August 2012

In my July newsletter, I highlighted three important themes and challenges for leaders I’ve worked with over this past year:  balancing between managing and leading; leading by asking good questions; and creating responsibility and accountability.  I’ve written more detail about each of those challenges and the success my clients have achieved in my newsletter archive.  Here are three more important themes and challenges that have surfaced with my clients that may be familiar to you.  Each topic is linked to a complete article in my newsletter archive.

Second Year Anniversary:  Leadership Challenges (continued)

Learning to Let Go

Learning to let go is not about giving in or giving up, or defeat. Rather, it’s creating an open mind with confidence for the future. It’s about learning, experiencing and growing. It’s about having the courage to accept change, and to clear the path to allow for continued growth. Letting go doesn’t imply a lack of care, but rather a new wisdom in flexibility and expansion.

My clients frequently think that the coaching goals we work toward are an “add-on” to what they are already doing. What I love about this work are the moments when I see leaders start to relax with the realization that what they were holding on to may be exactly what they need to let go of and it’s often a big relief for them.

That’s when the real exciting work begins…

Too busy to stop and think

And who isn’t these days? There’s not one of us who doesn’t admit to handling more and working more hours than ever before. Despite overwhelm and chaos, there’s always the opportunity to stop, and reflect before acting. And as leaders it’s absolutely critical. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time. In fact it can be the most important 15 minutes of each day.

Schedule 15 minutes at the beginning of each day to think about the one or two things you want to accomplish to move you forward toward your primary goals. That’s it. Just one or two things in your list. Then make a few notes about how accomplishing those one or two things will help move you toward your important goals. Schedule another 5 minutes just before you leave for the day to reflect on how you did with the one or two things on your list. And jot down any unfinished area to include in tomorrow’s 15-minute meeting with yourself.

Then schedule 30 minutes with yourself at the end of the week to recap how you did overall, and determine the important tasks or actions for the next week, building on the work from the current week. This planned reflection can provide good uninterrupted thinking time for new ideas or new insight gained through the week to keep you moving toward your important goals…

Leading with Agility

Creating positive change is on top of the list of the most essential leadership competencies, and doing that well involves the skill of agility.

It’s the ability to lead well through a wide range of circumstances – especially when leading change. You can spot an agile leader because they are flexible, balanced, quick, graceful, and able to work effectively with uncertainty and ambiguity.

Instead of relying on a linear set of academic change steps, an agile leader will address the situation with a variety of perspectives, ideas and solutions…

Continued Gratitude...

As I continue to celebrate my second year business anniversary, I want to again express my gratitude to my trusting clients, and celebrate their achievements as they continue to grow and become more successful in their careers and lives.

"Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential." – John Maxwell

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