What goes on behind the scenes in the lives of great leaders? I look at the strong leadership presence of Tony Robbins, Lewis Howes, Brendon Burchard or Marie Forleo. They make it look so easy. Were they always strong people? Or did they learn to become strong people? I’d love to meet and ask them how they acquired their strong leadership skills, wouldn’t you?
We do know that much hard internal and external work goes on behind the scenes. All leaders continually work on developing mental strength. To give you a peek into the leadership world, here are seven “what if” scenarios. Think about how you would respond and why. This will reveal areas you may want to work on.
- Sentimentality and pragmatism. What if your “good friend” causes trouble in the company, because he can’t perform his job properly?
How will you react? Will you be patient, because there are mitigating circumstances? Will you assign him other tasks within his capabilities? Will you dismiss him?
How does someone with strong leadership skills respond? As a leader, you care deeply about your colleagues. You don’t have to be tough and unfeeling. But you do need strength to identify and manage personal feelings and issues that cloud your ability to see what’s best for the company.
- Earned trust. What if an employee is constantly pushing your boundaries?
How would you respond? Do you see her intent is disruptive, or is it creative? Does it become a personal challenge to your authority? Or do you see how she’s trying to make your company better?
What does someone with strong leadership skills do? You don’t have to be perfect as a leader. But you do need consistency and strength to clearly identify your boundaries and communicate these to your team. Consistent emotional states and dependable actions earn trust and make people feel secure.
- Kind yet firm. What if someone makes the same mistake over and over again?
What do you do? Is it kind to let it slide? Or do you take your frustration out by lashing him with harsh words and actions?
How does someone with strong leadership skills react? Leaders engender loyalty by personally connecting with their team to bring the best out of each one. They foster a harmonious company culture, not by being a “friend,” but by being someone who “gets” them and helps them excel at their jobs.
- Congruent actions and words. What if you continually promise more than you can deliver?
How would you respond? Do you shrug it off, making excuses? Or do you accept responsibility and make a course correct?
What does someone with strong leadership skills do? Once confidence is shaken, a strong leader knows it’s important to “knuckle down” and deliver on all future promises to regain their trust. She gets tough with herself so she fulfills her commitments and inspires her team.
- Initiate change. What if you’re brought in to lead a well-established organization and you want to shake things up?
What would you do? Do you hit them between the eyes with your new way of doing things? Or do you assess the old way – seeing what works and changing what doesn’t?
How does someone with strong leadership skills respond? While change may be necessary, strong leaders evaluate the situation and individual team members to see what needs to be done for the betterment of the organization, considering how and when to do it.
- Ego. What if someone younger and prettier than you is on the team and it makes you feel threatened?
How would you respond? Will you use your position to make that person “suffer” until they leave?
How does someone with strong leadership skills respond? Personality is a strong factor for how well an organization runs. Strong leaders work at staying humble, considering the work each person contributes. It’s not about them. They put the needs of the team before their own.
- Control. What if someone you’ve invested a lot of time and energy in mentoring decides to leave?
How would you respond? Do you take it as a personal slight? Do you try to manipulate them into remaining, against their best interests?
How does someone with strong leadership skills respond? Strong leaders accept that people have to live their own lives, so they let go, without letting it disrupt their peace or that of the team.
If you aspire to a strong leadership presence, allow challenges, such as these, to mold you into a better version of yourself, as a person and leader. I’d love to help you hone your leadership skills. Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).
“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right…If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” ~ Napoleon Hill
When you look at industry or world leaders, do you see them as your equal? We tend to put them on pedestals and idolize them, don’t we? Like most people, you probably think, “I could never be like them!” However, they, as well as all C-level executives and corporate leaders, are only human. They don’t succeed in all of their glorious accomplishments by themselves. In fact, they especially need support, since they expend so much time, strength and energy sustaining a high level of excellence.
Who supports the men and women at the top?
