As part of my new Profiles in Leadership Series, I asked several writers with different points of view on leadership to pen essays. Here is the first of those essays, written by the excellent Alison Battye, a UK-based therapist living in the Kent countryside. Ali normally writes about gardening and mindfulness on her blog The Mindful Gardener. Recently, she accepted a leadership position for the first time in her career–a move that surprised even her. Why now? She explains.
April 22, 2019
If I had seen a series on leadership a couple of years ago, I’m not sure I would have read it.
Why? Because I didn’t see myself as a leader.
I have just started in a leadership role, so I must be a leader.
I am saying this quietly, in case anyone hears. I am a leader.
Where does this resistance to leadership come from? I know I have important ideas. I know that I can encourage others to share their ideas, including those who are most reticent. I know that I am good at coaching others. I know that I can inspire, and that what I say can be influential.
So why am I shy about describing myself as a leader? Continue reading “Profiles in Leadership | Why Does Leadership Embarrass Me?”
By Angela Noel Lawson
April 15, 2019
A minute after my nine-year-old clomped up the stairs, exasperated over a failed toy repair, I heard a small crash.
“Darn it!” he muttered. I could almost hear the tears of frustration pricking his eyes.
Unfortunately, I had a huge to-do list at work and I needed to get in as soon as possible. Time was of the essence. My easy-going kid had picked an inopportune time to experience irrational anger.
“What’s up, Jack?” I called up the stairs.
“Nothing!” A second later I heard the sound of his electric toothbrush.
“Okay, dude. We’ve gotta get going,” I prodded, as soon as the toothbrush was silent.
Jackson dutifully descended the stairs, picked up his backpack, then headed out to the car. He wasn’t happy, but he wasn’t being a total jerk either.
“Seriously, what’s bugging you?” I asked, after I, too, had climbed into the car.
“I was mad about the glue not fixing my plane, and then the floss flew out of the medicine cabinet onto the floor!”
Let me be clear, this kind of thing doesn’t normally bug him. But everyone gets annoyed now and again. So, I seized the teachable moment. Continue reading “Whose Teachable Moment Is This Anyway?”
By Angela Noel Lawson
April 5, 2019
I know I’m not alone in wanting to stay awake when it seems like the latest news about something less-than-awesome is trying to put me into a stupefied, fear-fueled funk.
My thoughts, constantly stream across the billboard of my mind, informing both my words and actions. They are the underlying code governing my emotional, physical, and social self. Because routines offer shortcuts to my heavily-taxed brain, I rely on these thought patterns to simplify my life. In short, I need some routines to keep myself sane. For example, if I don’t put my keys in the same place every day I frantically search pockets, countertops, and sometimes the cheese drawer to find them.
But, if I want to invite more joy, laughter, purpose, and meaning into my life I need to challenge these shortcuts and regular operating procedures. So here’s a few strategies I use to shake some life into my. . . you know, life. Continue reading “Six Funk-Busting Ideas to Bring More Life to Life”