We tend to think of leadership as something you achieve, then you get to keep it forever. Or at least a long time.

But I’m a member of an amazing service organization, Rotary International, which has the practice of changing leadership every year. I’m signed up to be the president of the club for the 2023-24 year, and I’m starting to get my mind wrapped around the implications of that. And trying not to get stressed out about it.

But I’m keenly aware that I’m just a temporary seatholder in a long string of leaders, going back to 1977 for our club. It’s a humbling realization.

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I’ve been pondering lately how I can possibly make a difference when we have such huge, intractable problems. I’m just one person with limited resources.

It feels hopeless.

But the truth is that big changes are made in small increments. Even though it may feel ineffective at times.

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I always work with my clients with the objective of a healthy business. Why that word, as opposed to profitable or growing or whatever?

It’s because the word conveys a proper sense of balance and happiness. I’ve seen many cases where the pursuit of profit can result in unhappy employees, disloyal customers, and a burned-out owner.

But we all want health and happiness, right?

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It wasn’t in my plans for the week.But when I tested COVID positive, I had to push everything aside to let my body heal.

Fortunately, it only lasted a week and I wasn’t hospitalized. Just inconvenienced.

But as I was clearing my calendar and rescheduling activities, I learned some important things.

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It’s become quite the thing to identify people as Extraverts or Introverts. And now Ambiverts, and I’ve heard “I’m an Extravert with Introvert tendencies.”

It’s almost as if these terms didn’t really mean much anyway.

Let’s face it, these are tendencies that we learn as we grow up. To some degree they might be innate, but most of it is learned from our families and friends. It’s not like the color of our eyes, which is controlled by genetics.

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Most businesses are quite complicated. With customers, employees, partners, regulations, financials, industry dynamics … it’s a whole lot to wrap your mind around.

Don’t get me wrong — that’s all necessary.

The problem is that your team can get lost in all that detail. The larger the organization, the smaller each person’s contribution feels. So motivation slowly ebbs and nobody even notices.

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It seems like I’ve spent my whole career fixing problems. And don’t get me wrong, there are many problems which need solutions.

But there’s something more important about being a leader.

People aren’t problems to be solved. And the challenges they run into aren’t really about that either. It’s much more organic and heart-centered.

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You might think that all the conversation about DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) is just a passing fad. But it’s really about creating a much healthier organization, and improving your business results.

Including increased revenue and decreased costs.

How does this work?

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The Great Resignation, or Great Reshuffling, or whatever you call it. I’m talking to a whole bunch of people who are re-prioritizing, re-examining, and re-thinking what their work is about.

It’s a major factor in how employees are making decisions right now.

Part of the problem is that everyone has their own priorities and sense of balance. More than ever, it really matters if you have small kids, elderly parents, or are thinking of buying a house when prices are going through the roof.

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We live in a very anxious time.

Some of the stress is justified, I guess, but when I look at what’s happened for the last decade, or two, or three … a lot of what I felt at the time didn’t really make anything better.

So I try to maintain a little perspective.

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