Simple Living and Leading in Crazy Times


In years gone by, I’ve written about the craziness of the season, as we’re beset by  the convergence of end-of-year work, next-year-goal-setting, and the “work” of gifts, cards and social functions.  And, if that’s not enough this year, Jen and I are moving our home after eight years (and after our 2003 experience of randomly shoving the 10 prior years of accumulated stuff into storage bins).  Help!

From obstacles spring opportunities and the biggest ones for me (as I teach what I most need to learn) are the one-two punch of awesome leadership and management.  To lead you have to know your own values.  And to manage you have to constantly clarify and simplify.  It’s how I am trying to triage, and what I will very briefly unpack a little here.

Values.  When time pressures are great and when home-meets-work in a duel to the death, you’ve got to ask what – and who – are vitally important.  Family, integrity (keeping my commitments), faith – these are central to me.  Preserving key values often turns on saying no to other “values.”  I value shooting for perfection; I can’t be perfect and really can’t now! I value helping everyone who asks of me; I never could meet all those needs, and really can’t now (so, please friends, no more gubernatorial pardon requests). I value learning about everything, but I never could and really can’t now.  What are some of your loves, your secondary values, that you ought to put back in their place for a few weeks in favor of your sanity and the values that matter the very most.

Clarify and simplify.  The best bosses are clear. The best parents are clear.  And the hardest people to buy for are those who can’t give you any clear idea of what they want! So, this is a time for clarity. Everyone’s too busy at work to spend time trying to figure out what’s wanted of them, and more importantly, what’s needed of them. Do yourself and everyone a favor: strive for simplicity and clarity down the stretch.

We have a great radio show planned this weekend on the choice of simple living – how it can help you at work and at home.  I’m looking forward to it, and you might as well, as you

Lead with your best self!


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