Between stimulus and
response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our
response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
~Stephen R. Covey
What you leave behind is
not what is engraved on stone monuments, but what is woven into the
lives of others.
To keep a lamp burning, we
have to keep putting oil into it.
The real voyage of
discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes, but in seeing with new
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
Remind me of moments when it is clear -if I have eyes to
see- that the life I am living is not the same life that wants to
live in me. In those moments, I sometimes catch a glimpse of my true
life, a life hidden like the river beneath the ice. And in the
spirit of the poet I wonder: What am I meant to do? Who am I meant
Ultimately, man should not
ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that
it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life;
and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to
life he can only respond by being responsible.
One’s philosophy is not
best expressed in words; it’s expressed in the choices one makes. In
the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process
never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our
There is a choice you have
to make in everything you do. So, keep in mind that in the end, the
choice you make, makes you.
to popular opinion, life does not get better by chance, life gets
better by change. And this change always takes place inside; it is
the change of thought that creates the better life.
Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some
five balls in the air…work, family, health, friends and spirit. You
will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it
will bounce back. But the other four balls…are made of glass. If you
drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked,
damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must
understand that and strive for balance in your life.
Take care of your physical and emotional well-being; pay
attention to what your body is saying. Most importantly, take some
time for reflective inquiry…The highest form of human intelligence
is to observe yourself. So be a witness to what and who you are.
The greatest revolution in
our generation is that of human beings, who by changing the inner
attitudes of their minds can change the outer aspects of their
It is never too late to
become what you might have been.
Leadership is much more an
art, a belief, a condition of the heart, than a set of things to do.
It became clearer and
clearer to me that the kind of leadership that could effect lasting
change was centered around the being aspects of leadership.
In the last decade or so, science has discovered a
tremendous amount about the role emotions play in our lives.
Researchers have found that even more than IQ, your emotional
awareness and abilities to handle feelings will determine your
success and happiness in all walks of life, including family
~John Gottman, Ph.D.
Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead
others, as what he does from day to day to lead himself.
~Thomas J. Watson
…effective leaders have an
acute sense of their own strengths and weaknesses. They know who
they are-and who they are not. They don’t try to be all things to
all people. Their personalities are indistinguishable between work
and home. They are genuine. It is this absence of pretense that
helps them connect with others so well.
Leaders have nothing but themselves to work with…. we
are our own raw material. Only when we know what we’re made of and
what we want to make of it can we begin our lives - and we must do
it despite an unwitting conspiracy of people and events against
us….. To become a leader, then, you must become yourself, become the
maker of your own life….. Know thyself, then, means separating who
you are and who you want to be from what the world thinks you are
and wants you to be….. Until you make your life your own, you’re
walking around in borrowed clothes.
If people skimp on their inner work, their outer work
will suffer as well.
To the extent that people
can become clear about the purpose of their lives, the mission they
believe they have been placed on this earth to accomplish, and the
values they hold close to their hearts, they will have more
fulfilling experiences, especially if they’re able to connect those
values and goals to their roles at work.
Leadership is really not one thing. It is about
authenticity, not style. It is about leading a balanced life. It is
really a personal journey that we all have to take, and do take, to
find out who we really are.
Leadership is not simply something we do. It comes from
somewhere inside us. Leadership is a process, an intimate expression
of who we are. It is our being in action. ~Kevin Cashman
True leadership comes from authenticity and requires
unflinching self-assessment and self-knowledge.
~Leader to Leader, Summer 2006