There’s a Fee for Those Bags

by  William Powell  |  Self Leadership

Even if you haven’t personally experienced the financial changes in airline travel, you have probably heard all the hoopla about the relatively new tariffs we are so blessed to have inherited with our travel itineraries. It seems that carrying our things around with us has become more expensive than it used to be.

This isn’t exactly a new concept.We have been paying for baggage for generations; it’s just being expressed differently as of late. None of us have had a perfect life. We’ve experienced disappointments, we’ve been raised by imperfect parents, and we’ve been exposed to numerous (some more than others) events that had a negative impact on us. To assume that we are impervious to the effects of our less than perfect past is nothing more than ignorance and a bit of a pipe dream.

If we haven’t purposefully addressed these things, they can have a detrimental effect on the quality of our life and our leadership. It can be quite easy to develop a feeling of being a victim and allow that to become an excuse (masquerading as a “reason”) for our less-than productive behavior and choices. Many times we can be completely blind to this baggage and just wonder why we make the same mistakes over and over again. It can seem as if we have no control over these things.

This baggage doesn’t have to be a part of our lives and, consequentially, our leadership. We are not chained to our baggage.  We have recourse.  We can check our baggage, just the same way we do at the airport. We “set our bags down” so we are able to do accomplish the necessary tasks. Our lives aren’t any different.

We always have the option to set our baggage down and simply walk away. Sure we may need some support from other professionals, depending on the nature of our challenges, but the choice always rests with us.  To be the best leader we can be, we must make the choice to set down our personal baggage. We owe it to ourselves and those we’re leading.  We must bring our personal best and leave our baggage behind.

What choices do you need to make in order to leave your lingering baggage at home? What fees are you paying because you keep dragging your baggage with you on every trip?  What fees are being paid over and over by those you’re leading?

Do you have a success story of baggage you’ve left behind?  Would you please share about the changes you’ve made and how that has changed your influence and impact?  Comment below to help others eliminate their baggage fees.

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Articles By william-powell
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What People Are Saying

Tristan Bishop  |  11 Nov 2010  |  Reply

Thank you William.

What a spectacular set of similes: This post is brilliant reminder of how personal history seeps into our workday, like it or not. My wife and I have a saying: “Work your story, or your story will work you.”

Character-based leaders take the time to find and disarm any landmines under their surfaces. This intentional pursuit protects followers from unintentional shrapnel. It takes extreme empathy to prompt one to enter pain for another’s sake. But that is just the sort of choice that authentic leaders make.


William Powell  |  11 Nov 2010  |  Reply

Thank you Tristan. We strive so hard to keep our work out of our lives, but we all but forget to keep our lives out of our work (at least the negative bits). I appreciate your comment and insight!


Mike Henry  |  11 Nov 2010  |  Reply

Great post William. I really enjoyed the analogy to leaving your baggage at home. If you bring it, it just weighs you down or you have to pay big bucks to check it!

Show up for others and leave your drama at home. Great Post!

William Powell  |  12 Nov 2010  |  Reply

I appreciate that Mike. Thanks for taking time to contribute!

Gabrielle Cardon  |  12 Nov 2010  |  Reply

Ótima comparação, William!
Me fez pensar que eu e minhas bagagens somos coisas diferentes e que eu não tenho que carregá-las como se elas fossem parte de mim.
You made think about the differences between me and my baggage… I don’t need carry it as a part of me!

Congrats from Brazil!

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