Good Leaders: How do you find who you are?

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Matt Norman (posing with his family) helps me see who I am through his Norman Views blog posts.

Matt Norman (posing with his family) helps me see who I am through his Norman Views blog posts.

The iconic tune: “On a clear day, rise and look around you, and you’ll see who you are,” is ringing in my ears as I write this summer-reading-list-blog. My mother played the Burton Lane movie tune – sung by Barbara Streisand – on an LP in our living room when I grew up. The classic melody has a quarter million hits on YouTube.

Reading other bloggers helps me shape my point of view: that’s why I’m excited to introduce you to Matt Norman, who writes a weekly Norman Views blog. He’s a 40-something father, husband, entrepreneur and thought-leader in the leadership development space. He’s also carrying on his family’s tradition of growing a Dale Carnegie franchise.  Matt was a speaker at The Good Leadership Breakfast Series last year. I’m really proud to say he’s my friend.

Inspired by my weekly blog, he made a New Year’s resolution to write 50 blogs in 2012. His purpose is to help us lead our lives as a “human being, instead of a human doing.” Here’s an insightful excerpt from his 50th blog post:

  • 25% of the posts were easy to write. I had energy, time and clarity. They were done inside the 90-minute mark and required little to no editing. These were like the relief you feel when you catch an express train.
  • 25% were a slog. I was tired, cloudy-minded and unfocused. These felt like the mediocre sophomore release by a band pressured by their label to crank out more hits.
  • 25% were a battle. I was overloaded with work, on vacation or constantly interrupted. I wrote on my iPad while my kids climbed trees, in the car on road trips and late on Saturday nights.
  • 25% were an emotional stretch. I was filled with grief, joy or shame. I was broken or triumphant. These were the posts requiring a sanity check from a trusted source and left me with a vulnerability hangover.

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In Ch. 20 of my eBook, I wrote about my scariest moments - inspired by the friendship of Matt Norman.

Friendship with Matt Norman inspired me to write chapter 20 of my eBook… about one of my scariest moments.

It’s the last 25% that helps us learn about ourselves the most. Read “My week of idleness.” as a shining example.

Like Barbara Streisand singing “On a clear day,” Matt Norman’s emotional stretching reminds us we are all living in the same movie. No one is immune to the peaks and valleys, plot twists and temperamental characters of a life well lived.

Matt’s friendship and encouragement helped me write about the fear and pain I was feeling in my most famous blog post: What makes you feel wimpy?

Good leaders make a habit of reading to find insight. And they enter into each new day looking for clarity about who they really are.

Next week, I’ll introduce you to Younger Next Year and my fascination with my Fit Bit to help me stay in shape.

 

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