Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Archive for October, 2008

Human nature

Today a client and I talked about how when we find ourselves swamped and working on overdrive for an extended amount of time, we daydream about the time when it will slow down. Because then, we tell ourselves, is when we’ll be more strategic or jump-start that creative project we’ve been wanting to sink our teeth into. Or, we see that one day next week when we’ll be meeting-free and we envision all of the catching up we’re going to do when it gets here.

Yet when we finally are able to slow down after a hectic run, we find out that we don’t have the same motivation we had in our daydream. —That we seldom use the slower period quite as vigorously as we hoped. We may even find ourselves being downright unproductive. Why? Because we can.

Now all we have to do is remember we deserve to slow down from time to time and that we’ve earned it, instead of beating ourselves up for it. I’m working on it. Stay tuned. I’ll write more next week when I have that down day. But if you don’t hear from me, you’ll know why.

Vulnerability to feedback provides opportunities

As I watch, and listen to, the presidential campaign, I see it as a macrocosm of what we, as leaders, experience in our own environments. I’m reminded that the more exposure a leadership role generates, the more vulnerable the leader is to mixed reviews and feedback. It’s unavoidable.

Personal or group interpretations, assumptions, and judgments—true or false—about our actions, intent, and competence, become part of how our employees and colleagues evaluate our ability to lead effectively. More importantly, our ability to ask ourselves how we may be contributing to whatever is causing employees or colleagues to validate or question our effectiveness, is the very information we need to most effectively respond and lead.