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.
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.
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.
Often the very idea of giving or getting feedback puts our brains into defensive mode. Most of the feedback we get/give is some version of “You should do X instead of Y.” While it can be useful to get suggestions for improvement, there is another kind of feedback that we rarely get that’s even more helpful.
What is the primary “doing” of leadership? I believe that it’s the act of convening the right conversations with the right people in the right way. Let’s look at three aspects of that – sensing, being and acting.
Have you ever had the experience of sensing in yourself that you’re not fully present with the person you’re talking to? Or maybe you haven’t noticed it in yourself but you’ve sensed that the other person wasn’t fully present?