an operation to save his life.
They sold their home so they could pay the doctor’s bills. The surgery that would save her brother’s life was costly; and the family had no funds. She heard her Dad say to her Mom, “Only a miracle will save him now!”
Tess came up with an idea! She went to her bedroom and opened her piggy bank. After counting the money several times, she placed it back in her piggy bank and quietly slipped out the back door of the house. She had $1.11. She walked the 6 blocks to the local Pharmacy and waited patiently for the Pharmacist to stop talking to another man so he could help her.
After waiting a long while, she twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise, cleared her throat and still the Pharmacist ignored her. Finally, she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That got his attention.
The Pharmacist asked in an annoyed voice, “And what do you want? I’m talking to my brother in Chicago who I haven’t seen in ages.”
Tess answered, ” I want to talk about my brother. He’s really,really sick and I want to buy a Miracle”.
“His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing in his head! My Daddy says, ‘Only a miracle can save him now! How much does a miracle cost?’
The pharmacist replied in a kinder voice, “We don’t sell Miracles here little girl, I’m sorry I can’t help you!”
Tess, “Listen I have the money to pay for it. If it isn’t enough I will get the rest. Just tell me how much a miracle cost!”
The Pharmacist’s brother leaned down and asked her, “What kind of miracle does your brother need?”
“I don’t know.” she replied as her eyes welled up with tears. “He’s really sick and Daddy says that he needs an operation. My Daddy can’t pay for it so I want to use my money.”
The Pharmacist’s brother asks, “How much do you have?”
“$1.11. It’s all the money I have, but I can get some more if I had to!”
“Well what a coincidence!” the Pharmacist’s brother smiled in reply. “$1.11, the exact price of a miracle for little brother. Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let’s see if I have the kind of miracle that he needs!” (“The Pharmacists brother was a surgeon from Chicago who specialized in neurosurgery.”)
“The operation was completed without charge.”
It wasn’t long before Andrew was doing well and was home again.
Tessa’s Mom said, “That surgery was a real miracle! I wonder how much it would have cost?”
Tess smiled to herself. She knew exactly how much the miracle cost, $1.11.
Leaders are willing to ask great questions to solve important problems.Even very young leaders know when to ask questions!!
Then they listen.
In 2008, Domino’s Pizza had the courage to face up to their problem. “Their pizza was terrible.”
Ryan Berman, Chief Creative Officer of the I.d.e.a. brand cites Russell Weiner, President of Domino’s USA as saying, “We did not rank high on product scores. But believe it or not, people thought our product tasted better when it was in somebody else’s box. All every American wanted was for someone to just stand up and tell ’em the truth, to listen to their problem and to do the right thing.”
They realized “the problem wasn’t just the taste of their pizza, but also the brand.”
They owned their terrible product, admitted their shortcomings, and asked the public to give them another chance. Their bold “Oh Yes We Did” campaign, captivated the public because it showed them that they actually listened to their customers and would fix any problems.”
The company has enjoyed one of the greatest stock performances of any company in their category, skyrocketing from $9 to over $387.46 (12/14/2020).
What is your One Question that Will Get You Out of your Rut?
What does leadership capacity mean and how can it help you?
Jeff Boss said in an article for Forbes that there are “three leadership capacities to focus on: Courage, clarity, and curiosity. Leadership is about capacity being the type of person who’s able and willing to learn, be courageous, tackle difficulty and question the status quo. Who you are refers to your character – humility, integrity, openness to new ideas, service to others.”
Without clarity “courage doesn’t exist.” By being clear “about what’s important to you..there’s no hesitation, no second-guessing, no wondering if you’re making the right decision, no ambiguity over what’s expected of you.” With clarity you can “get your work done because you’re clear on what success looks like.” With clarity you, your team members and your company create “fulfillment and alignment”. When your “clear” on your values, your work, and in life you’re balanced. He says, “When you’re clear, you’re bulletproof.”
Mr. Boss’s final point: “However, you only gain clarity through curiosity. Good leaders know when to talk and provide direction but they also know when to listen, learn, and lead with curiosity. When you lead with curiosity you not only forge greater clarity but you also gain insight into how others think, which informs your next move (or question) as a leader.” Ask “Simple questions such as, “What do you think?”, “How might we… ?”, “What do you believe is the best way to achieve… ?” are powerful tools you can use at any moment to learn and lead simultaneously.” (Fortune.com/ Jeff Boss: How To Build Your Leadership Capacity, Sep. 8,2017)
Here are 3 Ways you can Focus on What’s Important Now.
1) Clear your mind by writing questions and problems down on paper so they stop renting space in your head. Be courageous by asking bold questions, and listen to the answers to shape your clarity.
2) Be open minded about the solution, and the messenger of the solution. Be curious and have a teachable spirit.
3) Take action.
Remember what Albert Einstein said, “The important thing is never to stop questioning. I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”