I am deep into the Apple ecosystem, so I was a little alarmed when my newsfeeds showed me an Apple security issue. I immediately headed over to install the update that came out to deal with that security breach.
Do you do the same inside of you when something INSIDE of you needs updating?
Your internal operating system may be at risk of being hijacked
Here's the thing, knowing my devices may not run as I want them to, I updated things. But what about me? Will I run smoothly without being hijacked when new responsibilities, roles and experiences enter into my daily experience? Will you?
This is what your internal operating system is:
Your internal operating system is what makes you, you. In Scaling Leadership, the authors describe your internal operating system as
What happens for most leaders, though, is that they continue to expand their responsibilities, roles and expectations of how they are doing things... but they never upgrade their internal operating system.
Most leaders neglect their internal operating system
Let's take the Covid world for a moment. Two years ago, we were not supervising staff via virtual conversations. To make the switch, your organization likely installed systems on your computers, updated the microphones and equipped you with a webcam. You've probably figured out a strategy for sharing virtual call links, agendas and how to share screens.
This Executive Director is learning to do updates
When I was talking with Phoebe yesterday, she spoke of a difficult conversation she was having with a client. I asked her if her screen was off or on. Phoebe smirked and shook her head no. She is reluctant ever to turn on her screen. I reminded Phoebe that it's important to read what's happening for the other person during a difficult conversation.
I suggested to Phoebe that having cameras off or on is not a switch. Instead, it's a dial. So perhaps we don't start with cameras on. However, when you have really learned to tune into your internal operating system, you can sense when something is off, a bit more sensitive, or there is a need to connect deeper. When that happens, your internal operating system is guiding you to have the courage to say, "Hey can we turn the cameras on for a few minutes."
But that takes awareness inside you to know what you're sensing, what you're feeling and perhaps what the other person is experiencing. You didn't necessarily need that skill two years ago in the same way that you do today with virtual calls. Then, you could read into someone's body language when you were sitting across the desk from them. Now you need an upgrade on your internal operating system.
How to update your internal operating system
Here are the steps to update your internal operating system so you can lead your nonprofit with effectiveness.
Look at your inner world and see which parts are working well and which need upgrades. Take time to examine:
I strongly suggest writing these down.
2) SHOP AROUND
Not all updates are the same. If your current assumptions are getting you into trouble or you are being triggered by someone regularly, assuming someone else needs to change is probably not going to work for you anymore.
Do the inner work to grow your level of awareness and emotional intelligence. Take time to examine your thoughts, beliefs and assumptions regularly.
Choose new mental models.
What got you here in your leadership will not get you to the next level of leadership you desire. So it's time for an update! It's also time to commit to regular updates. Finally, you need to put personal and professional development into your routine. Ongoing personal and professional development is your path to success in both leadership and life!
Help to update your INTERNAL operating system
If you need help to update your internal operating system, I strongly encourage you to find someone who can support you on this journey.
► In this article, you'll learn how to hire the best coach for you. I provide some questions you can ask a potential coach to ensure you are finding a good fit!
Remember, as your organization grows, the world evolves, and the sector swings back and forth; you too must grow. So don't neglect your internal growth.
Commit to ongoing personal and professional development, and you'll thrive in both leadership and life!
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.