This week we celebrate Thanksgiving. Yes, I’m writing from my home in Texas and yes Thanksgiving, at least the one I’m talking about is American.
In preparing this piece, I looked back at my annual Thanksgiving messages. I was struck by what I thought was simple prose at the time, but turned out to be more prophecy. (On my blog page, use the search box above and type Thanksgiving to see what I mean).
In the past I have written about social conditions, political conditions, the need for leadership, and of course family.
Somehow the events of 2020 make everything pale in comparison.
The Top 10 for 2020
If you will allow me, here is my Top 10 list of things to be thankful for in 2020.
10. We still live in a free country where opinions are able to be expressed despite growing tension about doing so. I fear we’re losing that ability to come together to discuss and honor opposing opinions. So I pray we change that soon.
9. We have a diverse economy that can sustain pandemics. It may take a hit, but we don’t sink the ship.
8. I have friends and colleagues to remind me to be humble.
7. I still have the ability to learn; learn to be a better coach, a better teacher, and a better person.
6. I have clients who seem to appreciate what we do together. I never take that for granted.
5. I have you to read and follow this blog and my podcasts. Your feedback keeps me on my edge and hungry to do more.
4. I have a valuable network of mentors who help me grow. You know who you are. You challenge me and keep me strong.
3. I have some very special friends who are loyal, supportive, caring, and honest. That’s the most important part, honesty.
2. I have a beautiful family; my wife Susan, my kids, and grands. You all keep me on my toes. I love you tremendously.
1. I thank my Lord and Savior for His unconditional love.
Some may take offense. I don’t intend to be offensive. I’m sharing my list. You can share yours in the comments below.
The Leader’s Obligation
As I think about this list, the big question that emerges for me is this “How will I show up?” For all the things people do for me and with me, will it matter?
You see I believe I need to show up better each day. I need to do that for myself. But more importantly I need to do it for those who are counting on it.
If I roll out of bed and decide to ‘mail it in’ one day, who gets hurt? They do. The people who are counting on something from me.
That is what leadership is about. If you lead people, they are expecting something. You better show up and deliver.
If you’re not ready or willing to do that, you need to step away from your leadership role. If you’re just there for the payday, step away. If you only want the recognition, step away.
Step away and let someone who wants to serve others take the role. The people deserve that. We need those kinds of leaders, everywhere.
Will you show up? And be that kind of leader? I hope so. My pledge is to be there. Will you be alongside?