INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
I discovered something I have in common with Harvard’s Amy Edmondson – a belief in the truth about vulnerability. We both like to say it’s not a question of whether or not you should choose to show up as vulnerable as a leader. You ARE vulnerable. That’s a fact. You’re at risk of being hurt. Period. The question is whether or not you’ll embrace that truth and use it to drive a bond with your people by showing them that you have fears and doubts, just like they do. Will you create an environment where it’s truly OK to admit mistakes, share ideas, ask questions, and give feedback? Will you foster peak performance with an increased sense of “we’re in this together”? So, don’t stress over whether or not to show up vulnerable. You are. Use it to your advantage.
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake I made)
When I first joined a big company many years ago, I believed that the Great Career Planner in the sky would simply move me from job to job until my career dreams were fully realized. I later realized I was doing too much assuming and not enough asserting. Don’t fall into this trap – understand that you own your career and your happiness. Yes, you’ll get career help along the way at times, but you’re in the driver’s seat. Be clear on what you want and proactive in making it so. And remember that you’re the only one who can ascribe meaning (or not) to what you spend your time doing. Pursue the life and career that you want, not the one expected of you. The word “meaning” starts with “me” for a reason. This is the key to having a truly meaningful, fulfilling, career – and life. Bronnie Ware (a palliative nurse) captured the misgivings of the dying in her book “The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying.” Number one on the list of regrets? “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” By the way, number five is, “I wish I’d let myself be happier.”
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed strategy, tip, or tool)
This is the simplest tool I’ve shared yet in this publication. It’s a resilience enabler, inspired by author Kathy Parry. Find a big colorful rubber band. Just one will do. Keep it prominently displayed in your work space. When you experience your next setback, pick up that rubber band, loop it around your thumb, pull it back (but not too hard), and let it fly across the room. This symbolizes the fact that it’s time to go with the flow and fling yourself forward (not backward), and to remember that resilience is about stretching without snapping.