Think about how many times a day you get caught up in labeling. We endlessly label our experiences (and sometimes those of others), we label our feelings, moods and thoughts as positive/negative, good/bad, strong/weak, etc. Our brains benefit from our ability to categorize and label; it is a way of accessing the huge amounts of data stored there.
What’s the number one thing people report when I speak to them about their own ability to lead and influence? Overwhelm; Plain and simple. It’s difficult to experience anything different in a world where more is asked and expected than ever before and technology keeps us tethered 24/7.
How are we as humans detached from the signals that are available, yet that we often ignore? There are opportunities in all of our work situations that we are often ill-prepared or unable to act upon. Yet what do we do about it?
What are you doing about preparedness as a leader? What are you practicing to be prepared? Is the mood in your organization one of possibility and resolve to come up with creative, satisfying solutions? Or has there been a mood of entrenchment and “hunkering-down” based on fear?
We don’t have to look far in our world to see rapid change. People who lead and influence may find themselves in a whirlwind cycle of reactivity, feeling as if the world is happening around them, and often is not the world they wish it could be. Leaders who are effective demonstrate resilience and the capacity to skillfully handle a changing environment.
Most of us struggle with the repetitive patterns of negativity at one time or another. It’s important to realize that this can be changed, and that we are in charge of that choice. This simple realization is transformational for individuals, leaders, and organizations.
Because being able to search and find your own inner Waldo is a task that has direct relevance for the inside job of leadership. To find your own inner Waldo requires that you stop allowing the non-stop thoughts of yesterday and worries about tomorrow to take over. Instead, allow your entire mind, body, and being to enter and experience the present moment
If you have been working on the same goal or problem for a long while and tried several different approaches, it may be a sign that you are “stuck.” The first step towards getting unstuck is to simply make a commitment to doing so. That powerful intention allows for new things to show up.
This week I have had the privilege of traveling in Italy for a conference and taking a few days of vacation before the meeting. Although the weather was at times atypical (cold and rainy), it did not adversely affect the warm and generous spirit of the Italian people. In fact, it caused me to make some observations about leadership and influence.
Think of your moods and emotions as a wardrobe. You prefer certain colors, styles, and weights. When you enter your closet you consider the weather, season, and yes, usually your mood before selecting what it is you will wear. But how often do you consider a thoughtful selection of your mood or emotion?