From Big to Small and Small to Big:
For my entire life I've taken science classes. In every science class I've ever taken there's always a beginning. In biology it starts with DNA. In chemistry and physics it starts with atoms. In environmental science it's the Big Bang Theory. The point here is that our journey starts somewhere.
Atoms are known as the "building blocks of matter" and are the smallest pure forms of elements. We can combine these atoms of various elements to create compounds and molecules which are used to build the items that we are all familiar with. But each of these atoms can be divided up into smaller particles known as protons, neutrons and electrons. These tinier particles determine what atoms combine with what atoms to form compounds and molecules.
Before we can talk about goals, leadership, teamwork and how to be apart of a great team and lead a great team or organization, we need to identify those particles that make up those elements of being a good member and leader of a team/organization. And once we establish what particles make up those elements, then we can use those elements to establish a compound, molecule, and bonds that hold those things together. Essentially we're establishing a fundamental foundation. From that foundation, it is then up to us to design, build, shape and polish ourselves into great team and organization members and leaders.
So now the question is...Where do we start? I've done a lot of thinking, reading and analyzing, and I have come to the conclusion that everyone starts in a different place. However, I am going to go along the lines of thinking that I have been taught and that I have slowly tried to comprehend and understand over the course of my short 20 year existence. I am going to mention several of the particles, atoms and elements here and now, however, I will discuss each of them in greater detail in later posts. I bring them up now because I want us to ponder them prior to actually analyzing them.
From Bigger to Smaller:
When I became a member of the inaugural Leading The Way Program with Global Explorers, I met Eric Alexander. Eric is a climbing partner and friend of Erik Weihenmayer and was a member of Weihenmayer's team that reached the summit of Mt Everest in 2001. While we were in Cuzco, prior to setting out on the Ankascocha Trail, in Peru (June, 2006), Eric (or Erie as we sometimes called him) told us his views on teamwork and leadership. Erie outlined a basic mathematical formula that explains leadership in probably the best way I've ever heard it described. He said that to him "Leadership equals Vision plus Action the divisor is Character". Essentially these are the qualities that make up a good leader. We will break this formula down in greater detail in future blog posts.
I bring it up now because we need to know what we will be examining. When the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and other peoples of the world started delving into the areas of science, mathematics, biology, anatomy, etc they looked at the big picture and then began to break it all down. The further in history we progressed the smaller and smaller our world became and the closer and closer major discoveries were being made. Today, we know a lot more about certain topics than in the past. But the point is we had to start somewhere. We started big and then began to fill in the details. So what do we want?
Before we can become good leaders in our organization, team, group, family, etc, we need to examine ourselves and ask ourselves the question "what is it that makes me who I am?" What are my likes and dislikes? Who do I look up to? Who and what is important to me? Or simply... "What are my values?"
Once we know our values, we can then look at our attitude and how that can get us to where we want to go. After attitude we then develop a vision or goal and strive (take action) to meet that goal(s). We either then achieve our goal(s), partially achieve our goals(s), or don't achieve our goal(s). No matter what happens we're always learning about ourselves and the people around us.
I will go ahead and wrap it up here and just ask all of my readers to think about what makes you who you are. Think about what you like and dislike; what makes you happy and sad; what makes you pleased or mad; who is important to you in your life. In short, what are your values? Think about them for now and maybe write them down. We will go into greater detail about values in the next post.
Until next time.