I don’t know about you, but this Thanksgiving was the first time since 2019 we could have the extended family together. Our celebration included 50 family members – aunts, uncles, and cousins – together in close quarters, sharing stories, laughter, and hugs. We were all in a room together… without masks! It felt like a renewed spirit of family and connection.
Because so much time had passed since our last gathering, it did take some time to “break the ice.” We had to intentionally work to increase the comfort level and rebuild the connection with extended family we hadn’t seen in a while.
We all needed time and space to symbolically remove our (COVID) masks and create space to step into our authentic selves. Reflecting on this experience highlighted the importance of authenticity and reminded me of how often this topic has come up in my work recently, especially in my work with self-aware leaders.
I recently asked a group of leaders – “What do you believe builds trust most quickly within a team?” Their answer? Authenticity.
But when it comes to being authentic, we often get it wrong – thinking “being authentic” always equates to “feeling comfortable.”
HBR published information about the authenticity paradox – digging into how feeling like you’re “faking it” can signify growth. Contrary to popular belief, genuine authenticity is about vulnerability and self-awareness, often requiring leaders to step out of their comfort zone.
What does the authenticity paradox look like in practice? Navigating the desire to be your “true self” when at the office while also recognizing that you are a work in progress that can (and should) grow and evolve to meet your organization's and team's changing needs.
As their careers advance, many leaders are challenged to elevate their leadership contributions in expanded or new roles. It’s at this moment that we must fight the urge to retreat to familiar behaviors and styles that feel authentic but are actually a step back. Growth often requires leaders to live in discomfort, being willing to create a new authenticity that reflects their expanded skills and responsibilities.
So many of us buy into the myth that authentic leaders have unwavering confidence in who they are. We believe it’s a sign that we are not authentic if we show signs of weakness, self-doubt, or discomfort. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Authentic leaders commit to learning more about themselves. They are vulnerable in sharing their mistakes and humble in their willingness to learn as they go.
I’ve noticed the importance of self-aware authenticity even more lately. These days, the new normal includes hybrid work schedules with remote teams and physically disconnected colleagues. With the leaders and teams I work with, on the rare occasion that teams come together in person, they need time to “remove the mask” and step into their authenticity. Everyone needs a little space before they are prepared to let themselves be seen and connect with one another.
Removing the mask takes courage and intentionality.
Leaders need the space to recognize the disconnect and the courage to stay open in the discomfort, so we can ultimately bring our best to the office and the teams we lead!
Interested in helping your leaders remove their masks and understand the crucial importance of self-aware, vulnerable authenticity?
I work directly with leadership teams to develop the soft skills required to succeed in the ever-changing landscape of today’s modern workplace.
Have you ever considered how self-awareness affects your career success? Self-awareness, for leaders especially, is the foundation of authenticity and impact.
How can you expect to understand and influence others if you don’t first understand yourself?
Once you know your leadership style, you can see how your approach and perspective impact those around you. Self-awareness helps you better understand others and improves how you collaborate and work together.
The challenge with self-awareness is that it is often hard to see ourselves accurately. Any number of factors can skew our perceptions. I was recently introduced to an assessment that facilitates a deep, meaningful understanding of self: the Profile XT.
Profile XT assesses your:
This specific combination of insights creates powerful self-knowledge that would not be possible on your own.
I work with a client who was just promoted to VP of Information Technology, receiving a considerably more significant scope of responsibility. He now has more visibility and the ability to impact his company’s strategic results. This is his chance to make the most of his opportunity to prove he is ready, capable, and a clear candidate for a C-level position in the future.
We kicked off our work together with the Profile XT so we could understand his current leadership style and elevate his skills. This client is naturally reserved. He brings a highly analytical perspective to his work and needs certainty before making decisions.
However, the organization relies on him to bridge the gap between data and technology, expecting him to accelerate their shift toward leveraging both functions to support their growth strategy.
