The power of gifts

This time of year is designed to be about giving and the power of gifts. It usually does not work out as designed as the giving sometimes turns into a frantic focus on urgency and the anxiety that goes with choosing the right gift. I want to encourage you to be mindful during this time of the year of what you have to give and what you need to receive.

If you are in the role of leader, are you leveraging your leadership in such a way that you are getting the maximum return on your unique gifts? What is it you do best? What do you bring to your followers that ensures they will—or at least enables them to—perform at their highest level? Perhaps you have the gift of communication and your direct reports would benefit from a renewed focus on clearing the low-gain clutter that the day seems to bring. Your direct reports will respond best to channeling your energy in the area that will give you the best chance of yielding outstanding results.

What is it you need? What is it that you need more of or less of? There is a direct correlation between your ability to accurately assess what you need to perform at your peak and personal satisfaction personally and professionally. Maybe you need to carve out a specific time in your week, every week, to consider what needs to happen to decrease complexity and increase efficiency in your life and work.

In most cases people get so busy working in their jobs that they do not take the time to work on their jobs and lives. Be mindful during this time of year. Think through the unique gifts that you bring to those you influence at work and at home.

Here are several ideas that will help:

1. Carve out time to be still and consider what you need to get and what you need to give at home and at work so that you—and not a BlackBerry, Palm Pilot, or some other urgency producing element—are running your life.
2. Focus on high-gain activity.
3. Set clear boundaries.
4. Eliminate the words “have to” from your vocabulary.

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