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The Benefit of Focused, Intentional Action

Posted By Julie McReynolds, Monday, August 7, 2017


When I made the decision to go back to school to get my master's degree, I thought my life would run the same - and I would just add in school.


At the time, I was working as a Federal law enforcement officer for the United States Customs Service on the Outbound Enforcement Team -- and I talked my partner into going back to school with me.


I figured having someone to go to classes with and study with would make it a bit easier.


We were both working our 8-hour days with at least two nights of mandatory overtime.


I didn't give any thought to how I would add in an additional 6 hours of class time in the evening plus 4 hours of writing papers each week to my already full life.


Looking back at how silly that seems now, in my business I've discovered that most people run their lives like that.


Do you?  

  • When new opportunities come your way do you believe that if you close your eyes and wish hard enough you'll be able to magically add them to your already full schedule without a change of pace?

  • Is the phrase from The Little Engine that Could (I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.) a daily motto to get more done?

  • Do you believe that getting more done will happen if you worked harder or gave more effort?

Living your priorities is not about muscling through tasks.


Often, the deadlines you impose on getting something done are ones you created yourself.


Here are three tips to ensure that you remain focused and not frazzled as you live out your big mission and claim being a leader worth following.


  1. Create space. When you allow for spaciousness to exist in your life, you acknowledge that life is constantly changing. This openness makes it easy to be flexible and give attention to what may not work out according to your plan. (Believe it or not, there will be things that don't work out the way you envision.... )

  2. Choose to be perfectly imperfect. Several years ago when I was hosting my annual Design Your Destiny Live ( leadership event, my dear friend Peter Michael whisked me off stage and took me to the green room to rest in between segments. I shared with him that I was concerned about the sound and how it was affecting the audience and their experience. Peter looked me in the eye and said, "Rather than choosing to have a perfect event, choose to have a great one instead. No one has any idea that what you planned is different than what has been delivered." His first sentence had me pause and breathe in his message. And, in a moment, I fully understood what he meant. Perfectionism is a dream stealer. It was my responsibility to deliver excellence, and not to be perfect. I recognized that I'm perfect in my imperfections - and I had a fabulous event. Today, I claim this truth and it’s made my life a lot easier.

  3. Stop playing the comparison game. One of my favorite lines to capture this truth is from Max Ehrmann's poem the Desiderata. ".....If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself…." You are a one-of-a-kind treasure. No one in this world who has come before you or will come after you will be quite like you. No one has had your upbringing, experiences, challenges, and opportunities. Revel in the wonder of who you are. The world needs you and your brilliance.

And, a bonus on leading with intention would be to engage in self-care.


Do something just for you.


While I am always in-action, my action is focused and intentional.


Yet, I create enough space in my calendar so that I'm well cared for which is what enables me to give my best to my clients, colleagues, friends, and family.


You can't give the best of who you are to those you love when your own tank is empty.


I invite you to choose one of these three items to work on this week.

Whether you choose to create space, be perfectly imperfect, or stop playing the comparison game, comfort doesn’t change the world.

The world needs you and your brilliance.

Lisa Marie Platske is an award-winning leadership expert and #1 international best-selling author, she creates high-performing, leaders, coaching women in business around the
globe. She uses her law enforcement journey to demonstrate what exceptional leaders do differently, sharing how vulnerability in leadership is critical to being a leader worth
following. The founder of Design Your Destiny Live, she lives in Alexandria, VA with her loving and supportive husband, Jim and their two pet foxes.

She is one of our esteemed speakers at the 2017 Annual Conference and Career Fair. Register now to see her and meet her in person! 

Tags:  Business  leadership  management  NAWMBA  NAWMBA2017  WomeninBusiness  WomenMBA  WomenSupportingWomen 

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