Let's LEAD - June 2021
Break out the champagne! It's Let's LEAD's one-year anniversary! 🎉
I'll start with a huge 'THANK YOU' for sticking with me over the last year.
I have 2020 to thank as well. For me, it was the great revealer and activator. Revealing the cracks in my plan and activating...new ACTION!
I remember sitting down to write that first newsletter: I was terrified.
I decided to take contrary action in my approach. No list of newsletter topics mapped out for the next 12 months. No plan...
I have never met a good project plan or spreadsheet I didn't like, so to basically fly by the seat of my pants is not my go-to strategy.
It took me a while to hit 'send' on that first newsletter. I remember the physical distress I felt...heart pounding, stomach churning...you know, terror.
All the 'what ifs' started running through my head. "What if you don't like it?" "What if everyone unsubscribes?"
Notice the use of the absolute 'everyone'...a sure sign fear is in the driver's seat. 🙄
I am fully aware that whenever we decide to try something new or different, there are potential risks and rewards. In this case, the rewards outweighed the risks, so I clicked 'send'...and held my breath.
What happened? Some liked it (thanks for letting me know!) and a few (not 'everyone') unsubscribed. That's okay...I'm not everyone's cup of tea.
When I look back on the last 12 months, all I can think of is the JOY I feel when I sit down to write. AND...with that joy comes the fear of being vulnerable.
Those pesky what ifs...
As leaders, we are faced with taking risks on the regular...they show up in many forms, dealing with unexpected change (2020, anyone?), new projects with high visibility, and opportunities to do things we've never done before.
When this happens, are you willing to consider:
what if that unexpected change creates new, exciting opportunities for you and your team?
what if that new project shows others exactly what you're capable of?
what if doing something you've never done before reveals a new passion?
Expressing our leadership brand also comes with risks and rewards.
I maintain a few guiding principles when I sit down to write:
- What would be of service to you...AND me? I see this as a mutual relationship.
- Share my truth...warts and all.
- Keep it simple!
In a way, this sums up my leadership brand: to show up with a sense of authenticity, vulnerability, empowerment and a bias for action. This is my intention...I hope it comes through.
Are you willing to embrace the what ifs that open you up to new possibilities?
3 Tips - Saying 'yes' to what's possible
When presented with something new...something you've never done before, our what ifs can't help but come up.
This isn't about saying 'yes' to everything that comes your way. It is about being open and intentional when opportunities come up, and challenging our knee-jerk 'no' to keep us safe in our comfort zone.
If your what ifs are causing you to hesitate, consider these tips:
Acknowledge your what ifs. If you're feeling afraid, unworthy, or some other negative emotion, which what ifs are coming up for you?
My what ifs are rooted around my fear of rejection. I can see this theme whenever I am considering something new. What theme are you noticing?
Flip the script. For each what if coming up, what's the opposite possibility? Is it ALSO possible that something amazing might happen if you say yes?
||AND, what if...
|- I screw it up?
||- I learn something new about myself and what I'm capable of?
|- others figure out that I don't know what I'm doing?
||- others realize that trying something new isn't that scary?
|- no one thinks it's as great as I do?
||- people think it's so great that they share it with others? (hint, hint)
Decide. If you acknowledge your what ifs and flip the script, AND the answer is still 'no,' that's okay. We each get to decide what we're willing to step into, when we're ready. Maybe the answer is 'no, not now.'
But if the answer is 'yes,' own it! Create a plan to make it happen.
Now, how can you help others work through their what ifs? A big part of our responsibility as leaders is to help prepare our team members for their next opportunity.
If a team member's response to a growth opportunity is hesitation, coach them through it, using these same tips:
- (acknowledge the what ifs) "I'm noticing that you seem reluctant to say yes to leading this project. What's going on?"
- (flip the script) "I understand that taking on something like this can feel scary. If you weren't afraid, what would be possible?"
- (decide) "Are you willing to give it a try? Remember that I'm here to support you."
Now what's possible?
What I'm reading (articles, books*):
I recently shared this article on LinkedIn...I know it may seem like I'm harping on reflecting back on 2020...I believe the lessons of last year are too important to miss.
From the article: "Leaders can serve as beacons of hope. Reminding us of the past but pointing toward a better future." -- John Baldoni
*I use Amazon links (no affiliate relationship); please check with your book retailer of choice
"Don't dim your light and call it humble." -- Jamie Kern Lima
...and something more:
I'm always amazed by the synchronicity of the Universe...as I was writing this newsletter, Molly Fletcher's email sharing her recent podcast with Jamie Kern Lima, founder of IT Cosmetics, shows up in my inbox. The theme: overcoming self-doubt and trusting your intuition.
And of course, she talks about developing a relationship with rejection...👍
Connect with me...
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I look forward to connecting!