13 Learnings about Life and Leadership from Mel Hensey

I have been fortunate in my life to have come into contact with many leaders and colleagues who have helped me to learn and improve the way I live my life and also how I work with others in my profession.  Mel Hensey of Hensey Associates is one of those individuals and he recently passed along a list of 13 learnings about life and leadership that he agreed I could share with you. 

Thank you Mel for all of your help!  I am a better person and a better leader because of your help.


13 Learnings about Life and Leadership

  • We live in an incredibly fortunate time and place: 21st Century USA. This can be confusing and distracting, as well as full of opportunity.
  • Each of us has received countless blessings from others. Noticing those can lead to an attitude of gratitude.
  • I am in charge of my life, and am responsible for almost everything that “happens” to me. There’s more power in this attitude than in believing I’m a victim (even when I am).
  • We are fellow travelers who can and probably should help each other along the way. That will probably please our Creator more than anything else we do.
  • There are few fatal mistakes; most “failures” are really opportunities for us to learn something important. Reflecting is more useful than feeling bad.
  • There’s a lot of heroism in life if we are attuned to it … and it can raise our spirits and aspirations.
  • There’s a lot of humor in life as well. When I learned to laugh at myself, I found an endless supply of humor.
  • The real meaning of my communication is not what I think it is. It’s the response it elicits from you, i.e. … what you think of it.
  • Leadership is a set of activities and a way of being that anyone can play and many do, with or without titles.
  • The “best” leadership guide is Servant Leadership by Robert Greenleaf, practiced by some companies and many individuals.
  • The test of effective leadership is: Do “your” people perform at their best, do they feel fulfilled and successful, and are they learning?
  • When we are in a toxic or troubling situation or relationship, there are only three ways to change that situation …
    – examine and change our attitudes, or
    – examine and change our behaviors, or
    – examine and change our associates.
  • When we are responsible leaders for another person whose performance is unacceptable, they have the same three options. We can/should help them to see those three options and act accordingly.

Mel Hensey, PE, Management Consulting Engineer