Recently I’ve experienced a number of tough challenges. I’ve also been hearing from friends and colleagues who’ve been voicing the same. This got me to reflect on my habits and patterns. I’ve also observed how others who receive challenging news manage to courageously embrace “what is.”
Leadership is an opportunity to evolve and develop aspects of yourself that will impact you and others. It’s a chance to examine your beliefs about people and things; how you manage your uncertainty; where you allow your fear to overtake your courage. It all shows up in your leadership. This is why looking at the internal world of leaders is relevant to their performance and success.
Here are some questions I ask when things get tough:
- How do I react initially?
- Then what?
- What do I think about?
- What words am I using to describe my experience?
- How am I taking care of myself?
In my leadership coaching I am privileged to witness the sharing of many intelligent, curious, and compassionate leaders. I never cease to be inspired by their courage—the ability to “feel the fear and do it anyway.” I’ve helped people transition out of long careers into new ones, while others work to build cultures founded on trust and effective communication. Some clients are passionate visionaries about bringing new ideas into the world through a disruptive model, while others want to work within an existing model with an inspired, visionary voice.
No matter their initial challenge that brought us together, we continue to share our paths. I am humbled by their openness and grateful for their trust.
I had a teacher who said that “we coach best when we coach from our wounds.” I believe I often learn much more from my clients than I can teach them. What binds us together is our leadership resilience—we are learning how to be more fluid, receptive and open to possibilities with intelligence, open-heartedness and courage.