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?”
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...
I wanted to take some time to talk about self-care and remind you to take time….
Oh wait, I mean make time to do things that fill your cup.
When you’re just going, going, going, and feel like your to-do list keeps getting bigger, you can start feeling like you need to do more. To push even harder.
I know I can certainly feel this way.
And that’s the exact time when you need to take a step back, chill, and do something for you.
It seems so counterintuitive to slow down to go fast, but if you’re running on empty, feeling stressed out or anxious, then whatever you're working on or whomever your working with will not get your best efforts. They are getting what’s left, especially those closest to you.
And you feel frustrated, tired, and just exhausted.
You deserve better for yourself, and those around you (family – pets included, friends, team, clients, customers) do. Your business does too.
What your gifts are – those things that really make you YOU – the more positive impact you can make for your team, organization or business.
And you may not be really clear what they are, but you look at your experiences, why people come to you and for what reason, what lights you up and what feels effortless and time goes so quickly, you’ll see breadcrumbs to help you identify them.
I remember being in the corporate world and working with my VP for a new recognition program. It needed to have a different approach and feel than anything done before. She gave me her vision in a few words, and I took that back and developed the concept, branding, process, and budget for it. When we regrouped, she said – you see the vision, and with a few parameters, create a viable product and deployment plan. That was one of my breadcrumbs.
As you are clear on your gifts and working from them, determine how you can take it a step further and enable your team or clients to do...
How do you know if you're diluting your vision?
he first step is to get clear on what your vision for yourself, your business or organization, your life is.
Whatever that is.
What do you want to feel, do, achieve, or be?
Where do you want your organization or business to be at the end of the year? In a year from now? In 5 years from now?
Not watering it down because it feels overwhelming.
Not downsizing or downplaying it because it’s so big it’s uncomfortable.
Not playing small because it’s easier than digging deeper to do the work necessary to move you forward to a new level of leadership and closer to your vision for your organization or business.
With that being said, here are four statements to ask yourself, and if you answer “Yes” to any of them, then you are diluting your vision.
To show up as the confident business leader you're meant to be, you need to share your strengths and stay true to your vision and values and that's where confidence kicks in.
The more confidence you have, the more you will:
It’s the start of another day and you’re thinking about what needs to happen to turn your vision into a reality.
You check out your plan and the specific tasks for today, and you get started.
You feel like you are making progress and after a while, you decide to take a break.
So, you check out the latest post from one of your favorite go-to resources or listen to a podcast that talks about the latest tips to do A, B and C so that your business or team will be able to do X, Y, and Z.
And they make it sound so easy, like it was nothing for them to figure out what was needed to discover some incredible results.
Or maybe you take a few minutes and scroll through your social media feed to find some inspiration. Yet what you notice are how many likes and shares or comments that post has.
And your recent post has none.
Maybe the first few distractions are welcomed and inspiring, and you are encouraged to keep going on your journey. But slowly they start to get to you.
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.