Time Is Like A River
You cannot touch the same water twice,
Because the flow that has passed
Will never pass again. Enjoy Every Moment
First, I must begin by expressing my thanks and gratitude on behalf of Pamela McKenzie, my wife; Rashida and Lawrence McKenzie, my daughter and son; Kailah, Lauren, Maya, Olivia and thousands of young men and women.
For me now, the obvious is that I would be going on leadership journey in preparation for a time when leadership mattered most. Who could have predicted that when began our journey that a pandemic was on the horizon and this group of leaders who be challenged on being Thought leaders in a world that would require innovation and a different way of leading and thinking.
Obviously, the last few weeks has been a challenging, but it is been an opportunity to take control of ourselves and our situations. If you have not taken advantage of learning at your own pace and the opportunity to oversee ourselves. then the reality is that academics may not be important to you. Yes, none of us like this space and the lack of what we perceive as not being in control, but reality is different than perception. The reality is that we all have been given an opportunity to reflect and regroup and make the necessary changes needed to achieve our goals, so if all we have done is complained about shelter in place, not hanging out with our friends, family , teammates or being able to get in the gym perhaps we have missed the mark. This opportunity may never present itself again where one is in Total control on moving the needle forward or plotting a course of what their future looks like. We have no one to place blame! Many of us often pray for more time, to read …to study…to work out. God answered our prayers and now the Choice Is Ours!!!
Personally, I wish I had known how unhealthy of person that I was with all that I had accomplished. How for thirty plus years I had gotten lost in saving the world and in the mist lost who I was. While being on a crusade to save other families and relationships, those closet to me was quietly in pain wanting my time and energy. I did not realize that as a leader I was not my best self. So, to take the time to re-discover Larry McKenzie came at the right time in my life.
Self-care was major for me, if someone would have told me that it would take me 60 years to discover the importance of self-care. I can honestly say that because of my discovery of self-care I am so much wiser and so much stronger as a person.
I can say that the last five weeks would have been really challenging had this opportunity not presented itself.
Self-care continue to be a top priority for me, and I truly appreciate the understanding and knowledge of its importance the last year. So again, I am appreciative to the fellowship for the opportunity.
I have learned the importance of resting my mind and body.
Understanding the value of amount time, one should sleep, something most of us take for granted.
Other areas of my self-care have been eating healthier, and improving at all these area by just 1%
As I said recently, I really feel like my stars have aligned in so many ways. I most definitely feel that I am continuing to grow as it relates to my priority of self -care.
I wish that I know that during all of my chaos, the songwriter was correct when he pinned that “Oz never did give anything to the tin man that he didn’t already have. The past two years have allowed to take an in depth look into leadership and while I may not have been able to lay out some of the trainings the way the established expert did, inside of me was the information. What I discovered is that when are not sure about where you are going, it takes longer to get to your destination. It helps to have a map, but it is also okay to ask for directions.
I learned that most of the people we identify as leaders have never spent any time investing in or developing themselves as leaders. So, this opportunity to invest in myself as a leader was a tremendous blessing. I wish I had known that true Wealth is interpersonal relationship and not in material things. One really gets to define success for them themselves.
Prior to my fellowship, there was lots blind spots in my approach to leadership.
For me I guess the biggest change for me is that I am more conscious about how I lead and my influence as a leader.
My fellowship has allowed me to take in-depth look at not only myself personally but look at others who are considered leaders around me.
Being a Bush fellow has allowed me to create a vision for my life, it has given me understanding of where I have been and where I want to go. It has allowed me to search and seek out how to become a better husband, father, grandfather and coach.
It has opened my eyes as to the impact that a person can have as a positive leader. I have learned that I truly am a transformational leader. It has become clear to me that my leadership style is about leading by example.
One of the more intriguing parts of the fellowship is learning about oneself as a leader. For me it’s a critical piece because it’s part of discovering that secret sauce or what I now describe as “The Leadership Pillars of a Winner”
We are affected by our environment and the people we surround ourselves with, it’s true that “Birds of A Feather, flock together.” As a leader continual growth is never easy and one should never get that comfortable.
The more time I spend me people I have learned, and I should re affirmed how instrumental my Faith has been in my leadership journey.
As I have observed others the last few months I’ve learned that it’s difficult to lead without a vision and one of the things that has been consistent in my leadership is I have been one to never see things as they are but see them for what they can be.
I learned that humility has been a pillar of my leadership style and sometimes to a fault.
A major piece is that how you select the people around you will determine your success or failure.
Transformational leadership requires collaboration.
I have learned that as a leader, perspective is everything. Perspective is important because it is how we see things, how we see others and more important it is those things that we believe.
Often what we see is what we will be,
As I continue to grow as a leader I have learned that as Coach John Wooden would say “ The most powerful leadership tool you have is your personal example “ The last year has allowed me to spend a significant amount of time reflecting on my life’s journey and through reflection one gains insight.
I learned that true leadership is about creating leaders, and that is done through leading by example.
What I have learned about my leadership is thanks to my Grandmother the Rev. Pauline Jones have been blessed with a unique perspective. Most people do not realize that we see things not as they, but we see things as we are and if we change the way we look at things, the things we look change. As a result of her teaching I was raised not to look at things the way they could be. I get so frustrated as someone who works with young people that most discussions always start with their deficits and rarely their assets.
My grandma taught me that I could be Selfish or chose to Significant! I am so appreciative that she helps me understand the source of my gifts.
Interesting that my fellowship is ending as the Last Dance, Michael Jordan documentary is being presented.
I do not think anyone would be surprised that I personally feel akin to the Last Dance and Michael Jordan, infatuated with his extraordinary ability to lead, execute and win. No surprises that I feel connected to “Zen Master” Phil Jackson and his different approach towards coaching, as one of my mantra is: “Being Different is The Difference “ and I think my assistant ‘s and player’s would say that Coach McKenzie is a little different.
It’s been a great dance!!!