December 20, 2010 § 3 Comments
Every big company has a board of directors to give it direction. Companies are selective about who is on the board and the qualifications they have for being there. The day-to-day operations are left to the employees, but the big decisions can’t be made without input and approval from the board. This can sometimes seem like a long and cumbersome process, but the board is there to ensure the long-term success of the company.
What difference would it make in our own lives if we consciously chose our own board of directors? What positions would you have available and who would you choose to fill them?
Unlike a formal board, each of us can create our own unique combination of roles for personal governance to complement our strengths and weaknesses. You retain ultimate veto power over the board’s decisions. That being said, you also have complete control over who has the authority to give you advice you’ll trust.
My own board of directors would have the following positions:
Chair – The Chair is the one responsible for all decisions made at the end of the day. This position requires the utmost faith, confidence and trust in the person’s ability to lead and make the right choice for your overall success. Ideally, the Chair is you.
Director, Grounding & Good Sense – The primary function of the Director, Grounding & Good Sense is to call your bullshit and keep you on track. He/she knows when you’re making excuses and isn’t afraid to give you the kick in the butt you need to set you back on the road to success. It’s this person’s advice you seek at the beginning of an idea to help you outline a path and the obstacles you may face.
Director, Dreams & Unlimited Potential – This position is here to keep you afloat in those times when ‘reality’ has taken a bite out of your confidence. This person already knows you can do what you set out to do, and reminds you of this when you aren’t so sure. Consultation should happen with this Director when a creative solution is required for a problem or when you’ve heard the word ‘can’t’ one too many times.
Director, Slack – Sometimes you’ve been working towards something for so long and so hard that you just need somebody to cut you some slack. Everyone else is pushing and supporting you, you can’t let go of your goals and you’re striving for the stars, but it’s one of those moments when you’ve got a lot of balls in the air and your arms are getting really, really tired. This person will either step in to take over while your arms rest, or help you lighten the load for a while… ie cut you some slack. It is wise to seek counsel with this Director before you qualify as ‘burnt out’, but often times this happens post burn out.
Director, Special Projects – The role of this position is one of those ‘other duties as required’ kind of things. It’s for that person who just seems to be a great go-to person in all kinds of situations when the skills of the other members of the board just don’t seem to fit.
The board doesn’t necessarily need 5 different people to fill each role. Maybe it’s just one other person, or maybe you have multiple people who play this part for you in different situations. But identifying those ‘go-to’ people in your life helps you recognize your own strengths and weaknesses and those of your closest network of people.
Have you ever thought about your board of directors? What positions would you have and who would fill them?
December 7, 2010 § 4 Comments
Happiness is the one thing we all want and the one thing many of us spend much of our time trying to find. We make changes to ourselves, our relationships and our surroundings in the hope that these will unlock more of that magical place that we sometimes get to experience in a moment here, and another there. A haircut, a new pair of shoes, rearranging the living room furniture, changing jobs, even changing friends or partners. Though hard decisions to make sometimes, these are nothing more than our attempts–no matter how graceful or clumsy–at fulfilling ourselves the best way we know how to (or don’t).
I’ve spent the past few weeks reflecting on the rest of this year. I’d have to say 2010 has been one of my biggest years. And in it, I’ve found my space in which to be happy. That hasn’t come without its trials and tribulations. I didn’t find my spot without some people coming into my life, others leaving it and some sticking around for the whole adventure. I also never would have found it if I hadn’t been willing to work through the bits that kept me tethered with equal gusto to the parts that helped me fly.
I’ve discovered that long-term happiness isn’t found in a moment, but is made up of our friends, family, coworkers and experiences. It’s a continual state of being that we only recognize when we have the other end of the spectrum to compare it to.
Often, we create our own roadblocks when we lack the openness and confidence to climb as high as we may have fallen. But the ups and the downs are what give us a foundation to connect with one another on. It’s those ups and downs that help us grow, and give us a richness and depth to life that we cannot get elsewhere.
So really, happiness is not something we find, but something we experience. It has as much to do with what happens within us as it does with what happens around us. And so, the responsibility of our happiness falls on no-one’s shoulders but our own. The question then is: Are you happy? And if you aren’t, what are you doing about it?