We’re back today with another installment of “How’s Your Oxygen?” This occasional little series shares ideas and inspiration from folks who run around each day trying to happily manage their busy lives, just like you. This month we’re throwing the spotlight on Randy Siegel, founder of Build Your Leaders, which helps foster today’s – and tomorrow’s – organizational leaders. (Disclosure: Randy was my boss at Fleishman-Hillard for several years and that relationship turned into a lasting friendship, for which I’m most thankful.) Here’s what he has to say.
So, Randy, when you were in the heyday of your PR career, did you ever feel like the walls were starting to close in?
You bet. Several times. The worst was when I was going through a divorce and one of my top people announced that she was leaving the firm. I was hoping to be able to coast a while until I could get my feet back on the ground. The Universe had other plans, however.
What advice would you give young people today about making it to the top without losing one’s way?
Be clear on what your core values are. Core values are those values that you live your life by. Compromise those, and you’ll compromise yourself.
Do you remember a particular moment when you thought, “A-ha, I’ve finally made it.” And, if so, how did that feel?
Never. Life is a journey. I believe we’re always in the process of “making it.”
You’re an author, coach, trainer, artist. Does all of that ever become overwhelming to you or does it just feel great?
I believe the secret to living a meaningful life is striving to become the full expression of all you are. Writing, training, coaching and painting are all ways that I express myself. I read a wonderful passage today that speaks to this: “We all have a deep longing to create from the divinity within us. But what that creation is like is different for each individual.”
Nature does this for me. Every time I look at the mountains — I live in Asheville, NC — I take a deep breath and say a prayer of gratitude. I’ve lived here for more than twelve years, and I still don’t take the beauty that surrounds me for granted. When I lived in Atlanta walking in Piedmont Park did the same thing for me.
What mountains haven’t you conquered?
I’ve done well in the world of business, but I have yet to master matters of love. I’m in the process of writing a book on breakups. That I know about, but how to maintain a successful intimate relationship is a lesson I have yet to learn.