There's Always More!
I’m so thankful that many, many years ago, my Mother handed me a cassette tape from Dr. John Maxwell. She said, “I think you’ll like him.” I ate it up, joined the Maximum Impact Club, and began to grow. Today, I listened to a 70-year-old John Maxwell deliver a message on his podcast about Developing the Leader Within You Version 2.0 – 25 years after the original book was published. You see, he had grown in his understanding of leadership. Things had changed over the past 25 years. He didn’t just stagnate.
We all must keep growing, learning, and developing.
John’s basic point was simple: “Leaders See More” and “Leaders See Before”. We’re visionaries. We see more than others, and we often see it before they do. But thankfully, we never quite “arrive” – we should continue to grow and develop.
“There’s more MORE. And there’s more Before.”
It’s about having a mindset focused on creativity and abundance – not scarcity.
I recall being a part of a creative community years ago. We were exploring the concept of the Creator placing a bit of the “Divine DNA” into us – just being able to create anything is a gift!
There were all sorts of folks, from the fields of music, the culinary arts, drama, writing, design, photography and included mothers of pre-schoolers, among others. But each of us experienced the creative pull toward excellence, rather than merely “settling”.
One speaker who was particularly impactful to me was a potter. He coined the term “Corruption By Success”: You throw a pot, it sells, you throw another one just like it, and pretty soon, you’ve lost all of your creativity and are simply selling pottery.
Contrast that to the approach of my friend Teri Truitt – she experiments with her art of pottery simply for the love of doing it. She refuses to sell it, because then it becomes work. She will occasionally put some of her pieces in a consignment shop and if they sell, fine – if not, no big deal. She doesn’t want the pressure of making a set of 12 for that demanding customer who simply “must have it”.
Yesterday, my business partner, Scott Girard, and I had a fascinating conversation with two key leaders in the realm of senior living: Ryan Frederick from SmartLiving 360, and Craig Witz of The Witz Company, a development consultant. We’re all convinced that a new paradigm must emerge – one that’s more person-centered and saturated in the concept of wellbeing, impacting physical, mental, spiritual, and social needs. One that embraces youth and elders (and everything in between) connecting in community. And, one that harnesses the dynamics of a market-driven economy in creative ways.
I want our firm to always be reaching, always stretching ourselves, always pressing the envelope of new solutions to old problems. I don’t want us to be that firm that always is replicating its last project!
That’s why, as a leader, I’m always going fishing for two things:
- Clients who “get it”, and want to do work that is truly significant, enhancing wellbeing.
- Team members who want to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves (we’re better together).
So, my encouragement to you is simply to Press-On. There is always More. Keep looking for creative options that meet needs and solve problems. Don’t settle for business as usual. Explore ways to improve. As you do, you may find that you see creative solutions before others – and you just might become a leader in your field!
Brad Smith is the founder of Brad Smith Associates, Inc., a mold-breaking exterior planning and design firm serving the aging services industry. Our approach puts people first, focusing on their unique needs while cultivating a deep sense of community. That is done by using a rational problem-solving method, infused with Imaginality™, combining the five key components of PLACE-Creation into our designs:
Planning - Applied foresight to achieve your project goals
Lifestyle - Delivering a better result for people by understanding their needs and lifestyles
Aesthetics - The aesthetics of a property speak to the "brand essence", greatly affecting marketing.
Community - a sense of meaning, identity and belonging for the people living there
Economics - informed decision-making on the front end during the design process can yield significant dividends on the back end (by reducing ongoing operations and maintenance costs).
We're landscape architects and planners by profession, and we love putting our talents to work to create value for you.
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