Calm. Uncluttered. Expansive. Serene.
And yet. That’s not how leadership often feels.
Instead, it can feel overwhelming, cluttered, stormy, uncomfortable.
It doesn’t have to feel that way.
Summer is rapidly coming to a close here in the mountains. There aren’t many days left when our local lake is open for activity.
I found myself with a meeting-free morning today and decided to take advantage of the opportunity to get out on my SUP.
Weekday mornings are the best time to be on the lake. For most of my time today, I was the only one out, and the water was like glass.
On an average Saturday afternoon, it’s a totally different experience.
- The park is packed with crowds and the lake looks like a flotilla has launched.
- With the crowds comes behavior that can easily escalate to annoying and dangerous.
- In the afternoons, storms brew to the west, bringing strong winds and then lightning.
Not an ideal or necessarily comfortable experience.
I much prefer the calm of weekdays. But when I’m out on the lake on the weekends with friends, I’m able to use what I’ve learned during those solo outings to navigate the crowds and weather.
Ideally, leadership is like those weekday outings: peaceful, comfortable, enjoyable.
The reality is that leadership regularly brings us situations to navigate that can feel exactly the opposite. Maybe it’s bad behavior by another leader. So many opinions nothing moves forward. The inevitable storms.
Let’s be honest: you can’t just abdicate in those situations.
But you CAN develop a mindset where it’s easier to navigate them.
- Reflect on what it would feel like if there was a sense of ease in your leadership.
- Look for and create situations where you have that sense of ease. Notice what you do and how you approach it. Practice being mindful when leadership is calm.
- When leadership gets difficult, call on those techniques and work to weave them into your current state of mind.
- When the storm has passed, reflect on how you navigated the situation. What went well? Where did you struggle? What else could you do to bring a sense of ease the next time leadership gets dicey?
While you can’t avoid the difficult periods of leadership, you CAN learn to experience them with a sense of ease. It takes practice when things are easy, and a commitment to self-reflection and growth.
Do the work, and you just might find yourself on a glassy leadership lake more often than you could imagine.
How can I help you with your leadership journey?
- I’m a leadership team whisperer, executive coach, and speaker.
- I guide leadership teams in high-growth companies to achieve rapid growth in a healthy, sustainable way.
- I coach senior leaders to discover the path to lead with ease.