10 (More) Tips to Put You on the Leading Edge
By Suzanne Lyons
1) DELIBERATE THINKING: In an evocative poem, Ray Bradbury says, "I didn't know that every minute was special, precious, a gift, a miracle, an incredible thing, an impossible work, an amazing dream." Isn't that absolutely brilliant?! What it says to me is 'wake up, be conscious and enjoy the moment.' A leader is someone who realizes that beliefs are nothing more than habitual thoughts. So we get to create our reality. We get to choose the thoughts that empower us, bring us joy moment by moment. We get to design our world... every special, precious, miraculous minute!
2) BE UNSTOPPABLE: When a leader hits the wall, he/she goes through to the other side. A challenge occurs as an opportunity, not a road block. In a Flash Forward Institute Coaches Training Session years ago I asked our coaches to describe a leader. One of the characteristics they listed was "Unstoppable." "A leader," they said, "ignites a driving spirit that propels others toward excellence and levels of greatness they thought they could never achieve."
3) DON'T WASTE TIME COMPLAINING: I did a seminar once where one of the ground rules was that for the entire ten weeks, in all areas of our life, we were only allowed to complain to the person who could do something about it. That one item alone freed up tons of hours a week for me! It was an amazing aha moment that changed my life. Try it. Just for this week.
4) EMPOWER & INSPIRE: If you're truly intent on being on the leading edge and standing in the distinction of Leadership, then take a serious look at this one. Leaders empower and inspire and they do it naturally and effortlessly with no agenda. Are you doing that? If not, start now... today. John Quincy Adams said, "If your actions inspire other to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."
5) LIVE YOUR PASSION: Gary Vaynerchuk (I call him the wine guy) is a self-made multi- millionaire and certainly a leader within the wine community and the social media network. In his book Crush It he says, "Live your passion... I measure my success by how happy I am... and I'm 100% happy." Watch his vlogs. He is hilariously funny. You can tell by watching him (and reading his book) that he has followed his vision and lives and breathes his passion. In so doing he is having fun and he's inspiring us to do the same!
6) RESPECT EVERYONE: There is a great e-book called Nelson Mandela's Leadership Lessons (available on-line) and one of the lessons noted is this: Respect! "Only when everyone in your organization feels respected will the organization's full potential be achieved." Seems like common sense, but are we doing it... as producers, directors, execs, etc. On our film and TV sets, in our offices... are we really doing this?
7) INTEGRITY: This is one of those difficult distinctions that, let's be honest, we hate. But, if you're committed to this inquiry and want to be on the leading edge... sorry, there is no getting around it! When you really immerse yourself in this distinction, it's actually fun... a challenge, but fun and oddly freeing. If you want to stretch yourself and play big, really big, maintaining 100% integrity and 100% impeccability is imperative. Anything less is unacceptable. There's an article on integrity by the Maliwada Human Development Training School that says, "Integrity is a destinal resolve - a resolve that chooses and sets your destiny and out of which your whole life is ordered. Amid the flux of wavering to and fro that is so evident in others, the man of integrity experiences an inexplicable rootedness, as though he has sunk a taproot deep into the foundation of the earth itself."
8) COMMUNICATION: Make eye contact. Speak to the person as if they are the only person in the room. Empower people in your conversations. Complete every conversation with the other person being left empowered. This is not always so easy, especially in a heated conversation. So stand in leadership, take a moment, breathe, get centered and remember that your commitment is to leave the conversation with the other person being left empowered.
9) STAND IN ABUNDANCE: In the entertainment industry and in our culture at large this is not the norm... not by a long shot. We are taught at an early age that there's not enough. Not enough money, food, jobs, love, time, natural resources, appreciation... I could go on. In their book, Money and the Law of Attraction, Jerry and Ester Hicks explain that when we believe that there is not enough to go around we are actually holding ourselves apart from abundance. So let's retrain our thinking here and stand in abundance. There is more than enough of everything for everyone. As leaders it's a far more powerful place to stand.
10) CONTRIBUTION: Leaders contribute and pass the torch. In his poem "A Splendid Touch," George Bernard Shaw says "I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can... Life is no 'brief candle' for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations."
BONUS: As I've said many times, have fun with all of this. It's all a great fun game in a magnificent playground. So play, smile, laugh... often, on purpose, for no particular reason.
About Suzanne Lyons: Co-Founder of Snowfall Films, Inc., Windchill Films, Inc. the Flash Forward Institute, and an LPA Mentor, Suzanne Lyons has over 25 years experience in television and film.