One of the most fundamental acts of leadership is to declare our commitment to a desired future, a future that likely won’t come about without our help. And then, we move ourselves (and others) toward that future. I’m not talking about simple goals or mission statements. I’m talking about a heartfelt, fully embodied commitment. This commitment is only as powerful as the energy behind it. The energy of longing, caring, passion – that’s where amazing things happen. This kind of bold, passionate commitment always asks something of us, and in some way demands that we move into a larger version of ourselves.
My executive coaching clients often struggle with delegation. Sometimes they find that they hand things off but then they bounce back; sometimes they just don’t feel like their staff is up to what is needed. They may have learned a ton of “tools and techniques” still nothing shifts. So what’s up with that?
Don’t try to “get it right”
Is there something in your life that you struggle with getting done? You know it won’t take that long, but somehow you either can’t get started on it or can’t finish it.
So, you’re the expert, right? You’re in this leadership role because you know what you’re doing. Of course you involve your team and get input. But still, you own the decision. And when you make the decision, you stand in your authority; you’re confident. All good.
Early in my career, I was reaching for bigger impact in my work, but something held me back. You know, those inner voices that say “You can’t do that” or “It’s too risky” or whatever. My friend Pat began to refer to those voices as the “piggies under the table.” I loved having a playful way to acknowledge these voices and so it stuck. We all have “piggies” in one form or another. They shape our lives and our leadership.
Is 2019 the year you will step forward and make a bigger impact in the world? How will you make that happen?
You know the Peter Principle – that everyone gets promoted to their level of incompetence. In organizations, we often act like the Peter Principle is a terminal disease. The only solutions are to demote this person or fire him. He has risen beyond his capabilities.
Let’s say I feel it’s important to my leadership that I listen more fully to my team members, giving them my full attention. OK, that’s reasonable. But am I the self that can deliver on that commitment? If I were, I probably would have done it already. Habits like how we communicate are embedded in us at all levels – they live in our bodies, our hearts, our emotions and our thoughts.
I’ve always been a bit of a “personal growth junkie.” It’s what draws me to the work of coaching. And of course, I have a coach. He constantly invites me into a larger, more powerful version of myself. He challenges the ways I limit myself. Coaching helps me live more fully into my potential. All great, right?
That’s the light side of personal growth, the pretty part of the journey. It’s what makes coaching or workshops worth the investment of our time and money.
Are you ready to do bold, beautiful things aligned with what you care about?
I am. And I’m not.
Both are true. We all get “ready” in steps, some small and some big. I recently got more connected to my “I’m not” right in the midst of my impatience to take action.