Personal Reflections Feed

Learning Through Teaching: Schooled By the Class

How satisified are you with your job? If you are one of the bored majority, have you ever thought about how you might make your job a little more fulfilling rather than relying on someone else to do it for you? Try this: Look at your job from a student's perspective, as a classroom for learning new things about life and leadership. Then find someone to whom you can teach your new lessons.

We are all students in the classroom of life. Teaching others is the best way to learn and become a better leader...on so many levels. When was the last time you intentionally learned something new? When was the last time you taught someone else what you learned?

I spent a lot of hours in a literal classroom this past year as I took on the adventure of being an adjunct "professor", teaching Management Theory to MBA students at a local college. I'm in the middle of teaching my third cohort now, with many to follow. Here are some lessons I learned that we can all learn from:

Lesson # 1 -We can be our best and our worst simultaneously when we try something new. While we should always strive to improve on our current body of work, our best effort at a new endeavor is still worthy of celebration. What achievement can you celebrate today?

Lesson #2 - When times becomes chaotic, slow down to speed up. While this seems counter-intuitive, slowing down to plan so we can respond rather than react reduces stress and increases productivity. When was the last time you stopped doing to plan?

Lesson #3 - Inefficiencies abound without a formal new-hire onboarding process. My experiences as an adjunct professor give me recent first hand experience to the importance of a formal new-hire process. What is your process for starting a new job or hiring a new leader?

Whether you are an official teacher/professor or not, when you start viewing life as a classroom, it will get more interesting for you. What life lessons have you learned recently? What can you do in the future to apply what you've learned? Share you comments below and then turn your learning into practice and put it into action today.

Note: If you'd like some help designing action steps to move forward, click here today to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Handbook for 2010: Thoughtful Thursday

To quote a friend and one of my favorite networking gurus, "common sense is not always common practice".  We have good intentions to live our lives to the fullest, yet somehow in the day to day "fire fighting" we lose sight of our longer term goals.

Today's thoughtful Thursday comes to you in an excerpt of common sense ideas from a "Handbook for 2010", inspired from a blog post I received today from Andrea Nierenberg. Like Andrea, I aspire to live by a similar version of this "handbook", of which I'm sharing the section regarding personality today. I believe doing each of these well will increase our leadership capabilities tremendously. Take a look.  

11.    Don't compare your life to others... You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12.    Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control.. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13.    Don't over do.. Keep your limits.
14.    Don't take yourself so seriously.. No one else does.
15.    Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16.    Dream more while you are awake
17.    Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18.    Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19.    Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20.    Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21.    No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22.    Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.  Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23.    Smile and laugh more.
24.    You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...

NOTE: If you want to see the full list, click here.

Now, think about the following:

  • Which of the above do you need to focus on today?
  • What will you do today to devote more attention to it?
  • What support do you need in achieving your goal?

What would you add to this list? As always, we'd love to hear from you.  Leave your thoughts in a comment below!

We Can't Get Back Time: Thoughtful Thursday

Time is the one thing we have that once its gone, we can't get back.  In today's Thoughtful Thursday post, consider how your life might be diffferent if you made the best use of your time. Here's the quote:

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. - Jean de La Brusre, 17th Century French Essayist


  • How often do you complain about how little time you have?
  • What is the biggest consumer of time and energy in your life?
  • How would you live your life today if you knew you only had six months to live?


Thoughtful Thursday: Does Time Alone Heal?

Taking time to ponder the deeper meaning of life eludes many of us in the fast past culture of our day. To encourage us all (me included) to reflect a little more, I'm starting a new weekly feature here at Purposeful Leadership entitled "Thoughtful Thursday".

Each week will feature a short thought or quote, followed by some questions to promote further thinking. This week's thought comes from a new friend I had coffee with yesterday whom I met via Linked-In.

"Time does not heal, it simply passes. What we do with the time we have determines how and to what extent we heal." -Lucy DelSarto, Wellness Coach


  • What recent hurt still distracts you?
  • What have you done to promote healing in your life with respect to this hurt?
  • What do you need to accept or know to move past the hurt?

Care to share your thoughts? If so, please leave a comment below.