Friday, July 26, 2013

The Most Powerful Leadership Position of All: Parenthood

A friend's daughter posted a link to this Huffington Post article on Facebook and I knew I had to write about it. It's called The Sweet Spot by Julianna Miner.

So many memories came to mind as I read it, a sweeter spot for me as it's my mother's 85th birthday today. And when I say 85, that's 85 years young. I do want to be her when I grow up. 

The article brought smiles and tears...memories of when my son was young. We did so much together back then. We were closer than close. When he moved out to go away to school my friends and family were worried that it would be really hard for me. Then puzzled because it wasn't. When they asked me to tell them the truth about how I felt, my answer was a simple one. "He is exactly where he should be...finding his life and his way within it." He has and so have I.

Last night we were on a call with him and his wife, both sides on speaker phone so we could all hear and discuss what we were going to do for my mom's birthday. Of course we got off topic and joked, teased and laughed. It was the greatest conference call I ever had. 

Which got me thinking...the most important leadership job we could take on is parenting. Our kids watch what we do more than pay attention to what we say. My mother can attest to that. She always told me I would look at her intently when she told me something and then would do what I wanted. I'm grinning now just thinking about it.  The thing is, my parents taught me what I needed to know so I could make decisions. They enabled me every step of the way and when they didn't understand something, they looked at it from my perspective and then supported me in trying it out.

Is it any wonder I do what I do? 

I am in my sweet spot being surrounded by amazing people. And as we all grow through life, I know I have to pay attention to how it all comes together; work, home, learning, experiencing, and how I share it all. And tomorrow, when we celebrate my mother's birthday, I think I'd love to sit around and share stories, memories, wishes and dreams and then figure out how to make them happen.

As Julianna says "If raising children is like baseball or swimming, getting it right must be a cocktail of luck, faith, and showing up every day to do the work. And of course, never quitting (even when it all seems like a hopeless goat rodeo). And if you do it well, they won't just leave you. When they go, they will soar away. And all you can hope is that you set them up TO BE COMPLETELY AWESOME."

Thanks for the reminder, Julianna!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Leadership Lessons

I've been in discussions with many people of late on the topic of leadership; role vs. way of being, competencies, performance appraisals and every other perspective you can imagine.

I'll be part of a panel of leaders to discuss Understanding the DNA of a Good Leader at the DPI conference in May and was thinking about the approach I'd like to take to really dive into this conversation with participants.

This morning's Leading Blog post on Avoiding the "Mediocre Me" Mindset is one great perspective to discuss with the panel. What we do as coaches is help people shift their thinking about how they do what they do, why they do what they do and how they show up to the world in the process.

It's about being reflective, a self-observer to synthesize and process experiences as they emerge rather than worry about performance, what people think and how you are perceived by the masses. In other words, how can you let go of the need to please and impress people to cultivate your authentic self?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Thought Leaders

I am thrilled to spread the word about John Spence, (Chapter 1 in my book Leaders: Their Stories, Their Words) who was named as one of the top 100 thought leaders in trustworthy business behavior for 2013 by Trust Across America! Read on...

I first 'met' John Spence years ago when we were co-authoring a blog with other leaders from many parts of the world.  He is not only insightful, knowledgeable and authentic but a human-based leader in every sense.  He looks well beyond the bottom line and works with his clients to lead joyful and fulfilled, not to mention successful lives.

To quote John "Very few people have someone from the outside to be there for them, who’s there 100% for them. Let me help you, let me serve you, let me do whatever it is I can do to assist you." That's John in a nutshell. He has your back, helps you see beyond what you're currently seeing and turns people's and organization's worlds right-side up.

I'm at the stage of my career where I want to be teaching whatever I can to those willing and eager enough to learn. Through the teaching I in turn learn and so the circle continues.  I'll have more to share with clients and continuously create the shifts in my life that I need to be making. How are you keeping your knowledge fresh, current, and relevant? We live in a world that is never static, therefore we have to continue to dance in real time with our worlds as they unfold. 

When you start getting comfortable with your work, start questioning what you don't know, partner with others to stretch you, have those percolating conversations until you're back to uncomfortable. That's when you'll be truly dancing.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Meetings Generating More Meetings?

When was the last time you took a good look at why you're holding meetings? Walk into the meeting and state your intention and desired outcome. Then, periodically through the meeting, revisit both to make sure you're getting what you need. If not, redirect or adjourn it. Stating your desired outcomes shifts you to working smarter, faster and better.

Time is your most precious commodity. Don't waste it for you and others.

Cultivating Authenticity

I hear so many people tell me they want to be taken seriously and viewed as a strong leader. If you try to please the world and be the end all and be all to everyone, people are going to start to wonder about who the true you is and you know how you feel when that happens to you. It starts to erode trust.

Are you willing to let go of what other people think? My motto is "What someone else thinks of me is none of my business, It's theirs.