Have you been feeling mad lately?
June was nothing short of brutal! We’re living through seismic changes in our world. Not even summer could slow the fire hose of excruciating news and loss.
- Mass shootings and police violence continued: Uvalde, TX; Akron, OH; Highland Park, IL; and too many other places across the nation.
- The Select Committee on the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol began public hearings that revealed shocking malfeasance.
- The Supreme Court made rulings that go against what the majority of citizens and voters believe regarding guns, climate change, and every woman’s right to choose what’s best for her health and well-being.
- The war in Ukraine continues to brutally and cruelly impact so many lives.
- None of us needs a reminder about the still active global pandemic.
I lay this all out not to overwhelm you, but rather to remind you that if you’re feeling anger or dread or sadness or confusion or fatigue – it’s normal.
To say I’m beside myself would be going too far . . . but only a little.
It’s more accurate to say that I’ve found myself alternating between numb and outrage, the messy middle filled with fatigue and a sense of helplessness that drains my energy.
How are you taking in all this upheaval? Pause and think about it.
Despite our resistance to change, and our compulsive attachment to certainty, we know that change is what life’s all about.
Change is the normal, organic impulse of life unfolding. On our good days we can welcome it – when the kids grow up, the trees grow taller, and the calendar on the wall flips over to a new year.
With the uptick in the intensity and cost of change, it’s common to find ourselves (over)reacting to changes more often than we’d care to admit. In ‘react mode’ none of us is fully present and we’re often regretful about our behavior
Back in 2004, and the few years following it, were some of the most transformative of my life. The most important aspect of that transformation? Taking down the walls of protection, doubt, and fear that ‘kept me safe.’ Doing this finally allowed me to look deep inside myself and uncover what mattered most and how to cultivate it in my life.
All these years later, my walls are still down and my values articulated with clarity. Although, it’s a life-long practice to keep access to my wise inner-guidance and cultivate resilience. There’s no way I’m blocking access to this goodness!
My old self-protective strategies still show up, and I can spot them now before they worm their way inside my head or my heart. I’m able to pause and remember: My productivity is not my worth. Perfectionism doesn’t ensure my safety from criticism or rejection. Judgement and blame don’t resolve my challenges. The gifts of staying open outweigh my resistance.
How does this impact leadership?
Leadership is about taking responsibility for something that really matters to you and successfully engaging others to bring it to life.
Instead of passively accepting the status quo, leaders see new possibilities for the future and aim to make them a reality.
Leadership isn’t positional, but rather emerges as a result of meeting the moment you’re in, whoever you are, to feel into that energy and to move into intentional action.
It’s not just the CEO or high-level business executive, but each of us –at the PTA, on a non-profit board, as a community volunteer/activist, within family — who is involved in leadership.
While many don’t consider ourselves leaders, it’s a bit of a cop-out to say that it’s up to everyone else to step up, especially if I happen to really care about an issue.
What else do we do if we care about what’s going on in our world today? Can you clearly articulate what matters most — right now?
Where to start
The notion of turning to face the unwanted all around us is a vital skill, however big or ugly it may be.
Start with a simple pause.
“Why would pragmatic, hard-charging, achievement-driven leaders pause to accelerate performance and growth? . . . Because it is exactly what’s needed to sort through complexity.”
Years ago, I ran across the above statement made by Kevin Cashman, global leader of CEO and Executive Development at Korn Ferry, and it stuck with me. So much in fact, I wrote a book titled, The Leadership Pause, that launches on July 12, 2022.
Today, pausing allows us to work with the madness and sort through the complexities. It’s exactly what we can do as leaders in our corner of the world. It matters more than you think.
Next, in quiet moments, reflect on what matters to you. Start here.
Then, wherever you consider yourself to be on the spectrum of beliefs – liberal, conservative, progressive, libertarian, independent – and however you might view recent events, remember that we’re living, together, through incredibly challenging times that require our leadership.
Lastly, extend good intent to your fellow humans. They’re feeling it all too. We need clarity, compassion, and good old-fashioned courtesy as we work together to meet this moment.
I challenge and support leaders to sharpen their focus, grow their resilience & improve their energy for exemplary results. In addition to private coaching sessions, Calm the Chaos for Busy Professionals, Are You Willing to Go First: Conversational Keys to Leadership Success, and From Stress Bombs to Resilience are three of my popular course offers.
My new book, The Leadership Pause: Sharpen Your Attention, Deepen Your Presence and Navigate the Future is available for Pre-order on Amazon: Here is the link on Amazon:The Leadership Pause: Sharpen Your Attention, Deepen Your Presence, and Navigate the Future
If you’d like to make your difference, I’ll be launching my book in the next 6 DAYS, consider joining my launch team too!
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For more information, contact me by email: DrChris@Q4-Consulting.com, or visit my website Q4 Consulting (q4-consulting.com)