For all my peeps out there whose #1 value is connection, read this carefully as you might be falling into the trap that I notice a lot of my community, clients and friends are.
Now more than ever as we emerge from 2 years working at home, little to know travel and/or interactions with others, we’re all craving connection. So much so, that we often choose a connection over saying what we really need to say.
I was working with a company’s president this week and we were discussing a conversation that he was planning on having with one of his C-Suite Execs that was the kind of conversation that if it didn’t happen, they’d have a major issue with retention in the near future.
I noticed every time we started to talk about the intention behind the conversation, how we was going to show up and what he was going to say, he would start to squirm and get distracted with other priorities. It was obvious he didn’t want to have this conversation and just the thought of if was bringing up a ton of discomfort.
This president values integrity as much as connection, but when it came to the possible thought of having a conversation that could trigger a colleague and cause a possible argument, he was paralyzed by fear. So relatable right?!
We live in a world that’s constantly telling us to ‘Be authentic. Speak up. Tell your truth.’ Yet, even when the stakes are high in the boardroom, or at home with our partners or our children, how many times do we (YOU) choose connection over authenticity, thinking they’re mutually exclusive?
Let’s be real.
There is a massive impact on each one of us when we choose comfort and connection over speaking up.
Where, in your life, are you avoiding sharing your most authentic self, because you’re prioritizing connection even though it’s at the cost of you really sharing yourself?
Think about it.
I bet you don’t have to look too far.
We’re human and we have a bias for comfort – but the last thing we need in this world is people avoiding speaking up and dancing around the truth.
Will you be courageous today and share your authentic self over connection in the moment?
Guess what… More times than not, the more authentic you are, the greater sense of true connection you end up creating in the long run.
Are you ready to embrace the day!? Here’s what I’ve been seeing this week that may help you lean into the day as a stronger leader….
So for context, I spend a lot of time with corporate execs from creative agencies and foundations, and one of the biggest desires I’m hearing from them is a culture of candor.
I credit companies like Amazon, MSFT and Netflix for leading the way 4-5 years ago to create cultures where it became expected to speak your truth in service to tearing down ideas, and leaving no rock unturned. Caveat- I’m not saying that they’re nailing it, but I am saying they kicked off a trend. But I would still hear stories about how these exchanges would go, and quite honestly, it frightened me.
There was an undercurrent of ‘its business…leave your feelings out of it’ which results in a lack of harmony and collaboration, and more of a ‘get it done’ attitude.
Today, the desire for a culture of candor is even more present, but what got us there 4 years ago, isn’t what will get us to that brutally open, honest and transparent culture now.
I was coaching two groups of creative execs this week, and was blown away by how each of them were showing up. Both groups have big missions, big revenues to hit and lots of employees to manage – and each meeting was two hours (not a lot of time to jam through the top priorities).
What stood out to me was how these execs were relating to one another:
1. People were giving feedback in a way that was direct and respectful. 2. People were actively listening to one another, instead of talking over each other. 3. People were genuinely curious about other’s people’s ideas and how they arrived at certain decisions.
These execs had dropped their armour and lead from open hearts.
People don’t use the world ‘love’ much with leadership, but it’s the secret sauce to growing your culture and ultimately your bottom line. I’m literally watching my clients experience transformation and they’re creating a ripple in their organizations.
Remember, how the leader is being, is how the team is being.
I’ve been working with these groups for the past year and they’re incredible examples of exec teams prioritizing doing the work on their leadership and who they are in the world.
As a result, they’re pacing ahead on their revenue and, equally important, they’re on their way to creating cultures that foster transparency and humanity at the same time.
(It’s the humanity that was getting left out pre-Covid btw).
I can’t say it enough, investing in your teams is one of the greatest gifts you can give your people. If you’re looking for an immediate baby step to help you drop your armor, and instead lead from an open heart so you can experience more candor in any of your relationships, check out Brene Brown’s new doc series on HBO Max, ‘Atlas of the Heart.’ Her ability to breakdown emotions and put words to them (remember it’s our emotions that we hide behind when we experience fear) is so valuable. John and I watched it together, and it sparked a ton of really important conversations that I experienced bringing us closer.
SO HERE’S SMTH FOR YOU TO CONSIDER THIS WEEK….
If you were to 10x your ability to be more transparent and honest in any area of your life, what’s the biggest impact you can imagine creating?