World leaders, C-level executives and all those in corporate leadership positions carry a heavy load. The business and employees depend on these execs to establish a culture that allows each person to perform at their highest level of competency. Since everyone “below” them is depending on them, executive leaders can’t expect personal and professional support to come from within the firm. They reach outside for executive leadership coaches to mentor and support them. And these same services are within your grasp, too!
Executive leadership coaching unlocks leaders’ potential to maximize their own performance. It helps leaders work on emotional intelligence, authenticity, well-defined boundaries of accountability, clear and direct communication, problem solving, decision-making, self-awareness and self-management.
What specific benefits can you expect from executive leadership coaching? You’ll be able to…
1. Mindfully create a vision for each role you play in life – whether that’s as a business leader, marriage mate, parent, caregiver or community leader.
2. Clearly define core values you want to exemplify in your life, which will inform your intentions, choices, and actions in all relationships.
3. Work purposefully toward a promotion or improved status of life, by strategically fast-tracking your ability to perform necessary skills.
4. Gain a competitive advantage in your industry or team, as you improve and enhance specific leadership skills.
5. Have a safe place to nurture personal growth and challenge your beliefs, as you can openly and honestly discuss your vulnerabilities and fears.
6. Discover the soft skills, which make tactical challenges such as decision making, conflict resolution or meaningful communication easier.
7. Explore and improve your self-confidence and emotional intelligence, so you know how to read the big picture emotional landscape.
8. Develop human effectiveness by building deeper relationships in work and in life.
9. Master delegating and trusting others to contribute to the organization’s success.
10. Make a difference and add value to any given situation, as you develop greater self-confidence and accept full responsibility for your decisions and actions.
11. Deal with complicated challenges that are unique to leadership challenges by discerning the best culture and environment for people to operate at their best.
12. Learn techniques for managing your emotions, so you think clearly no matter what happens.
Leadership comes naturally to a few, but most of us have to work hard to become leaders. Either way, quality leadership doesn’t just happen by chance. Leadership skills must be fully developed and honed. That’s where executive leadership coaches like me can help you reach and maintain your full potential. By employing somatic coaching methods, I help unlock your full potential for excellence. Are you ready to fly? Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).
“It is a grand thing to rise in the world. The ambition to do so is the very salt of the earth. It is the parent of all enterprise, and the cause of all improvement.” ~ Anthony Trollope
There is an ingrained, cultural bias to think it’s wrong to feed your ambition, if you’re a woman. Women with ambition have gotten a bad rep…they’re called selfish, b**chy, pushy, and unlikable. For example, there was a very revealing study conducted by the Columbia Business School. Half the class received a case study about a venture capitalist named “Heidi”; and the other half received the same case study with the name changed to “Howard.” While everyone in the class judged the content to be equally important, the ones reading about “Heidi” said she wasn’t likable, whereas the ones reading about “Howard” said he was likable.
It also illustrates the fundamental challenge to women’s leadership…qualities traditionally associated with leaders (assertive and authoritative) are not traditionally viewed as attractive in women. Both men and women are making judgments from this outdated paradigm. It’s time for a more expansive worldview that begins with finding the answer to this question:
How can you maintain joy and balance, as you feed your ambition?
While there’s a place for networking and finding support among “women’s only” groups, this exclusivity can reinforce the gender divide. A more integrative approach allows women who have extraordinary leadership qualities to do extraordinary work within any organization. Women don’t have to try to be like their male counterparts. They simply need to nurture and recognize their leader within and make that their strongpoint.
As I practice this within my own life and career, I’ve formed deeply meaningful leadership connections with men and women. At present, I’m partnering with Nando Raynolds, and we’re training both men and women over at our Institute for Professional Leaders website. I’ve also partnered with Louise Santiago to lead an annual all-woman retreat in Mindo, Ecuador.
Would this have happened if I was pretending to be what I’m not? No. These connections are based on being our authentic selves and bringing our unique talents and gifts to the table. We’re successful because our focus is on being the best leaders we can be, not making an issue over gender.
