It’s official. We now have a 4th, 6th, and 8th grader in our house. GULP.
Summer has arrived in the Gibbons zoo, and now more than ever I’m feeling called into leadership. If I don’t stand in leadership in motherhood, our boys will be sitting on screens 24/7 (the repercussions of that are terrifying)!!
If you’re new to the SG community, you might not be used to hearing the word ‘leadership’ associated to anything outside of ‘work.’ We’ve been trained to think of leadership as people who hold the highest jobs in a company and get paid the big bucks. Full stop.
I define leadership as who we ARE in ALL aspects of life. Not just in the boardroom or the traditional sense of what you think when you hear the term. Leadership happens in the moment – at home, in your marriage, in motherhood, fatherhood, with friends, and with yourself.
To all my parents out there, now that school is out, schedules are shifting, our kids are growing up, work demands are shifting – I bet you’re feeling it. ALL of it. For my my corporate peeps, how’s it going with the reentry back into the offices?!
It hit me last week with our middle culminating from 5th grade, and realizing how grown up our boys are becoming – I was one part nostalgic, one part ecstatic for the break-in school work, one part overjoyed seeing them step into their own and one part frustrated with all the bickering – leaving me feeling like a big ball of mush.
There was a time before I really got what it meant to stand in leadership, that I would get swept away with Summer overwhelm as a working parent, which resulted in a very complex spreadsheet detailing all of their camps, sleepovers etc. Just thinking about those spreadsheets stresses me out now. As if all that planning would eliminate ‘difficult’ situations with our boys. Wrong again!
As we go into Summer 2022, I’ve discovered that standing in leadership for me looks a little different. It’s less about all the doing – and more about the qualities I’m leading from that will create the experience I desire for the boys and myself.
I crave simplicity in all areas of my life – in reality this means our boys have ‘some’ plans, but not every day is filled. There’s spaciousness. Same in biz. I’ve made some decisions in the past year, that have really simplified how I work with clients – a win, win for all.
I also crave clarity in all areas of my life – this means I’ve communicated clearly to the boys what we have planned for them (with their input) and what I expect of them when they’re lounging about at home. At work, this looks like crystal clear communication with my team as to how my work days look during the Summer and clear milestones for all of our projects coming up in the back half of the year.
If you were to stand firmly in leadership this Summer, what would you have MORE of in your work and personal life, that you currently don’t have? I want to know.
Today I launch my 2022 The Boardgroup and it has me thinking a lot about…first impressions.
As I prepare to welcome this incredible group of men and women I find myself jostling back and forth between feelings of confidence, nervousness, and *old habits* of wanting to “get it right” (whatever the heck that means).
I used to over-prepare when I was launching a new group or giving a talk. Because I value excellence, I would take this to the extreme (we’re talking notecards, late nights rehearsing, the whole nine yards).
As a result, I would come across as intelligent, organized, and polished, but also distant. Something was missing for me and for others – I could feel it. It was heart. I was so buttoned-up, that I’d covered up my heart, my authentic self.
I see this a lot when I’m working with clients – the desire to make a big 1st impression, to be seen as brilliant, a worker bee, and above all, buttoned up and yet it often overshadows their natural self. Their humanness. The part of them that lets people connect to them. Without that connection, it’s really hard to get behind whatever it is they’re presenting, selling, or solving.
So this week consider…
“Who do YOU want to be known as?”
& “Is that how people are experiencing you today?”
Pro-tip: Over the years one of the greatest techniques that have helped me in making a 1st impression that fully represents me is to choose a quality that I want people to experience and then lead from it wholeheartedly.
Ex: I want people to experience ease with me today. As do I. So I’m leading from grace.
Grace to me looks like leading from patience and compassion even in the face of discomfort, and being willing to own when I’m feeling uncomfortable. Full transparency.
What’s cool about this pro-tip is that you get to *choose* who you want to BE which I’ve found to be incredibly empowering and supportive.
Instead of trying to “get it all right”, give yourself a break and choose a quality in which you’re committed to leading from. Embody that quality and witness the magic that happens from there.
I was on the phone with my coach last week and came in quite hot around a situation that had me feeling misunderstood. I could feel the fire in my belly. As a result, I was showing up quite impatient and preoccupied – which is such a crappy feeling.
Can you relate?
As I worked through this and took a look at my part in the situation, I had a real aha moment and wanted to share it with you because I have a hunch it will serve you.
When something begins to feel messy, I want it resolved immediately. I apply a sense of urgency. I see it in numerous areas of my life.
Dirty Dishes in the sink? Not in my house, but I’ll martyr if I’m the one always doing them.
Disagreement with John? I want a resolution. Stat.
Boys bickering? I’m reliable to tell them to stop immediately.
The impact this has on me (thank you to my coach for reflecting this back to me) is… I operate over the top of things in an attempt to button things up. Close the loop. Which leaves me feeling resentful because I haven’t taken time to be with my thoughts when it comes to a disagreement, or ask for help when it comes to a household chore.
I realized I’m quite uncomfortable giving myself time and space to be with my thoughts and feelings. But there’s so much gold in doing so.
