I might be weird, but I have an imaginary statue in my mind that sort of looks like me. But instead of being made of Marble like some Greek or Roman adonis, it is made of adjectives and nouns all stacked up in the shape of me. It has helped me to describe myself, it has made me more confident, more powerful, and happier. You need one too.
I had been employed by the same employer for over 20 years. Within that time I fulfilled 10 different roles with various job descriptions; everything from a paid student to Chief Engineer, an aircraft technician to a fear of public speaking coach.
There has been one constant. I have always been on the cycle of incompetence and confidence.
There will always be times of crisis for leaders. And there will be leaders that survive the crisis and come out stronger for it, and there will be those that do not. That fail.
In these times, the ones that survive, thrive even, are those that can do these three essential things; confront, assert, and connect.
I have rescuer tendencies. When I see people struggling I want to help them. I rationalise that if they succeed faster, then we succeed faster, then we can get more done. This is short term thinking, people need room to suck, to struggle, to work it out for themselves. That is how they grow.
We have a problem in the modern world. There is an epidemic approaching one opinionated or offended response at a time. I think I know why.
I’ve recently discussed some of the things I used to help me choose between two very good job options. I realised that conversations and gut-feel were not going to be enough. I needed some evidence to support a decision, so I turned to Excel and geeked up my pros and cons list.
I have a habit, and I’m here to let you know it is a good one. When I cross paths with someone who has a unique or experienced perspective that I really value, I ask them to be part of my Personal Advisory Board. When I was working out what important things I should consider about choosing a new job, I reached out to my Board.
I like going for runs, hanging out with friends, playing sport, and having really hot baths while watching Netflix. I like doing this even when I know that I should be spending time with my family. It often makes me feel selfish, but I’ve learned something very valuable, you need to be selfish if you want to be truly selfless
I have learned how to be selfless by being selfish.
Seven years ago, my boss got everyone to complete a DiSC profile. The whole organisation completed the questionnaire and then sat through a facilitated workshop. It was the most important thing I have done on my leadership journey. Just last week, I completed my second DiSC profile assessment, and when I got my results back, I felt like a failure.
I feel like I am always having conversations about bravery and control. These conversations happen outside of my head, but many happen inside it too. I have to continually remind myself that discomfort is the path to growth, and it takes bravery and courage to step into discomfort, to relinquish control. I seem to be promoting that you can’t have bravery and control — you need to pick one.