It is hard to believe we have two days left in July. The quietness of summer will soon be replaced by the frantic prep of getting ready for another school year...with the sounds of the band beginning to play and fall sports teams ready to take the field.
One thing I have always challenged myself with- and encourage others to do so as well is to take the summer to take a deep dive introspectively into your own leadership journey. Summer is a great time to be quiet, and to reflect on where you were, where you are, and where you are going for this upcoming school year.
As I have shared on this blog before, I spend some time every morning reading the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Interestingly enough, I am always able to glean some sort of wisdom on just about a daily basis. The below quote has really resonated with me...and its impact on how hungry we are as leaders to get better. (Villanueva plays offensive line for the Steelers; not knowing his future with professional football, he began working on his Masters Degree at Carnegie Mellon while still playing for the Steelers).
“I liked being around people who are very hungry in life,” Villanueva said. “Sometimes when you are hanging around millionaires all the time, they don’t have the ambitions and the drive. When you are talking about (someone with an) H-1B visa coming from India and wanting to stay in the United States and wanting the best grades possible because he wants to stay in Silicon Valley and work for a tech company, that mindset was very contagious.”
While I love this statement in its entirety, here is what has resonated with me: I like being around people who are very hungry in life.
Are you hungry? What are you doing to feed your hunger? Would Villanueva want to spend time with you, as a 'hungry' person? And, equally important, are you surrounding yourself with 'hungry' people? If you are a leader of leaders, would your team describe you as 'hungry'?
In my humble opinion, true growth only comes when we can be brutally honest with ourselves. I encourage you to take some time over the next few weeks before the madness begins. Challenge yourself with the above quote. Are you hungry? Or, has your appetite been satiated. If so, how do you get back 'the eye of the tiger'...and get hungry all over again?
Be mindful of your hunger pangs. Never stop learning. Never stop growing. Never stop leading.
Better everyday. Growth comes from being hungry.
Godspeed on your journey. pja