Worry or Work?

At a John Maxwell seminar 10 years ago or so, I heard something that I have never forgotten: He said that leaders never stop paying the price to be leaders.

He talked about how a great leader is a person who makes sacrifices and serves others, and as long as you want to be a leader, you must do these things.

It depressed me a little at first because I didn’t want it to be true. I was okay working hard while I was young, but I wanted there to be a time when I got older that I could relax and not work any more. You know, save a bunch of money, put it away and then live on it through my golden years. I wanted to retire from work.

Now don’t get me wrong. Moving into a phase of life where you work a little less and play a little more is a good thing. And there is certainly a time where you actually stop doing the thing you did your whole life (I have a lot of GM employees as clients who are counting the days). What I’m talking about here is different.

Over the course of many seminars and office visits, I’ve found that the most worried people are the ones who have stopped working. And I’m talking about the ones who have really stopped—no volunteering, no work at all. They have stopped adding value to others and have stopped sacrificing. They are not leading anymore and are thus following – and followers are generally worriers.

So to further combat the articles like the one in Financial Planning Magazine entitled “4 out of 5 Investors are Worried That They Will Outlive Their Money,” I want to pose this question: Are you worrying or are you working?

Think about it. We’ll look at how to answer it in future posts.

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