It seems that we go through various cycles in our life of mastering something and then starting over as the student.
When we start a new job, even if it's with the same company or group of people, or transition from the corporate world and into our own business, there are new responsibilities, processes, and systems for us to learn.
Each time we try something new, we are breaking out of our comfort zones.
Sometimes it's not a matter of trying something new, but rather breaking a system that made sense at one time and now no longer serves us.
At that point, we have a choice – we can choose to view change as positive growth instead of negative or scary.
We can choose to stay where we are or to rise to the next level and allow ourselves to be the student once more. It’s easy to stay where we are because it’s comfortable and known.
So, what can you do to better prepare for the next level?
The first step is to...
To be a positive, strong and influential leader, you have to develop and strengthen a leadership practice that is authentic to you. Whether you’re running your own business or leading teams or projects in the corporate world, your leadership practice is built by consistently honing your skills, gifts, and abilities.
It’s a choice you make day in and day out, regardless of title. And to honor that choice to be the leader you know you’re meant to be will require changes from you.
Such as your habits.
Those little things that we do every day, and many times, on autopilot are important to change. Yet when your habits change, you’ll see the results and they will become your new norm. So, here are five habits for you to evaluate and adjust as appropriate for where you are and where you want to go:
They are looking to expand their knowledge and strengthen their skills. For instance, reading or listening to a few...
You're willing to move completely out of your comfort zone, even if you're nervous. You ask for help and trust your teammates to do their part. You have a “can do” mindset, so you are open to possibilities and solutions. You make decisions based on the belief that you will succeed, not out of fear.
When you play not to lose, you're timid in your actions, and you're not willing to take some risks.
The fear of failure is taking up too much energy, and you may be inadvertently holding yourself back. Playing not to lose also allows that inner critic to get louder and louder and be more in control than that still knowing on the inside and trusting yourself.
But just think – whatever these big, out of your comfort zone goals are - when you show up as the leader you know you are and you’re playing to win – then when you achieve them,...
What's the "so what?"
So what does that mean?
When I was in the corporate world, I led many high level visibility projects, including employee recognition events and company trade shows.
And for each of these events, I’d ask what was the “so what?”
To put it another way, if I were to tell my boss or someone who might be expected to attend this event about it, and if they answered “So what – why do I care or want to be there?” I wanted to be able to answer it.
It’s the why behind the event or project. It’s the reason the event or project is important to do and in some cases, the reason it is appropriate at that time.
It’s the reason why someone wants to be there – not has to because their boss is expecting them to attend. It’s the reason why one project takes priority over another project.
The “so what” answers the question “What’s in it for me?”
As a small business owner or entrepreneur, there are many things that need to get done for your business to move forward. You can feel like you wear a million hats, and most days, it feels like there are five sitting on your head at once.
When you look at your project management tool or to do list, although you can see that you're making progress and cross something off, it seems like two or ten more items get added and you wonder how it will all get done.
As you look over your list, are there some items that you dread doing because you are not using your strengths, so you feel like you struggle to complete them? What happens to your other tasks and responsibilities when you are spending so much time and energy on a task that is draining you?
In order to lead your team or business, there will always be things that need to get done that you may not excel in doing. However, that does not mean that you must personally complete every item that your team or business needs to have done....
Your clients and customers come to you for a reason.
They want a solution - whether it's to purchase the perfect gift for someone that you've created or a personal and deeper transformation that they want to experience so that they grow. They see your business as part of that solution, which means that the more you can grow in your business, the better you'll be able to serve your clients and the more rewarding it will be for both of you.
Here are some thoughts that resonated with me when I thought who I am for my clients:
You’ve brainstormed and dreamed about new goals and new opportunities you want to achieve.
You’ve written them down and created a plan that you can’t wait to start.
Then slowly but surely, life starts to get in the way.
The actions you mapped out on your plan seem to be getting pushed out versus getting done. The momentum you had for making your goals happen has dwindled. Your schedule that was once one of your favorite tools has become a reminder that you are not doing everything you set out to do.
So what do you do?
It can be easy to beat ourselves up for what we haven’t gotten done or getting off track, but that won’t help. It will only add to the frustration, not make it better.
As a business owner, even if you have a brick and mortar business, there are opportunities to engage with others outside of your footprint. The technology we have is amazing because we can use it to bridge time zones and footprints. With that in mind, here are five quick tips to help step up your efforts when connecting and engaging with remote team members or clients:
When you're able to see the other person and engage as close to face to face without physically being in the same room, you'll get so much more out of the communication. You'll connect better and when you do meet in person, it will feel more comfortable because of the face to face chats you've already had.
This is the same idea as number one, but ideally it can supplement video, not take the place of video. It's a way to connect for quick things that are needed without email, when it makes sense. And if you're leveraging a tool that can provide a group...
Just as much as your clients have an idea or goal they want to achieve or a change they want to make and want your expertise to guide them, you more than likely have an idea of what you want for your clients.
Here are some thoughts that resonated with me when I thought about this for my business and those whom I serve:
I want my clients to know and own their value - be confident in themselves and what they have to offer.
I want for them to be successful business owners and excited to share what they have to offer and embrace their role as the business leader, not just the creative side they love.
My clients are those who are genuinely concerned and care about their people - whether they are team members, clients, family, and friends - and many of them care for animals, too. With that in mind, I want my clients to confidently set and honor boundaries, so that they are decisive and compassionate when they say yes and no.
I want my clients to embrace their discomfort with being...
It’s another day at the office, and it seems like everything that can go wrong has, and you are frustrated. Maybe it seems as though each time you complete an item on your action list, three new items are added. Or perhaps you can see delays in schedule or cost over runs and no sign of improvement. Or perhaps you are short-staffed and do not have a new employee starting anytime soon to help with the workload.
I know I’ve had each of these situations happen before, and I definitely felt frustrated and overwhelmed. It can be easy to let the things that aren’t going well to be all that we see. And when we focus on those frustrations, we tend to see even more of them.
Soon enough, it feels like a continual spiral of overwhelm and frustrations that can be challenging to stop. When that happens, how do you go about changing your perspective?
The answer is easy, but it takes effort and practice.
When you look for the positive, you will start to feel a shift. Not only will...
Showing up as the confident business leader you're meant to be is a transformation that starts on the inside, and the first step is shifting your mindset. Enroll in the free Leverage Your Potential mini course and start recognizing the leader within you today as well as receive weekly tips and encouragement to keep you going.