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Decision-making as a means of renewal

I cut myself in the kitchen on Saturday, pretty badly. I have had the wound bandaged since and it is starting to show signs of complete healing. No matter how many times I go through this cycle, I am still surprised by these types of situations wherein I see the consistent march of time and its ability to heal all wounds. Sometimes, taking a step back to see something with fresh eyes is important. After only a short period of time, something old and worn might feel new and refreshing. Or that thing will still be old and worn and you will know it is time to part ways.

Today is the first day of Lent. I find myself often waiting to make changes to my daily routines or habits until the start of it. That is wrongheaded. The world keeps turning and it is never too soon to right a mistake or change course if necessary.

  • You present is not defined solely by your past decisions.
  • Your past decisions do not define the decisions you make today.
  • Your past decisions do not define your future, but your present ones can.

While this isn’t strictly a leadership paradigm, I find it both comforting and important in both personal and professional contexts; that I can change, that others can change, that situations can change. And all the while that the change can create lasting impacts that can negate previous mistakes.

I haven’t always been the best leader, no one can be on 100% of the time and I have let my guard down at the wrong times and put my guard up at the wrong times. But reflection, adaptability, and openness to change are what can make better leaders.

I haven’t always been the best dad; I’m a yeller and my kids push my buttons in the ways only your own children can. I regret the actions of my young self as a dad sometimes and still thinking back on those times, but I don’t have to let them define the person, father, or leader I am today.

We have memories to remember the good and learn from the bad; as a person in a variety of roles, I want to be willing to reflect on both to make hard shifts in the moment—not waiting for arbitrary timeframes—to bring about lasting change and a better future.