I Left My Keys Behind

I Left My Keys Behind

Posted by in Self-Leadership, The Leadership Coach™

When I was getting ready to move from Sydney to New York recently I discovered a collection of keys in my desk drawer. At some point in time I had used these keys. I vaguely remembered some of them from houses or cars I had long since left behind. Others were a complete mystery to me. Then there were the ones still on my keyring that I had needed one day then not the next, as we packed our bags to move overseas.

I’ve come to realise that my leadership strategies are like that too. Like keys, I have developed methods, philosophies, habits, values, priorities and mindsets along my journey that at some time opened doors for me. They solved problems. They unlocked potential. They gave me breakthroughs. They were keys at a time when I needed them.

There is also a relationship between the pace of change in your life and the shelf life of your leadership keys. When little changes around you, keys work for longer. When your world is changing rapidly, keys come and go rapidly. The test is not the age of the key, but its usefulness.

Did I notice them becoming redundant? Rarely.

• So I wonder how many of your leadership “keys” have outlived their usefulness to you and your future?
• What are you carrying around with you that has become a dead weight?
• Are you keeping keys for years, telling yourself that you might remember one day what they were good for?
• How can we make sure we hold onto what is useful and let go of the rest?

Perhaps it’s time to make more room on your keyring.

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11 Responses to “I Left My Keys Behind”

  1. Cheryl Outram

    29. Jul, 2010

    check section four second and third point. Am you. Are you just got mixed with Am I? It happens, but as usual another great article.

  2. Paul Andrew

    29. Jul, 2010

    Thanks Cheryl- fixed. I hate typos!

  3. carl lentz

    29. Jul, 2010

    love this. Your a great writer with some fantastic thoughts..I have ample old keys. Could I possibly be a ‘HOARDER”?? HA. Awesome blog..

  4. Paul Andrew

    29. Jul, 2010

    Thanks Carl. Can’t wait to have you guys in NYC
    Paul Andrew´s last blog post ..Leading Without Emptying The Ocean

  5. Daniela (from Brazil)

    30. Jul, 2010

    “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: (…) a time to keep and a time to throw away (…)” (Ephesians 3:1, 6)

    I always understood these verses somehow connected only to material things (like the old keys!), but now I can see that they may refer as well to leadership strategies, why not?

    Thank you, Paul Andrew, for your awesome articles!

  6. Daniela (from Brazil)

    30. Jul, 2010

    Oops! Correcting: “Ecclesiastes”, not “Ephesians”…

  7. Gail

    30. Jul, 2010

    After a life time of houses my 84 year old Grandpa has a bucketful of odd keys!

    This made me think of processes, policies, strategies and habits that we may do because they were useful once or twice but we leave them on our keyring and still try them in every lock every time because they worked once, some time a long time ago and we don’t want to take them off our list of tools and let them go.

  8. Paul Andrew

    30. Jul, 2010

    That’s so true Gail – letting go is often the hardest part. And Thanks Daniela for your comments too

  9. Erica Banfield - Moore

    09. Aug, 2010

    Hey this is indeed an awesome “Truism” as many times we as strive to move on further and we are anchored on old paradigms. This hampers your success as while you are seeking to push forward, somehow we still tend to be looking back and not truly trusting our capability. Fear creates the difficulty believing that what we are going towards will be not be achieved. I recently left my job, burned my boats and started my own Business this was great and affirmed my commitment to my future success. Thanks Paul. I wish you continued success.

  10. Paul Andrew

    10. Aug, 2010

    Congrats on the big step Erica… all the best with your business and thanks for the comments on the post too

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