The older I get, the more I have “memory moments.”

Grade 6_HATCH_Lesson 19_Varughese (6)

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This past weekend my wife and I, along with our daughter attended an Academic Insight Day at Mississippi State University. Our daughter is a senior this year and will be attending MSU next fall. As my daughter was driving up to Starkville (and back), I begin to think about our first driving experience in the visitor’s gravel parking lot across from Clinton High School. She was 14, and I was a nervous wreck. Fast-forward to today, and all I have are memories of that moment.

My brother and his family live in another state and we keep up regularly. Many times we will call each other to have a conversation on nothing more than, “You remember when?” Usually, it is some funny experience regarding our family growing up. Then we will call our parents and ask the same thing to make sure they remember as well. Even though we are both grown with our own families, we are still making “memory moments.”

I give you this background to say this… “memory moments” have a way of shaping who we are. “Memory moments” come in all areas of our lives, from family, friends, jobs, etc. What is most important is what we do with those “memory moments.”

So… How does this relate to leadership or does it even at all?

Our leadership if full of “memory moments.” Those moments we have made for ourselves, and those that we have been apart of with others. With each, there are good and bad “memory moments.” We only like to think about or bring up the good, but oh how does the bad make us mad or tugs at our hearts. We recall what we want to and try to forget the things we wish we could.

Every leadership decision you have ever made falls into one of these two categories. “Memory moments” have a way of shaping our leadership style and how it affects our whole world as it pertains to you and everyone around. What is crucial to understand and often we do not, is when we make decisions, our “memory moments” should serve as a guide that helps us understand we are dealing with real things and real people. Too often we fail (or do not want to) acknowledge this.

How many times do we make decisions just to be making them? As to say, going through the motions? We can chase a lot of rabbits with this idea. The critical concept to realize is there are no “flippant” decisions when it comes to leadership. Everything means something to someone. Like it or not, they leave a lasting impression.

As you think about your own “memory moments,” let them be what they are. If good, then enjoy the time and the rewards. If bad, then learn from it and make sure you do not repeat. Either way, the next leadership moment you have will leave a memory for you and someone else.


©2018 J Clay Norton

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