The Platform: New Beginnings
With the new year comes the idea of new beginnings and assessing how success will happen this year in our work, our families, our lives. The concept of a platform and how a platform supports the plan is an important “success” focused approach to life. By definition a platform is a declaration of principles adopted by a group and a flat surface or space for public discussion, the operating system where work begins (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/platform). Identifying the platform that works for your “new beginning” depends on your goals and audience. Your platform may need to be an education that aligns with your goals, work or intern experience that connects you to the right professions and professionals, or personal/team development. Recognizing your personal values, and motivation to follow-through provides the path to your personal platform.
Platform and Values
Values are personal, they tend to be identified by a work team or understood by a family, however the most powerful values are those that are lived everyday. I value transparency, honesty, integrity, personal accountability, and people. These values cross sect family, work, and family life for me. Think about your values – and name them.
Being Transparent: Sharing information to those that are impacted is key to identifying the best next step. Engaging in a thoughtful discussion based on all of the information has been key to landing on the best solution, collective wisdom. Don’t rely on the finite engagement of too few minds, be courageous and engage others to help with solutions.
Being honest seems like an easy approach – however, there is great risk to honesty. Owning the situation and sharing all of the related data, the feedback, the next steps and the possible impact on the future are all equally important. A leadership flaw I have witnessed is being honest about the present time versus the long term impact. Focusing on the now is a feel good approach to leadership. Everyone loves you today, which is an opportunity to feel good today. Although short-sighted, it is a great way to eliminate waves and controversy.
Integrity, another value, is complex and individually applied. Everyone has their own definition of integrity. Personally, my integrity is based on honesty, personal responsibility, and the greater good. Maintaining integrity informs and motivates my decisions and shapes my reflective process. Reflection is both meditative and serves as a personal growth approach for future choices. Consider your definition of integrity and how you evaluate and apply your definition to hard decisions (Integrity Is Easy, Until It Is Hard, https://gangeness.wordpress.com/2017/01/07/integrity-is-easy-until-it-is-hard/).
Personal accountability is all about the hard worker. Growing up on a farm has meant for me an ingrained daily routine and hard work. Days off don’t really happen. My brain is always considering the next steps, how to better help those I work for (students), and what would be the next, best, step for moving the goals forward to completion. I don’t need to be accountable to others, I am accountable to myself, a much more harsh judge. If I commit to a cause, I commit.
Finally, people matter. Seriously, I shouldn’t have to write this, but people matter. The number of times financial gain or frugality has translated into jeopardizing individual health and wellbeing astounds me. Justifying these actions is so pathetic and unreal I can hardly type these words. Undermining the personal experience and what an individual outcome is from any given situation makes me reflect on the Nuremberg Trials. Reflect on these trials and look up the word complicity (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_trials). Note to reader: Rarely will you see this level of passion in my writing, why? BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER.
Platform and Authentic Self
Once you identify what is important to you and your work (values), you can identify what makes you – you – your authentic self. Leading and working under these guidelines will feel natural, more comfortable, and people will draw to you as you will be seen as comfortable in “your own skin” – an authentic leader, and your true self. To be successful in any new beginning you need to set yourself up for success which only happens through strong connections with your values, and willing to risk exposing your authentic self to achieve greatness. Set yourself up for success – what is your platform for achievement?