Our lives are filled with defining moments. Our birth, turning 18, graduations, first job, falling in love for the first time, getting married, having children, losing a loved one to name a few. Then there are those moments in our professional life that defines us… a promotion, a setback, a mistake, an award, retirement …
My professional defining moment came when I was asked “who I was being as a leader” after I accepted a new leadership position. Up until then, no one had asked me that question. They asked me my strengths and weaknesses, my leadership style, how I deal with difficult employees, how will I move the organization further, etc. But not a single person asked – “Who are you being as a leader?”
If you were asked the question, will you be able to answer with the same confidence that you answer a question about your skills and qualifications? Or do you feel stumped a bit and need to think about it? Not that easy to answer right away, is it? And I can assure you, it sure takes a lot of soul searching and self-awareness before you can honestly answer this question. That is exactly what I had to do.
Although the question threw me for a loop, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. You know why? Because it made me realize that when push comes to shove, what mattered the most was who I was being as a leader! Not what I know, how successful I am and how many degrees, certificates or awards I have. I needed to be very aware of how I showed up as a leader. Was I showing up confident, empowering, willing to take chances, willing to empower and nurture leadership in others? Or was I showing up unsure, frustrated, jaded, reacting rather than responding?
Here is the thing … imagine you are holding a glass in your hand! It is full of milk. And if someone accidently bumps into you, you will end up spilling milk all over! The only reason you are spilling milk is because you have milk in your glass. If there was water, you would have spilled water. What I am trying to get at is that, whatever was inside that glass, that’s what will come out. So, when you are leading – at home, at work, in your own business or corporate environment – whatever is inside you, is what will come out. Especially when life throws you a curve ball, under stress and when the unexpected happens.
My question to you is, when life shows up with its trials and tribulations, what spills out of you? Love, compassion, consideration, kindness? Or is it anger, frustration, mistrust and blame?
What is inside you is your “BEing”. That’s the part on which you build your leadership. Therefore, I am led to believe leadership is an inside job!
I know who I am being makes all the difference in the way I lead and how influential I am as a leader. Therefore, I made it my life’s mission to share this awareness and hard-earned experiences with other women leaders who either desire to take their leadership up a notch or being challenged in their leadership with feelings of frustration and unfulfillment because they are not creating the results they want.
How about you? Who are you being when you show up at work? At home? In your own business? Do you react? Do you respond? Can you easily answer the question or are you stumped? Maybe answering the following questions might give you some insight;
- How do you feel at this moment?
- How do you respond under pressure and stress?
- How do you handle it when the unexpected happens?
Answering these questions will provide you a snapshot of who you are being. And if you like the answers, you are on the right path. But, if you don’t like the answers or having trouble answering the questions and you would like to figure out who you are being as you lead, click here and schedule a time for us to connect. Let’s have a conversation. It just might turn out to be the best gift you’ve ever given to yourself!
Remember, who you are being is more important and relevant than what you are doing as a leader!
This is your day! This is your time! Lead Fearlessly,
And if you are wondering whether or not fear shows up in your leadership, I invite you to take my quiz to find out. Just click here!
If you like podcasts, you might be interested in listening Mary Strachan‘s B is for Brilliant Podcast. I was her guest and it was a powerful interview about fear and taking risks; how they go hand in hand. We also talked about how “thirst” for knowledge and learning can be a deterrent if it is not channeled wisely. As you listen, I would love for you to think about if fear of risk taking gets in the way of your dreams or if you stop yourself from moving forward because you “just must learn one more thing before…” just like I used to do. You can listen to the interview by clicking here.
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