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Leading Your Life or Following It Around?
by Barbara Garro

Title: Leading Your Life or Following It Around? When you make the most of your life, it naturally follows that you'll make the most out of the possibilities of your New Year. Happy New Year 2017!

What comes to mind when you look at the title's question? I invite you to ask yourself that question frequently as you go about your day-to-day business.

Another question to ask yourself frequently is "Whose am I?" When you allow others to program your day in distracting ways, you are theirs instead of yours.

Consider also unpacking your life with these questions-
  • Where does my time go? If you don't know on any given day, you have an immediate problem that needs solving, well, immediately!
  • Where is my focus? Positive future or yesterday's defeats?
  • Where am I now?
  • What goals am I headed toward?
  • How fast am I moving toward them?
  • What is my daily plan?
  • How am I evaluating my daily plan?
  • Am I willing to risk failure for success?
  • Am I continuing my education?
Understand, nothing will stop your positive progress faster than poor time management motivation. You see, it's time expense that measures who or what is leading your life.

In "Confessions," St. Augustine said, "So what is time? If no one asks me, I know; if I want to explain it to a person who asks, I do not know anymore and yet I affirm with certainty that had nothing passed, there would not be past time-had nothing happened there would not be future time, had nothing existed, there would not be present time."

So, let's start unpacking how people can coerce you into following your life around instead of leading it:

THINK BEFORE YOU AGREE-
  • Avoid Appointment Gridlock by being realistic about preparation and appointment time lines. That being said, be thoughtful about agreeing to meet, engaging in conversations, or hosting visitors.
  • Track Social Media Return on Investment by asking yourself how much business you can attribute to business-related social media time expense.
  • Put Pause Spaces between Appointments, Telephone Time, Texting & Emailing so you have time to work on projects and do necessary daily work.
  • Pause to Rest, Refresh, and Refocus at least a few times during each day and at least one hour a week to check in with yourself to see how much of your life you are leading and how much you are following.
After you consider the way you are using your time resource, take a critical look at positive and negative pairs of your natural habits:

EASY & HARD PAIRS TRUE FOR MOST PEOPLE
  • Easy Talkers are Hard Listeners
  • Easy Listeners are Hard Talkers
  • Easy Leaders are Hard Followers
  • Easy Followers are Hard Leaders
  • Easy Positive Thinkers are Hard Negative Thinkers
  • Easy Negative Thinkers are Hard Positive Thinkers
  • People Easy with Things are Hard with People
  • People Easy with People are Hard with Things
  • People Easy to Anger are Hard with Peace and Vice Versa
Here's why looking at both sides of natural habits and aiming for balance matters:

KICK BUTT STANCE

  • Efficient, not so effective
  • Subordinates React: leave, stay with low morale & justify just not showing up sometimes
  • Disliked
  • Hinders Creativity
  • Takes Over on Teams


LAID BACK STANCE
  • Fewer Promotions
  • Lower Salary
  • Get Dumped on
  • Stress Can Cause Illness
  • Underperforms on Teams
Jim Rohn said, "The challenge of leadership is to be strong but not rude; be kind but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be humble but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly."

Finally, to lead your life well, you need to keep uppermost in your mind the Nine Kinds of Workplace Power at Your Disposal:
  • Referent - This is the most powerful power, where people who have referent power are followed, regarded as role models
  • Legitimate - This is the power of authority granted by position or title
  • Reward - This is the power of payment, again altered positively or negatively by people's perception of the strength of people's ability to pay
  • Financial - Beyond Reward Power, this is the most intimidating power, because an organization's financial paycheck power can remove an employee's ability to pay for basic needs or impair venders' solvency
  • Expert - This power comes from a permanent knowledge base, however, it can be altered greatly positively or negatively by what people think a person does or does not know
  • Information - This is a temporary power that comes from knowing what is going on within the company at any given time
  • Coercive - This is the power to punish, can be legitimate or abusive, and people's perception is again a factor
  • Network or Alliance - This is a business person's power base
  • Custodial - Power over all aspects of a person's life
At the end of each day, you have two non-financial workplace resources: time and people. Engage both well to lead your life instead of following it around. ©2017 Electric Envisions, Inc. http://www.ElectricEnvisions.com

Barbara Garro, MA, CPCU is the Enlightened Envisions Coach, Motivational Speaker, Writer, Artist, and author of Grow Yourself a Life You'll Love; From Jesus to Heaven with Love: A Parable Pilgrimage; The Comfort of the Shepard: Parable Prayer and Meditation; Living the Call of God and Love Bites. Available over the Internet: http://www.BarbaraGarro.com, http://www.CambridgeBooks.us, http://www.Amazon.com, and other book selling sites and stores. Contact: 518-587-9999, ChristianAuthorBarbaraGarro@yahoo.com.