It’s a muscle I’m working on strengthening, and a super important one because the more we can give ourselves abundance of time and space, the more we’re able to see our part in things.
The more we can see our part, the more we can discern what’s true vs. assumed.
From that place, it’s a lot easier to lead from love even if we don’t agree with the situation.
If you’re one of my people, I’m asserting the impact you want to have in the world is one from a place of love and possibility
I’m on my flight back from Costa Rica, after 13 days in the jungle with 16 other humans from every corner of the world – all coaches committed to their work.
It was a transformational experience to say the least.
Something that completely struck me yesterday was when one of the participants asked me if I was excited to go home. It hit me in that moment. While I missed my husband, our cheeky boys, and my own bed….for the first time I didn’t have the anxiousness to get back.
This was a big AHA moment for me.
Normally, after a few days I start to get consumed with thoughts like…
“I need to get home to finish x, y, z”
“My clients are going to check out if I’m not there to support them”
“Is the kids homework getting turned in and are they prepped for their weekly tests?”
“John must be exhausted as it’s a full-time job parenting with two, let alone one”
Side Note: These thoughts have nothing to do with John, my children, or my clients, and everything to do with my stuff and the significance I would place on being ‘away’ from work and responsibilities.
Productivity for me (and probably you if you’re one of my people) has been a part of my DNA for as long as I can remember.
The feeling of checking things off, closing loops, ‘getting ‘er’ done had been a good feeling…a validating feeling of my worthiness AND it was costing me.
I struggled to relax, to be fully engaged, to be with whatever choice I made at the moment and the worse part was I could hide it. Others didn’t experience so much, but I could feel it in my body. I felt scattered, anxious, and disconnected and at times unfulfilled.
If this speaks to you, here are a few ways you can get practice:
I haven’t seen my crew in 13 days and I’m feeling incredibly calm and at peace in my body. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to see them, AND my clients this week, but I don’t feel the sense of anxiousness I used to feel after traveling and I certainly don’t have thoughts like ‘I’m going to be so behind in my life….” which use to run my mind!
And it feels really refreshing, freeing, and incredible.
I want this for you, too.
So for this week, I’d love for you to consider…
Imagine the ripple you’d create with this shift in your leadership!
I ran competitively most of my childhood and one of the things I learned very quickly (in a 300M hurdle race) was when people were in eyesight of the finish line they would exhale, literally. Following the exhale they would go into cruise control. They wouldn’t necessarily back off, but they’d cruise.
That was my cue to give it everything I got, pump my arms, lengthen my stride, and lock eyes 100 yards past the finish line.
When I look at how I finish my year, business or personal, it’s no different.
The goal is to experience JOY in the midst of finishing strong.
For my super-driven people who naturally finish the year strong, pay close attention to the experience you’re having.
I bet you’re reliable to create results, but where I see an opportunity for you, is to focus on the experience while you’re taking action.
When I finished a race, I would be in my zone. I didn’t actually feel like I was “working harder” but I was committed. Because of that commitment, I felt God partnering with me (insert what you believe) and because of that, (humbly) I generally won.
We have 4 weeks left in the year, and if you’re committed to having a heart-blowing 2022, then how will you choose to BE and what action will you take to finish the year strong? (Hint: who you BE has everything to do with who you are)
For anyone who wants additional support, pls email me and I’ll share you with a special ‘End of The Year’ process I’ve been doing with my clients for years that has helped them actualize desires that they never thought was possible.
In just 24 hours, I’ll officially be a parent of a teen: Levi turns 13 tomorrow.
I’ve been reflecting so much as we come upon this milestone. All the obvious “where did the time go? How am I old enough to be a Mama of a teenager? Oh my goodness, I have 5 years left to refine this young man so he can fly….”
And, in full transparency, my relationship with my oldest is the one that challenges me the most.
Here’s the truth: what got me here as a parent, is NOT going to get me through the next 13 years.
He’s become incredibly independent. He doesn’t want my help.
He’s all about being with John, his Dad. He doesn’t want me to hang with him.
One moment he’s smiling, being silly, the next minute he’s moody and answers in one word quips: “Yes. Fine. Ok.” My old ways of poking fun or giving him a big hug to snap him out of a funk are so circa 2010.
I’ve found myself stumbling the last couple of months as I navigate the new waters because I’m craving a deeper connection with him.
Parenting is a little bit like when I had ACL surgery. Everybody has advice, and while I know people mean well, it’s not a one size fits all solution.
But for me, I know that if I want different results, I have to show up differently. How I have parented for the last 13 years isn’t (completely) how I need to parent for this next phase.
I’m finding my teen requires more acceptance and compassion from me.
AND The more that I can do that in my relationship with myself, the more I’m able to accept and have compassion for him.
So I ask you to consider…
What is your teen craving from you? & Can you also be more of that quality with yourself?
I have a hunch that whatever quality your teen is seeking (patience, compassion, trust, joy, etc.) that way of being is a muscle that you need to also stretch towards yourself.
It probably isn’t the way you’re used to relating to them, and yet remember what I said earlier? What got you here, isn’t what will get you…there.