To be a leader—whether in corporate America or in your community or family—you must have a dream. From that, you create a vision and a belief of success in achieving your dream. Then you must set goals, believe that you can achieve them, and then act on them or “get in the game.” I have found that the power of crystallizing your vision to a measurable goal or fixed date is amazing: I have achieved many goals I set in business in half of the time I thought I would.
You must be able to go beyond your comfort zone and beyond the status quo, always realizing you are on the edge of success or rejection, and that it is OK if rejection occurs
Don’t let others steal your dreams. In my heritage, we have dream catchers—artistic webbed circles made of wood, sinew, and feathers that you place in your home. The purpose of the web is to catch bad dreams or thoughts that may be floating in a spiritual sense, and the center of the dream catcher is open, to allow good dreams and thoughts to pass through. In the American culture, there are a lot of dream stealers who point out flaws instead of attributes in something or someone. I challenge people to find the attributes and the possibilities.
As a leader, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Seek guidance from many sources; engage people outside of your industry in discussions on business issues. Participate in non-profit organizations and volunteer to those without role models. Make the leaders of your customers’ organizations part of your team: ask their perceptions and pulse on the business. Such relationships have been a differentiator in major decisions I have made.
Take time for diversity in your life—work, health, family, friends, hobbies, and spiritual time. I am learning to accept not always having an “A” performance, to live life, not work. Appreciate your gifts and blessings, and find chances to have joy and laughter.