Given the high stakes of his new leadership role and the self-awareness he gained from the Profile XT, he could see where he needed to make some changes and where he should focus his development.
My client could clearly see where his analytical, results-driven, and low-risk style interfered with his ability to be a vulnerable, connected, intentional leader. Together, we identified actions he could immediately put in place to communicate more often, communicate more clearly, and practice active listening to help his team feel seen, valued, and heard.
When you are willing, like my client in this example, to invest in yourself and dig into your leadership approach, you can improve your skills, hone your talents, and expand your capabilities.
The main benefits this client experienced during our self-awareness work were:
Because the Profile XT was so powerful with my 1:1 coaching clients, I’ve recently begun leveraging it in group coaching. (You can click here to see the coaching services I offer.)
After seeing how useful the Profile XT assessment has been for my clients, I decided to put my time and energy into becoming PXT Certified. Now I can support my clients even better while efficiently and effectively accelerating their leadership and career goals.
While there are several benefits to improving your self-awareness, there are 2 key benefits to engaging with coaching and the Profile XT assessment:
You’ve seen all the evidence and witnessed what is possible when you engage with your self-awareness as a leader. Now you’re ready to put the Profile XT to work in your own professional development, and I’m excited for you to see what’s in store!
When you join a small group coaching circle – intimate, truly small groups of like-minded leaders committed to growing together – you get access to the robust PXT assessment alongside numerous other resources and tools. The group accountability and support facilitate deeper learning and more effective coaching, helping you reach your goals and develop new skills.
Interested in taking your leadership to the next level? Click here to contact me about joining a group coaching program and intentionally engaging with your self-awareness.
May is mental health awareness month, so it feels like the perfect time to discuss what burnout and self-care can look like in the workplace.
The topic of burnout is becoming a major focus for many organizations. It’s encouraging to see workplaces raise awareness of the dangers of burnout and the importance of self-care and acknowledge the significant impact of workplace stress and long hours on employee health.
But this is still an area where many leaders need to deepen their understanding of burnout and self-care – putting in the time and energy to truly care for their employees and team members.
Burnout is defined as Chronic workplace stress not successfully managed by employers or employees.
One important thing to note here is that the opposite of burnout is not an absence of stress, but rather the successful management of stress. Leading successful teams will always carry some stress, but if we can learn how to use self-care to appropriately handle our job responsibilities – and teach our teams to do the same – we can avoid the dangerous repercussions of severe burnout.
Here’s what we know is true: Teams are burnt out – it’s a global health condition at this point.
According to Gallup, workplace stress costs $300B per year and 44% of workers regularly experience burnout and exhaustion.
These stats show us that, as leaders, we are acutely responsible for the mental health and wellbeing of our people. We must be aware of what can happen when we ignore the signs of burnout, push our teams too far, and don’t make space for proper self-care.
I started thinking more about burnout – specifically who is to blame when it happens – after I was asked to speak about the benefits of self-care (and the negative impact of burnout). I personally experienced a serious health scare due to the burnout I suffered, which ultimately led me to make huge changes in my lifestyle and career. And I really wanted to know – whose fault is it?
Was it my leaders’ fault for not seeing the signs and creating an unhealthy environment?
Was it my organization’s fault for creating a toxic culture and having outsized expectations?
Or was it my fault – for letting things get so bad before I made any personal changes?
As I thought about who to blame, I realized something: The better question is what can be done about burnout and self-care in the workplace?
We have all played a part in letting things get so out of hand, and I think our energy should be spent on finding solutions and creating positive change within our realm of influence.
Before we can find feasible solutions, we need to understand how burnout occurs, even in businesses that don’t intend to work their employees into an unhealthy state.
The world is changing at an exhaustive rate. We are always on. We have competing priorities to keep up with and everyone expects instantaneous gratification. We can always be reached. Everything is urgent.
And while it’s convenient to blame COVID, this burnout culture existed long before the global pandemic. COVID simply accelerated and exacerbated the issue.
