When you are a seasoned leader, how do you know when the time is right to step aside, or to continue to lead and also spread the light among younger leaders? There are two sides to consider: ideas and passion bubbling up from those ready to spread their enthusiasm who haven’t yet been given the opportunity; and, the depth of your own continuing enthusiasm, interest and dedication. Beyond the two sides, it’s also of value to think of your audience – who they are.
If you are reading this, chances are you’re driven by a purpose. That purpose has you making things happen. Answering questions, problem solving, strategizing, researching, analyzing, bringing people together. In this process of doing, do you give yourself a chance to ask yourself, who are you being? And, who do you want to be? Productive is nothing without a clear purpose.
Doesn’t it feel sometimes, particularly during uncertainty, that you’re supposed to know all the answers and be in control of everything? Other people are counting on you. They’re looking at you for leadership and strength. And, one of the best ways you can be that strong leader is to admit three things. The willingness to speak these truths make for a leader that young professionals respect and look up to as a role model. Three responses that a lot of people have a hard time delivering. “No”, “I don’t know”, and “I’m sorry.” On the surface “no,” can seem harsh. Saying, “I don’t know,” and “I’m sorry,” might appear weak. These perceptions couldn’t be further from the truth. Because the truth is powerful.
Who has contributed to your achievement and shaped who you are today? There’s probably more than one person once you start thinking about this. And they probably supported you in different ways and times throughout your life. Role models, mentors and coaches. Is it still meaningful (or even more meaningful) for you to have someone holding you accountable who sees your potential and supports you to reach your goals?
“When employees respect each other and get along in the workplace, it’s amazing how productivity increases, morale increases and employees are more courteous to customers.” ~ Maureen Wild. How does bad behavior affect a team or business? Dissatisfied employees can compromise teamwork, productivity, morale and overall well-being of other people who are dedicated to and engaged with their work and company. A colleague reached out to me recently because of my expertise in Millennials. In his organization he has an unhappy employee, who has complained about other people’s comments, which in turn has spread unhappiness within their department. How can you plan around the potential threat of harmful behavior? If you are a leader, you can be proactive. Here are three tools that offer more control to prevent and dilute challenging situations…
Have you participated in a group event that grabbed you? Where the elementary examples seemed simple but powerful? There was one which was unique for me: it was a discussion of three human resources managers talking about mental health for business leaders. I realized the three tips the Millennial professionals gave, work for anyone in a leadership position. And, not only in human resources and not only for these Covid-19 mental health and wellness circumstances. Coincidentally, my co-author and I also thought these were powerful. These were lessons that our protagonist, Alice, a founder of a tea company in “Leadership in Wonderland” picked up through travels within her business and in experiences working alongside diverse characters. If you’d like to affect change as a leader in today’s world, here they are…
Can a conversation with a grocery store team worker, make you see and experience the joy and encouragement created out of this global pandemic? When life changes because of circumstances beyond your control, you can choose to see it as an opportunity to recalibrate, redefine and rework your plans for the future. The global pandemic connects us all as one people, regardless of age, culture, country and beliefs. Organizations are transitioning, the environment is flourishing, and families are spending quality time together. What do you choose to see and do with this special moment in time?
Can you laugh with me? The best moments come from laughter: finally seeing behavior that is limiting or counterproductive to your goals, minimizing the challenging tasks ahead of you so they seem less overwhelming, and bringing your true personality into call rather than the serious role you think you have to play. Laughter, fun, and play are crucial to overall well-being for everyone. And, (drum roll), often lead to the biggest breakthroughs. How do you bring your playful side to work?
Imagine. During times of less bustle and more deep thinking, come many creative ideas. How can you look at something in a novel way? You don’t have to be a scientist, artist or inventor. Simply encourage your natural curiosity when solving a dilemma. How can you envision something in a new light? Can you learn from Berry Gordy’s leadership and creativity as a visionary? Can he spur something in you, like he did in me: to look at and examine his thought process, his why for inclusion, and his deep calling to see people’s potential as his way to give and succeed. You can be a visionary and a leader. It’s all up to you. You can take his lessons and interpret them for you and your team. Or your creativity can be motivated by his. How are you going to take that next step?
“Encourage, lift and strengthen one another. For the positive energy spread to one will be felt by us all. For we are connected, one and all.” ~ Deborah Day. The lovely sweetness to come out of this moment’s uncertainty is awareness. Awareness beyond our own circumstances. During times like this, you are called to step into your role of supporting. I invite you to think – how can I support my circle of people? How can I make a difference? And how can I do it that will also have the lingering benefit of warmth within me?