I have had many conversations recently with friends and colleagues and realised that I need to seriously work on being less grown up!
No! You might argue … how will you ever be credible if you are less grown up? Surely, in business, with your clients, in the board roles you’ve performed and will again, it’s important to be the most serious and gritty person there is to be taken seriously, to be listened to?
It all seems a little heavy right now …
… Which is not at all surprising. A year of change, of uncertainty, of inflicted control, of isolation, of mixed messages, of little understanding, of diminished humility, of jobs losses, of a mixed sense of identity, of loss, of gains, of witnessing aggressive, bullying and inappropriate behaviours for high office. It’s bonkers ...
Or, is it innate?
I’ve always thought I was pretty resilient, capable of working long hours with little sleep. Juggling multiple projects, constant travel, relearning how to use my iPhone after an update , facing major setbacks in my life and still carrying on with a smile and with energy.
I feel ashamed when I think of my judgment of others, in the past, who haven’t seemed resilient ... who have said they are too tired to engage, too weak to continue, too defeated to fight ... I always thought you simply needed mental resilience to overcome physical depletion.
Compassion comes from the Latin – compati – ‘suffer with’ and there is no doubt that at the moment we are all completely in the same boat and suffering in our own small or big ways.
So, it stands to reason that now is the time to show the greatest compassion we can to ourselves and everyone else – whether they be individuals, teams, groups, communities or society more generally.
Well, an easy answer is leading with presence by thinking about it …
Although, as with all things, that would be way too simplistic a view. To be a conscious leader we first have to invest time in understanding self – in fact to be any kind of fully functioning human being we probably have to do this! Let’s stick to leadership though…
Schools are beginning to return (in Scotland), without much heed to what has been going on across the past few months it seems and speaking to some friends who are teachers, they feel ‘disposable’, uncared for and afraid.
I notice that I have low level anxiety when I am out in public, when people walk too close to me, don’t observe social distancing, slip their mask down from their nose in the shops (or off altogether) … these times have made me fearful. And it’s got me thinking about the word fear and what it means. What am I actually scared of?
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