It’s about the Shining

One part of the human anatomy has always fascinated me, immediately drew me in and held my attention for extended periods. That one part is – our eyes.

Today is the first of two, maybe more opinion pieces about our eyes.

Have you ever been asked,

Why do you do what you do? Or why do you love what you do?

Does your answer fall somewhere within the parameters of these three responses:

– I love to see the light bulbs go on …
– The sight of their shining eyes always brings me so much joy …
– When I show/give them an answer/option/choice, and they light up …

If you say yes, then you and I share a common bond. If you say no, let me ask you to change your thinking for the better.

See, for those of us who said, YES, we do precious little for fame, glory, money or prestige. We do it in service to others to show them how to become the best they can be. We do it for the reward of watching their eyes light up.

From the time I was wee, that is what I believed a good and inspiring leader did. Helped others dig deep, find their aha moments, and become their absolute best. The reward was the shining eyes.

I wish I could count how often others tried to show or tell me I was completely wrong. The old definition of being a leader was about being my best.

Seriously, what good is it if I am so good and don’t help/inspire/influence others? What kind of legacy does that leave behind? I learned to ignore the advice and forge my own way.

Recently, I stumbled across the most delightful TedX talk by Benjamin Zander – a music conductor. And in this 15-minute presentation, he covers practicing piano, mastering Chopin and leading change. Bottom line: it’s about the shining eyes.

My takeaways are:

1. He is a delightful fellow, renowned in the music world and inspiring with his leadership lessons.
2. Leadership is about enrolling others in a journey.
3. Good leadership is about finding that this journey–the chance to lean into possibility, to fail, to connect, to hear and to be heard–changes lives in a very GOOD way.
4. At the heart of possibility lies change. The passion for change is available to everyone.
5. There really are more of us who prefer to walk off the beaten path. We are not alone.
All the glory we seek, the accolades we want and the prestige we desire are reflected back to us — in the eyes of our students, followers, neighbours, friends, family, employees and colleagues.

May I suggest you watch this TedX talk and then think –

Where and how can I light up or make more eyes shine today?

Spinning mirror ball for BPYBN