It’s that time of year when leaders from around the globe look at their calendars and realize the end of a hard-fought, sometimes exciting, sometimes scary year is quickly approaching. We may want to stick our heads in the sand and pretend we have more time to introduce new projects, but sadly we need to now step back and take stock in 2017. That’s not to say we shouldn’t keep propelling forward with our goals and deliverables. It’s just a valuable time to reflect on the good, the bad and the truths of the past year.
Leading on a small team or leading on a big team, we are often faced with challenges that we didn’t see coming. All of sudden we recognize that the direction the team is moving is totally off course. In some of my workshops leaders even feel defeated or stuck in the middle of a road with no obvious cross streets to walk down. Then the words start to fly:
“I tried that approach before and it doesn’t work.”
“It’s not our responsibility. Ask the other team.”
“No one cares or values what I am doing. I am just a cog in a wheel.”
Rituals are important to the survival of any organization as they contribute to the unique culture of a workplace. Rituals can mean honoring our co-workers’ birthdays with cards that everyone signs and a special birthday cake or making Wednesday “Bagel Day” for the firm. Some teams embrace the ritual of a monthly Happy Hour to connect with everyone in a less formal setting while other teams support a “Field Day” filled with outdoor activities to get to know one another better. Whatever the ritual, to feel part of our work worlds we honor those routines and behaviors.
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I have seen all shapes and types of leaders in my workshops. There is never a program I present that I don’t learn something new from a participant. But of all the qualities that contribute to strong and impactful leadership, the one that stands out and makes the greatest impression for me is kindheartedness.
What is kindheartedness?
A few definitions are:
- Having or showing a sympathetic nature
- Friendly or generous by nature
- Arising from a kind heart
- Sharing the feelings of others
All these descriptions point to a leader who brings caring and concern for others while helping them to grow their leadership knowledge and skills. I… Continue reading | 6 Comments
At this time of year in the United States we gather with our families and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving. We take stock in all that we are grateful for- both the big and the small wins. The reality is that most of us have also faced challenges during the year and have needed to rely on our support systems to help us get through. Our lives are imperfect and that means we can choose to dwell on the disappointments or focus on what we are grateful for.
Let’s choose to lead with gratitude in both our personal and professional lives. When we are grateful we bring out the best in ourselves and in others.