While the world, in general, is still dismissive of women with ambition, there are shifts in accepting people who feed their ambition in an authentic way. I recommend reading an inspiring article about three very ambitious women, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and Tory Burch. Here are three very transformative messages I gleaned from their struggles and successes that will help you feed your ambition in a sustainable way:
1. Feed your ambition, by believing in yourself. If you see an opportunity, don’t hold back. Trust your instincts; learn all you can about your topic; and create a step-by-step plan for making it work. Don’t take no for an answer.
2. Feed your ambition, by deeply knowing you deserve success. While it’s helpful to look for role models, don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to them and putting yourself down before you even get started. This is where the issue of deserving it or not rears its ugly head. If you put in the work, you deserve the success. Believe that with all your heart, because it’s true.
Stop worrying about what others will say. Don’t ask for permission or be apologetic. Erase from your vocabulary hesitant words like, “Is this Okay?” “It’s not as good as I’d hoped.” “I wish it was better, but…” If there’s room for improvement, make it! Don’t apologize for a job half done. Finish it. Polish it. Make it shine! However, beware of stalling out on the fine line between being a perfectionist and being good enough to put it out there into the world. You can adjust and tweak as time goes along.
3. Feed your ambition, by owning your success. We’re taught that it’s not polite to brag, so we hold back from speaking about our successes. Here’s a much healthier mindset to adopt: it’s not bragging; it’s sharing information that can help others to succeed too. Become more mindful and notice what internal shifts and external actions led to moments of success, whether small or large. Then you can turn these steps into a success story that has real value for those who listen to you. This, in turn, grows your own confidence immeasurably.
Are you ready to feed you ambition? Within days, my colleague, Louise Santiago, and I will be traveling to our annual retreat entitled: “Women, Wisdom & Presence – Evolving our presence in the world.” Make plans now to join us next year. Together, we’ll be exploring how to recognize, name, and support the leader within you. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” ~ Charles R. Swindoll
It’s hard to stay motivated day in and day out. One day you’re fired up, the next day you might feel like you’re walking through sludge to get anything done. And we’re constantly being bombarded with distractions. Many people call it suffering from the “Bright Shiny Object Syndrome.” It’s so easy to lose focus. And without focus, you’ll lose your motivation. If you’d like to know how to keep your motivation high, despite whatever happens in your life, please pay attention to the following tips.
How to keep your motivation high through life’s ups and downs…
1. Know and always remember your ‘why.’
Your goals and plans are fueled by your big ‘why’. Why you want something determines how you’ll go after it. So what do you really care about? What are you willing to sacrifice to get it? How can you achieve it, while staying true to yourself, your values, and your dreams?
2. Create an action plan every night.
When you go to sleep with your next day planned out on paper, you’ll sleep better and get more done the following day. Make sure you list two or three action items that get you closer to your big goals. This will keep you focused on what really matters, so you can wake up early and get much more accomplished.
3. Keep your strength up through restorative sleep.
Without sleep, you won’t have the energy you need to keep your motivation high. Resist the urge to stay up late into the night, pushing yourself because you hope to get everything on your to-do list done. Sleep deprivation assures that you won’t function properly that night or for days to come. You’ll accomplish more, with higher quality of work, if you make sleep a priority. Cut work off at a reasonable hour, relax and get your 8 to 10 hours.
4. Begin each day with constructive “me time”.
In order to keep your motivation high, it’s absolutely necessary to start your day by becoming centered and setting your intentions for the day.
5. See distractions for what they are and avoid them.
There are so many things that vie for your attention, so it’s important to make sure of what’s really important for TODAY and ignore or avoid everything else. It helps to carry a notepad and capture ideas you want to try in the future. Then it’s okay for your brain to get back to focusing on today. You don’t have to be continually trying new tools, apps, or methods.
6. Regularly seek inspiration.
Just as you need a regular supply of nourishing food for your physical health, you need a regular supply of inspirational food for your soul and spirit. Seek out inspirational people who are already living the life that you want to live, and avoid people who affect you negatively.
