What is your truth? Hint, I asked for “your truth” not someone’s version of what you should be or think or feel. Not how you feel you should respond to others or how you feel pressured to respond to others.
Defining “your truth” serves you and the world in two ways. One, it helps you weed out what and who really doesn’t fit into and/or on your path/in your orbit. For example if your boss’s belief system and reality is different than yours, that is okay, respect it, but begin to find a place that fits you and your beliefs. This may mean making some sacrifices in other areas, etc., but if it is your truth and path, I promise you that you won’t mind.
Secondly, defining your truth is a reality check. If you say you believe the best type of person or situation, place or thing that is great, but it is also a reminder that “your truth” is not the truth of everyone around you, around the world and it certainly isn’t universal.
All this is to say, when you speak and walk the walk of your truth you will end up among others like you making your life a pleasant journey. To do otherwise equates to the simple analogy of a square peg in a round hole. Management alert…if you are a manager, or leader you must be very cognizant that while you are leading others, your truth must be for the good of the many, not the few (as in you and your opinions alone.) Your truth must be in line with the organization’s mission.
Of course it isn’t as easy as it sounds. To truly live fully you need to remain open to others and their thoughts, feelings, etc. While you have your own belief system, perhaps you may still learn some great new things along the way.
We have the propensity to want to take control of things. The important thing to remember is there is a difference in between control and contribution. Taking control can often lead to stagnation of a project. Letting go of control allows a project to move further faster as there is more energy and input. If the project fails to move without you controlling it the next question becomes ‘is it your priority, or do you need to lay it down and walk away’.
Just a side note…controlling and leadership most certainly are not the same thing. If you are a leader, you most likely are contributing and not controlling.
You are not perfect, but you are in good company as no one is. Trying to project perfection in an imperfect world is a fool’s errand. It will exhaust you and confuse others. People benefit from being able to relate and/or learn from your challenges. You make yourself more accessible to others empowering their growth by being authentic rather than projecting false perfection.
You are not perfect. And that is what makes you great!
Whether it is Monday, or any other day. The choices you make are yours and yours alone. We have a propensity to want to say things like “I have to because…” This is not the truth. It is an excuse. You always have options. Always.
“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes … and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
Are you or are you working for a leader or a ‘leader’?
One of the best qualities of human nature is our desire/ability to believe the best in people and/or that we can inspire change. Often this is true. Sometimes it is not. The trick is identifying the point in which you are investing too much time in a group or working for a ‘leader’ who has no desire to tread down the path you feel is leading to success.
I’m not indicating that you are smarter and know better regarding what is best for the group or place of employment, maybe you do , maybe you don’t. I am indicating that you know what is best for you.
If the leadership in whatever circle you may be in is toxic or turbulent it isn’t really leadership, it is a dictatorship. Not to say there shouldn’t be some type of change, there should. Change is necessary in our current business environment. Failure to change no longer leaves you just static, it leaves you behind. But change can either be productive or counterproductive. And only one of those two scenarios comes with leadership.
Not clear on what constitutes a failure of leadership? Here is a big red flag, orders are more prevalent than discussion or conversations. Without concern for communication, clearly concern for participation, fulfillment, smart production, etc. will not exist. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Which do your actions support as the primacy of your career, money or reputation? Money can be found elsewhere, other jobs, etc. Reputation, well once it is gone, it is gone. As Benjamin Franklin said, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation and only one bad one to lose it.”
We are often taught to believe that we should ‘know everything’ and act accordingly. A majority of folks are hesitant to show that they may not know something or may not know how to do something. We have society and our egos to thank for that. Here is the thing though, that is an amazingly unproductive line of thought.
If the choice is between being expert at what you do or knowing a little about a lot, go with the being expert. Experts are worth more, and have a better rate of success. Knowing a little about a lot puts you among the masses. You are just more white noise.
Of course to be an expert in your field requires continuous education, specific relationship building, etc. You can’t just rest on past knowledge and performance. Like Denis Waitley says, “Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise. View life as a continuous learning experience.” So if you aren’t willing to invest the time, don’t bother going down the path.
There is a fine line between going with the work flow and being part of the problem rather than solution within the workplace.
At one time or another most of us have experienced the thought of “I’ll just do it so the boss will be happy.” We do it knowing without a doubt that there is a better way. There is also often a propensity to be passive when it comes to workplace morale issues, as in poor morale. We say “there is nothing I can do about it” or “it won’t change anything if I speak up.”
Being passive makes you part of the problem. It helps perpetuate the negative cycle. This isn’t to say you should go get in the boss’s face and point out flaws in her/him or the system. It is to say that there is a constructive way you can address the issues. There is opportunity to be a leader. There is an opportunity to be a change agent. There is an opportunity to increase productivity, boost morale, etc.
Is it easier to sit by and just collect a paycheck? Yep. But it isn’t more rewarding.
If you want your people to produce and grow you need to meet them where they are, not where you wish they were, or where you want them to be. Not meeting someone where they are will immediately trigger their defensive mechanisms and make the process more difficult than necessary.
So there you go, meet people where they are and provide the path you’d like to see them on. This is good leadership. Just be aware that some have no intention of going down the path of professionalism, productivity and growth; subsequently, meet them where they are, but don’t stay too long.
While bringing people to the next level, those who are resistant may become a time drain. Worse yet you can one day realize you’ve lowered your overall expectations based on their positioning. My advice to you in such a situation is the obvious, don’t do that.
I’ve been working with someone who is out of control and ego based and has no idea that 1) he is, 2) it is a problem. This person is a victim and most excellent example of the “Somebody Else Syndrome”. No one wants to deal with the potential fall out of telling the king he has no clothes.
What a disaster we create when we decide to go down the path of ‘someone else will do it’. Look around it is everywhere, at work, in politics, government, etc. We all know it isn’t working well, this ‘I don’t want to be the one’ risk aversion. And avoiding only exacerbates the problem. In the case noted above, everyone is suffering, the organization is suffering and the individual is unknowingly suffering because everyone is vocal behind his back about the problem, but not to his face.
Whether you want to admit it or not, the truth is, failure to act and/or address a problem is the equivalent of allowing and/or approving of the behavior. In the case of the one I work with passive behavior will lead to loss of numerous jobs, negative impact on a much larger than the organization itself and ultimately mass humiliation for the individual.
Sometimes we justify our inaction with the ‘what goes around comes around’ mentality. This is a weak idea and disaster of a plan. Bottom line, your unwillingness to address a problem makes you a problem too. None of us are an island. Sticking with the ‘somebody else will do it’ pattern means you are not only hurting yourself and your future you are hurting all those that come in contact with you.