Watch, Listen & Read - For Top Leaders Who Dare To Be Human & Real
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...
Are you ready to take charge?
Are you prepared to walk into some discomfort?
There is a reason I ask those questions - because if you're not - this podcast is not for you.
Admittedly we all cringe when being confronted with what most of us would call "negative" or "bad" emotions.
Many of us rather pull our fingernails out than talk or even deal with that kind of stuff.
I get it - it's uncomfortable, it might even create some fear ("how the heck do I deal with it anyway?"), but quite honestly - I've experienced that the whole topic is much easier to deal with than I thought years ago.
And still, many people don't know the HOW and just want them to go away.
Pushing them away comes with a price though.
AND there are convincing reasons why all of us better talk about this topic. To be precise - in this podcast, you'll learn about 6 of them - pretty sure there are even more.
So, here's what I'm talking about:
1. The 6 reasons WHY it's so...
….is….to feel good.
"That is not rocket science, Claudia...I really expected something more spectacular!" - you might think.
You're right - it isn't.
The thing is - good can mean many different things for different people.
AND - many don't. Feel good that is (reason enough to talk about it!)
At least not when they are honest with themselves and don't put the social media or "professional" mask on.
Because they're waiting for the next thing to happen to ALLOW themselves to feel good.
If/when I do/achieve/have ……I will feel great/happy/good/successful….(fill in the blanks).
Tricky though. Cause it might not happen.
IF it comes though... the money, the career, the lover…they can all trigger us feeling great. Nothing wrong with that.
BUT today I have a different suggestion.
Listen in to this week's podcast to my pondering of:
1. What "good" means for different people
2. Why the circumstances or other...
Those who know me a bit longer know that during the last years I've always chosen one or some words each year.
Words for what is important for me in life (and work) - and to focus on them throughout the year.
It does not replace setting (external) goals - it rather complements it.
This year I chose 3 words.
Contrary to last year - where I only came to define them in February - this year they bubbled up fairly easily. I tried them on, rolled them over in my head and heart and waited for them to resonate.
In this podcast series you'll hear
What I forgot to mention (despite announcing it during the podcast...) is how I make sure I won't forget these words throughout the year - so they don't meet the same fate as most NY's resolutions ;-)....as...
The ups and downs with Covid and its consequences over the last couple of years were basically an intensive course to learn how to deal with uncertainty and unpredictability.
I dealt with several unexpected situations this year (well, and the previous year). But during the last week, I had the ultimate chance to "test" how much my learning holds up.
And I realized that there is particularly ONE thing that helps me (and a couple of other concepts on top of that) - which can even lead to unexpected results….more on that in a bit.
We all know that situations/people close to our hearts affect us the most.
So also in my story.
My daughter - who has been living in the UK for quite some time - decided in the summer to come home for Christmas. After not having been home for the last 3 years (an attempt in 2019 went wrong due to some misinformation regarding trains and dogs….but that's another story).
We were all aware of the...
... for being or becoming a great leader. Or simply having the life you really want.
Really? We need a whole network and many relationships to be successful, don't we?
And still, success and leadership starts somewhere else.
THE RELATIONSHIP WITH YOURSELF.
And having a good one is in fact rarer than you might think!
Last week I had several conversations with people and I listened to a number of issues and challenges people face in their leadership roles.
And interestingly ALL of them led back to the same root cause: namely that the leaders have not enough awareness of themselves and did not know themselves intimately.
We tend to look outside and notice other peoples's behaviour, their flaws, their patterns, their perks.
What many don't do often: look inside.
Totally natural - we tend to be rather blind towards some of our own stuff for a number of reasons.
The most important one: NOBODY TAUGHT US HOW TO DO...