It’s been said that if you do the work that you love that you will never work another day in your life. Well, that’s kind of sort of true. I love what I do; however i is work, it’s hard work. It’s a paradoxical tension that I’ve learned to appreciate. I love spending time with family, sharing the Gospel, strategizing, connecting, thinking, dreaming, leading, challenging and helping others win. Fortunately, that’s what I do every day.
I love what I do and you should to. The reason so many people are not able to do the work that they love is because they are fearful of what would happen if they took that step of faith.
“STOP worrying about what would happen if you made those tough decisions and took the big risks. START worrying about the haunting regret you will experience if you never make the tough decisions, take the big risks and your life remains the same.”
10 Reasons You Should Be Doing The Work That You Love
- 1. It’s what you love… duh.
- 2. Life is too short to be wasting time doing work that you don’t even like.
- 3. If you are sharp enough to rise to a leadership role for an organization you are not particularly fond of, you’re definitely sharp enough to successfully do something you love.
- 4. It’s easier to wake up in the morning, when you’re waking up to do what you love.
- 5. You are consistently motivated by an inner desire to do what you love and the success of it all is simply a nice bonus.
- 6. Your dreams can be centered around what you love instead of dreaming about how to get out of a situation that you don’t like.
- 7. You only live once on this earth. ((repeat))
- 8. If you find yourself in what you perceive as mediocre work situation – you don’t have much to loose, pursue the work you love.
- 9. If you don’t feel that you can leave the financial security, ask yourself “Will the money be the most important piece of my life puzzle 5-10-15 years from now?” Better yet talk to someone in the “Car Business” that chased the dollar their entire life.
- 10. There is a reason something you love is burning deep down inside of you – it’s because it’s what you were created to do.
There are some great lyrics and encouragement for those contemplating, desiring or thinking about pursuing the work they love found in hip hop artist Emimen’s song “Lose Yourself.”
If you had one shot, one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?
You can do anything you set your mind to. ~Eminem
Maybe it’s time that you “Lose Yourself” or better yet, it’s time that you find yourself, it’s time that you do what you love and love what you do.
There are many different thoughts or definitions of what a Next-Level Leader is or what pairing those two words together actually means. In this post I will provide my personal definition of what a Next-Level Leader is, in addition to identifying 5 Distinctions of A Next-Level Leader.
The definition of a Next-Level Leader is this- A leader that not only elevates their personal leadership to the Next-Level, but elevates the leadership of their team members, peers, their organization and competition to the Next-Level. They challenge the status quo and elevate elevate the level of performance of those around them; both friends and foes.
Below are the 5 Distinctions of A Next-Level Leader, Next-Level Leaders always do these things:
1.) Challenge Things- Next-Level Leaders challenge things because they are supposed to be challenged. They not only challenge the thoughts/methods of their leaders, but they challenge their own methodology. They realize that their boss puts their pants on just like they do and embrace the fact that just because a person a supervisor doesn’t mean they are necessarily smarter or better leaders, or that they can’t add value to the conversation. Challenging things is not about being combative, but rather raising everyone’s leadership game to the Next-Level. It’s okay to respectfully disagree. Don’t get the willingness to challenge things confused with being obstinate.
2.) Ask The Right Questions- Next-Level Leaders always ask the right questions… They begin sentences with “What If?, Have You Ever Thought About?, This Might Sound Crazy, but do you think we can…” Anytime they have the opportunity to sit down with another Next-Level Leader that they desire to learn from, they come with a list of questions and not a list of answers. They take their leadership game to the Next-Level by asking the right questions.
3.) dream BIG- Next-Level Leaders are always dreaming and imagining. Some of these dreams may seem to be a fairy-tale to some, but not to a Next-Level Leader. A Next-Level Leader will schedule an appointment to dream, they go to Starbucks and dream, they close their office door and dream, they take a vacation alone to do nothing but dream. They take their leadership game to the Next-Level by dreaming BIG, encouraging those around them to dream BIG, writing their dreams down and making those dreams a reality. They dream BIG. think BIGGER.
