In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. -Thomas Jefferson

There are times following the crowd, going with the flow, is a proper course of action. We live in ever changing times. Our modes of communication change rapidly. We utilize new Apps, we listen to new music, and shop in the trendy stores. In matters of style, following the crowd offers comfort and ease.

Our core principles, the values that are dearest to us, are not subject to societal trends. Our foundational beliefs must be steadfast and firm. The fabric of our clothing is subject to change, the fabric of core beliefs is unwavering in the pressure of public opinion.

It’s often difficult to be resolute in the face of opposition; but it is required of us to be true to ourselves. We build committed relationships with others, we strengthen the bonds of trust, when others know we are principled and discipline.

Don’t get caught swimming with the current when your principles are in question. Stand like a rock and do what is required of you.

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. – Thomas Jefferson

Wisdom is the ability to both think and act using experiences, skills, and judgement. To be wise, one must intentionally act with prudence and common sense. Wisdom has a connotation of judiciousness, pause, and discipline.

Wisdom, the discipline to synthesize knowledge and experience to do what is required, begins with honesty. One must first be true, be honest with oneself. Second, one must be principled in our dealings with others. For one can’t be wise without also being truthful. One can’t be ethical without first being honorable.

In your dealings with others, be honest and trustworthy. Stand up and Own the difficult conversations, speak the truth, and speak with sincerity of purpose.

Magic isn’t made with pixie dust. Magic is created through hard work.

Magic isn’t made with pixie dust. Magic is created through hard work. –

Disney Institute

Walt Disney World lives it’s mission to be “the most magical place on earth.” For Disney employees, the magic you experience as a guest at the Magic Kingdom isn’t the result of Tink’s pixie dust. The magic at Disney is the result of intentional and purposeful work. The attention to detail and commitment to excellence at Disney is unparalleled in almost any organization. From the smallest details, Disney knows what it takes to “bring the Magic” each and every day.

Are you committed to lead a magical organization? Too often we search for that magic pixie dust; we find ourselves seeking shortcuts to greatness. The journey to elite is only achieved through one way – it’s only earned with our hard work. Don’t seek Tinker Bell’s pixie dust . . . create Disney’s enthusiasm to do the work.

The most important characteristic of a leader is optimism.

The most important characteristic of a leader is optimism. – Bob Iger

Optimistic leaders are the catalysts for positive culture. When a team, any team, is optimistic it performs at a high level. When leaders use fear, the overall performance of the team is limited. When leaders use optimism, the overall performance of the team is limitless.

In your mind’s eye think about a time when you’ve been cynical or negative; your team was almost certainly influenced by your negative vibes. It’s not about what we say; it’s about how we act when it counts . . . when the pressure is on. It’s easy to be optimistic in calm waters . . . it takes intentionality to be optimistic during the storm. Act with purpose, press pause to gauge your own behavior, and be a purposeful optimist. The people you work with will benefit from your discipline.

I’m not an overachiever. I’m an over-believer.

I’m not an overachiever. I’m an over-believer. – Dabo Swinney

Achieving success isn’t luck or chance. Success is earned through hard work and dedication. Success is the result of intentional practice and preparation. When someone describes an “overachiever,” they are often describing someone who is closer to maximizing their skills through elite effort.

When we believe we will be successful, when we commit to doing the work, we earn success. The belief in ourselves and confidence in our preparation sets us apart. If you aren’t committed, if you don’t believe during the preparation, your achievement won’t match your skill. When you over-believe you maximize your potential and earn success. Do you believe in the work you are doing? Are you building skill through your passion?