7. Fight procrastination.
Once a minute passes, you can’t get it back. Becoming more mindful helps you notice how precious each moment is, so you choose not to waste time. Greater awareness of your needs and desires helps you make better decisions. For example, you’ll say, “No I won’t watch TV, because I want to watch this video so I can learn this new skill.” Mindful decisions will help you get the most out of every second of every day.
How will you keep your motivation high? Which one of these tips resonated most with you? Does one highlight an area in which you’d like more accountability? If so, please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).
“Go within every day and find the inner strength so that the world will not blow your candle out.” ―Katherine Dunham
Do you feel like you’re not strong enough? For many, they equate being a strong person with having emotional and mental strength to cope with and excel at anything encountered. But if you’re wondering how to become a stronger person, is focusing on mental and emotional strength the only personal strengths to work on? What does it really mean to be a strong person and how do you become a stronger person?
Becoming a strong person means different things to different people. Be cautious…if your definition of how to be strong is flawed, you’ll end up with negative self-talk that you’re not “strong enough”.
Here are some common misconceptions of how to become a strong person:
Strong people never cry. In many cultures, men especially are taught that they can’t show this kind of vulnerability. But crying is a natural response for releasing great emotion. It takes strength to be okay with being vulnerable, no matter what other people think.
Strong people never back down. It takes wisdom to know when to stand up for yourself and your values and when to walk away. It takes strength to refuse to be manipulated or drawn into a pointless argument. Being the bigger person allows you to avoid mistaken pride, which can get in the way of disengaging from someone else’s issues. You aren’t required to take on their “stuff”. That’s on them.
Strong people never feel fear. Your brain protects you by making you feel fear. The first step to tapping into your personal strength is to identify if the fear is rational or irrational. As you mindfully experience it, you can process fear without judgment. In that way, you control your fears, rather than them controlling you.
Strong people never lose it. When life falls apart, it’s natural to have an overwhelming rush of emotions. Go ahead and complain, but at the end of the day, accept it for what it is and move on.
Strong people never have doubts. We all second-guess ourselves at time, because we can’t foresee the future. When you start down one path and it’s not the right fit, have the flexibility to shift and try something else. Don’t beat yourself up if things don’t work out as expected. Calmly acknowledge your truth and know that no matter what happens, you’ll be okay.
Now that we have some of the misconceptions out of the way, let’s examine how to become a stronger person by focusing on these four personal strengths…
1. Physical Strength. Often overlooked, physical strength is at the core of your emotional and mental strength. If you know you’re not physically strong enough to do something, then your mental and emotional strength also decline rapidly.
Traditional psychotherapy and personal-development coaching focuses solely on thoughts and emotions, somatic coaching, on the other hand, incorporates your entire body. The body, mind, emotions and spirit influence each other constantly, even when you’re not aware of it.
If your core muscles are toned and you can easily center yourself, you’ll have an immense amount of strength. Somatic practices, like the Feldenkrais Method®, help you develop a deep awareness and connection between your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual strength.
2. Mental Strength. Just as your physical strength grows when you push and challenge yourself, so too, you can prepare your mind to handle hardships by challenging your mind with mental obstacles. Mental training techniques can help you create a better self-image and actually boost your fitness level, too.
3. Emotional Strength. An emotional response is complex energy released by an instantaneous interaction between feelings, thoughts, hormones, body sensations, and more. Because of unresolved experiences and training, we can develop emotional polarities that sap our strength, because they cause internal conflict. You can restore your inner harmony by practicing NLP Parts Integration.
4. Spiritual Strength. Spiritual strength springs from creating an inner peace that you can extend outwardly to the world. It involves having an intimate knowledge of self without judgment. Self-compassion fosters compassion toward others. Self-forgiveness generates forgiveness toward others, as does self-love, self-kindness, and self-generosity.
A practice of mindfulness is central to developing these four personal strengths. Self-awareness is a crucial element in your quest for becoming a stronger person. As Lalah Delia said,
“She remembered who she was and the game changed.”
Would you like to be able to deal with life’s challenges with more strength and grace? Feel free to contact me for an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I’d love to partner with you on this exciting journey.