INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
The first quarter of this year, for whatever reason, I experienced a lull in our core business, in being hired to keynote. It’s the first slowdown I’ve experienced in my 6-plus years being an entrepreneur.
Self-doubt paid a visit, if I’m honest. Was it me? Were potential clients finding other keynoters they liked better? Trendier? Cheaper? How could I go from being so booked for so many years to such a span of quiet? And the truth is, I’d been going so hard, for so long, I didn’t have time to think. I was certainly happy (I love keynoting), and yet, not as happy as I felt I could be – and I couldn’t place my finger on why.
So, I filled the unexpected quiet space with a rush of creating. And, boom. I re-discovered how much I missed the act of creating. It brought into focus a lesson I’ve learned repeatedly:
Sometimes, you need distance to see what’s really going on.
Being away from creating more, more often, helped me see how happy I am when I’m doing it. And the space between, at first filled with insecurity, was filled with a commitment. Even now, as keynotes are picking up again, I’m still all-in creatively. I’m building more courses to release in the years to come, I’m starting my next business book, and I’m even starting the long journey of adding “novelist” to my call sheet. I want to keep making better things, that make things better.
Clarity, enabled by distance, and quiet. Yielding greater happiness.
It’s a formula I recommend.
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake many make)
Mega-selling author, Dan Pink (who graciously graced the front cover of my book, Leading from the Middle, with a hearty endorsement), identified four core human regrets.
I share these because awareness leads to avoidance.
1. Foundation regrets. These are things we regret that negatively affected our material security or physical well-being. This is our failure to be prudent, responsible, or conscientious. Examples include quitting school, overspending and under-saving, adopting unhealthy habits.
2. Boldness regrets. Regretting the chances we didn’t take. We never launched that side-hustle business. We never moved to that new city, or took a chance on that long-distance relationship.
3. Moral regrets. We did things that were morally dubious. Cheated on a test. Swindled a business partner.
4. Connection regrets. We fractured relationships with loved ones, or left meaningful friendships unattended.
I’d love to hear from you (if you’d bravely share), the answer to two questions:
What’s something you regret? What potential regret will you act to avoid?
For me, a regret is spending too much time early in my career worrying about what others thought of me. And moving forward, I’ll be damned if I’ll leave any chances I wanted to take, untaken.
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed strategy, tip, or tool)
In times of anxiety inducing change or crisis, there’s one attribute as a leader that stands above all others in terms of importance. The single most important thing you must role model.
Now, this section (IMPLEMENTATION) is about a research-backed strategy, tip, or tool I’m sharing. The amount of data I could share on the importance of being calm in adversity is overwhelming. So, this week, I’m keeping it extra simple with the data. I can rest my entire case for calmness in crisis/adversity on this one sentence. When you do so…
…it keeps people focused on what must happen, versus what might happen.