INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
Here’s a simple, but powerful, metaphor, to help you maintain proper balance in your life.
It comes from former Coca-Cola CEO Bryan Dyson, who, in a commencement speech, asks you to imagine life as a game in which you’re juggling 5 balls: work, family, health, friends, and spirit. Drop the work ball and it bounces back – it’s made of rubber. But the other balls are made of glass. Drop one of these and “they’ll be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, damaged, or shattered.”
So simple. So true. So keep this image in mind:
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake many leaders make)
One of the more damaging mistakes leaders can make is to fail to lead at their level. Meaning, they spend too much time poking around in the sand box of those below them. For example, a Brand Manager gets promoted to the next level up, but instead of leading at that level, they act like a “Super Brand Manager,” wading into the comfortable details of a job they already know, and into spaces they no longer belong.
One of the signs I looked for before promoting someone was that they were already thinking a level above their current station – so going the other way most certainly doesn’t bode well for one’s career.
Ask yourself if you’re truly leading at what your level requires. At the times you catch yourself dipping down, pull it back up. It’s a way to pull yourself up, and everyone around you.
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed strategy, tip, or tool)
When you’re too focused on pleasing people, you sacrifice the power of sharing the authentic you. For example, you suppress your voice and what you’re really thinking in a meeting. You avoid confrontation, missing the opportunity to change a situation for the better. To please others, gain approval, and be liked, you say yes to yet another request when inside you’re screaming “Hell no!” You act like a robotic version of you, not the real version of you.
To stop your people-pleasing behavior, keep one sentence in mind:
Think of the You-niverse, not the universe.
It’s a self-reminder to stop trying to be everything for everybody in a bid for acceptance. Start with you, set healthy boundaries, and take care of your needs, first. That way, you stay balanced, energized, and better able to serve others in a more authentic way.
And ask yourself if constantly trying to make others happy is really worth sacrificing your own happiness. It doesn’t mean you suddenly become selfish. People-pleasing behavior itself is selfish because you’re doing what’s easiest and are withholding the benefit of your real thoughts and talents.