This past weekend, a true leader was honored in my town on his 100th birthday.
Rev. John R. Winter (known as “Rev. Dick Winter”) was surprised with a community celebration by the Warrenton Volunteer Fire Company at the fire house. Rev. Winter was the minister for the Warrenton Presbyterian Church from 1953 until his retirement in 1987. He baptized me as a child then my own daughter thirty years later.
He was in the Rotary Club with my dad and sat next to each of my parents’ hospital beds countless times over the decades. He did all the things a good minister does. He preached the gospel, taught Bible classes, officiated at weddings, baptisms, funerals, enjoyed church picnics, potlucks, and coffee hours, comforted the sick and offered counseling, kindness, and encouragement to all. But there was more.
Before we all had instant access to local news, he seemed to know where to go to offer support, comfort, and compassion in the community at large. He...
I find the most specific guidance, the clearest wisdom and undisputable truths often come through at weird times.
Like when I’m in the shower.
That’s where I was today when I realized I had been wondering how to be more effective in my business. Somewhere between the shampoo and conditioner, I heard it.
“Connect. Inspire. Lead.”
This is a message for all of us:
I ask a lot of questions. A LOT. At least my family seems to think so.
My curious mind has led me to understand how to live in more peace, harmony, and joy than any other time in my life. And I’m grateful.
Part of the reason for that has been understanding of the power of questions. Specifically, how to shift the focus of my internal questions from what I don’t want, to what I do.
Let me explain…
In years past my questions would be typically focused on understanding why I’d done something, hadn’t done it, or why life wasn’t happening according to my plan. The dialogue in my head on any given day could sound something like:
“How could I be that stupid?”
“What was I thinking?”
“Why doesn’t anything ever work out for me?”
“Why did I think he/she/they would do the right thing?”
“Why can’t I ever get this right?”
Everything changed when I started asking different questions.
I often talk to clients who are interested in getting advanced degrees, certifications or work experience that will label them a “good leader.”
After studying the traits of high achievers, reading biographies of leaders admired by millions and watching interviews of influencers I trust, I’ve noticed something.
Few mentioned advanced degrees, certifications or work experience as forming the foundation of their success.
While those things absolutely contributed, I’ve been struck by something else. Many leaders talk about: