Dear 2019 Bush Fellow,
First, congratulations on your major accomplishment as being selected as a Bush Fellow for this year. This is a great accomplishment by itself.
It is hard to believe that it has been 6 months since I started my fellowship, and when asked how I feel, I has mentioned: “Honored, Humbled, Grateful, Excited, & a bit nervous.” I still have the same feelings.
Every person’s journey a bit different. So, I will offer some suggestions and thoughts which has helped me so far in my journey.
1. Take some time to be thankful for this opportunity. This is clearly once in a lifetime opportunity, and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of leaders in many fields covet this achievement.
2. Get ready for your life to change, for the better. Plan for it. Make necessary preparations and changes, but know that you will have unanticipated challenges.
3. Spend some extra quality time with your family, friends & loved ones, before the fellowship starts.
4. Set up a time to officially meet with family, loved ones and your “companions in the cause.” Explain that this is will be a very busy time for you, and you will need to make the most of these two years. Ask them support you through your journey. Re-emphasize that this will make your bonds stronger in the long run.
5. You may need to cut back on your activities & leadership in certain areas. Imagine yourself in an archery class. For the arrow to hit the target, it must be pulled back and temporarily held to travel and hit the bullseye. Think of these two years as just that - a temporary pull back to help you travel faster and farther to reach your goal.
6. Don’t forsake your family. The one consistent advice that I received from multiple mentors was that the main thing that most people regret later in life is not spending enough time with their children before they grew older.
7. As you may take Fridays off from your employment (e.g., Fellowship Fridays), consider reserving Saturdays for your family & loved ones.
8. Don’t completely pull out of your community. It might be harder for you to re-join.
9. Stay connected to your friends and network through social media, by occasionally posting about your journey.
10. Self-care: Sleep, exercise, relaxation …. Yes, easier said than done, but critical for a long journey.
11. “The leaders of a people is their servant.” This is the essence of service leadership.
12. As it was said: If you want to travel fast, travel alone; but if you want to travel far travel with your companions.
13. Take sometime to pray, or meditate. Stephen Covey called this sharpening your saw.
14. I am sure as you know already know, the only constant is change, and change is inevitable.
Read the book Leadership on the Line sooner. Very valuable information.
Know that you have a great plan, but your plan will change.
Don’t forget your “why.”
Remember who you are and what is your “why,” your core mission; why you do what you do.
One of the main lessons from my leadership coach has been this exercise:
On a wheel with seven spokes (like a bicycle wheel), write each of these words on each spoke:
Rate yourself from 0-10, 10 being excellent. In which area(s) do you see your weakness? What can you do to improve?
For leaders to have a strong and prolonged leadership, they need to be well rounded in all of above areas.
Looks back and take note of your situation:
a. 20 years ago
b. 7 years ago
c. 3 years ago
d. 1 year ago
How have things changed for you?
-- Now, imagine how things would be different
i. A year from now
ii. 3 years from now
iii. 7 years from now
iv. 20 years from now
Can you plan and anticipate for the future challenges?
What is your BHAG? (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) for 20 years form now, 7 years from now, 3 years from now and 2 years from now?
How can you achieve your goals?
Enjoy everyday of your fellowship. As they say, time flies when you are having fun. I cannot believe it that it has been 6 months already and I have completed a quarter of my fellowship. It feels like it was only a few weeks ago that we met for the fellowship retreat.