We all know what good leadership looks like. From empathy, collaboration, vision, supportive, and a myriad of other adjectives, we know what we like and what we want in our leaders. We emulate these examples. But how do we know the difference between a good leader and a fantastic, blow your socks off, you would follow them to the end of the world better leader. Here are some clues:
- Vested Interest: Good leaders are vested in the team and process. They drive success with compassion and ensure that their teams are performing optimally, sometimes saying “team first” individuals second. But better leaders put their people first, ahead of any results or even the team. A team is only as strong as its weakest link. Better leaders understand that results come from every single person. Great results happen when each individual is engaged which requires a leader to pay attention to more than the whole. Each person in a team is key.
- Focus on potential not likeability: Yes I am going to talk a little about unconscious bias. We all have it and its part of human nature. We all know we need to be more self aware, etc, etc. Good leaders tend to spend time with those who are delivering results and sometimes (and lets tell the truth) begrudgingly, with those not performing as well. I would propose to you that a better leader is spending time on each individual’s potential versus the current results. This is a very different process. It takes equal time to develop high and low performers. It takes equal time to engage them in challenging assignments that stretch them to maximum potential. This also eliminates the “likeability” factor: I like you better or I like your results better. Focusing on potential elevates everyone in the team, showing you are a better leader and have a deep vested interest in everyone.
Once in a while I will have someone that books an appointment to plot out their career. This to me is always a very interesting conversation. Most people will come in and say " I have career aspirations. I would like to be in x position in the next 2 years." Some even follow up with their big career dream "I want to run the company someday."
Career paths are riddled with twists, turns and some setbacks or pauses. It's not a straight road and sometimes the path may not have even been paved yet. Because career pathing can be tricky I like to hear a person out on what their vision is and then ask:
If you look at your career path without titles or names, what does it look like? Are you helping people? Are you creating something? At what scale? Where in the world? To me these questions get to the core of who you want to be in your career. No title needed. And the byproduct is that you feel more fulfilled because you are in your sweet spot.
So, what's your career path without the titles? Who are you in that space and how does it support and enrich the rest of your life?
Such a simple thing right? We all have them. Some are long, some short, some are really complex. But what are you doing every time you enter it? You are gaining access to a part of your life. Wether it's your work email, accounts, blog, digital diary, etc. your passwords give you access. So, have you ever thought about making them truly meaningful?
Here is what I mean: when you repeat something over and over, it can become a mantra for you. So your password, as often as you repeat it, is a quick message to you every time your remember it, type it and even when you re-set it.
So what are you telling yourself, over and over with your password? My suggestion today is that you make it something positive and meaningful. Whether it's a goal, dream, or state of being. For example. Say you are stuck in a rut and you want something better. Consider a positive affirmation like "my.life.is.amazing." With the added security pieces to make sure it's safe, a positive affirmation as your password becomes your mantra. Imagine telling yourself over and over that your life is amazing, even when it's hard. Your brain will start looking for those amazing moments to just the mantra. Better yet, what if you start your days with your new mantra password and you start to notice a change that is aligned with your mantra. Call it manifesting or whatever you want but how you talk to yourself does have a direct correlation on what can go on around you.
So, what's your password? I'm about to change mine to a new 90 day mantra. Try it out and see what happens.
When was the last time you really stepped out and explored one of your “crazy” ideas. Maybe you want to start a business, write a book, do something in fashion or entertainment. What’s stopping you? I have had several mentees lately talk through why they are not following their passions. The most consistent responses are: “it’s not realistic,” “I’m too busy,” “it’s not a real job.”
When you really think about these reasons, it all boils down to them not being comfortable and maybe even feeling like they will not be accepted if they change direction. In a previous blog I talked about how to overcome some of the fears. Today we are going to talk about removing the Why Not.
So first things first. What’s the worst thing that can happen if you don’t try? Unless it’s jumping off a plane with no parachute then really it’s something better than death. If the issue is that your idea is outside the norm, then really it’s more about you deciding to be your whole authentic self versus trying to please others.
Second, what’s a real job anyway??? In today’s day and age, a real job is anything you want it to be. It might be in a corporate role but more and more people are paving their own way, thriving and dare I say making a good living following their passions.
Finally, ask yourself, if you executed on your idea or passion, how would you feel? Happier? Fulfilled? Whole? That is they key question and what should really drive your decision. Your fulfillment is not selfish, it benefits you and let’s you lead a full life. It benefits those around you because you will be happier and great to hang out with!
So, get out there and LEAD your life. When you do, others will follow.
P.s. don’t worry about the haters. That’s their karma, not yours to deal with.
Not everything in life happens the way we plan or expect. Life is a journey riddled with twists and bends, sometimes cliffs that require leaps of faith and the never-ending forks on the road. Our ability to flex, bend and leap are part of what makes it either interesting, nerve pinching or peaceful. Recently I have spent time looking at my life, its direction and whether I need to make adjustments. For me, that can be difficult. I am a high-risk taker that finds herself in a time where life is at a lull. Great family, good friends, a fantastic husband and suddenly, I went from taking big leaps to sticking to the path.
As I am evaluating where I am, I am asking myself these questions:
For me this internal dialogue is ongoing. This conversation with my inner self is bringing out a version of me that I did not know was there- and I like her. This “new” inner me is more confident, and while not entirely satisfied with where I am at today, I can see where I would like to be, and I am making plans.
So, when was the last time you talked with your inner self? Maybe its time for a re-introduction. You might find that, like me, there is someone there that is itching for a heart to heart talk.