For organizations who thrived during COVID, it was game on to capitalize on the opportunity to experience exponential growth in a new segment, new category, or new industry.
For organizations who struggled during COVID, it was game on to keep the business afloat, rethink, reinvent and emerge on the other side so they could rebuild what once was.
Employees on either side of the coin were overworked with blurred lines between work and home, anxiously facing sleepless nights, worried about their job, or worried they wouldn’t appear as productive as they needed to be to save themselves if they had to.
The demands of our busy lives, coupled with the performance cultures we face in our jobs, wear us down and make burnout a real experience.
Burnout is caused by:
And these are all things that destroy performance while harming individuals.
When speaking to a local news channel about burnout in 2019, I gave a suggestion to “get 7 hours of sleep” as an effective way to combat burnout. This simple suggestion garnered a snicker from the anchor – you can watch the clip here. It just shows how far we have to come, and how embedded the burnout culture truly is.
So what are we, as leaders, supposed to do?
The solution for burnout isn’t “self-care” – and it isn’t lowering performance expectations.
Solving burnout in the workplace requires a co-created space between employees and the company that includes ambition, drive, results, and time to rest and recharge.
Hard work should be met by equal rest. The most ambitious of your people need to be praised for recharging the same way they are praised for meeting big goals. We must remove the stigma of “laziness” and reframe genuine rest and recharging as essential components of success.
Whether you’re a leader looking for better ways to support your employee's overall well-being or an employee teetering on the edge, looking for ways to avoid burnout – here are 3 strategies to try:
My work is centered around helping leaders become more effective while also leading more fulfilling lives. If you’re interested in working together to avoid burnout, recover from existing burnout, help your employees avoid burnout, or learn how to implement a self-care practice that prioritizes success and recharging – I’d love to chat with you.
You can contact me here to get started.
Just as I challenge my clients to grow, develop, and progress as intentional leaders and toward their goals, they also challenge me. Through our discussions, I regularly learn new things that are reinforced daily, and I am challenged to continue to embody the coaching mindset (one of the ICF core competencies).
This challenge serves me well, as I ensure to “walk the talk” – both in my work and in my life.
Most recently, a client conversation inspired a discussion, and further consideration, of intention.
Intention has always been a major concept and guiding principle for me, both as a leader and as a coach of leaders.
I practiced intentional leadership, wrote about it in my book, and now I help my clients define and practice how to show up and engage with others with intention in their own leadership.
It’s clear that being intentional is a big deal. Being a present, effective, heart-led leader is a defining characteristic. But it doesn’t always have to be a big habit or a big practice.
In the previously mentioned discussion with my client, our conversation showed me the power of practicing, and demonstrating, micro-moments of intention.
As I’ve written about a number of times, and like I tell all of my clients – being an intentional leader requires thought and planning. Choosing to lead with intention can be time-consuming and detailed. You can feel like you need dedicated time to think, plan, and get ahead of your goals each day.
You spend time considering, “Who can I purposefully engage with today?” and “How can I show up in this meeting to best engage with my team and inspire them to take action to solve XYZ?”
An intentional leader champions their employees, connects with their colleagues, and acts with purpose.
Whew! I’m exhausted just reading that description. It’s true – being an intentional leader does take time, energy, and focus. (And it’s worth it!)
But it doesn’t always have to be so arduous. In fact, there are daily opportunities to practice micro-moments of intention outside of the bigger, more recognizable areas of intention.
You’re not always going to have a plan – and that’s okay. The best leaders know how to embrace micro-moments of intention to stand in their power and remain in the driver’s seat of a particular situation.
You can be intentional without a plan! These micro-moments are all about reinforcing your ability to lead with intention at your core, without a pre-planned effort or decision.
To put it another way, these micro-moments help you build an intrinsic, natural reflex and habit of being intentional. They are a powerful addition to your leadership toolkit! And micro-moments help you show your people who you really are.
What do these micro-moments look like in practice? Let’s explore some examples.
