Monday, April 13, 2015

Retiring is not easy.

Moving into retirement is not easy, it has taken me years to achieve the goal of being what I consider fully retired. By that I mean I am satisfied that what I do is no longer work, I write two blogs, run my online stores, travel (at least once a year we take a long trip) golf (badly)  read and enjoy the company of my friends. 

I also teach, mentor and help others, all of these things I did when I was working, but I do them at my pace and on my time.  I like many early boomers consider myself a leader. This is important many early boomers do not think they are leaders because I who they are, we are leaders l because of when we were born. There are millions of Boomers who will be reaching retirement in the next 10 to 15 years and so those of us who, by fate of birth are here first must take a leadership role in shaping how society views retirement. Here are my thoughts on leadership.

Good leaders must lead by example. Through their actions, which are aligned with what they say, they become a person others want to follow. When leaders say one thing but do another, they erode trust, a critical element of productive leadership. Here are some ways to lead by example.

1. Take responsibility. Blame costs you your credibility, keeps team members on the defensive and ultimately sabotages real growth. As we face retirement, accept responsibility for your success or failure at having enough to retire.

2. Be truthful. Inaccurate representation affects everyone. Show that honesty really IS the best policy. Over the past few years in this blog I have talked about how difficult it was for me to accept the concept of retirement, and I have documented my struggles as I learned to accept the onset of this new phase in my life.

3. Be courageous. Walk through fire (a crisis) first. Take calculated risks that demonstrate commitment to a larger purpose.

4. Acknowledge failure. It makes it OK for your team to do the same and defines failure as part of the process of becoming extraordinary.

5. Be persistent. Try, try again. Go over, under or around any hurdles to show that obstacles don’t define your company or team.

6. Create solutions. Don’t dwell on problems; instead be the first to offer solutions and then ask your team for more.

7. Listen. Ask questions. Seek to understand. You’ll receive valuable insights and set a tone that encourages healthy dialogue.

8. Delegate liberally. Encourage an atmosphere in which people can focus on their core strengths.

9. Take care of yourself. Exercise, don’t overwork, take a break. A balanced team, mentally and physically, is a successful team. Model it, encourage it, support it! 

10. Roll up your sleeves. Like Alexander the Great leading his men into battle, you’ll inspire greatness in your company. 

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