chess game - picking the right battles

Being a leader requires facing a number of difficult challenges, some of which you have very little or no control over. Instinctually, good leaders will want to deal with any and all problems that come their way. We don’t like to be told that we can’t do something or to feel helpless or powerless to handle certain situations. In reality, there are problems that we won’t be able to solve. In order to make the most of our leadership abilities, we have to accept this basic philosophy:

Some things, if left alone, will correct themselves. Some things, no matter what we do, will not be corrected. Some things, if we try, can be made right.

Now let’s break these three principles down to help us better understand our roles as leaders and avoid wasted energies.

Some things, if left alone, will correct themselves.

Over time, many issues you come across will correct themselves. History shows that many social reformers who were considered criminals, mocked, and even imprisoned, strongly held views that are now embraced by an enlightened society. Even nature, when devastated by fire or polluted by toxins, can cleanse itself over time when left alone.

Some things, no matter what we do, will not be corrected.

An example of this would be hanging on to the past. We have to accept that the past is done and that we can only influence what is happening today and in the future. We must also come to grips with the fact that our personal weaknesses will always be a part of us. Whether they are physical, emotional, or intellectual, we can manage them and compensate for them, but they will still be present. Don’t live your life comparing your talents or limitations to those of other people. Identify your strengths and talents and grow them. In the same way, we must also accept that others have weaknesses that we can’t change.

Some things, if we try, can be made right.

This is where a good leader should focus his or her energies! For example, our genetic makeup provides us with a broad range of talents and abilities. We have a great opportunity to develop our skills and natural talents to become better leaders and evoke change in the workplace, our community, and our families. This is where we have the control to make choices and direct our futures rather than letting time and chance dictate where we will end up. Make those important decisions. Tackle a personal problem you have been avoiding. Mend relationships that are strained.

Science shows us that “cause and effect” is at work not only in the universe but in our lives as well. Tomorrow will be determined by what you decide to do today. Don’t waste valuable time and energy trying to fix or change circumstances that are out of your control or those that will correct themselves over time. Focus your time and energy on what you can positively change and the abilities and talents you can develop now for a better future. True leadership includes having the ability to choose wisely!

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