This week is the 10-year anniversary of my ‘blogging’ about leading with intention. I put blogging in quotes because when I started, I was emailing a monthly communique, rather than posting to a blog.
To celebrate the occasion I thought I would share my original communique, mailed on 10/30/2007, following a session I co-led with Therese Kienast and Diana Bing at the IBM Technical Leadership Exchanges in Paris, France and Orlando, Florida, called Unleashing Your Possibilities. The foundation of the experience was radical leadership.
So, here it is…
Set aside a few minutes for YOU! Read this note and try the exercises at the end. Go ahead, take a small step today that will move you forward in creating what you want and unleashing your possibilities!
You Always Have an Impact
Do you know that you always have an impact, even when you do nothing–sometimes especially when you do nothing. You affect and influence meetings and decisions. YOU! What’s created during a meeting when no one responds to questions or comments? What happens to the energy when no one is really present and engaged?
It just takes one person to speak up in order to create a shift. Have you experienced that? A meeting is dull and blah, blah, blah and then all of a sudden someone says something and people start tuning in and sharing their ideas? It can be anyone that speaks up, the lowest paid person on the team to the highest level manager or executive. Sometimes people wait for the appointed, formal leader to show the way. But, you know what? Sometimes that leader actually needs YOU to show the way. As employees and human beings, we have full permission to speak up and share our ideas–in fact, it is our responsibility. It’s part of what’s expected.
And, speaking up can create a shift in different directions—what you say can pull a meeting down when the point is off task, or when what’s shared is critical rather than constructive. OR what you say can lift a meeting when the point is spot on and moves the agenda forward. Be conscious of the tone that you set and the shifts that you create, and choose from your heart.
Something to Think About
Consider the impact you have and how you want to show up…
- What impact are you having?
- How are you showing up and what is it creating?
- Are you creating what you want with the way you show up?
- Is there something different you want to create?
- What can you do to create something different?
- Right now, think about the last meeting you were in and consider these questions:
- How did you show up?
- What was your experience of the meeting?
- How do you think your presence influenced the meeting?
- How could you have created something different?
- Pick a meeting you are attending tomorrow.
Before the meeting, get clear on:
- What do I want the meeting to be like?
- How do I want to show up?
- What do I want to create for the meeting?
During the meeting, tune in to these considerations:
- What is happening for me right now? How do I feel? What do I want? Am I engaged and interested? When am I tuning out, and why?
- What is happening for others in the meeting? Do others appear interested? Are they engaged?
- How is the meeting going? What’s it like? What kind of experience is it?
After the meeting, ask yourself the questions you considered in Step 1.
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
* I took this photo in Doolin, County Clare, Ireland. My husband, Jim, and I had an impact on the sheep grazing in the pasture as we passed on the stony path. Right after this, all three ran in the opposite direction. ;]