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My Most Important Leadership Lesson Ever

Hot air balloon

One of the most important leadership lessons that I ever learned is this: People are more important than tasks.

You may be a great people person and already live by this guideline, but I know that I, and many other type-A, task-oriented, introverted people, have a to-do list that isn’t getting any shorter. So, let’s get to work!

I often am a go, go, go person until I realize that I’ve stepped on the toes of someone with whom I want to make a good impression, and occasionally that might be my family. And by family, I don’t mean extended family. I mean my wife and/or kids. Whoa! C’mon, I say to myself. What is really important? What I “need” to get done, what I “want” to get done, or people?

Without a doubt, it is the people!

I know a guy, not whole lot older than me, who made a life-changing decision recently. His wife has some significant health condition that appears to cause her to age physically much faster than normal. She has all of her mental faculties but struggles physically. She’s had daily in-home care for a couple of years. She is not able to speak understandably most of the time, and she cannot care for herself physically. He recently had to move his wife into an assisted-living home. Oh, I know he is not the only person to ever do this. But he is the man that is closest in age to me that has done this.

You know what that tells me—care for the loved ones in your life. Spend as much time as you reasonably can with them. Life, and shall I say death, come far too quickly.

I have learned from one of my mentors, John Maxwell, that whenever possible, if there is a memorable experience to be had, share it with some other people that mean a lot to you; and make it a memorable experience for them as well.

Recently, I arranged for my wife and I to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary with a hot air balloon ride. And to make it even more special for us, and a few others, we took our grown daughters and son-in-law as well. It was incredible!

Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

What kind of life are you giving? What kind of life are you making? Who are you taking along on the journey?

Here’s to making memories! Blessings, my friends!

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