How many of you have seen this? You work in a culture where mediocrity is the norm. Where there is no incentive to be more dedicated because the underperformers are allowed to do the minimum. Where much is expected and there is little appreciation or reward.
There is a term for people who want to do the minimum of what is expected and nothing more. "Quite Quitting." I've seen this term debated and justified many times. Some cultures are so toxic that people quiet quit just to maintain their sanity. Other people become so disgruntled with their boss, having been passed over for promotion, an unfair distribution of work, or some other practice that they become tired, burned out and angry. Quiet quitting is intentional and becomes a survival mechanism.
My take on it is this - We don't get chosen for employment. We choose employers. We apply, interview and accept a position. We aren't entitled to work anywhere. We choose to. If we aren't happy there we can choose to have a...
You’re a leader in a high performing role but deep down you understand that emotional intelligence and clarity are critical to your success. You’ve started to doubt yourself. You feel you don’t have a clear career path and feel you need more executive presence for greater influence and efficacy.
You’ve noticed your relationships are frayed, you’re resentful, you’re not sleeping well and other healthy habits have gone by the wayside too.
Here is what I know to be true:
Everyday I see something posted regarding a new Diversity-Equity-Inclusion officer hired, a new DEI initiative, a DEI role posted. Rarely, if ever, do I see any content related to age discrimination. It’s hardly ever discussed, neglected from many DEI trainings and is a huge problem. I know this because of the number of clients I have who experience this. It’s the largest segment of my executive coaching practice.
DEI Officers: When you omit this as a priority from your programs you undercut your effectiveness because you lose buyin from this audience who start noticing ageism in their 40s. They are sitting there, but not buying in. No other group of constituents is larger or better posed to help you advance change than those from 40 to 67.
Everyone Else: You may not think a lot about discrimination because it doesn’t effect you. Don’t discriminate at any level because it’s wrong and demonstrates your lack of compassion, intelligence and...
TRANSCRIPT Episode #3 The Three Things
The audio podcast can be heard here: https://www.maryleegannon.com/podcasts/the-still-space-podcast/episodes/2147754071 You can subscribe there as well.
I used to think that being good at something and working hard was all it took to succeed. I taught myself a lot of skills, many at which I was a rock star. I rose quickly in the corporate world. By most measures I was a success. But it didn’t feel that way. No matter how many president or executive director roles I had I never really felt satisfied. I felt like I was practicing the lead role as an understudy and that any day the real star would show up and steal it away. Being divorced only made it worse. So, I put my head down and just kept working harder and gaining more for corporate America. The only thing I achieved for myself was exhaustion.
That’s when I started observing people who truly understood peace. I...
This is so important. Often we dread starting over because of regret. We beat ourselves up for being in a place we dread. We become risk averse so as not to repeat regret. We wonder if we might even deserve to be in a bad place and if it will ever change.
Regret is ok. We learn from it. Just don’t stay there too long.
I had to start over with four children under seven-years-old in the middle of a difficult divorce. We had gone from the country club life to public assistance, homelessness, and no automobile. I believed life would never be fair because of how we had ended up. I started to believe this was personal - like there was something wrong with me and that it was permanent.
The truth is nobody said life is fair. It that we’re true the lion wouldn’t eat you because you didn’t eat him. I worked very hard in survival mode and rose quickly to the C-suite. I was grateful. But I was detached and unhappy. I had lost touch with what fun is and...
We advance when we’re willing to stretch ourselves further than anything we’ve ever done. But it’s prickly and sticky there. Risky. We might fail. Yes. Fail. Hmmm. And then what? Did we die? Get physically hurt? Lose anything of great measure? Likely not. But we do have our feelings to deal with. So we allow them. These two are the hardest:
1. Judgment from others.
What really holds us back is perceived judgment that comes from perceived failure - from practicing failure in our heads before it happens.
When we turn away from the discomfort of difficult emotions, unfortunately we armor up with self-sabotage traits of perfectionism, assumptions, comparisons, expectations, more judgment and busyness which only lead to exhaustion, hopelessness and disappointment.
When we notice the judgment and accept that “this is just me judging” without self-criticism (What is wrong with me that I can't stop doing this?) and that...
You know who you are, super heroes.
Here’s to you for not sitting back, for not whining, for making it work despite the odds, for taking risks in the face of doubt, for holding true to your priorities sometimes at the detriment of yourself, for having vision and finding a way, for listening and caring when you thought you had little to give, for being gentle with yourself when it seemed nobody was.
Here's to you for failing and starting again this time with wisdom, for swapping assumptions for the truth, for not letting comparison distract you from your goals and achievements, for wearing all the hats even when they didn’t all fit, for not needing to be right but for getting it right, for not being perfect but still awesome.
Here's to you for lying awake at night worrying about things outside of your control and accepting that no matter what happens you’ve got this, for understanding that judgment only makes you judge yourself far worse, for having the courage to...
This image is so powerful to me. I’ve been an executive coach for more than 10 years and in everyone I’ve ever managed or coached I see a common theme coined by Mary Kay Ash that everyone wants to feel important. The more people seek validation of their relevance externally the more they are on the treadmill to nowhere. Imagine if you could feel important internally - knew that you were valuable and stopped seeking affirmation from outside sources. You’d show up differently - more at ease, less needy, more confident, less judgmental, more yourself. That’s the shift to freedom.
People often ask me, “How do you know if you have executive presence?” I tell them, “You have an understanding and acceptance of yourself with all your strengths and opportunities, know you have much to contribute, are curious and have a greater desire to get it right than to be right.”
Here's a short video I recently made if you are...
When a team feels they have psychological safety at work they’re not experiencing cynicism, personal agendas, bureaucracy and posturing. It’s up to us as leaders to provide that.
By working on ourselves. The answer is not in a book or a training or a conference. It’s inside of you.
When we can go into the dark corners of our lives and root out what holds us back - what makes us insecure, we stop doing and tolerating these culture killing and self-defeating behaviors.
When we can stand our self-doubt up against our courage we make space for the truth - that we are all human and better when we support each other.
When we can accept that we’re not perfect especially in the face of regret, we soften to ourselves and then to others.
Nothing is permanent. We’re all a work in progress.
The human condition is happy when it feels safe and accepted. You deserve to be safe. You deserve the promotion or new job. You deserve...
Did you ever see images like this one and say, “but I really do want that promotion (new job, better relationships with my team, love in my life, connection with my family, etc.)”
“…it isn’t your door” doesn’t only mean that the door isn’t right. It also means that maybe you’re not in the right space to open that particular door. Maybe you’re more positioned to open doors that are congruous with the energy you put out in the world - doubt doors, undervalued doors, not good enough doors.
Those doors typically lead to more of the same - frustration, self-sabotage, perfectionism, disappointment, frayed relationships.
Achievers believe that if they just work harder things will get better because that strategy always served them. The truth is that plan, while a tenet of good character, isn’t a differentiator at the executive level. Everyone works hard there. And sometimes people who aren’t even...