Make reading a part of your 2020 leadership plan!
Ongoing growth and development is a critical component of leadership! You should be reading! Maybe you think you don't have time. Make time! Seriously. Create tiny pockets of time that you can read or listen to a book. It will change both your leadership and your life!
YOUR TURN: What made your list of 2019 books?
Comment below and tell me what books I should put on my 2020 reading list!
Recently, someone asked me: Kathy, don't you ever get down? You are always so positive and full of energy. You show up consistently wherever you go, and you always bring such good vibes. Don't you ever have bad days?
I absolutely do have bad days. Let me rephrase that I have moments that are not very pretty! I have times in my days that are rough. In fact, I have some downright ugly moments!
I have moments where I'm sad.
I have moments where I'm embarrassed, horrified, angry, hurt, revengeful and times when I am raging.
In those moments, I fall apart.
I cry, I sob. I yell. I scream. I growl. I weep.
My heart breaks. It cracks open. And the tears wash over my soul.
Then, I pick myself up, and I begin to heal that wound.
You don't see that, because I don't put it out there!!!
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor says: Take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space. I take her quote to heart!
I'm very aware of the energy I bring to every space,
every moment and every relationship.
It's not that there isn't anyone who doesn't see me at my worst. It's just that I reserved those moments for those few safe people.
My dear husband ❤️ is the one who gets the brunt of it
Sometimes he'll ask me what's wrong, and I'll push him away because I'm not ready to go to that ugly place.
At other times, he doesn't ask. He just opens his arms and pulls me in tight. And I sob, and I sob, and I sob.
Other times, it's my daughter I call.
My friend allows me to share my failures, challenges and frustrations.
Often though, I don't need someone else to help me through it.
Instead, I need to go inside and heal. So I write✏️
Writing allows me to explore what's going on inside of me.
Jotting down what's going on helps me to see what triggered me and why it triggered me. When I scribble thoughts down on paper:
Writing brings sense to the mess.
I find clarity and peace.
And of course, I pray.
I talk with God pretty much all day every day. My faith is my biggest source of strength. Faith is one of my top values. And spirituality is one of my top character strengths.
Without my faith, I struggle.
I know because I did that for many years.
It wasn't until I came back to my faith 🙏that I started to find my way again.
It's not all sunshine and roses!
Life is a hard journey. Add leadership to it, and you've got an incredible weight on your shoulders. If you're not careful, your job and your career will suck your soul right out of you.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
Here's the deal:
You can't shut your soul off. You can't close yourself off and only get done things that you need to get done.
You can't stop yourself from feeling, from crying, from raging, or from loving, caring and connecting.
The way through this crazy mess is
to feel your way through it.
Allow your soul to speak and connect with your heart.
Awaken your spirit.
You do that by experiencing all of the emotions. The good. The bad and the ugly.
Please be careful!
But remember, you are also responsible for the energy you bring.
You don't have a right to dump
your negative energy on others 🙅♀️
Just because something is going on for you doesn't give you the right to spray that crap all over your world like 💩nasty smelling glitter!
You are responsible for what you bring
When you're having a bad day, you are responsible for the energy you bring. But, and this is the part that so many of us miss, you are also responsible for finding time and space to work through whatever is going on for you in a safe way!
Set it aside...but only for now
That means, if you are in a staff meeting, talking to a co-worker or replying to an email, you will need to put whatever is going on inside of you to the side for a moment.
If you are raging inside, you may need to turn down the volume on it until you figure out a way to manage it appropriately.
Don't spread negativity it breeds like a bad germ!
That nasty stuff that is going on inside of you:
But there is a place for it.
And, if you want to be the best damn leader you can be, then make no mistake about it, my dear, you MUST find a time to deal with all of that ugliness inside of you.
You must make space to go to that place that is ugly!
You must go there!
If you want to find happiness in your day and return to loving your leadership role, engaging in your life and feeling alive again, you have to explore the messy stuff. Sorry, but it's just the way it is!
🆘The steps: 1, 2, and 3
To grow, to heal and to be your best self, you must deal with the ugly crap.
I'm here to offer some guidance
This isn’t easy work. It’s taken me years to get here. I’ve also had a ton of help along the way. As I’ve read books, taken training, engaged in coaching, became a coach, listened to a billion podcasts, Ted Talks and YouTube videos, and wrote my way through literally hundreds of journals, I’ve discovered tools, tips and strategies.
🔹For example, you’ve heard me reference The Inner Guidance Cycle that I teach inside of Mastering Confidence. The process of going through that is my primary go-to tool.
🔹Doing the work to truly uncover how to operationalize my values is what I inside of Values Verification.
