Editor’s note: For the first blog of the New Year I reviewed the posts of the past year. The following is a guest blog written by the award winning  motivational speaker, trainer and diversity consultant, Dr. Brenda White Wright.  It was first published in February 2011 however I felt the material is timeless and a great way to launch a New Year! 

Step One – Have quiet time everyday. Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God.”   Everyone needs and deserves some “personal” time each day.  Retreat from the daily demands of others to replenish your mind and spirit.  We may need to get up earlier or stay up later but we need that personal quiet time to meditate, pray, think, dream, or read; to consider new possibilities for our lives.

Step Two – Develop and commit to a personal plan of action for your life. Proverbs 29:18 – “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”  Vision clarifies our purpose in life and gives us direction.   Dr. Robert Schular wrote, “When you get where you’re going, where will you be?”

Step Three – Exercise everyday – physically, mentally, & spiritually.  In order to live a balanced life, each of us needs to exercise everyday – physically, mentally, and spiritually.  We can walk or jog, read, study, read, take up a new hobby, go back to school, worship, pray, and/or meditate according to our spiritual beliefs and values.

Step Four – Quit giving excuses. Insanity has been defined as, “doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result.  “Keep doing what you’ve been doing and you will keep getting what you’ve been getting.”  If you like where you are – great!  If not, then “do” something about it.  Nothing takes care of itself.  Make a decision and then ask God to help you stick to it.

Step Five – Have an attitude of gratitude. Be more thankful!  It is impossible to be thankful and negative at the same time.   Most of us have the gifts of speech and hearing, sight, and mobility.  Most of us are blessed with families and friends who love us and care about us.  Most of us are not homeless, helpless, or hopeless.  The more thankful you are for what you have today, the more you’ll have tomorrow to be thankful for.

Step Six– Become more respectful of differences. God is no respecter of persons.  Learn to respect diversity.  Being disrespectful of differences is often the cause for confrontations and conflicts of all kinds – from disputes in our homes, to physical abuses, to war in the world because of racial, ethnic, and religious differences.  Being accepting is not the same thing as agreement.  It’s about acceptance and respect.

Step Seven– Learn to Listen and Listen to Learn.Listen more than you speak.Hearing is a gift, but listening is a skill that needs to be developed.  Listen requires humility.  It’s one of the greatest gifts that we can give to someone and as we give, I believe that we receive in kind.

Step Eight – Be a Servant Leader. Help others grow and get where you are.  Don’t put them down.  Instead, teach what was taught to you.  Do for someone else what was done for you.  None of us got here alone.   As we give, we receive.  The more we give, the better we live.

Step Nine – Laugh more often! Lighten up!  A sense of humor is one of the inherent abilities that God has given us to cope with stress.  Humor is one of the most inexpensive and readily available nonprescription medications to reduce stress, stimulate creativity and improve performance.  The Scriptures say, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”

Step Ten – Love what you do, do what you love, and if you love someone, tell them.


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27 Responses to “Ten Steps to Grow Your Leadership”

  1. Brenda White Wright’s blog post summarizes a lot of valuable advice. When you need a really inspiring speaker, I recommend her.

    • maryellen says:

      I completely agree with your comments Mary! Thank you. Brenda is without a doubt one of the finest motivational and inspiration speakers I have ever heard.

  2. Jeff Brunson says:

    I love you Brenda!
    Your 10 growth steps remind me of Kathryn Tucker Windham’s 4 L’s: Listen, Learn, Laugh, Love.

    Thank you Mel for allowing Brenda this guest post,

  3. maryellen says:

    Thanks Jeff. Yes, Brenda is a one of a kind when it comes to talented leadership. I was honored to have her guest post.

  4. Linda Pucci says:

    Great guidelines to live by–thanks for having Brenda share them with us, Mel! Re: Step 4, I always liked “If at first you don’t succeed, do something different!”

  5. This is an amazing post with such great advice. I love this. Words to live (and lead) by. Thanks so much for sharing.

  6. Gayle LaSalle says:

    I love this and will borrow it – with proper credit, of course – for using with my clients. Personal leadership is my passion!

  7. Cathy Rodgers says:

    Type your comment here…

  8. What an inspirational way way to start a new year! And I wish I had a name as zingy as Brenda White Wright! Love it Happy 2012 to all

  9. Those aren’t just leadership tips–those are words to live by. Brenda White Wright summed it very nicely.

  10. Jeff Brunson says:

    Brenda is a great role model. And one of the ten that is so important I experience every time I’m in her presence; Laughing! Brenda and I also share number ten with a mutual friend, the late Kathryn Tucker Windham. I love you Brenda … and was drawn to you publically by your wonderful humor and then connected to you personally by your love.

  11. Linda Pucci says:

    Thanks for sharing these again, Mary Ellen. What a great way to start out the New Year. I was thinking as I read through them that they are 10 steps for better living!

  12. Sue Painter says:

    Great advice, based on human principals that will never change in the face of any technology. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Rebecca Henderson says:

    What a beyond-fabulous way to start 2012! Thank you!

  14. Bill Painter says:

    I missed this the first time. Thanks for the repost. It is certainly a good roadmap to live by.

  15. Mel – What great reminders. I do several of these every day already … but there are definitely a few I am missing 🙂

    Jennifer Bourn, Bourn Creative

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