The other night I was getting a glass of milk before I went to bed and finished the container; there was not much left. I went to get another container out of the other fridge, and as I bent over to get it, there it was… the expiration date, staring me in the face. Somehow the lettering seemed much larger and more significant than it had in the past. I said to myself, “October 23, wow… I can literally live my days marked out on time based on milk carton expiration dates.”
Others in my household will look at the expiration date, on any item, on the day of and immediately say, “I’m throwing this out. It has expired.” I look at the date and say, “Let me see,” taste it and say, “It’s still good.” The way I look at it is expiration dates just mean hurry up.
Smart shoppers check expiration dates at the grocery store. Why would you not? We really do want fresh items. You know what? We really want everything fresh, even leadership. However, it is too bad that leadership does not have a stamp on it, letting others know that the particular leadership style is about to be or already is… growing stale, stale, about to expire or even has.
So, how do we know if leadership is expired or growing stale? To answer that question, we must look at the leader themselves and the trend they promote. Strong leadership with a growth mindset that does not keep repeatedly doing the same old thing over and over is what people want. Remember, the worst words in leadership are, “We have always done it this way.” Now, that does not mean we change ideas and concepts that are working and for the good of others, but…
Leadership that has worked in the past often does not work now. Leadership that works now does not mean it will work in the future.
Fresh leadership finds a way of keeping good ideas previously used on the cutting edge, changing and tweaking it here and there as needed. While at the same time, leaders who involve others in “talks” and actually listen will find support to continually move forward with new ideas and help foster current and future success. And please, acknowledge good ideas from others and give them credit. It will do wonders for your credibility.
As we all live our lives, we “clock” it by some time factor. And then I began to think more (this is where many of my problems occur)… How much time after the expiration date is the milk still good. Well, that answer depends on how much you like soured milk. I guess at some point, it will become undrinkable, but who knows. And just like milk, leadership will eventually sour as well. Don’t let your leadership expire…
Go be a great educator and leader today… Our future needs it…
Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others…
©2020 J Clay Norton
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Charlotte Walker said:
And clarifying goals is part & parcel of keeping fresh leadership. We can’t forget our “Why”. Great food for thought, Doc!
The Book Chamber said:
Agree. We cannot get to where we want to go if we do not know how to get there. Thanks for reading.
Allen Marett said:
I am best if used by Oct 25
The Book Chamber said:
Just two days?