One of the greatest moments in leadership came from the Oscars

What a week!

Yes, I live in LA, and work amongst a lot of people in the creative industry, but I still couldn’t get over how many conversations I heard in the past week following the Chris Rock + Will Smith moment at the Oscars.  Not to mention all of the op-ed pieces, social posts, and memes written from all around the world.

The conversation that interests me the most is actually one I haven’t heard discussed much and it’s about Chris Rock’s ability to lead in the face of any circumstance.

To be clear – I’m NOT saying I thought his joke was ok, but the conversation I want to point to has nothing to do with the content itself – it has everything to do with how we relate to circumstance, person, event, etc. I’m a big believer that the issue is never the issue, instead, the issue is how we relate to the issue (read that twice)!

When I think about leadership opportunities for my clients (and myself) across the boardroom, in marriages, and with our children, it all comes down to how we show up at the moment and relate to the person or situation.
Every single one of us has found ourselves in situations where we feel fired up, embarrassed, disappointed, dismissed, ignored (I could go on).  Chris Rock showed us that even when you’re feeling all the feels, it is possible to hunker down in your body and stand grounded and calm. That struck me as an incredibly teachable moment in leadership. He made it look easy.

Brene Brown does an impeccable job in her latest book and TV series, “Atlas of the Heart” helping us build a bridge between our thinking and our emotion, so when we put our head on our pillows at night we can look back and know that we were leading from integrity.

Not the wild ego that lives inside of us and can attack viciously, leaving us feeling ashamed and embarrassed.

It’s that bridge that allows us to connect to others, but ultimately stay connected to ourselves during the most difficult times when we start to feel the charge inside of us.

When I watched Chris Rock during that moment, I imagined the charge in his body that lit up. The pressure of having so many eyes on him, the shock of a physical slap, the part of him that felt foolish and wanted to get revenge… and yet, in a moment, in one second, he was able to ground his feelings, and leverage the bridge between his thinking and his emotions. He showed up calm and open.

That required courage and vulnerability.

Can you imagine a world where every single one of us, despite our feelings getting completely bent out of shape at times, and yet LEADING the way in which Chris Rock did?

Imagine the next argument with your partner or your teen, and instead of doing the thing you always do (dismiss, blow up…fill in the blank) you respond vs. react. Or a colleague gives you feedback that you totally disagree with and yet you’re able to stay connected to yourself and them, and even finish the conversation still feeling connected to one another?

*That* is leadership.

So the question for you, my friends becomes…

Question:

What would you have in your life (that you don’t currently have) if you strengthened your ability to lead in those difficult moments – instead of being reactionary?

 

That’s what I call leadership and it’s really the *thing* that defines us and redefines us, and it happens in a moment.

 

Anything is possible,

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