INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
I’ve come to believe that great things happen when you stop asking for permission. From others, from the universe, from yourself. Some examples from my own life:
• My corporate career didn’t really take off until I stopped asking my boss for permission to lead in the ways that I thought were best.
• For years I held off starting the second season of my professional life, thinking, “I want to be an author, speaker, trainer, but how do I know anyone will want to listen to or read what I have to say? What gives me the right?” Then, one day, I simply asserted myself and said, out loud, “I’m an author, speaker, trainer.” And that was that. You become what you want to be, when you say you’re what you want to be.
• I’ve had both hips replaced, and quite often, I use walking sticks – which get me out walking, everywhere. Obviously, it must look odd in places because I’ve heard the insensitive joke, “Going skiing?” from passerby’s about 1,000 times. Well, sorry, but I don’t need your permission or acceptance to show up the way I need to show up.
By no means am I saying I have it all figured out. Just that good things happen when I unapologetically break down invisible, self-conceived, restraints.
What are you waiting for permission for? What can you be more assumptive about moving forward with?
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake many make)
Sometimes art and life intersect in mysterious ways. I was on the exercise bike, thinking about this segment you’re reading right now. More specifically, pondering that I’ve seen too many people over the years unhappy at times in their life because they were seeking perfection, even if they didn’t know it. Everything wasn’t lining up, so it was bringing them down on all fronts. That job was deflating them, so it spilled over into their home life. Their spouse wasn’t every single thing they wanted, so it created waves of tension. The annoying neighbor who cuts their lawn too early, in turn, spoils the entire neighborhood somehow. My thoughts were interrupted by a Yellowstone episode playing in the background. I heard Kevin Costner’s character say, “Perfection only exists in little slices, little wisps, moments in times. It can’t sustain.”
Thank you, Kevin.
What if we focused on those pristine moments, using them as a springboard to our happiness, rather than trying to fill all our moments with perfection? Just knowing that perfection, even if only in breaths, exists, is enough, no?
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed strategy, tip, or tool)
Wondering if you’re burning out at work, or exactly why you are? Here’s a two-minute test for burnout, based on the six, research-backed, causes. Rate yourself on how much stress each of the following burnout factors are creating (0 being no stress, 10 being a lot). There are 60 total “stress points,” but the value is in seeing which factor is warping your score disproportionately, then being intentional about doing what you can to address it.
Burnout Factors: Stress Score (0-10)
• Workload (can you sustain amount of work on your plate)
• Values (can you connect with your work on a deeper level)
• Reward (are you recognized for your contributions)
• Control (how much autonomy do you have with your work)
• Fairness (feeling that you’re treated equitably vs. colleagues)
• Community (do you have friends at work)