I’m supposed to lead. I’m supposed to support others in leadership. I’m supposed to know better and do better. And today I was an ass.
Well, that seems harsh, maybe not an ass but certainly not my best self.
The lead-up was lethargy and grumpiness. The energy was annoyed and frustrated and the thought running through my head was, “seriously, am I the only one who gets it?” The attitude: I’m sick of everyone not doing what they are supposed to be doing. The outcome: aggressive words. Arrrgggggghhhhhhh. Today, I let it (all of it) get to me. Is this about the pandemic? Maybe. Probably a little bit at least. But let’s get real, I had these moments before the pandemic.
The moments where I’m sick and tired of the pace, of the heaviness of needing to provide answers, of the disappointment of people not considering their impact; the sadness of people only thinking about themselves and not the people they have the power to impact; the anger of people doing a half-ass job when I’m counting on them to carry some of the load ...
I wish my moments of donkey-like behavior had only shown up during the pandemic. But sadly no, they’ve been part of my entire leadership journey. Just ask the teams that have worked for me along the way.
So what do we do when we stop choosing consciously? When we abdicate self-leadership never mind organizational leadership? SIMPLE, we notice it. Yup. Notice it. Examine it. Get curious about your mood and choices. These are not ‘bad’ moods. They are moods and choices that are pointing to something you need to pay attention to. They usually originate in something you’ve been avoiding; a conversation you’ve put off, an explanation you didn’t give, an objective you didn’t clarify, a healthy meal you didn’t eat, a break you didn’t take, the taxes you avoided doing (oops too personal!).
When you make ‘mistakes’, when you take missteps, there is HUGE OPPORTUNITY! That’s right, these missteps aren’t bad. The moods aren’t bad. You are NOT a bad leader. You are a human leader. The ‘mistakes’ are DATA. Look at the data. What is it telling you? Analyze the data of your actions! Just the awareness of your misstep will begin a shift, a shift toward who you really want to be and what you really want to create. So when you really aren’t thrilled with your performance, it’s really simple to correct the impact:
1) Recognize it
2) Own it
3) Choose again, based on your vision not on your mood (or ego 😏)
Oh, and apologize to those who have been impacted by your mood. Because, well, no one wants an ass as a leader!