What Gifts Are You Giving?

Be a Leadership Superhero

We don’t succeed alone. Odds are, someone reached out and contributed in a significant way to help you become the leader, person and professional that you are today.

There was a superhero for you somewhere along your journey. 

I have been fortunate to have many people in my life who have shared extraordinary gifts with me both personally and professionally. I’ve shared previously the gifts I’ve received from my best boss and my favorite teacher. This past weekend, I was reminded again of the impact that the people you surround yourself with have on how you think, act and experience life.

I spent the weekend with my best friend from college and my brother. These guys have been with me every step of the way. The day I decided I was going to quit my corporate job and strike out on my own, they were the first two phone calls I made. Their belief in me lifted me up and pushed me forward through all of the initial hardships and adversity. Their counsel has shaped my choices. The examples they set through lives well-lived have influenced and inspired my own commitment and perspective. I am grateful.

I also know that I am most deserving of those gifts when I am willing to work, sacrifice, and make my own contributions. I want to be a worthy recipient – and I want to reciprocate.

In the enclosed Superhero Ethos video, I ask the audience to reflect for a moment on the contribution of a personal superhero. It is a moment of gratitude. I also issue a very specific leadership challenge in the form of two questions: What gifts am I giving away every day? Who would put me on their superhero list?

Our legacy as leaders is largely shaped by the quality of our relationships with the people we care about. Making a difference for those people is the work that matters.

The Superhero Ethos from Ryan Estis on Vimeo

Ryan Estis & Associates is a training and development organization helping companies, leaders, sales people and individual contributors embrace change and achieve breakthrough performance in the new economy. We offer keynotes, live classroom training and online learning that blends interaction, energy and actionable content designed to elevate performance. Contact us for programming inquiries and assistance determining the curriculum that could best support your learning and development objectives.

Inspired Living

A few years ago (at 38 years old to be precise) in the recess of my mind I knew I was facing a key inflection point and some important life choices.

Career.  Relationships.  The big stuff.  Change was imminent.

The little voice of doubt and insecurity we’ve all heard was growing louder.  The questions seemed overwhelming.

Will I pass this testCan I make a differenceWhat if…?

It was exactly during this moment of introspection (and indecision) a friend shared a little note of inspired thinking that read:

“You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be, and one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls upon you to stand for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid.

“You refuse to do it because you want to live longer. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab or shoot or bomb your house. So you refuse to take a stand.

“Well, you may go on and live until you are ninety, but you are just as dead at 38 as you would be at ninety.

“And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.

{Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from the sermon “But, if Not” delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church on November 5, 1967}

The right message at the right time.  I appreciated the thought and interpreted the intended personal challenge.  I hit print and have carried that piece of paper in my bag ever since.

Inspiration can come from a variety of sources.  It can come when we least expect it.  Often, it will arrive when we need it the most. A likely source of inspiration are the people around you.  Friends.  Family.  Colleagues. Co-Workers.  Collaborators. Working and spending time with people that are inspired, creating, contributing and taking bold steps forward is helpful, particularly when faced with an inconvenient choice or a more specific challenge.  The people around us have enormous impact on our being.  How we think, act and experience the world around us.

If you want to get Switched On it certainly helps to pay attention to people that embrace inspired living because it  is going to require your own inspired thinking first. Today as we recognize and honor the birth of activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy these 10 lessons serve as an inspirational reminder of the opportunity we all have to embrace change, confront challenges, make an impact and live the change we want to see in the world around us.


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