I want to be more engaged with my children, with my partner, with (fill in the blank). I wish my team was more engaged, more curious, less resigned.
BUT… (the #1 excuse I hear)
I’m being pulled a million directions, and don’t have enough time.
Look, I get it. We wear busy like a badge of honor and it’s more comfortable to busy-along, to comply, instead of rocking the boat or taking on more responsibility.
So, what’s the upside of being engaged? The top two results I notice when I’m engaged are connection and aliveness. (1) I feel MORE connected to the person when I’m curious and speaking up and therefore more alive. (2) When I’m the recipient of someone being engaged with me, I feel completely seen and understood.
In both cases, it can feel wildly uncomfortable, because you’re choosing to lead. To speak up. To be curious. To be real. That might mean at times you might rock the boat or end up with more responsibility. Welcome to your humanity.
Q – So this week’s leadership question becomes — are you committed to experiencing engagement OR comfort? Deliberately choose one.
Who can relate to having a desire or a dream and feeling so optimistic about it that you find yourself anticipating what it will be like when it comes to fruition?
I know that feeling so well. I also know that hoping doesn’t equate to action.
When someone gets intentional, they experience an energy inside of them that fosters movement, creativity, and cooperation with the Universe, Spirit, or God (whatever you believe). It involves a commitment and leads from a place of infinite abundance, creating expansiveness and taking one that much closer to their end goal.
Nine years ago, I made the conscious choice to get my Masters in Psychology while I was pregnant with my youngest, managing an ad sales team, and agreeing with my husband to leave his corporate job to start his first company. We had 3 boys under 3. It was intense. A lot happened in-between. A lot.
Fast forward, I’ve surpassed what I ever made in corporate roles, feel a genuine sense of fulfillment and service in what I do for a living, have a team that supports me, and am the boss of my own schedule. I spend the afternoons with my boys doing homework, watching kids’ sports practices, and enjoy regular family dinners.
I had a clear vision.
Then I got intentional.
I kid you not, I answered an ad in Nextdoor that was for a Creative Director looking for coaching. We met for coffee. I was intentional about being of service.
She hired me.
We worked very closely together, which resulted in her looking within and getting really clear about what she wanted even if it appeared impossible at the time. This client is now the Executive Creative Director at the biggest tech company in the world while also enjoying being a Mother.
From this client, I’ve received incredible referrals that have laid the foundation for my business. I’m beyond grateful.
When you get intentional, the Universe will meet you at the point of action, and that’s when the feeling of serenity and being in-the-flow happen.
It’s all possible for you too.
So in your leadership today — where can you shift from being hopeful to intentional, so that you can make your biggest desire come true in 2021?
Today’s leadership prompt: If you had to reduce your to-do list to ONE goal today, could you articulate it?
If I had a dime for everytime someone said to me, “I’m so busy” or “I’m under water,” I’d be a billionaire.
I get it. Single, married, corporate employee, entrepreneur, Mother, Father, no children…we live in a world that’s addicted to doing, busying, and pleasingBut it’s not a time management issue, it’s a purpose issue.
If you were about to start a client meeting, I have a hunch you wouldn’t take an impromptu call that would impact your ability to be on time to the meeting?
If you had a new baby that had to be fed every three hours, you wouldn’t take an extra hour responding to emails, leaving the baby malnourished.
In both cases, you’d be clear on your purpose.
More often than not, our busyness is a direct result of
*check mark* not having clear goals and
*check mark* not aligning our actions with those goals.
We fill our time with lots of tasks that we do out of pleasing and our need for validation. We forget about our boundaries and behave as though ‘everything is urgent’
So I ask you to consider — in your leadership today, are you managing your time, or are you managing your purpose?
If you had to reduce your to-do list to ONE goal today, could you articulate it?
TRUTH TIME. There were many years in my marriage, in the boardroom, and — I’m embarrassed to admit this — but also with my children…where I kept my mouth shut. John, my husband, would share the plans for the weekend and, while I love ‘us’ time, I’d be craving ‘me’ time. Out of fear of sounding selfish and assuming that my speaking up would cause a rift, I’d just keep my mouth shut. In my early days at Amazon, sitting in a meeting being one of only two females and not agreeing with the sales strategy we were creating, out of fear of appearing or sounding stupid, I would bite my tongue, mumble under my breath, and go along with it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been exhausted from parenting three boys and working full time, but more comfortable complaining than asking for help because there was no way I wanted to appear like I couldn’t do it. The Upside? I stayed comfortable. I didn’t have to deal with possible rejection, arguing, or looking foolish.The Downside? My stuffing, ignoring, and silencing created resentment. Before I knew it, I would often feel disconnected, bored, and uninspired. Zero growth happens inside of our comfort zone.
My ego had massive power over my thoughts and actions, and it was literally killing my soul.
