Tag Archive for: leadership

5 signs that you are not showing up as your authentic self.

5 signs that you are not showing up as your authentic self.

My purpose is to help people connect with their true nature and express it consciously in their life and work. It is my belief that we are naturally creative, compassionate, calm, committed, and capable. If you don’t experience these qualities, there’s nothing wrong with you; you are simply disconnected from your true nature.

Indicators that you’re not showing up as your authentic self:

  1. Overaccommodation. (Pleasing, permissive or indulgent.) While generosity is an obvious strength, when you’re nice all the time, you can bury a lot of feelings. Resentments, depression, irritation, impatience, irritability, insecurity, and psychosomatic illnesses can result from suppressed emotions.
  2. Disengagement. (Blaming, complaining, resisting, shutting down, passive resistance, gossiping, quit and stay.) This occurs when lacking the courage to bring yourself whole-heartedly to your work or relationships.
  3. Transaction tyranny. (Allowing the urgent demands of others to crowd out what matters most.) A close relative to overaccommodation, transaction tyranny means saying yes to everyone and everything, losing yourself in the demands of your inbox, and forgetting to attend to your most important contribution. No one wants written on their headstone, “They got all their emails returned.”
  4. Dishonesty. (Unwilling to face the truth about their life.) Unhappy with their life and hating their job, they unload their misery on people around them. Dishonesty isn’t just about stealing, lying, or fraud. It’s also about being dishonest with yourself.
  5. “Bad” Tired. (Inauthentic exhaustion.) There are two kinds of tired: “good” tired, and “bad” tired. Good tired comes from working hard and getting fulfillment from your contribution. “Bad” tired means you are depleted from taking care of the needs of others at the expense of your true self. You never fully recover from “bad” tired until you live in closer alignment with your true nature – a place that fills you rather than depletes you.

For those interested in discovering your authentic leadership, we still have a few seats available at our academy. I hope you will join us. Check us out at: https://lnkd.in/gMi2euzp

RAISING ACCOUNTABLE KIDS: It’s About Principles, Not Perfection

You can observe a lot by watching. – Yogi Berra
When grandparenting you aren’t in the thick of the responsibilities that come with raising kids, so you have a bit of time to observe. So, as a grandparent, here’s three observations I have about the state of child raising these days:
  • There’s no more important leadership responsibility than within the walls of our home. The greatest success lies in building strong character in our young people that will enable them to be contributing citizens of the world.
  • We’ve never been more aware of the needs of our children because we have access to extensive information on child development, the impacts of trauma on brain functioning, mental health, the importance of attachment, emotional regulation, and self-esteem and well-being.
  • We are now extremely anxious about how we’re doing as a parent and how our kids are going to turn out. And all the anxiety is spilling over onto our children. Paradoxically, the more we worry about our kids, the more anxious they become. Anxious parents raise anxious kids. They have enough of their own anxiety without us contributing to it.
For those who have assumed the vital and arduous work of leading young people, here are four strategies to consider:
  1. Don’t make life too easy for your kids. On the wall of my daughter’s high school English class was a quote by Van Jones, the political commentator: I don’t want you to be safe, ideologically. I don’t want you to be safe, emotionally. I want you to be strong. That’s different. I’m not going to pave the jungle for you. Put on some boots and learn how to deal with adversity. I’m not going to take all the weights out of the gym; that’s the whole point of the gym. This is the gym. In other words, making the space within the walls of our homes and our schools safe doesn’t mean rescuing our children from the challenges of life. Just as the struggle to break through the cocoon builds the strength of the butterfly’s wings, if we want our children to fly one day, they must struggle and develop strong wings. Don’t raise your children to be happy. Raise your children to be strong. Strength comes when our kids know they are not alone. We are right beside them, in their corner. Loving without rescuing. Being there without doing for them what they can do for themselves. With strength, happiness will follow.
  2. Don’t be afraid to parent. Saying no is not abuse. Our children do not need us to be their friend. Their friends are their peer group. What our children need is a parent. There’s a big difference between pleasing your kids and loving your kids. Pleasing is about giving them what they want so they will be happy and like you. Pleasing comes from insecurity. Loving them is giving them what they need – and what they need may very well be different than what they think they need or what their friends have. Children are not born with accountability – the ability to be counted on; they have to learn it. And they learn it, in part, when they can count on the caregivers in their life. If you are a parent, your kids are counting on you to be one. Let’s work at being secure enough with ourselves that we don’t depend on our kids for our self-worth. It’s not their job.
  3. Set clear boundaries around digital media. Digital media was originally developed for two reasons: information and communication. When it exceeds its function and is used, like any product or substance, to meet our emotional needs or to escape from our life it becomes addictive. Monitoring our own use and consciously and carefully supervising the use of devices with our kids is now an integral part of parenting. You can’t leave it to chance.
  4. Relax. You don’t have to get it perfectly. I remember a time when our youngest daughter wanted to change her curfew to go to a friend’s party. The easy road would have been a quick “yes” or a quick “no.” Instead, we spent the better part of a week negotiating with her and struggling to do the right thing. I don’t know, to this day, if we did the right thing. What I do know is that my daughter knows she was loved. She knows she was loved because she knows that we invested in the relationship. As parents and caregivers of children, we never really know what “right” is. There’s no formula. The goal is not necessarily to be a better parent. The goal is to find joy on the journey. And finding the joy will make us a better parent.
In Blackfoot culture, turtles are considered to be a symbol of creation and motherhood and embody the concept that is similar to “Mother Earth” in English. To the Blackfoot, the turtle is patient, wise, knowledgeable, and long-lived. The Blackfoot saying Iikakimat mookakiit means be wise and preserve and can be used to describe the turtle’s characteristics. And these characteristics fit well into my own approach and philosophy of raising accountable kids: be patient, wise, a good role model and the kids will be alright.

