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AS OWNER OR LEADER, YOU are one of the key assets of the business. Your employees are wonderful, I understand, but without leadership it will all fall apart.

Yet it seems we’re the last one to get taken care of.

I admire leaders who recognize what it takes to sustain their own focus, energy, and inspiration. Without doing that, you can’t pass it off to your people.

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WE ALL KNOW that goals are important. If you’re going to make progress, you have to decide what moving forward means.

But that has no emotion in it. It’s just blah-blah-blah management speak.

Our challenge is how to create a sense of excitement and inspiration with your business goals.

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YOUR PRIMARY VALUE as a leader is to give people direction, to align their work in order to achieve the large goals of the group.

But that’s the left-brain way of thinking. It’s fine and necessary as far as it goes, but it’s missing something.

Caring. Purpose. Passion.

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IT’S REALLY DEPRESSING how many people are disengaged from their jobs.

I’ve been there, and you probably have too.  It’s not a great feeling.

But guess what? As a leader and business owner, you have the great opportunity to do something about it for your people.  And it’s not rocket science.

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YOU WOULD LIKE TO THINK that a clear sense of mission straightens everything out.

And to a certain extent, it does.

But the truth is also that knowing where you’re going doesn’t mean that reality will line up to make your job easy.  You may be on a mission to save lives on the other side of town. Your sirens and flashing lights can help clear the road a bit, but the roads aren’t going to move to make your job easier.

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HAVING GROWN UP AROUND THE MOUNTAINS, I find this picture beautifully striking. Especially as it highlights that we NEVER get to see the stars this clearly anymore; they’re obscured by the light from our cities.

Being a business owner or leader has the same problem. We’re distracted from seeing the purity and beauty of the powerful WHY behind our business.
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BUSINESS IS ABOUT MAKING STUFF. Delivering to customers. Getting a return on your investment.

So it may seem weird that I use a fluffy word like “soul” to talk about a company.

But it’s a very real question, vitally important.

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DIVERSITY HAS BECOME WATERED DOWN. The honest truth that business in this country has adopted an attitude of “hire a racial minority and we’ll be good.”

I almost don’t even want to use the word any more, but there’s something important I’ve learned. We need to talk about it.

We all gravitate toward people and groups which are similar to us. I think it’s a hardwired aspect of being human, perhaps based on how our primitive ancestors maintained stable communities.

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TO BE HONEST, I’m not a huge fan of industry conferences.  I’ve done a lot of them over the years, and often they give me negligible value.

There’s some that are different.

For instance, last year I went to the Small Giants Summit in Denver, and it was inspiring and intensely valuable.

What was different?

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THIS IS AN AMAZING, wonderful day for Christians.  But if you don’t have a particularly Christian business, why is this important?

Because we’re real people.  And our employees.  And customers.

The human things matter.  It’s not like business is a machine we can set in the corner and ignore.

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