A micro-moment of intention can be a:
Take 3 minutes right now and jot down a few times today when you experienced a potential micro-moment of intention.
Did you choose to act with intention or did you let the moment pass? This isn’t a practice in judgment – it’s about recognizing how often these moments occur and being more aware of how we engage with them.
Invite the micro-moments in and choose to show up with intention. This is how you’ll become the leader you want to be.
Need help understanding how to engage with more intention or improve your skills as an intentional leader? This is exactly what I help my clients with, and I’d love to see how I can help you step into your true leadership potential. Everyone benefits when you lead with compassion, empathy, and intention.
Let’s chat and see what’s possible when we work together. Click here to schedule a free consultation.
We just turned a fresh new page on the calendar, and we are ready to take on the new year. As leaders, specifically female leaders, a new year has us wondering how to start the year strong.
Here’s what I see happening with a lot of women in leadership – you start in the hole, with one arm tied behind your back, feeling like you are already “doing it all” and feeling incapable of adding one more thing to your plate.
You put yourself last, worrying about helping your team and those around you, sacrificing your own career goals in the process.
This is not the picture of a strong start. But it is often reality.
And it leaves many of us wondering how to start the year strong.
That’s why I want to talk about how starting the new year from a position of strength – instead of a position of exhaustion – is the key to hitting your goals, increasing your impact, and finishing 2022 on the best note.
I have a coaching client who is focused on her career growth. She has big goals and wants to do the things necessary to level up her skills and prepare for upcoming advancement opportunities. But she doesn’t know where to start, because she doesn’t know where she is heading.
This client hasn’t even taken the first step because she’s so overrun by her day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. She is highly motivated and a high-achiever, but her to-do list runs her day and she feels like she can’t keep up… resulting in her feeling exhausted, defeated, guilty, and further from her goals as each day passes.
Maybe you have experienced what my client is struggling with, too.
Do you find yourself spending all of your energy on checking off to-do items so you feel like you’re contributing… but not actually focusing on the things that actually have the most impact?
You and my client are not alone. In fact, 88% of business people don't accomplish their top three priorities on any given day. Of the time given to a workday, 80% is spent doing tasks with little to no value and only 20% is spent doing something important.
That means almost all of us are struggling with getting the right things done. But why?
That always-open inbox and never-ending to-do list? Those keep us consistently inundated with smaller, trivial tasks. The constant presence of these insignificant responsibilities draws us in and sucks all our energy.
Want to end the overwhelm and start each day from a position of strength?
You must be intentional in deciding what matters most – with your own goals at the top of the list.
Your goals and high-impact tasks should drive your day, not the mile-long to-do list of little time-sucking tasks.
When you’re ready to take back control of your day and step into your strength as a leader, there are three steps to take to make sure your overall vision, goals, and priorities are in line.
Everything starts with redefining. It’s vital that you have a clear idea of where you want to go before you take off. You can’t work toward a goal without knowing what you’re working for.
When you take the time to redefine, redesign, and realign, you will be confident and ready to strike with the right opportunity coming your way!
Taking on these reflections and major life decisions on your own can be daunting.
That’s why I’m here to help you take the first step!
Download my Leadership and Career Dashboard to give you a head start in “redefining” the vision you have for your career & your leadership in the new year.
And when you’re ready to truly accelerate your growth, overcome any challenge, and realign your values to reflect what matters most – consider partnering with a leadership coach and accountability partner to help you get where you want to be!
Click here to schedule a call to discuss what coaching can do for you.
Does this sound familiar?
You have achieved a certain level of success as a leader. Colleagues respect you, and your team recognizes that you have the knowledge and skills they need to be successful, too. You get results. It is clear to everyone in your organization that you are a disciplined, proven leader.
And yet you still feel like an imposter.
Every day you find yourself doubting your decisions, second-guessing your choices, and feeling like you’ll never be enough.
It’s exhausting. And you’re not alone.
