Do you ever find yourself sounding like your mother? I have!
As the mother of five children, I find myself saying the same things my mother said to me.
My mother had several phrases. One of her favorites was the statement every parent uses, “always wear clean underwear in case you are in an accident and end up in the hospital.” Another of my mother’s favorites expressions was “first things first.”
The first time I heard this expression, I asked “what does that mean?” She explained, “do what you need to do first, then you can do what you want to do.” I would like to tell you I always followed my mother’s advice, however that would not be true.
Over the course of my childhood, I learned the painful lesson of not doing “first things first.” I remember several all-night study sessions because I decided to “play first.” When I entered college, the price of “play first” resulted in several unsuccessful grades and one very cross mother.
When I was raising my children, I passed on the lesson’s I learned from my mother. I told my children numerous times to do what you need to do first, then you can do what you want to do. Of course, my children made many mistakes. However, as they entered adulthood their choices indicated my words had resonated with them.
I recall having a conversation with our middle son once when he was frustrated and needed to vent. After several minutes, he said, “I told them to do what they needed to do first, then they could do what they want to do.” As I listened to our son, I smiled and asked him when did he become so wise.
Leaders understand the principle of first things first. To be an effective leader, we must be intentional in our choices. Why? Because, as John Maxwell says, our success is found our daily agenda.
Leading yourself well is a skill! The more you practice the better you will be.
Stephen Covey said, “Personal leadership is not a singular experience. It is, rather, the ongoing process of keeping your vision and values before you and aligning your life to be congruent with those most important things.”
Remember, to lead yourself and others well, you must choose first things first!
Are your choices intentional?
Dr. Kim Moore, your guide to leading with confidence!
Kim D. Moore
Please enter your first name and email address for FREE weekly leadership updates!