People bandy about the term "the best" to the point where I wonder at the relevance of its use - except as social currency. Most people haven't stopped to contemplate what "the best" might be - what it would look like; what values it would embody.
After many years involved with the personal development movement and working in mental health there are principles of leadership you start to realise are pillars of excellence - genuinely being "the best" means acting in accordance with those pillars. And holding expectations for others to do the same.
Expectation can be an ugly word. So many people are like "Oh, expectations lead to disappointment". Perhaps expectations, loosely held, allow us to maintain our boundaries, our sense of peace, and well-being.
As we enter each new year, there are a lot of posts around that discuss leadership - the qualities of a leader. Most of these articles include points on ethics, integrity, transparency, accountability, trust, honesty, and empowerment - and importantly, kindness.
We all have leadership roles to adopt - in our homes, families, workplaces and in the variety of roles we fulfil in our relationship-based lives. And I wonder how often we look at who or what is "the best" and hold it up to these qualities - to realise that "bestness" is an honest process; one with identifiable objective qualities.
Perhaps if there were clear expectations around values, to complement performance, we might see a positive shift in culture? How often do we see that a "positive values culture" increases performance? When will KPI's be based on principles that incorporate a true gauge of what sets tone and culture, first and foremost?
People will say leaders are "the best" if they send the occasional kind message or take people out for cocktails. In the broad scheme of things these niceties can be power plays - token gestures that result in a lack of ethics, integrity, transparency and other qualities associated with positive culture. If gestures complement a positive culture then, great. If they attempt to mask a negative culture....
This year I have set my sights on living a values-based life. And even working together with others to discover what their values are. Finding ways to express and visualise values is the focus of a new course I am building with some other really exciting people.
While I love traditional documents for planning and even the sleeker business canvases that have emerged, a picture paints a thousand words. So, instead of a thousand words, I want to make pictures - together. And let those pictures guide us to being "the best".
You might embark on a new process this year for a number of reasons and I want to know more about what you might want from this journey. Please let me know (email me, or find me on social media). We will stay in touch to keep you posted about what's next.
Because really, being the best is about working out what it means to you, first and foremost. With that in mind, I really hope that this year, is your best year yet.
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