The best leaders are the ones who have the courage to face the demands of reality.

When Jesper Brodin, CEO of Ingka Group/IKEA, was asked to take over management of IKEA China, the operation required significant change to be successful and sustainable. He would have to close offices and support many employees to find new employment. Before accepting such a difficult restructuring, he asked himself an important question: “Do I have the courage and stamina to do this?”

An interminable conundrum for leaders is how to do the hard things that come with the responsibility of leadership while remaining a good human being. Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter, in a recent HBR article https://lnkd.in/gvztwTKT argued that the binary choice between being a good person or being a tough, effective leader was a false dichotomy. Their thoughtful article builds a good case for managing the conundrum through the development of two key leadership ingredients – wisdom and compassion.

While being human and making hard leadership decisions may not be mutually exclusive, it is naïve to think that you can avoid the struggle. The best leaders are the ones who have the courage to face the demands of reality. They wrestle with the tough decisions, determined to integrate humanity into their leadership and their commitment to ensuring results. And they do it imperfectly.

Like life itself, leadership is an imperfect journey. We don’t always get it right. Sometimes we miss the mark. Our commitment to results can override our compassion. Alternatively, our honest concern for individuals can compromise the tough decisions we have to make for the long-term greater good. And then, at those rare times, we discover that doing the hard things becomes the most human thing to do.

If we stay with the struggle and accept our imperfection as our leadership journey unfolds, we can stay real and earn the credibility it takes to build a great organization and make a difference in the world.

The Authentic Leadership Academy

The Authentic Leadership Academy is just a month away, and we are so happy to be back in person for this transformational event!!

Whether you are looking to level up your own leadership or develop the leadership of those in your care, the Authentic Leadership Academy promises to deliver an experience that will inject new power, purpose, and passion into each attendee.

The Academy will be hosted at the University of Calgary, May 30th – June 2nd.
You can find full details here: https://lnkd.in/gMi2euzp

Here is what participants had to say about our last academy.

Five Common Mistakes Leaders Make That Break Trust

Five Common Mistakes Leaders Make That Break Trust

We all understand the importance of trust and how it’s the glue that holds organizations together. However, trust is like a delicate flower. What can take years to earn can be destroyed in a decision.

What are the biggest mistakes leaders make to break trust – and how can we avoid them? We all get that lying, stealing, committing fraud, or making ethical or legal violations will destroy trust. But there are also more subtle, pervasive, corrosive actions that will erode trust in relationships if we aren’t conscious.

  1. Making sloppy agreements. Don’t be vague about when you’ve promised to do something.
  2. Not showing up on time. Some people don’t care if you’re five minutes late to a meeting. For others, it will cost you a contract or even a job. Why take the chance?
  3. Gossip. Make up your mind to be loyal in people’s absence. It will earn you self-respect and the respect of others.
  4. Not delivering on promises. Be a person who never makes a promise they don’t intend to keep.
  5. Covering up errors. No one will ever think less of you for putting your hand up and saying, “I’m responsible for that.”

Are you guilty of any of the mistakes that erode trust? Decide to be a leader that fosters trust by avoiding the mistakes that break trust.

Leadership and the trap of the tyranny of the transaction.

Leadership and the trap of the tyranny of the transaction.

Every leadership position comes with two components: transactional and transformational. Transactional deals with administration, budgets, planning, forecasting, measuring, and managing tasks. Transformational has to do with mentoring, connecting, inspiring, coaching, welcoming, building your culture.

Transactions get the job done. Transformations make the difference.

In every job, there’s always a pull toward the transaction. It’s the squeaky wheel of organizations, the voice that yells the loudest. It’s the easiest to measure and if we aren’t intentional, it can take up all our time to the point we aren’t even leading anymore. If you aren’t careful it will suck all the energy out of your work.

Here are some tips to move beyond transactional and make TODAY transformational:

  1. In every email to a team member include a sincere statement of why you appreciate the person you are sending it to.
  2. Take time to listen. Find out what matters to people and show genuine interest in what they are interested in.
  3. Check in regularly with your people. How are they feeling about their work? About the organization? What do they need to ensure their success here?
  4. Share your vision with your team periodically and talk with each member about how they contribute to that vision.
  5. Whether it’s through encouraging words, a thank you card, a smile, fulfilling projects, or a pat on the back, be sure every person on your team feels appreciated and valued.
  6. Ask people what inspires them to work here, and what keeps them inspired to come back. Be sure people are inspired.

How do you avoid the tyranny of the transaction – and ensure that you make today transformational?

To deepen your transformational work, check out my complimentary Mini-Series https://lnkd.in/g4M9qpWh that will give you a taste of our upcoming Authentic Leadership Academy https://lnkd.in/gMi2euzp