Let's Lead - October 2020

September was a bit of a blur...

Don't get me wrong...I had a few speaking gigs and subsequent coaching calls that were a blast!

That being said, I spent the majority of the month feeling generally crummy. Not enough to lay me out, but enough for me (and others) to notice my depleted energy levels. 

So I naturally go to 'why?' 

Was it last week's root canal? Mars going retrograde? The 'low carb flu?' COVID? (not the virus...more the vibe). 

Landing on an answer helps me feel like I have some control. Hmmm...still no answer.

When I look back on the month, what I CAN see were opportunities to make better choices...to dial it back when my body and instincts told me I was starting to run on a low tank. 

Here's what I noticed:

  • My usual decision-making confidence was mis-firing. I don't usually second-guess my decisions, and I had a few instances when I just wasn't sure I was landing on the right choice.
  • As the title of this newsletter states, I was 'just plowing through.' I have a love/hate relationship with my 'to-do' list...on one hand, it feels great to be organized, and on the other, I feel the pressure to get it all done. 
  • Lots of unkind self-talk. I 'should' be doing this, I 'should' be doing that. I called myself 'lazy'...then told myself to 'snap out of it.' Stuff I would never say to anyone...

So, the next time I'm running on empty... 

3 Tips - Prioritizing your Self-Care

Here's the deal...when I'm in the thick of it, I'm not going to make good choices in support of my self-care. Next time, I'll be ready...

  1. Pay attention. You can't activate the next two tips if you don't know you're in need of them. Pay attention to what your body is telling you...because if you don't, you'll default to your old behavior patterns. It's a vicious cycle...

  2. Create a plan. When I'm sure I'm not going to respond at my best without one, I create a plan. What's my intention? What will I need in support of my own self-care?

    Given my reflections on September, I may want:
    1. to set some clear boundaries - I'll take a look at my calendar and move stuff around to clear time that I need for myself
    2. to exercise some self-compassion - what will I want to tell myself about what I'm experiencing? Maybe 'It'll hold until later' or 'I deserve a break.' 

  3. Ask for help. I admit that this is not easy for me. In my head, I believe that everyone else is already too busy...who am I to add to their list? Well, guess what...they can say 'no' if they don't have time*. It's not my job to take responsibility for their response. 

    *see the quote below...😉

What does this have to do with leadership?

Well, you can't show up as your best self for you or your team if you don't move yourself higher on your list of priorities. The results of poor self-care? Poor self-management (feeling short-tempered?), mediocre decision making...you can't give what you don't have.

Cool Resources

What I'm reading*:

Last month I committed to reading again, and I can say that I finished a book that I had started a couple of years ago called Leading with Emotional Courage by Peter Bregman. The book includes 48 brief (3-4 pages) of great tips for all leaders...I highly recommend it! 

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

Articles I recommend:

On the topic of self-care: How to Draw Work Life Boundaries (Without Committing Career Suicide) by Dana Brownlee


'When you are saying 'yes' to others, make sure you're not saying 'no' to yourself.' -- Paul Coelho

...and something else: 

🎶 This song showed up in my Amazon Music soundtrack today, and I've never heard it before (how is that possible?). Sara Bareilles' voice...absolutely beautiful! Enjoy...


Coming up...

I was recently a guest on Carlee Myers' podcast, called The Stress Less Show. My segment (only 10 minutes long) goes live on Monday, October 12th, so check it out on any of the major podcast platforms: Apple, Spotify...

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