When we are stressed it can show up in our bodies if we don’t slow down and release what we can’t control. Stress is an illusion as are all thoughts. It’s tied to expectations we affix to ourselves based on our interpretation of what should be happening. The “should be happening” is the trip wire. To counter stress we neglect our personal needs because we think doing more is what gets things done. The problem with this thinking is that turning away from the feeling behind the stress only adds to it and creates a cycle of perfectionism which exhausts and defeats us because the standard we set for ourselves is not attainable.
I write, speak and coach about executive presence yet this week I could see myself not exhibiting it. Instead of getting curious about what was going on with me I soldiered on and kept working harder, eating whatever was handy instead of breaking for healthier choices and reflection. I thought, ”If I just catch up,...
Shelter in place has meant different things for different people. Some people appreciate the flexibility of working remotely. Some find it isolating. Some find working all day together at home while also not being able to go out has stressed their relationships. And some people just wish they had a job or could have a relationship at all.
We’re learning a lot about ourselves, how we work and how vulnerable we are. But, I think one of the most important things we’re learning is how resilient we are. We have adapted to major lifestyle, health and work changes in the face of fear, panic and uncertainty. We still don’t know what’s to come yet we’re facing the future with adapted routines at work and in our personal lives.
Leaders need grit. Your grit is being tested. How you handle adversity underpins how you handle life. And you’ll get through this the same way you get through every other challenge that came your way - with your will. Perfection is...
I'm so excited to have finished this report for my clients and my newsletter list. So many of you have told me the struggles you are dealing with in this pandemic. I've been working for weeks on tactics and strategies you can apply right now to lower anxiety and build peace, relationships and effectiveness for yourself, your team and your family.
> Avoid the most common mistakes leaders make in a crisis.
> Trade the treadmill to nowhere for a revered strategy.
> Build influence dynamics that make your team want to succeed regardless of where their office is.
> Execute a plan that anticipates opportunities in spite of adversity.
Wishing you peace and effectiveness without worry today. Enjoy my free report on Leading Through the Uncertainty of COVID-19.
Some days I sit in my office and think how easy my job is until I see someone else make a decision or take action that I know is ill advised and will have negative results. Then I remember the countless 12-hour days and weekends I put in to have the breadth of perspective I’ve learned. I remember the negative results I experienced when I didn’t know better. And I think about the really stressful days in my work that try my patience and bring me sleepless nights.
Your time is valuable. This is why I don’t hire lawyers, accountants or consultants who are not mavens at what they do because they make you pay for their learning curve.
Be an expert. Work for a company that values your expertise. And if you are feeling age discrimination when your company should be putting your expertise to good use, this link to the strategies I share with my clients might help >>> 10 Tips When You Fear Age Bias
If you are struggling with uncertainty and...
We all have regrets. It’s healthy to reflect on what we’d do differently. I certainly regret some things I’ve said and done as I was figuring out the art and science of parenting. I’m still figuring it out and my children are in their twenties and thirties. I regret how self doubt showed up in my behavior at work early in my career. I overreacted, withdrew and often blamed myself far more than was helpful.
Corporations today value, promote and hire for self-awareness because it makes the employee coachable. The more self aware we become the more we can release assumptions that hold us back before we adopt them as mantras. “He’s never going to respect my work.” “I’m always the one left out.” “Every time I try harder the same thing ends up happening.”
Notice the thread. “Never...” “Always...” “Every...” Absolutes are deadly to progress. If you hear yourself...
Sadly, we internalize and personalize someone’s negativity toward us because we don’t see their suffering at the root of their behavior. We think it’s us. Many of my clients are dealing with command and control bosses and colleagues who posture with personal agendas in cultures where bureaucracy and cynicism are the norm.
Know this - happy people do not hurt one another. If someone is disrespectful in how they deliver feedback they are unhappy and trying desperately to push that unhappiness on you. The problem for them is this fear based leadership never brings them happiness yet they keep executing the same way at your expense. They can’t turn inward and address their unrest. They turn away from pain with anger and push it outward either overtly or with passive aggression. Very sad existence for them. Don’t make their problem yours.
It is your choice whether or not to hear feedback as an opportunity and take positive action or wear...
Ten years ago I began my role as President of a $25 million Hospital Foundation within an 85,000 employee organization. I went to a very nice employee appreciation lunch and was able to select a special gift of recognition from an array of items.
Mostly, I am grateful for the opportunity I have to lead and serve alongside consummate professionals I respect and under board members who trust me and have challenged me to be the best leader I can be.
I’ve earned a number of awards from various community and professional organizations for my leadership throughout my tenure here. But nothing has meant more to me than knowing that when I get up and come to work every day, I get the privilege to make the world a little better. That might mean providing a walker for an elderly gentleman or a hearing aid for a new mother. It might be paying rent for a patient with cancer, so she doesn’t get evicted due to lost wages while in treatment. It could be as big as a $4.5...
You're at home working remotely and worried about getting Coronavirus, your income may decline, your investment portfolio is tanking and that retirement may be a mirage. Let's focus on what needs to go right not what is going wrong.
1. We need to get comfortable with uncertainty.
Difficult, yes. But think back to the last time you were uncertain - got laid off, moved to a new town, started school or a new job. How did you get through it? You'll get through this the same way.
We want to shrink back to the ways things were. We were comfortable there. Much of the predictability of our lives is gone. We are all grieving that loss.
The sooner we accept that change is inevitable, uncomfortable and out of our control, the more resiliency we have to move forward.
2. Focus on the professional or personal development you've complained you've never have time for.
You're bored. You're as productive as you can be considering much of your work flow is controlled by a stagnant economy. So...
We all have emotional scars. And there are two things regarding them that we have to keep in mind. 1) We must work on healing them or we will be unhappy. That means not holding grudges or anger or hatred inside us. We forgive others for ourselves - not to deny what happened but to move on and not drag a ball and chain around our heart. Seeking revenge is like drinking poison and thinking the other person will die. We heal by continually releasing expectations, accepting ourselves with all our imperfections and living in the moment - not the past or future. It takes daily routines and practice to achieve this, but the benefits are life changing.
2) Until we fully heal, we must not lose our professional and personal presence when triggers bring us back to the emotion of despair. At work this is executive presence. We do this by being a witness - a third party observer - of our emotions without acting on them. Here we make a conscious choice to OBSERVE as opposed to ACT OUT. Take...
These times are a test of resilience. Adjusting to working remotely is challenging for leaders and teams. Adjusting to working on site during a pandemic is the same. It’s a lesson for all of us on how to adapt to and manage what is inevitable - change. Resistance comes when people are afraid. At its most severe it’s like trying to stand still in an earthquake. “Why is this happening to me?” People feel victimized and want to escape.
Leaders need to be sensitive to their own fears and those of their constituents. Everyone needs to accept that uncertainty is part of life. The sooner we accept that the more resilient we become.
As leaders we need to be change neutral - not change agents. Don't coddle, over-sympathize, or try to protect your team or you send the message that change is painful and unmanageable. Instead of asking, “How can I make this change easier for you?” as if you are personally choosing to push something down on them...
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