Women have made incredible strides in the workplace – we’re earning more college and graduate degrees than men and closing the gap in middle-management… but men are still getting paid more and promoted faster. (The Atlantic)
So what’s going on?
According to reporters and researchers Claire Shipman and Katty Kay:
“Compared with men, women don’t consider themselves as ready for promotions, they predict they’ll do worse on tests, and they generally underestimate their abilities.”
But when it comes to actual outcomes and results for men versus women? The quality of their actual performance doesn’t differ much. (The Atlantic)
As women, we doubt ourselves. There’s a massive confidence gap that’s holding us back from top leadership positions and exhausting us on a daily basis. Yes, your role as a leader is complex and stressful – that’s true for any leader, male or female.
But when you actively step into your power and embrace your confidence, things do start to feel a bit easier. You free up your mental and creative energy to focus on problem-solving and helping your team instead of constantly worrying that you’re not enough or doing something wrong.
And because you know we are all about taking action around here – I’m sharing 4 simple, direct ways you can increase your confidence, decrease your self-doubt, and close that confidence gap.
I work with my one-on-one leadership coaching clients to help them shift their perspective, change the narrative, reframe the stories they tell themselves, and declutter their minds so they can lead with less overwhelm and more balance, less stress, and more ease; less push and more receive.
Those changes and shifts take months to fully take hold, but you can follow these steps to start closing your own confidence gap today.
Step #1: Know Your Values
Make a “Top 5” list of the qualities you think it’s most important to have. You’ll feel more confident – and more authentically you – when you know you’re living and leading by your own set of values instead of trying to conform to someone else’s.
Step #2: Keep an Open Mind
Sticking to rigid thinking leaves you second-guessing every choice and decision. Approach your work, your team, and your colleagues with an open mind and see how much easier it is to appreciate good ideas, be more creative, and stop worrying so much about being “right.”
Step #3: Practice Boldness
A huge reason for the confidence gap? Men believe their ideas are great and women are timider about putting themselves out there. Start small – with speaking up in a meeting or starting a conversation – and practice increasing your bold actions each day. Will it feel uncomfortable? Probably. But keep practicing, and soon, you will feel comfortable standing up and standing out!
Step #4: Avoid Perfectionism
Done is better than perfect. So many times, we (women) second-guess our work and let perfectionism keep us from sharing an idea, solving a problem, or achieving a result. You are not naturally perfect (no one is), and the sooner you can let go of that need the sooner you will see your confidence bloom.
Doubting yourself and second-guessing your decisions is exhausting. It also ends up hurting your productivity, your results, and ultimately your career.
If you want to be the most effective leader possible, you have to step into your confidence and lead from a place of feeling empowered, capable, and authentic. That is when you will really live up to your potential, see your true success, and help your team members grow.
Feel like you need some help in this area? It can be difficult to overcome your self-doubt tendencies on your own. That’s where a coach can make a huge difference. I help women identify their own confidence gap and make major shifts in perspective, mindset, and beliefs in order to increase their confidence, ditch the stress and overwhelm, and lead with ease.
If that sounds like something you would like to experience, you can click here to check out my 1:1 services.
And if you’re ready to tackle your confidence gap on your own, make sure you start with the steps above and systematically break down your doubt and fears. Your team, your organization, and your career will thank you!
"It will get done faster (and better) if I just do it myself!"
“Even when I explain in detail how to do it, it isn’t done right.”
I don’t want someone to think I’m dumping something I just don’t want to do on them!”
If you’re a woman in business leadership, you’ve likely made a statement like one of these recently.
Delegating is a skill that does not come easily to most leaders. We struggle with giving up control of the outcomes and worry others will see us “avoiding” work if we ask them to handle it.
But learning how to delegate with intention is one of the key leadership skills you need to master if you want to be a truly effective leader. Delegating with intention elevates your leadership and helps you empower and develop the people you lead. Done well, delegating might just become your new favorite task.
In practice, delegating with intention helps us combat our discomfort and unease with the practice of asking others to take on work for us. It’s important to remember that sharing the right work with the right people means that each person – you included – can focus on those things that add the most value.
