Do you like the things that life is showing you?
Lessons from life’s experiences.
Diana Ross sings “Do you know where you’re going to?” as the theme tune to the film Mahogany. This is all about a young girl growing up in a poor area in Chicago, with a dream of becoming a fashion designer.
She is passionate about her dream, and this pursuit takes her on a journey to Rome where she becomes a top model. She comes to a point, however, where the dream seems to have taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way, and she reflects on the things that life is showing her.
“Where are you going to? Do you know?”
~ Michael Masser and Gerald Goffin
What do you want to be when you grow up? Wel,l when I was asked that question as a teenager, as many of us were, it wasn’t to be a fashion designer, that’s for sure. It had more to do with being an Engineer, and more particularly a project manager, and much of my early career was spent doing exactly that.
However, I knew it wasn’t my vision to be a project manager for life, although I didn’t actually know what I really wanted to be. I didn’t know what my vision was, or what my dream would turn out to be. Life happened around me and opportunities came and went; some were pursued and others were left unexplored.
“If you don’t have a plan, you become part of somebody else’s plan.”
~ Terence McKenna
I found that through the first season of my career, as an employee, that I would be ready for a move to a new challenge approximately every 18 months to 2 years. My journey resonated with the quote from Terrence McKenna, although I was actually quite fulfilled doing that; taking opportunities when they presented themselves and helping someone else’s plan come to fruition.
I read the usual advice about finding my life plan, of discovering my passion, of uncovering my dream, and I dreamed about having a “Popeye moment” – that’s the moment when some injustice would cause him to exclaim “I just can’t takes no more”, pop open a tin of spinach, consume the contents and then set off to right some wrong.
I worked through several exercises aimed at helping me mind my “sweetspot”, with advice such as:
- If money was no object, what would I like to spend the rest of my life doing?
- If I could, what future would I create for myself?
- What would I like my greatest life accomplishment to be?
- What inspires me the most?
- What activities am I most passionate about?
- What kind of work do I get lost in doing?
- How will my business enable me to live my dreams?
- How would I want someone to describe me at my funeral?
- If I knew failure wasn’t an option, what would I attempt to do with my life
All I knew was that I didn’t know the answer to any of those questions. That was until I looked at life’s experiences. That’s when I discovered the answer to my vision, my passion, what I wanted to do with my life.
“Every significant vision possessed by leaders is built on their past – the lessons learned and the pain experienced.”
~ John Maxwell
For me, what emerged from exploring my experiences revealed that “everything I’ve done well, I’ve taught”. From teaching Ice skating while I was at university, to becoming a cycling coach for my local team, through lecturing in further education and higher education and in delivering training and business coaching.
The other thing I uncovered was my passion for leadership, although not to lead my own business or other activity. I was much more interested in helping others build and lead their businesses. I discovered a passion for helping others maximise their effectiveness, and that of their teams, and I discovered that the most effective way of doing that was to help build their leadership capabilities.
Look behind you – what have you learned?
~ John Maxwell
As I looked back at these experiences I learned the answer to all of the above questions about finding my sweet-spot, and that’s where Leadership for Business was formed. “Do you like the things that life is showing you?” My answer now is “Yes, with a passion!”
About Roger Fairhead
Roger is a Leadership specialist and uses the PRIZE Winning Leadership model to help leaders improve their effectiveness and that of their teams, through remote and on-site delivery of keynotes, group training events and individual coaching sessions.
He is the author of several books including "PRIZE Winning Leadership" and “Personal Productivity Planner”, a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a Director of the Global Leadership Network UK with extensive experience in Project Management and Sales.
“He is articulate, tracks complex issues with ease and has an incredible gift for raising pearls of wisdom out of the murky depths of people and process.” His passion is to help people to learn effective leadership skills to lead their teams to capitalize on their strengths and passions to realize their dreams.
Roger also invests into the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities to offer them small loans that empower them to invest in their future, to provide for their families and give back to their communities.