Good Leaders: What influences outside of work are making you better?

Sunday brunch with my mother and best friend from home was a fabulous way to celebrate a good life.

December is, well…December! If you have created meaningful friendships and strong family ties, the invitations for special things expand exponentially as you age. Even now, absent the child-raising obligations at school, my life outside of “work” is abundantly full.

Growth on the Seven Fs everywhere

Ever since Tim Schmidt and I created the Seven Fs: faith, family, finances, fitness, friends, fun, and future, as a framework for goodness in leadership, I’ve been able to handle the “outside of work” influences more effectively. This past week was a Lalapalooza of Seven Fs joy and goodness:

My nephew Birch sang a fantastic concert at the Basilica in Minneapolis, on Monday night.

Family first

It started with the Minneapolis Southwest High School Christmas Concert at the Basilica to watch my nephew Birch Batz Rogers sing first tenor in a spectacular concert. Then, Melinda and I raced home, to have a 10 pm Skype-date with our son and daughter-in-law who are now living and working at a Non-Government Organization in Bangalore, India. The 11.5 hour time difference meant a late night on a Monday. Ouch.

One of our team members gave Melinda and me this special bottle of wine!

Later in the week, we hosted the Good Leadership Enterprises team at our house for a Christmas celebration, and then welcomed our daughter Anna home from college. Saturday, I welcomed my best friend since junior high school, Rob Joyce, for the weekend. Saturday night, Melinda and I hosted our December “Feast with Friends,” with lots of food, wine, and singing around the piano.

“Feast with Friends” for the Bloomington crowd.

Football, the 8th F

Sunday morning, Rob and I got up to share breakfast with my 81-year-old mother, before going to the Minnesota Vikings football game. After the game, I went to a graduation party for Drew Martin. Then, Sunday night we hosted “Sunday Night Pizza” to celebrate our daughter Katie’s engagement to Maxwell Bowell – they have chosen a date and a space for their wedding.

And every day for the past 8, I’ve been reading a CaringBridge site to follow the health journey of someone I don’t even know. Our newest employee Kathy’s brother suffered a brain aneurysm and the miracle of surgeries helped him survive. Mark makes me humble and grateful to be so alive.

Sarah (center) and Ben are celebrating Christmas this year in India.

Even though my #1 priority at work is to finish writing the Goodness Pays book, I found all of these “distractions” to be helpful. There are so many special relationships – and responsibilities – in my life that make me want to get better. A better husband, father, brother, uncle, and son. A better leader and business owner. And a better writer, speaker, and coach to fuel the goodness movement.

Rob and I cheered on the Vikings Sunday afternoon during a Lalapalooza of Seven Fs weekend.

Good leaders embrace their full life – inside and outside of work – as motivation to get better. And they seize every opportunity to see growth in their faith, family, finances, fitness, friends, fun, and future.

This week includes both the Winter Solstice and Christmas. Both are excellent reasons to celebrate a good life. Enjoy!

Please share with me: What outside of work influences are making you better?

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