Let's LEAD - April 2022

“Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” -- Winston Churchill

Most of us know the context for this quote was around the affairs of the world at the time, yet it rings true on so many levels.

If I'm not willing to learn from experience, odds are, similar experiences will show up on my life path until I do.

Some examples:

  • Saying YES to something I don't enjoy or want to do because I'm afraid to say NO. I'll be just as miserable this time as I was the LAST time I said YES when NO was the answer that would best serve me.
  • Sharing some level of vulnerability with someone who has proven, time and time again, that they can't be trusted with my story. Why would I think this time would be different?
  • Trying a business marketing strategy that the experts SWEAR will 'double your revenue in six months' when I HATE doing it. 

In last month's newsletter, we talked about building our Self-Knowledge by getting curious about ourselves...leading to CLARITY around our strengths and weaknesses, and our values, talents and gifts. 

This month, let's talk about how CLARITY leads to self-acceptance. Accepting the truth...warts and all...about ourselves.

Here's some of the clarity I received when I got curious:

  • I love working on a team toward a common goal. Large scale team projects...not so much. Happy to do my part, but don't ask me to lead it.

    Leading people? YES! Leading projects? No thank you...

  • I love meeting new people! AND...being in a large room with a lot of people is hard for me. I have trouble focusing on the person in front of me...there's so much going on.

    A 'virtual coffee' or small group get-together? Sign me up! 

Gaining clarity like this has helped me create strategies that DO work for me. Let's use that last example to illustrate what I mean.

I've done lots of 'strengths' work over the years, and a few strengths I rely on (from StrengthsFinder 2.0) in this circumstance include: 

  • Relator - connecting with people I already know; understanding others deeply, and being understood at the same level.
  • Individualization - interest in the unique qualities of each person; drawing out the best in each person.
  • Connectedness - knowing that things happen for a reason; a bridge-builder between people or circumstances that may initially appear unrelated.

Here's what I notice about myself when I'm in a large group setting...like a networking group:

  • I initially gravitate toward people I know (Relator). Often, they are talking to someone I DON'T know, and I'm introduced to them.
  • We start a conversation, and I ask purposeful questions that help me get to know them better (Individualization)...what's important to them? What do they love about the work they do? Lots of curiosity!
  • Suddenly they share something that reminds me (Connectedness) of someone else in the group ('do you know...?) or a resource that might be a benefit to them ('that reminds me of something I read...). 

All of this while working REALLY hard at not getting distracted by all the activity around us.

S.O.S. Shiny Object Syndrome - Amity Veterinary Care 

I know when I can get tripped up...so I have strategies that I can pull out of my hip pocket in a pinch...

"Thank you for the offer to lead that project. While I can't take the lead, I'm happy to support the project in other ways, like helping to make sure all the right players are in place (using my Arranger and Connectedness strengths). How does that sound?" 

So, as leaders, how do we help ourselves and our team members gain that same level of clarity? 

Check out this video:


3 Tips - Gaining Clarity

When the fog finally lifts...those expectations and 'shoulds' we take on from others...we can see clearly in front of us. 

My Hyper-Achiever, the 'Over-doer,' believes that she should be great at EVERYTHING! This is how she gains your praise and respect. I can't tell you how many times I have twisted myself into a pretzel to be perceived as 'great' by others.

It's exhausting...

So, how do we gain clarity? 

  1. Ask yourself the tough questions. Well, some aren't so tough, but they do require some contemplation. Take some time to journal using these prompts:

    1. What activities energize you? Why?
    2. What activities deplete you? Why?
    3. In what situations do you find yourself procrastinating?
    4. In what circumstances do others come to you for advice?
    5. In what circumstances do you lose track of time?

  2. Admit the truth. Tip #1 will help put language to your strengths and weaknesses, and your talents and gifts. Owning your strengths is the first step to develop your confidence in your abilities, and admitting your weaknesses frees you from all the pretzel twisting.

    For example, I'm good at paying attention to detail, but not necessarily the details (huh?). I remember sitting in meetings where we dissected the numbers in each cell of a spreadsheet, and I wanted to be anywhere but in that room.

    That being said, I have learned to appreciate the STORY the number is telling us. Once we could get off the detail of the number itself and really dig in to the MEANING behind it, I became engaged.

  3. Translate. So what does this mean? If the goal is to focus on my strengths, my values, and my talents and gifts, and to acknowledge my Saboteurs and weaknesses, then how does this translate into the choices I make, the people I work with, and the work I do?

    It's at this point that the 'shoulds' show up again, but in a good way. Given what you've learned about yourself by being CURIOUS and gaining CLARITY, what choices should you make? Who should you work with? What work should you be doing? 

So now that the fog has lifted, what are you seeing? Are some changes in your future? 

Cool Resources

What I'm reading (articles, books*):

Well, I'm not much reading this month, other than insurance policy documents (water leak in the kitchen) and warranty details (smashed iPhone). 

AND...I recently shared this article on LinkedIn; if you've been thinking about working with a Leadership Coach (hint, hint!):

Five Reasons Why Leaders Need A Coach More Than Ever by Xavier Preterit, 

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


"You cannot change what you do not acknowledge." -- Dr. Phil 

...and something more:

One Sweet World. Look for the joy in the drummer's face, and then tell me he's not using his strengths, talents and gifts...

Coming up...

There are still a few spaces left in my new group program for women leaders, called Empowering Women Leaders' Lab. It's a small group opportunity to learn more about developing our mental fitness through Positive Intelligence, cultivating our Self-Leadership, and supporting and learning from each other to solve real-time issues and overcome leadership challenges. We'll grow as women and leaders together.

Click here to learn more, and if you're interested in participating, please schedule a call so I can answer any questions you have! 

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I look forward to connecting!

Camille McKinney
Leveraged Leaders