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I learned about Leading from….THAT song!

As many of you know I love cooking and I love music, so when I get the chance to be in our kitchen, put the songs on a playlist and cook a meal for the family I am really happy and just in my element.  I am ME!

One night last week, on one such occasions, some of the songs from The Greatest Showman came on and, with one of the songs, probably for the first time (even though I’ve heard the song hundreds of times) I was drawn to the lyrics.

For those of you who don’t know the story, the film is about a man who I guess had an inferiority complex from early life and went out to constantly prove he was worthy and could achieve anything anyone else could.  As he progressed up the food chain he mixed in different circles and enjoyed the luxuries that come with such success.  All seemed wonderful…and then, as you might expect, everything came crashing down around him.  What he then found was that many of his new “friends” disappeared and it was the old ones and his family that he’d dismissed or largely forgotten about who helped to pick him up and put him back on his feet.

The song lyrics go:-

I saw the sun begin to dim
And felt that winter wind
Blow cold
A man learns who is there for him
When the glitter fades and the walls won’t hold
‘Cause from then, rubble
One remains
Can only be what’s true
If all was lost
Is more I gain
‘Cause it led me back
To you

From now on
These eyes will not be blinded by the lights
From now on
What’s waited till tomorrow starts tonight
Tonight
Let this promise in me start
Like an anthem in my heart
From now on
From now on

I drank champagne with kings and queens
The politicians praised my name
But those are someone else’s dreams
The pitfalls of the man I became
For years and years
I chased their cheers
The crazy speed of always needing more
But when I stop
And see you here
I remember who all this was for

And from now on…etc…etc.

In life it is so easy to get trapped on a treadmill, aiming to get higher and higher to obtain greater status, more influence, bigger teams, larger budgets and more power.  Many of us (and I include myself here) look around us and see what everyone else is doing and think that’s the way we should behave and so follow suit.  There are also those talent and development discussions that focus us on what our next career goals and aspirations should be.  Back then I found myself travelling more and more, was away on business for about 4 nights a week and was shattered and irritable when then around my family.

Thankfully, one day, I was shaken back to “what’s this all for?” when my then 9 year old son (now 20) asked me a simple question and so began a journey to finally do what I wanted to do….the start of really being myself.

So what’s the point of this blog?  My own experience and that of many of those whom I work with is that often we find ourselves doing the things we think others expect of us.  Sometimes that’s because everyone else is doing it, it’s the “norm”, and sometimes it’s because a boss has suggested it to us.  My challenge today is for us all to stop and think about our goals and aspirations and ask yourself if you are being truly authentic; Is this me?  What am I really doing this for?  When we are fully ourselves, fully authentic, then life becomes really fun and somehow effortless.  There is a freedom and energy about it that is magical.  There’s nothing wrong with climbing such ladders, as long as we are not sacrificing ourselves for it.

This week, why not spend a few minutes to consider “am I chasing someone else’s dream?” and “am I clear what this is all for?”

We’d be happy to pick up this conversation with you…just give me a call.  Authenticity is one of THE 4 pillars of LEADership (Listening, Energy, Authenticity, Direction)…the impact on self and others when being authentic is simply magical.

Am I chasing someone else's dream?

Am I chasing someone else’s dream?

I drank champagne with Kings and Queens
The politicians praised my name
But those are someone else’s dreams
The pitfalls of the man I became
For years and years
I chased their cheers
The crazy speed of always needing more
But when I stop
And see you here
I remember who all this was for

 

After all, iTS Leadership!

Warmly

Antony

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