When it comes to delegating with intention, you have two areas of focus:
So let’s see this at work...
You have a data set that needs to be sorted before you can use the data to make a recommendation to a committee about the next steps for a specific project. You also have a few memos to write, an employee review to complete, and some admin tasks. If you decide to do all of this work yourself, you know it will be done correctly, but it’s going to take you an entire day to work through everything.
The kind of delegating you’re used to (that feels uncomfortable) would include you calling up someone “beneath” you and tossing the work that you don’t have time for at them. No wonder that doesn’t feel great!
But you’re a woman in business leadership who leads – and delegates – with intention. So you think about the conversations you’ve been having with your team lately to see who might be a good fit for a few of the tasks you have on hand.
Samantha mentioned that she wanted to deepen her analytics skills in your last one-on-one, so you ask her if she can step in and support the team (and develop a skill she’s interested in) by sorting the data set. She’s thrilled to be trusted with a side project in her area of interest, and you’ve freed up some of your time.
You’ve noticed that Greg is an excellent writer, so you let him know you appreciate his writing skills and could use his help crafting a few key memos for the team. He completes the memos in a fraction of the time it would have taken you, and they are clearly written and easy to understand.
Because you’ve learned how to delegate with intention, you now have plenty of time to sort through the data Samantha aggregated for you and make a well-informed, insightful recommendation to the committee. You don’t have an endless to-do list dangling over your head, so you’re able to be more focused and intentional in the employee review.
Sure, the above scenario sounds great, but how do you start delegating with intention in your own role?
There are some key questions you can ask to help start putting this important leadership skill into practice. A skill important to develop for women in business leadership.
Learning how to effectively and intentionally delegate helps:
Delegating with intention is essentially a win-win.
“When you get the best from your employees, the company gets the best results."
– LEAD WITH HEART AND LEAVE A LEGACY
Asking employees to manage certain tasks will help them develop new and existing skills. They’ll also feel empowered and appreciate being needed. People want to feel valued – and delegating with intention is one of the best ways to help them contribute to the team.
When you give yourself space to focus on the things you are best at, your work will be even better. You can pour your time and energy into focused tasks, improve your own skills, and deliver excellent results.
Your organization will benefit in a number of ways when you start delegating with intention. First, everyone is involved in delivering better work – which improves the quality of the organization across the board. You’re also helping improve employee quality and satisfaction, which leads to better organization-wide results. In fact, highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability (Gallup).
You see the benefits and you’re ready to sharpen your delegating skills. I’m excited to see how this benefits you and your team! And to start dividing up tasks based on urgency and importance, I highly recommend using Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle.
You can click here to download a free guide to help you get started delegating with intention and improving outcomes. You’ll be delegating like a pro in no time!
Have you ever worked for an excellent, intentional leader? If you have, you probably experienced higher employee engagement – a positive emotional connection to your work and workplace. This engagement generally leads to more productivity and better outcomes. Essentially, happy employees are successful employees. And it is a leader’s job to positively impact employee engagement.
When you lead with intention, you foster an environment that teaches your employees that their work matters. You help them feel the importance of their contribution, build their self-confidence, and connect their work to their own core values. But this doesn’t just happen.
You do this by using your role as a leader to motivate, coach, and engage your team members so they become more self-reliant and independent. People feel empowered when they have a strong sense of pride in their work.
One of the most influential trends across the globe right now is the practice of customer preference. CEOs and executive leadership teams are implementing customer experience strategies. The customer experience is a direct result of the employee experience. Empower your people to be engaged and passionate about the customer experience and you will get greater fulfillment and engagement all around. This customer-first approach can cause a fundamental shift in how teams and leaders operate, serving as a catalyst for developing a culture of empowerment.
When you, as the leader, have a growth mindset, you believe in endless possibilities for your company and your people. And when you help your employees develop their own growth mindset, they carry that belief into their own work, knowing they can always learn and grow – becoming the best version of themselves.
