Watch, Listen & Read - For Top Leaders Who Dare To Be Human & Real and Who Know That Leading Others Starts With Themselves
In my last blog I wrote about the year-end-rush and the number one (rather counterintuitive ) tip of how to deal with it differently. What I wrote is still true - while talking to my clients though I realized that it supports even more to have a list of various hands-on ways or measures to pick from. Those that help in your individual situation. Which I guess is different from mine. And the one of the person next door.
Let me know what works/worked best for you - just drop me a quick line at [email protected] - I always love to hear back from anyone reading my blog.
Hard to believe...we're only 8 weeks away from the end of the year! Probably a super busy time for you:
I know that most people will push learning/changing etc out to the beginning of the next year. And put their head down now and sprint through their extensive to-do lists, making sure everything's done, hardly ever looking up, arriving at Christmas exhausted, overdue for a break.
I used to do that A LOT.
It might look like there is no time for anything else - let alone CHANGE.
NOW is EXACTLY the time to hit the brakes, reflect and make some time to consciously decide who to be and what to do.
But HOW - you might say. The real world demands something else from me. That's an idealistic view and not possible.
Again - that's what I thought for a long time.
Because most of...
End of July, my furry companion of 13.5 years got sick and got so poorly that I had to let her go after 4 days. Having been with me almost 24/7 during all her life, she left a huge hole.
Ten days later, I got a call from my mum informing me that my dad had passed. He still went out shopping in the morning, had lunch and did not wake up from his nap anymore. Despite having been in his 80's there were no signs of his death being imminent.
A few days later, I felt extremely exhausted and unwell and was down for days running a heavy fever and some other cold symptoms. I had (finally) caught Covid.
That all sounds like the start to a really bad movie, right?
And still, this is exactly what happened in my life during the last four weeks.
A real "test" of all the concepts and ideas I talk about, stand for and teach others.
I had first reactions to both of my losses, of course. I was asking myself what I could have done better - did I...
"The best way of saving lots of time is to drop the weekly reporting meetings and to move to daily & short standups. And then extend trust."
Something I said to one of the women I work with.
Let me take step back though.
One of the most important and rare resources of the leaders I work with is….time. And the biggest challenge: not having enough of it. And to be more relaxed. So here's a way of achieving both…while getting results.
So - last week I spoke to one of my clients and we talked about the heat, how different people have different (daily) rhythms and preferences and how those could be accommodated.
"So, if people come in early and leave early or the opposite…how do I then know that the work is really done?", she wondered. The not-so-uncommon desire to control what people doing.
When I asked her how she normally checks that, she mentioned the typical weekly meeting where the direct reports...
A lot of people are talking about self-care at the moment.
No wonder - the world has gone crazy in a lot of areas. Many things are getting more extreme - the middle ground seems to get smaller and smaller - and with prices rising and war around the corner many people worry a lot.
The antidote: self-care to not burn out and to make sure that you can be your best self.
A lot of advice goes in the direction of
All good ideas.
Today I'd like to suggest something else.
Something that goes deeper and has the potential to eliminate sources of stress.
That, of course, requires you to KNOW what you are available for and what not, how I tend to phrase it - I found that easier to answer than "what my boundaries are" - the result is the...
Last week a rather frustrated and utterly exhausted client was getting exasperated about their "super difficult" situation: "I have to do all these things NOW as there is only a certain time window and on top of that I have to prepare a presentation - which came around the corner very short notice."
I cautiously asked: "What could you say no to?".
"Nothing," was the answer - "If I don't do it - nobody will. I can't possibly let anyone down."
Phew - no wonder did my client feel overwhelmed and even helpless. In other words - stuck - unable to change the situation nor the feeling.
Sounds familiar? The I-have-so-much-to-do-and-can't-do-anything-about-it-scenario?
With the same feelings coming along?
Well, it was definitely VERY familiar to me years ago running my own business as a single mum.
Now the million-dollar question is; HOW the heck can you get out of that?
Well, the short answer is: TAKING RADICAL RESPONSIBILITY for your life.
Do you really know where you're going? I did not for quite a long time.
I simply went through the motions.
And had no idea about what was really important to me. Except for the obvious: my family and my career.
The thing is: I had goals. And plans. Like I was taught to do.
And often they did not work out. Which was really frustrating and deep inside I often felt like a failure.
It took me a long time until I figured out what was missing.
When I thought about those two levels my first impulse was…oh, no - not anything more to think about or to make my world more complicated.
I made an effort to make it simple...there are too many things in life too complicated already...so here we go.
Lots of people talk about finding their purpose.
I prefer DEFINING mine.
I have not lost it, nor do I believe that some higher power hid that purpose, and it's my job to find it. What IS my job is to listen to my inner voice and truth that helps...
Wow, what a statement! And is it even true?
Right – let’s clarify a few things upfront:
So what IS this article about?
In a way about my journey. As a leader AND woman.
How I arrived where I am now and the learning and epiphanies on the way.
How is this relevant for you?
This week I had a phone call with my best friend in the US. We talked about the usual topics…kids, our own challenges and joys (like my new puppy) and finally about the currently biggest and most threatening topic: the war in Europe.
At the end of the conversation she asked: "Are you worried?" (my definition of worry = a chain of negative thoughts about bad things that might happen in the future), and I answered:
"No, I'm not."
Not because it's not threatening or my personal beliefs about if this will escalate or not. I feel for all the people suffering and I'm very sad that this can happen in this day and age.
I'm not worried though because it does not help.
Not anybody else in my life or among those who are directly affected.
And it definitely does not change the situation.
In fact, it makes my days worse if I do."
Am I indifferent to this awful situation? Or cold like a fish?
I used to worry a lot.
Waking up in the morning and reaching for the phone is really easy. Even easier to quickly check the e-mails and being immediately sucked in by all the demand coming from right, left and center.
Or reading something that immediately could ruin my day.
Been there, done that.
I used to stumble into my days like that.
Of course I planned and (almost) always had my "to-do" lists and made an effort to work through them. Most days though it did not work out. Too many distractions, too many things to do anyway.
Leaving me exhausted and dissatisfied….mostly with myself.
The rare days where everything went smoothly were great but the exception.
So I asked myself the question: What if more days could be smoother, go in the direction I'd like them to go and feel great at the end of it?
The power of INTENTION SETTING
Some years ago then - during one of the courses I attended - I heard about intention setting.
Yeah - great.... another tool (how many "productivity tools do you...