How do you lead possibility when everything feels tough?
How do you lead possibility when everything feels a bit overwhelming?
How do you lead possibility when you are still a bit tired and so are your team?
How do you lead possibility when it all seems endless?
Does this sound familiar?
There is a lot to do.
There are big plans.
There are opportunities.
You need to continue to lead the marathon.
Leadership starts with you.
Leading possibility starts with you.
I know you know this. The big question is how.
I’m sharing a few ideas to help you with the how.
How to First Lead Yourself so that you can be leading possibility. How to create a future that you want to be part of, and you can be proud of.
One of the keys to being an effective leader in a sustainable way is how you show up every day.
This is not necessarily about learning new things. It is not about going to the next level with your leadership. It is about how you take what you already have in your leadership being and using it as effectively as possible. So you show up every single day in the way that you want to and be the leader that you want to be … leading possibility.
There are three key factors that support you to show up.
1. MINDFULNESS – being present in the moment.
2. STRENGTHS – to understand and use your strengths as your power base and to live in your potential.
3. SELF-DIRECTION – to focus on the right things, to make good choices for yourself and your leadership.
Accessing these 3 factors creates a resourceful state where you have focus, fuel and function, a state of possibility.
This is about you operating above the line more of the time, rather than below the line.
When you operate above the line, you are in a state of resourcefulness. This is a ‘yes I can’ state. The feeling is of being more in control, more empowered. This is a state of taking responsibility and accountability and feeling like you can make a difference in the moment.
Whereas operating below the line is a state of ‘I can’t’. I can’t do this because it’s too hard. I can’t do this because I don’t have time. Below the line is a state of being unresourced, where you don’t take responsibility.
If you are going to lead, you need to show up. You need to operate as much of the time as possible in your own resourcefulness, operating above the line.
Very simply, you can reframe yourself. Use self-coaching questions to help you to operate in the can space above the line, rather than dwelling in the can’t space below the line.
Consider these three core areas of how you can show up: mindfulness, strengths, and self-direction. Here are some simple questions that you can use to support your own reframing, to help you get above the line.
REFRAME TO MINDFULNESS
For example, if you are unfocused, procrastinating, or multitasking, this is not constructive or supportive in you leading possibility. To create mindfulness or presence for yourself, you can ask yourself some simple questions. Questions like:
- What is the most important thing for me to focus on right now?
- What will help me to focus on one thing?
- What am I doing that I should not be?
- How can I be present?
REFRAME TO STRENGTHS
What about when you are feeling low energy, tasks are draining your energy, and everything just feels harder than it should? And this is making leadership hard? This is when you need to replenish your own energy by operating in your strengths. Play to your strengths.
Here are some key reframing questions to help you stay in your strengths, where you can achieve your potential. Questions like:
- Which of my strengths do I need to tap into right now?
- What can I do to support my own energy?
- Which of my tasks that don’t energise me can I delegate to someone else?
- How can I collaborate with someone else who has a strength in this area?
- Which of my strengths am I neglecting that could support me right now?
- What is one thing I can do for myself to make me feel great right now?
- What one thing can I do to feel more energised right now?
When you are thinking about your work, make clear choices about where you can make the most difference or have the most impact. Make the choice to prioritise these things over other pieces of busy work that do not make a difference.
Self-direction is about taking control of some of the things that you can. It is about making good choices. It is also about reframing the language that you use with yourself…that little voice in your head. Rather than saying to yourself ‘I must do this’, you can change your language to ‘I choose to do this’. You are creating an internal locus of control. Another example of changing your own language would be changing from ‘I need to finish this today’ to ‘I am going to finish this today’.
When you do not feel like you are in control, then it can be incredibly de-energising. It is harder to show up at your best when you feel like you have no control in a situation.
Here are some questions to help you reframe:
- What is my highest priority right now?
- Where can I focus for the most impact?
- What one thing will I progress today?
- What will I finish today?
- How do I choose to be today?
- What will I do today?
Using reframing questions to yourself means creating the opportunity to be more fully resourced and able to show up because you are creating your own mindfulness. You are playing to your strengths, and you are choosing self-direction.
When you feel like things are too hard, things are out of control and you are really low on energy, check in with yourself. What is a question that will help to you move above the line? To move from can’t to can. To change from impossible to what is possible. Take back control of how you show up. First Lead Yourself.
I’d love to know your thoughts.
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