One thing you can do to model a growth mindset and encourage it within your teams is to share your own mistakes and failures. When your employees see you open up about their own vulnerabilities, they feel safe to acknowledge their own vs. hiding behind them.
Intentional leaders know that there is much more to leadership than being in charge. They believe in their people, and they make sure everyone knows it. They take a genuine interest in their employees and encourage both personal and professional growth. Championing your people looks like helping them develop their skills, paying attention to their happiness, focusing on keeping morale up, and creating a sense of goodwill and loyalty.
When you are on your employees’ side, they can feel it in everything you do!
The best leaders are always open to learning new things, approaching their people with a sense of curiosity. When you are interested in exploring and learning about their passions and perspectives, you’re not just learning – you’re also modeling open, transparent leadership. Employees are more willing to contribute their voice and skills when they feel like they are appreciated and understood. This humble and curious approach to leadership helps everyone improve!
Lifelong learning is the new normal for leaders these days. By committing yourself to a learning mindset, you are committing yourself to being an intentional leader.
Intentional leadership means consistently putting these effective leadership principles and skills into practice and fostering a culture of engagement. Our leadership style matters. When leaders improve their engagement, connections, and behaviors, they positively influence their employees.
Do you practice these principles and behaviors in your own leadership role? Sometimes it can be hard to accurately assess ourselves. That’s why I created an effective assessment to help you determine if you’re showing up as the intentional, heart-centered leader you want to be.
The wrong mindset might be the very thing holding you back from achieving your potential. It doesn’t matter what specific goals they set for themselves – career change, job shift, promotion, better work/life balance – we inevitably end up talking about mindset.
I see this time and time again with my clients.
It is only when we have a calm, clear, focused, intentional mind, that we do our best work. This is when amazing things happen!
This state – one of clarity and focus – is also known as a “performance mindset,” and a high-performance mindset is an essential tool in your leadership toolbox.
It determines how you think about and interprets situations. It determines your emotional reactions. It determines the decisions you make and the actions you take.
All crucial considerations and choices for any leadership role in this global, complex, urgent world today.
…The emerging leader is focused on increasing her confidence.
…The senior operations leader is focused on delegating to her team.
…The high-performing sales executive is focused on internal collaboration.
To be successful with any developmental strategies that improve these areas, the right mindset is required FIRST. Your mindset directly supports your ability to reframe your thinking and create new habits for success.
How are you showing up each day?
If you aren’t operating as your best self every day, then it is likely you are bringing beliefs and thoughts to the table that are not serving you and could actually be pushing you further away from the life you want.
So many high-achieving leaders charge forward. But the most successful leaders I coach, seek clarity first. Go slow, to go fast. When you slow down, you have time to assess the situation, gather additional inputs, and come up with an intentional plan of action, free from speedbumps and unintended consequences that take you off course. Slowing down will help you go further, faster.
Practice Positive Daily Habits:
One size does not fit all. Building and sustaining a high-performance mindset has to be authentic to you and it should be reflective of the way you naturally approach the world. The practices, patterns, and approaches will look different for everyone but they generate the same outcome – increased confidence, a sense of calm, and most importantly, awareness of your emotions and behaviors. Positive daily habits like – affirmations, gratitude, physical exercise, meditation – start to automatically produce thoughts and beliefs that are productive.
Why is it important for you to do well? Define your greater purpose – that reason beyond yourself that you connect to and that motivates you to show up as your best self. Harnessing this motivation will help you be mentally tough and give you the energy and resilience you need when things get hard.
Start small and build from there. Committing to new habits and nurturing a calm, clear, focused, intentional mindset will be a differentiator in your success.
As many of my executive leadership clients faced the uncertainty and adversity of this past year, they were compelled to focus more actively on building resilient leadership. Wanting desperately to be able to function best under pressure, master stressful situations, make swift and strong decisions as circumstances felt out of their control.
