1 - Alertness
Be alert to your surroundings and those around you. Quiet your mind and be observant. As a leader, you have a combined responsibility to yourself, your business, and those in your care, whether family or within a work venue. Presently, there are even more opportunities to be taken advantage of or areas that may be overlooked and need your due diligence. Or even unexpected and untapped possibilities within your grasp, waiting to be discovered.
Areas in Which to Be Alert:
- Your environmental surroundings. Be cognizant of your environment. Are there hazards in the way or some kind of physical impairment? Does the weather condition have an impact? How about the lighting or the comfort that surrounds a particular setting? Is the air clean and the water fresh? Are there any odors or sounds that are distracting? Is the volume appropriate? How about acoustics or ergonomics? Is the equipment functioning properly? Is the wall color conducive to creativity? Is the temperature adequate for comfort yet prolificity?
- Your "people" surroundings. What are the people like around you? Should they be there? Are there any that are missing? How are they behaving, and is it appropriate under the circumstances? Do they appear to be suspicious? How do they speak? Are they healthy, focused, and vibrant, or sickly and distant? Are they confident and motivated? What are they revealing through their body language? Are they alert and useful? Are they hurting? What are their needs, and can you meet them? How can you positively affect or encourage them?
- Your finances. In professional and personal money matters, be aware of all transactions affecting you and your business. Glance at each paper bank account statement monthly or login to digital accounts weekly or even daily and be aware of all activity. Review each credit card or debit card statement or online record along with bank accounts, and verify that they are all legitimate charges. Fraudulent charges appear in mystifying ways when you least expect them. Be aware of any physical cash on hand or locations where it is stored. Know your budget, income, expenses, and current account balances.
- Items that are due. One late paid invoice or subscription renewal submission could lead to a costly result, either financially in the form of a fee, via a reputation deficit, or both. Select autopay or establish a calendar with alerts that notify you before an upcoming due date. There are a variety of methods available to ensure deadlines are met.
- Appointments. When you commit to something, always follow through. If you set up a doctor’s appointment, business meeting, or child’s athletic performance, be aware, prepare and be there in plenty of time. Also, be mindful of any potential obstacles that may interfere with or delay your attendance at these commitments, such as heavy traffic or an untimely accident, and allow an extra cushion of time to compensate.
- The needs. What are the most pressing needs of the business or your family? Are the goals and mission the main focus of the daily activity within each of them? What is important to the success of each unit? What is necessary to provide for these needs? Do you have it as a priority to meet these needs?
- Means of communication. Are your emails and memos caught up with an answer supplied where necessary? Are all texts and phone calls followed up? Is there any postal mail or packages that need to be delivered? Do any social media responses need to be posted? Are all items in your inbox legitimate, or is spam or a scam involved for the gullible? Can you unsubscribe to any of the unnecessary and endless emails?
- You. What is your demeanor like? How do you respond to favorable situations? How about difficult or challenging ones? Are you slow to anger and quick to forgive? Are you open to suggestions? Empathetic to the needs of others? Intimidating or likable? How is your health? Do you know the importance of proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep? Do you allow enough downtime and a healthy balance of professional, personal, and spiritual time? Do you have more to give? Or perhaps, do you give too much? Are you doing what needs to be done? Are you aware of what needs to be done?
Authentic leaders have an innate ability to sense when something "just isn’t right." When you are more tuned in, healthy and alert, you possess a keen awareness and are able to identify discrepancies in how things should be. You will be more precise in your decision-making abilities, and you will be able to determine if contracts are fair and compromises are amenable. Or if people are sincere or perhaps less than truthful. And you are less likely to be scammed or taken advantage of. You are most useful and effective when you are alert and prepared. Review the past week in your mind. Are there any areas professionally where you now see you weren’t as alert as you could’ve been? How about personally or spiritually? What changes can you make today to integrate this character quality into your ongoing list of favorable attributes?
“To be aware of little, quiet things, you need to be quiet inside. A high degree of alertness is required. Be still. Look. Listen. Be present.” Eckhart Tolle
“Whatever you do, do with deep alertness, then even small things become sacred.” Rajneesh
“When you take your attention into the present moment, a certain alertness arises. You become more conscious of what’s around you, but also, strangely, a sense of presence that is both within and without.” Eckhart Tolle
What are your thoughts about this quality?
Who will you share this with?