In recent weeks, I have learned that one of my dearest friends and mentors is nearing the end of his life journey. It was devastating news; and, yet, he is living true to his principles, even through this ultimate challenge. This only endears him more to those of us who have looked to him for encouragement, advice, and guidance in leadership and business.
These are some of the valuable lessons Dan Miller has taught me and thousands of other leaders across the world.
Carry the Sunshine
Dan has admonished those he leads to “carry your sunshine with you.” He is certainly practicing what he has advised. Circumstances may not always bring sunshine. A new year may not always bring sunshine. But you can carry it with you, helping to lighten even the darkest of situations. For leaders, this advice is golden. Those you lead need you to bring light and hope.
Consider the Possibilities
Dan’s favorite question may be: “What does this make possible?”
And he is asking that now as well.
While a cure does not appear to be possible, it does make possible deeply meaningful conversations with loved ones, peers, and friends; and creating memorable experiences with family. It makes possible reflecting on life to its full and final measure. It makes possible receiving words of love and appreciation from those whose lives have been changed as a result of your life’s work.
Wherever you are as a leader, consider this question: “What does this make possible?”
- Are you entering a new and uncertain year? What does this make possible?
- Are you anticipating changes in your business? What does this make possible?
- Are you dealing with new technology? What does this make possible?
- Are you facing a new decade, a change of location, a change in family or friend dynamics? What does this make possible?
- Are you facing a challenge or decision? What does this make possible?
- Is your team dynamic in the workplace changing? What does this make possible?
Find the Solution
Another famous saying by Dan is: “We don’t have a problem; we have an opportunity for a solution.”
There is power in how you, as a leader, view a problem. You can see it as an insurmountable obstacle and become its victim, or you can recognize it for what it is and then consider solutions.
This is where having a team of trusted peers and advisors provides great and varied perspective. You’ll want to seek out those who have strengths you do not have.
The saying is true that you get what you focus on. You can focus on the problem or the solution. The choice is yours.
Take the Action
One thing Dan noted in his video was that he was thankful for having lived a full, goal-oriented life. He not only dreamed about the possibilities, both personally and professionally; he also took action. Because of this, an unexpected and serious diagnosis with immediate ramifications did not leave him with regrets. Instead, he expressed gratitude for having fully experienced life and business.
You can build air castles, or you can live your dreams; and the differentiators are setting goals and taking action.
Carry the Legacy
Dan talked about legacy, making a key point. Legacy is not about having a massive bank account or a monument in your name; it is about the part of you that people carry forward into future generations. It is the principles you have taught, the organizations you have built, the memories you have made, and the encouragement you have given to those who follow you. Legacy is what gives life true purpose.
- How can you “carry the sunshine” into the new year? Who needs your light as a leader? What hope and encouragement can you bring to your team?
- List your current circumstances. What do they make possible?
- Consider a problem you are facing. What are possible solutions? Who can help you flesh out possible solutions?
- What are your goals and dreams for life and business? What action steps do you need to take to make them happen? When will you take those actions?
- How do you want to be remembered? How can you serve the coming generations?
Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after executive coach, mentor, consultant, and speaker worldwide. Deb is well versed in business operations and in the importance of asking key questions most business leaders won’t ask themselves. She brings deep experience in leadership development, strategy, high performance team building and effective communication. She has a passion for leading people to discover and maximize their strengths as well as those of fellow team members, while offering advanced strategies to achieve high performance. Deb is the perfect fit if you’re ready to take your leadership and impact to the next level!