Leaning into leadership is both a fabulous and frightening experience.
For most of us, those first tentative, stumbling steps are unconscious and instinctual. They are influenced by our past experiences (whether in the home or in the work place) as well as by the leadership examples set by our Sponsor or upline leaders.
It is only through leaning into a leadership role, that you begin the process of defining the type of leader you choose to be.
This process is fueled by numerous social situations that aren’t always easy or comfortable. In many cases, you’ll find yourself facing new challenges, making uncomfortable decisions, learning new lessons, and while on the journey, finding plenty of reasons to doubt yourself and your capabilities.
If we could eavesdrop into the mind of a budding leader, we might hear something like this:
“Why did I say that?” “How did that happen?” “Why didn’t I react sooner?” “What did I say wrong?” “How could I have missed that?” “What’s my next step?”
These thoughts are simply highlighting a lack of awareness as you struggle to learn something new. It’s natural and unavoidable to question and doubt ourselves as we step into the unknown.
But take caution! These questions can lead to some pretty harsh, negative self-talk that can fuel your doubts far more than the actual reality of building your business.
“Why isn’t my team going faster?” “Why won’t anyone follow me?” “Why won’t anyone listen to me?” “When does it get easier?” “Why am I doing this?”
Notice how our lack of awareness creates our uncertainty and that kicks the door wide open for the negative self-talk. And then it all becomes a jumble … a big, negative, doubting, stressful, paralyzing mess! YIKES!
So how do we sort it all out? What are some criteria for sifting the ‘helpful’ from the ‘not-so-helpful’ thoughts and awareness?
Here’s how: Pay attention only to what’s true. For example, “Why won’t anyone listen to me?” is not quite true. They are listening to you. Now, whether or not they follow your advice is their issue, not yours.
As you tighten your focus on what’s true, it doesn’t take long to discover the truth that:
∼ You can’t please everyone
∼ Not everyone is going to like you
∼ You’ll disappoint people
∼ Not everyone will want to work with you
∼ In some cases, you’ll make mistakes
Even better, you’ll also discover that:
∼ You’ll please tons of people
∼ Countless people will like you
∼ You’ll satisfy many people
∼ Countless people will be inspired to work with you
∼ In many cases, you’ll get it wonderfully right
Having spent over two decades in the profession … when faced with my own personal leadership challenges and my desire to be the best I could be … I came to rely on a personal Leadership Code based on three questions.
At the end of the day, I would ask myself these three questions. My answers would help me come to terms with my actions as I reviewed the beliefs and decisions that guided them.
To this day, I continue to rely on these questions to inspire me as a woman and motivate me as a leader.
When I tell my truth, meet my commitments and deliver my best … my doubts dissolve into optimism. I rest easier, readily accept my actions and move forward with more confidence. And I wish the same for you.
By answering these three simple questions … you can more easily surrender to the inspiring journey of leadership and more lightly step into your greatness