4.) Learners- Next-lLevel leaders are always learning from: books, blogs, their industry, history, other industries, culture, failures, television, their followers, various industries and other Next-Level Leaders. They have a mantra something like Will Rogers’ Mantra “I never met a man I didn’t like.” The Next-Level Leaders mantra sounds a little something like this: “I Never Met a Man, Woman or Situation that I didn’t learn from.” They elevate their leadership game to the next-level by realizing that learning is fundamental.
5.) Produce Next-Level Leaders- Next-Level Leaders produce Next-Level Leaders, period the end. Next-Level Leaders contribute to the world of leadership by truly caring about those that they lead and always developing Next-Level Leaders. They never confuse Management with Leadership. They understand that managers manage people and things, while Next-Level Leaders produce other Next-Level Leaders. Simply put: “If You Are Not Developing and Producing Next-Level Leaders, You Are Not A Next Level Leader.” Next-Level leadership is not about how tall your tree can grow, but rather the type of fruit your tree can produce.
“I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.“~Ralph Nader
Seriously, this is a must watch video from this past Sunday at House Of Hope in Atlanta. Pastor E. Dewey Smith is an awesome man of God and I love his example of faith in this video and always. I know him, he’s a friend, this is the real deal and this is how he rolls in Jesus’ Name. I’d like to warn you if you are watching this in a quiet place or public place (like work or Starbucks) you may find yourself taking a praise break out and start shouting.
A couple of highlight moments and statements:
- They can perform CPR, but only God can give breath.
- Church Nurse: “He’s Gone… He was gone!”
- IV stands for I’m Victorious
- I’ve been telling y’all God is Real
Great Leadership Cultures Are Willing To Challenge “The King” and Great Leaders Want To Be Challenged
In all my years of leadership/followership and from my experience providing leadership consulting, I have come to realize that Great Leaders and Great Leadership Cultures are willing to Challenge ‘The King.” I’m not talking about challenging King LeBron James to a game of 1 on 1. I’m referring to “The King” as the Big Boss, The CEO, The Department Chair, Team Leader, The Senior Pastor, The President… The Senior Leader that’s making the decisions, ‘The King.”
What generally happens in an organization is that “The King” develops a style, a system and a reputation for the types of decisions that he or she will make and the type of feedback that they are willing to receive. Over time, those that are closest to “The King” begin to accept those tendencies as the law. This inevitably leads challengeable actions, decisions and offenses going un-challenged. The excuses for not challenging “The King” range from,”that’s just how so and so is — you know they will not even entertain that thought.” This type of situation and culture is not good for “The King,” those that follow and the organization as a whole.
“The King” ends up leading from an isolated rarely challenged clueless bubble. A bubble that’s not going to bust because it’s not being poked, prodded and challenged. Those that follow “The King” will sit around and talk about what “The King” is or is not doing and the decisions “The King” is or is not making, which only leads to more problems for “The King” and the organization.
Great Leaders Challenge “The King” which not only makes them better leaders, it makes the King a better King. If an organization is being led by a King that is not willing to be challenged by those around him, the organization is being set up for failure. If leaders are not willing to challenge “The King” they will never be great leaders and are stifling their leadership potential. If an organization doesn’t foster a “culture of challenge” at all levels, it’s time to change the culture. Great Leaders Challenge “The King” and Great Kings create a culture where all things, decisions and people will be challenged… including themselves.
If an organizational culture allows for this absolute, imperious, or overbearing control to permeate through their organization, they are setting their organization up to become a dictatorship.
Great Leadership Cultures Awe Willing To Challenge “The King” and Great Leaders Want To Be Challenged
Often times people look for the big hoorah and the mountaintop celebrations. They want the big win, a chance to celebrate, an opportunity to look up and see progress in the rearview mirror.
We must learn to celebrate in the valleys, the flatlands and the moments where success appears to be only a thought, a hope, a wish and a dream.
Dreams are always within an arms reach of those who understand how to celebrate each and every step along the journey.