🔹Growing my understanding of emotional intelligence and expanding my emotional literacy has helped me to maintain my composure. That is what I teach you inside of Emotional Control and many of the webinars that are available to you inside of The Training Library.
🔹To be able to stay with the nasty feelings and explore them even when I’d rather numb out on Netflix takes a thing called willpower. I share with you how to increase yours inside of Willpower Essentials.
Leadership is a lifelong journey of growth and development
But it’s not the sector training that is truly going to grow you to be your best self and lead most powerfully. Conferences, workshops and seminars all have a place in your training budget and your calendar. But they will not replace the time you need to create to be alone and explore the feelings you are experiencing.
Inside of The Training Library, I provide you with a framework along with the guidance and coaching to explore what’s going on inside of you. This framework helps you to find clarity. With that clarity, you discover control, composure and confidence.
But you have to do the heavy lifting.
You must do the inner work.
So to answer the question, yes, I have “bad” days
But I don’t see them as bad. I see them as growth opportunities. It’s not always fun to go there. However, it is with the pain of exploration that I gain the feeling of confidence and the energy that allows me to inspire, motivate and encourage you to be your best self!
Think about that problem that you've had that you keep coming back to again and again. Maybe it's a person on your team that is driving you crazy. It could be a project you're working on that keeps haunting you.
How many times have you've tried to fix it, solve,
or make that problem go away.
But it's still there, isn't it?
Einstein is quoted as saying we can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Yet, we try to do that all the time!
Let me tell you about Marilyn👩🏻💼and Iva 🙋♀️
Marilyn brought up her problem staff Iva in her latest coaching call with me. As Marilyn told me the challenge with Iva's late paperwork, I was sure this wasn't the first time Marilyn had to address the issue with Iva.
No, it's been an ongoing challenge since I hired her three years ago, Marilyn confirmed. Every time I talk to her, she gets better for a few months, then we are back to the same way before long. I get comments from the funder about late reports, and suddenly, I'm annoyed again. So, I call Iva in and address it once more!
Do you do what Marilyn did?
Here is the thing, my dear, women like us often supervise our staff with the same approach that we parent our children. We remind them, coax them and reprimand them.
We think correction should fix them, right?
That method has already been tried!
Let's be honest. If Iva's parents, teachers and university instructors hadn't yet cured her with scolding, lecturing and chewing her out, what makes us think our version of reprimanding her will?
We need to try something different!
No, as Einstein said, we need a new way of thinking. In fact, we need to pivot our thinking and come up with a whole new perspective.
The problem is our brains don't easily
let us think creatively at work.
Your workspace may be stifling
When you are sitting in the office, at your desk, with the next meeting almost about to start and awareness that someone will be popping their head in the door any second with a new crisis, it's hard to think outside the box
You need to find a way to access the part of your brain
that will let you be innovative.
Here is what Marilyn did:
I gave Marilyn a bit of homework to help her find creative ways to deal with this staffing problem.
Two weeks later, Marilyn was so excited to update me
on how things were going with Iva.
Marilyn's Creative Insights
It wasn't about paperwork being on time, Marylyn had realized. It was an issue of respect. Marilyn knew the expectations of the funder were unrealistic and often a pain in the butt. The other staff had conformed to paperwork deadlines because it was the "right" thing to do.
The problem was Iva's values clash
Iva would always push back on paperwork if it interfered with direct client work. But there was another value that Iva held firmly. Respect.
Identifying the values clash "fixed" the problem
It was when Marylin had a conversation with Iva about how to balance both values in her work, respecting the funder's need for paperwork and valuing her clients, that Iva began to make some subtle shifts in the way she prioritized her work. It was nothing dramatic, but slight enough to appease everyone!
Answering the questions on paper allowed Marilyn to be creative
What Marilyn did, with the homework I gave her, was access her subconscious and her inner wisdom.
👉Marilyn got out of logical thinking for a few minutes and found new insights, ideas and perspectives.
What did Marilyn do?
It wasn't the "Dear Diary" kind of journaling, but free writing, with prompts.
In many ways, it was a memo to herself...
Memo to self:
✏️This is the problem I have:
✏️ Here's what I need to do to fix it:
You can use journaling to find creative solutions too!!!
To solve your most difficult issues, you need to tune into your inner wisdom, intuition and creative thinking.
1) Create 5 minutes of solitude.
2) Pull out a piece of paper and write down the challenge you are faced with and ask yourself how you might fix it.
3) Then, write down new ideas that come to mind quickly.
Need help? Join me for this month's Webinar ⬇️
WEBINAR: Quick Journaling for Effective Leadership! ⭐️
The webinar is now over, but available as a replay inside of The Training Library
Available on Amazon
Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.