A Leader’s Best Summer: Lists to Live by for the Summer of 2011:
Summer conjures up visions of carefree warm leisure sitting by some blue pop of water … the beach, a pool … it does not matter. The stresses and strains of daily life and work seem laughably insignificant as we contemplate the magnificence and grandeur of nature’s beaches, forests, weather, and beauty.
The June edition of our FREE Leadership Guide Magazine (CLICK HERE) is dedicated to summer rejuvenation. Our articles use a “tops-of” and lists-format: various experts, publishers, and leaders have graced us with informed opinions of leading books, vacation spots, entertainment ideas and more. We have identified several excellent books for you and given brief highlights to help you pack your beach bag or your electronic reader.
The first article this month is entitled “A Leader’s Summer Book Bag: a Fun and Fascinating Reading List” (CLICK HERE). The fact is that, even in summer, leaders cannot just “leave it all behind”! Leaders have to continue with their professional development even during holidays and vacations.
The second article is all about fun, personal restoration, and even frivolity (imagine that!). It is entitled “The Leader’s Best of Summer 2011 FUN: Lists for Fun and Relaxation” (CLICK HERE).Fun IS fun, despite the guilty feeling when there is a vacuum of relaxation after the constant motion of a busy life. But make no mistake: fun is a necessity, not a luxury. Personal reflection, rejuvenation, and outright rest are all needed to recharge for the inevitable time your vacation is over. We hope you will enjoy reading our June issue as much as we did putting it together for you. Here’s to wishing you much sunny joy the summer of 2011!
OUR SUGGESTED TOP PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT GOALS FOR THE SUMMER 2011:
1. DO NOT SET VERY MANY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT GOALS . It is tempting to use the longer stretches of time summer offers to FINALLY catch up on neglected projects and big goals. Do not do this! Due to the long hours demanded of leaders, we often neglect our friends, family, and selves. Remember the old Covey “sharpen the saw” rule ... summer is time to sharpen the saw with rest and PERSONAL development.
2. SELECT ONE VERY FOCUSED DEVELOPMENT GOAL . Instead of a typical leader’s laundry list of wide-ranging to do’s, select ONE item you know needs work and “specialize” in it. For example, “communication.” If you know you are a poor speaker, maybe now would be the time to check out Toastmaster’s. Perhaps a couple of books (no more than three!) would also help. Or maybe you need to get more organized: hire someone to help out for a short time. People who specialize in tasks we are weak in can accomplish AMAZING progress in very little time, creating an excellent return on your investment.
3. REFOCUS ON YOUR HEALTH. Winter’s seclusion gives us all an easy excuse to “let ourselves go.” Summer’s easy availability to all things active is our chance to regain our best fitness. Wellness and fitness are necessities to hold up under the continual demands of leadership. Catch up on your sleep. Invest in a juicer. Reclaim your spiritual strength. Enjoy the mental health adjustment of spending time with loved ones.
4. FIND A COACH OR A SUPPORT TEAM. We all just have blind … TOTALLY blind … spots about our own true weaknesses. Unfortunately for leaders, people who report to them are not going to be honest with them about these areas ... they are too afraid of jeopardizing their own jobs. This is a key reason for the glaring areas of weakness in so many leaders … areas that can truly jeopardize the overall well -being of an organization. Every leader needs either an objective outside coach, or a personal development partner with no ties to the leader. The goal here is to encourage and to be encouraged with manageable accountability and feedback. Also surf the ‘net for worthy online websites and communities related to your field. The power of one idea can be transformational, and this information/support is usually free.
5. REASSESS YOUR CAREER PATH. Are you where you want to be? Is this what you want to do with the rest of your life? If not, what different directions should you take starting NOW? Again, a look at any newspaper will remind us of the brevity and potential tragedy life holds for us all. Life is just too short to be miserable in the area where most of our time is spent: work. Summer offers a good time to brainstorm alternative paths; again, hiring a specialist in this area for a short time might provide outstanding ROI.
FAVORITE SUMMER QUOTES:
“A life without love is like a year without summer.” - Swedish Proverb
“In summer, the song sings itself.” — William Carlos Williams
“Then followed that beautiful season, called by the pious Acadian peasants the Summer of All-Saints! Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape lay as if new-created in all the freshness of childhood.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“The summer night is like a perfection of thought.” — Wallace Stevens
“There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.” — Celia Thaxter
“What a beautiful, sunny morning. It makes you happy to be alive. We can not let the sun outshine us! We have to beam, too!” — Takayuki Ikkaku
“Summer afternoon — summer afternoon ... the two most beautiful words in the English language.” — Henry James
BEST SUMMER FOOD AND DRINK RECIPES:
All Recipes: http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/everyday-cooking/seasonal/summer/Main.aspx
Southern Living: http://www.southernliving.com/
Delish (best smoothies and frozen drinks, for both kids and adults) http://www.delish.com/recipes/cooking-recipes/smoothie-frozen-drink-recipes-2
Everyone at Leadership Education and Development hopes that you and your loved ones all embrace the summer season. Have fun and be safe.