Ego sounds like…
Your Ego is constantly shouting in the hopes of keeping you safe and on the straight and narrow, where failure is less likely to occur. Whereas your Authentic Self is that voice that wants you to experience your fully-expressed existence, no matter what. It’s often a faint whisper, but it’s there. Authentic Self sounds like…
THREE ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE TODAY TO FEEL MORE CONNECTED, INSPIRED, FULFILLED + MORE DIRECT. Slow down and pay attention to the whisper. That’s your Authentic Self talking. Do the thing that scares you. The thing that you’ve been putting off out of fear. By standing in bravery, you will experience your Authentic Self. Ask for support. I’m here, and I bet you have someone close to you that’s invested in you.The happy you’re looking for will come from your Authentic Self, not your ego; and you’ll feel a lot more confident by being brave enough to speak up! I believe in you,
Do you think you listen when someone speaks or do you think you hear them? Do you think there’s a difference?
There was a time when my husband would say, “That’s great you let me babble while you multitasked, but did you listen to what I had to say?” Admittedly, I’d heard him, but I hadn’t listened. He’d feel dismissed and unappreciated, would start to act distant so I’d ask if everything was ok, thus triggering a downward communication spiral. And so it finally hit me. All the doing and pleasing wasn’t creating the kind of connection I craved, nor did it for him. What was hard to admit was that if I was showing up this way at home, it couldn’t have been that much different anywhere else. The way we do one thing is the way we do everything.
I was waiting to talk vs. waiting to listen.
We’ve all experienced the difference too. In the boardroom, at home, with friends. Man, does it feel icky and make you just shut down, want to take your ball, and leave the playground. Buh-byeeee!
Connection is the key ingredient to every business deal, every successful relationship with others, and – ultimately with yourself. If you want to up the connection, practice your active listening.
Want to get better at listening? Start with being willing to stop doing three things at once and gift yourself the opportunity to show up without distraction for someone. By giving up your need to DO and PLEASE all of the time, you will be able to gift someone the greatest gift ever (that costs zero money): – your engaged presence.Trust me when I say, you will build connections like you’ve never felt before through this way of leadership. Love,
I once coached a highly driven executive who hired me because he wanted to:
Increase his fulfilment as a Creative Director by working ONLY with socially conscious brands
Increase his revenue by 20%
Increase his connection + intimacy with his wife
He was committed. He was about learning and growing and wasn’t afraid to do the work. He created his first breakthrough around speaking up. He went from being someone who would withdrawal when the flame got turned up, to someone vulnerable enough to say the things he was never willing to say in service to growth. And so:
✔️ The impact on his marriage was almost immediate. He was worried that speaking his truth would drive them apart, yet it actually brought them much closer. She felt seen and understood. Hubba hubba.
✔️ He learned how to say no to brands that didn’t align with his values.
✔️ He grew his revenue by 8%.
❌ He was so fixated on growing his revenue, in his mind he didn’t succeed.
He couldn’t see all the other wins he created. He intellectually said he was committed to the journey, but that wasn’t how he evaluated his success.
So I ask you to consider — in your leadership today, are you valuing the journey?
If you committed to the experience versus the end result, what would you need to let go of?
What a year. I mean, seriously. You couldn’t write this year if you tried. As we begin to put an explanation AND question mark at the end of 2020, I notice all around me in the media, on social, and even conversation with friends, the majority of the discussion focuses on how awful, painful, and overwhelming 2020 was. While I too feel a massive sense of heartache around the 300,000+ lives uncesserasily lost from COVID, the skyrocketing unemployment rates, the disconnect that so many of us feel as months pass since we’ve seen loved ones, I do believe that there is always gold in every experience; even the most horrific ones.It is up to us to slow down, harvest the wins, and my goodness celebrate them!! Even better, celebrate the small wins along the way!
By taking time to celebrate, you’re gifting yourself the opportunity to receive, which leads to JOY; sustaining joy. So often we have a win and are so quick to move the goal post. Before we know it, we’re focused on the end result and have missed acknowledging the process. We all know it’s about the journey and not the destination. 2021 is no different. While 2020 was absolutely full of complete heartache, for me there were three clear wins to celebrate:The act of reaching out and asking for help is a sign of love. It’s a gift to be able to give to as well as receive from others, even though receiving can be so dang hard!I crave simplicity and feel more alive than ever in the slowing down and simplifying lifeI knew that patience was one of the biggest lessons I’ve had to learn (hello 3 boys!), but the lesson I’ve been faced with this year is the act of establishing connection. While connection is my top value, I also really got that connection requires effort. Intention. Humility. Forgiveness. Courage. Perseverance. And, a whole lot of curiosity and understanding. From connection, anything is possible. I celebrate. How, you ask? Taking time to share with you. Thank you for letting me do so!My invitation to you is to claim your wins. Speak them out loud. Share them with someone you love. Gift that loved one the opportunity to celebrate YOU while you anchor yourself in your insights.It’s from there that you will enter 2021 enlightened and able to leave behind what no longer serves you, ready to take on the new year. The new beginning.
Tell me, what are you celebrating as you close out 2020? I’d love to hear.