“Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to moi, Happy Birth to me! Happy Birthday to you leader… Happy Birthday to Me
Today is 52 years old. That’s 52 birthdays in a year. The other day, I was reflecting on how birthdays have changed as I grew up. If you’re like me then birthdays might not be as important to you now. As I was reflecting on this, I began to think about the kind of gifts we might want for ourselves, especially if we are feeling short in this department birthday gift.
Of course, we could afford vacations and new cars. That’s your choice. This is my purpose: to help you think about gifts you could give yourself that would benefit others. Put on your leader hat, and consider these gifts for your next big day.
You can make a great gift for yourself by buying a book. The book should focus on a topic that you are passionate about. Don’t purchase the one everyone is talking (at most not because everyone is interested in it) or the one everybody needs to know (unless that is what you are really passionate about). It doesn’t matter if you don’t read much, but picking something that interests your heart will make it easy to pick up. No matter the topic, take what you learn from it to your leadership role. It is my guarantee that you will gain leadership insights if this thought is incorporated into your reading of the book. It is a double benefit.
Give yourself a rest. Don’t expect perfection. You can’t be perfect, so stop pretending to have all the answers. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have high expectations or set high standards. I am merely pointing out that you are human. You will ultimately be more effective as an honest, imperfect human leader than as someone who pretends (or tries) to be perfect. You will make mistakes. Accept your mistakes and learn from them. You want people to do the same, aren’t you?
Find a coach. Every skill and endeavor is better when there is a coach. Do you? Do you want to be more satisfied at work, have less stress and frustration and achieve great success? Then get a coach. A coach could be someone you are looking for, someone you have already hired, or someone who has a skill or an habit you’d like to imitate. Perhaps there is someone in your life who could serve as your coach. If this is the case, add it to your personal gift collection.
Get ready for a life-changing experience. Your leadership development does not belong to your organization. To be more effective, you should give yourself the chance to practice and enhance your skills. Ask your leader for opportunities, or open the door to your own money and invest in you future.
One hour per week is all you need. This is one of my favourite gifts. All that is required is a desire to be disciplined and a strong work ethic. As a leader, and as a person, give yourself an hour per week for thinking. To meditate, read, reflect, plan, learn.
I can almost guarantee better results if you give me an hour per week. You will enjoy the recurring gift of self-care that you are giving yourself. Although you may feel like you are unable to find that hour, it is possible. It could be as simple as a less TV, less Facebook, and maybe a less sleep one or two days a week. You’ll be glad you found that hour.
While I am aware that it is my birthday today, you don’t need to wait for it to give yourself one these gifts.