Let's Lead - August 2020

I don't know about you, but as we move into Month 6 of 'safer at home,' I'm noticing that I'm developing some unexpected habits: less TV (there's NOTHING on!), cleaning and purging (I LOVE getting rid of 'stuff'), and noticing how extra time at home creates space to see things a little differently than before.

COVID-19 has turned everything on its ear...and my awareness of how I was reacting to what's happening was unnerving. 'Reacting' is the key word here...something happens + my reaction = stress and misery. Not a winning formula.

After a few weeks, the results of that stress and misery was overwhelming. I had trouble sleeping and I couldn't catch my breath. Every night I would pray for a good night's sleep, hoping the next day would bring some relief.  

I'm not lost on the irony of this...most of you know me through my work coaching and speaking on Emotional Intelligence (self-awareness, self-management, etc.) and the impact on leadership effectiveness.

Okay Camille...time to practice what you preach!

3 Tips - Developing Self-Awareness

I really did think I was adapting pretty well...I already worked from home (check) and we already did our grocery shopping once a week (check check), so no big adjustments there. I felt like my husband and I had this figured out (TP supplies aside)... and figured 'we got this!' 

BUT...what about the people I care about outside my household?

Is my son wearing a mask? Social distancing? Does he even know what's going on?

Down the rabbit hole I went...

When I followed the tips I'm going to share with you now, it occurred to me...what is the emotion that's triggering my clinched chest? Ah yes...my old buddy FEAR!

If this sounds familiar, give these ideas a try:

  1. How does that FEEL? Our feelings are the physical manifestations of our emotions. Where are you feeling it in your body? For me, it's usually in my stomach or my chest. It's my first clue that something's up.

    (BTW...this can be GOOD too! If you've been in love, remember those 'butterflies' you first felt? Something was up!)

    Like I said, my chest felt tight and I couldn't take a deep breath. It got my attention, and I chose to ignore it...for three weeks...because I thought it would just go away. Please don't wait that long.

  2. Give it language. Are you anxious? Frustrated? Angry? If you struggle with calling it like it is, check this out. I think this graphic pretty much covers it!

    And...while you're at it, be clear with your language. If your go-to is 'I'm frustrated' or 'I'm angry,' shift to 'I FEEL frustrated' or 'I FEEL angry.' Your emotions and resulting feelings are not YOU!

  3. Get to the bottom of it. Often the reason for our triggered emotions is obvious, and sometimes it isn't. If you're not sure what's going on, consider that what triggered you is giving you some insight into the stuff you care about or what's important to you...your values. 

    For me, it was about CONTROL. My nature is to protect, and I couldn't control whether or not this darn virus was going to get a hold of my kid (he's 31, by the way!). So fear kicked in...with a vengeance. Acknowledging that my fear wasn't going to protect him and simply TRUSTING that 'he's got this' went a long way to let the fear go. He doesn't need my protection...just my love and trust.

So while I'm pretty good MOST of the time around knowing what I can and can't control, I have to remember that I know this intellectually. I KNOW I can't control anything outside of me...AND that doesn't stop the fear from showing up. The key is NOTICING when the emotion is triggered, then taking some time to acknowledge and engage that emotion. What's it telling me?

What are your emotions telling you?

Cool Resources

What I'm reading*:

I'm continuing my Enneagram quest! I read The Sacred Enneagram by Christopher Heuertz, and followed up with The Sacred Enneagram Workbook. Both are pretty deep...😳

REQUEST FOLLOW-UP...last month, I asked for any referrals for a great workshop to learn the Enneagram basics, and I found one! It starts in late August...really looking forward to it!

*I use Amazon links (no affiliate relationship); please check with your book retailer of choice

 I recommend:

The Modern Leadership Style: Being, Not Doing, by Joyce Wilson-Sanford, published by SmartBrief. I shared this on LinkedIn and it's worth repeating. It includes the 16 characteristics of successful, modern leaders...all starting with the letter 'C'...LOVE IT!


'A leader leads by example, whether she intends to or not' - Unknown 

Something else:

I received lots of great feedback regarding the song I included in last month's newsletter (Coldplay ROCKS!), and going forward, I thought I would include any inspiration that came my way...so here is this month's:


Coming up...

My group coaching program, Intentional Self-Leadership for Women, is coming along! My goal is to launch the program in mid-August for a 'go-live' after Labor Day. The intention (get it?) is to enroll anywhere from eight to 12 women in the initial group. Check out this page for more details, and if you (or someone you know) is interested in learning more, please let me know! I'd love to set up a call!

Connect with me...

I share great articles in LinkedIn from inspiring thought leaders on various leadership topics, especially on issues that are timely and relevant. Please connect with me!

If you're interested in scheduling a call to talk about how coaching can help you achieve your personal and professional goals, click here...

I look forward to connecting!


Camille McKinney
Leveraged Leaders