I am so excited to have a new year to fill with fun and laughter. Last year was a wild ride, one that was entirely unpredictable at the start. One that was filled with amazing highs like running for office and supporting the amazing Gloria Steinem and lows like the unexpected death of my best friend. We are guaranteed just one life. This year let’s all make sure it’s the one we want.
Authenticity and Resilience
Leaders need both. And this year, I have been tested about both. Authenticity is easy when things are going well – in business and personally. But when one or the other isn’t, it becomes a much bigger challenge that requires some thought. Here are four tips for leading authentically when things get difficult:
1. Tell the truth. You never want to lie to your team or your clients. It’s too hard to fix broken trust. That doesn’t mean you babble about anything anytime to anyone. It means if decisions aren’t made yet and you don’t know, you say you don’t know. If decisions that might impact the team are under discussion, then that’s the answer – “things are being discussed and when I know more, I’ll share it.” If it’s bad news, about business or someone’s job, you want to choose when and how you share the information, but you still want to tell the truth when you do that.
2. Tell it as soon as it’s safe to tell. Secrets are hard to keep and in every organization I’ve worked in and with, they get shared. And if they are running in the rumor mill, they get embellished and twisted. So as the leader, you want the information to come from you first. You just want to be sure you know the whole story before sharing it. So for example, if you are facing a health challenge, you want to tell your team, but not until you have a plan for your health and for them.
3. Hold space for their reactions. If you are sharing difficult news, people will need some time to react. To the impact in their lives, to the business and maybe for you as well. Allow for it. Plan how and when questions will be answered.
4. Build resilience in advance. Build your capacity to deal with difficulty and uncertainty when there’s nothing urgent to deal with so you have more capacity when there is. The worst that happens is you are stronger and happier for no reason. But if something does happen that you need to deal with, you’ll have more capacity to do it well.
Next month, I’ll share some tips for building that resilience here, but if you want to learn them in a focused way and have some time to plan, consider attending an iLead Strategies event. There are still a few spots available at a discount for Don’t Await It, Create It WOMEN 2016. See below.
Your One Life
You want to change the world and love your life at the same time. I am passionate about you making your dreams come true. Not just for you, but for the world. The world needs your dreams.
Don’t Await It, Create It WOMEN 2016 is the name of our signature planning process. It’s a catchy name, but it is also a philosophy that urges you to go for what you want and letting it happen, now, not someday. As we were sending the first invitations for the amazing weekend we are planning for you, my best friend Jamie Kendall died suddenly.
Jamie exemplified the philosophy. She was just 44 years old, but packed more into those years than many who live twice that long. She drove cross-country as a 21 year old, climbed the pyramids, saw her children to near adulthood and met her first grandchild. Jamie also reached the top ranks in her profession, traveled extensively, and shared more love than just about anyone I know. And she did all this from her wheelchair.
While I miss our daily talks, I am grateful for 20 years of them. The lesson of her death is that someday never arrives. Instead, it’s up to us to seize the day, our happiness and our dreams.
Please don’t wait for next year. Join us at Don’t Await It, Create It WOMEN 2016®. I don’t want you to miss this so I am leaving the discount in place until the end of this week. Just enter promo code “Legacy” for $200 off bringing the ticket price to just $497. Feel free to email me at Julie@iLeadStrategies.com
Julie N. Jakopic