This year had this effect on many of us – at work and at home.
Life is full of ups and downs. When challenging experiences inevitably arise, we all want to be ready to rise to the occasion.
We often take a militaristic, “tough” approach and focus on demonstrating resilient leadership. We believe that the longer we tough it out, the tougher we are, and therefore the more successful we will be.
For many of us being a resilient leader means focusing on the skills and competence to deal with any situation or set back. It means have control over the current realities and being strong and tough enough to cope with whatever trauma or tragedy comes our way.
The hardest things being met with and described by the strongest and toughest words and actions.
But sometimes the hardest things require the softest approaches.
When reflecting on this past year, those who were demonstrating resilient leadership most, were the ones intentional in their actions and engagements each day. Empathetically, genuinely, compassionately walking in the shoes of their employees. Connecting deep in their organizations. Taking quick action and making hard decisions but with care and compassion.
Resilient leadership was most evident from those leaders who were leading with heart.
What if you could build your resilience and be ready for the greatest hardships by focusing on the softest things?
One of my clients is a global executive tasked with driving a multi-million-dollar change initiative for her company. Delays were costly, critical talent on the team left and change fatigue had set in. It was time to “sell hope”. She demonstrated her commitment to her employees by getting in the trenches with them, recognizing their contributions and engaging them in what mattered most – the feeling of pride, accomplishment, and success they would feel at the completion of the project.
Recognizing the impact that the uncertainty is having on the people that drive the organization and inspiring them with what’s ahead is a sign of resilient leadership.
Being tough and enduring a grueling schedule with long days and sleepless nights doesn’t build resilience. When we lack recovery, it dramatically holds us back from our ability to be resilient. The more imbalanced we become due to overworking, the more value there is in activities that allow us to return to a state of balance. The value of a recovery period rises in proportion to the amount of work required of us. Give yourself the resources and permission to intentionally create internal and external recovery periods. This is the way to role model resilient leadership for yourself and your teams.
“Focus on what's strong rather than what's wrong.”
In times of crisis, it is easy to focus on what was missed, what needs to be solved, what could have gone better. When we only see what is wrong, then feelings of disappointment and regret seep into everything we do. Instead, provide the compass to weather the storm - shift the focus to trust in self and team, and reinforce confidence in them that they will emerge even stronger tomorrow.
We all seek to grow, and challenging moments are there to do just that. Leaders that bring optimism and confidence to their employees will build a sense of resilience in them and those around them.
Over the last year I have seen some interesting examples of how my clients maintained connection with their employees – virtual coffee breaks or happy hours, introductions of kids and pets on video calls, starting meetings with ice breaker questions, Uber Eats home deliveries so teams can enjoy lunch together. These actions acknowledge how radically personal priorities have shifted and how a global health crisis has created a collective change in our lives.
Providing the forums for team members to express their thoughts, worries and fears and supporting their ability to connect with each other, gives them a sense of psychological safety during times of crisis.
As a leader, being empathetic and understanding and sharing your own personal challenges will demonstrate that you are “in it together”. Create the community they need behind them and everyone will build the resilience necessary to get through challenging times together.
Ultimately, the resilient leadership needed today requires INTENTION - leveraging the softer side of resilience to endure the hardest of times. These leaders are vulnerable and empathetic in their engagements and interactions. They invest in human interaction during challenging times and better prepare their teams and organizations to face the hardships of tomorrow.
There are countless opportunities daily to practice the softer side of resilience and to lead with heart. If you are interested in learning more about intentional, resilient leadership and these practices to build your resilience for today and tomorrow, schedule a call today.
Tricia is a global business leader, author, and leadership coach. Her unique corporate background gives her a clear understanding of the personal and professional challenges that senior business leaders face today. She brings real-life expertise around talent, culture, and leadership to every coaching engagement. Tricia is committed to helping individuals, teams and organizations accelerate performance.
Tricia believes this can be done with authenticity and staying true to personal values, beliefs, and leadership styles.