We might want change now—but change is almost always met with resistance.
And resistance to change is, at its core, protective.
Yet, this well-intentioned approach can end up hurting instead of helping especially when the desire to protect is at the expense of the well-being of others.
When we look at the industries that focus around our image, it gets even messier.
I am late to the fashion, make-up, skincare party—and I have loved playing around with style and products that make me feel good. It has been fun to support some incredible companies caring more about just the bottom line and support causes that serve the greater good.
Still, the messaging around beauty and health can be disorienting… and sometimes downright demoralizing to the point where we confuse the truth on our worth and value.
This is where leaders transform their care into activism in order to cultivate spaces that are brave and safe for all.
This is work.
Community over competition is indeed a well-worn hashtag. The cynical can dismiss it. Those beat up by year after year of injustice understandably call BS.
But in practice, leading with the lens of community over competition is subversive and culture-shifting.
Community over competition requires deep life-long work to unburden the load we carry of scarcity and comparison.
In a highly connected, dopamine infused world, where billions of dollars are spent to cultivate 'not enoughness', we buy, vote, and believe, leading with community over competition is an antidote to the noise.
Leading with community over competition is an antidote to the noise and keeps us anchored in our values and integrity.
But leading this way comes at a cost.
It comes at the cost of the quick and easy.
It is not efficient (at least it feels that way in the short term).
It is super uncomfortable and forces you to face the parts of you that are not Instagram friendly.
And... I know you are here for this. (I...
Our workplaces need more laughter.
Our homes need more laughter.
The world needs more laughter.
And I don’t know about you, but I too need more laughter.
There have been times of late when the smallest thing sets my family into a laugh-fest - usually triggered by something we were watching on TV or something one of us said that just tickled the proverbial funny bone.
This communal laughter always feels like a welcomed exhale when I didn't even know I was holding my breath. Every time, I feel lighter and clearer after I wipe the tears of joy away from my face.
Growing up, I got the message that humor and comedy were for those who were not serious. I was always equal parts annoyed and envious of the class-clowns and those that seemed at ease using humor as they lead. I wanted to focus on work but I also appreciated their ability to lighten the mood and not take themselves too seriously while building a sense of connection.
Comedy and humor can...
Avoiding controversy for the sake of comfort is not an option for you as you lead, do life, and rumble with all the big and little decisions before you.
Sure, you do not want to contribute to the noise.
You are not looking for a fight (or, like me, you try not to get scrappy just to offload some stress), or to be right just for the sake of being right.
No. You value the big picture. You value the mission. You value the greater impact.
These days, people try to shock us just so they can manipulate our feelings. They use hyperbole to exercise power over us. The polarization we are living with internally and in our culture leads to many having serious controversy fatigue.
Unburdened leaders get the nuance of standing up. They also understand the sacrifices. They would rather step up for what is true than play it safe.
We all need to do a better job of respecting this kind of leadership by supporting those who are willing to and able to take the heat...
Grief is inevitable when you’re all-in on life and the relationships in it.
This is the cost of a life full of love and meaning.
And yet, we do not grieve well in our country. We actually do not have a good relationship with emotions, in general. A lot of this has to do with decades of messages around what is the ‘correct’ way to show up in our work and life.
Grief is a powerful and important teacher but the push back to not feel it or express it is real.
You get the mixed messages: It’s ok to feel your emotions. And please keep that away from your work.
But feeling through grief is a necessity to leading well. And it’s especially true right now as the various forms of loss and subsequent grief continue to show up in our lives right now.
Permission to feel the tsunami of grief that comes when it wants and levels how it pleases is an important leadership practice.
You know leading w/ vulnerability is the path. And you also feel the push back from...
One of the toughest and most important choices for a leader is to look within and do the deep work to heal the echoes of trauma. By looking at and healing the burdens of your past pain, you can lighten the load of your burdens so you can lead yourself —and others—better.
Right now, we are watching in real-time the dangers of leaders who are not in touch with their humanity and lead with pain, bullying, and fear. We are breathing in so much toxicity right now and it is taking a toll on all of us.
And even still, I’m struck by how those leaders who have done the work to heal the echoes of their trauma are navigating 2020. I am noticing fatigue, for sure. But I am seeing something else...
Resilience and tenderness.
What I am seeing in these leaders is inspiring me: they are navigating these echoes imperfectly but with ownership and confidence grounded in their inherent worthiness and value—less encumbered by seeking value and safety externally.
The belief that hope will kill you is a common reason that many people reject the practice of hope in the first place. Most would rather keep the bar low and expect the worst.
Protecting yourself with this level of cynicism leads to living a negative, small, and joyless life.
And we are not here for that.
Embracing hope might look dangerous and reckless on the surface, yet, in truth, it is a deeply aligned practice grounded in values, courage, and consistency. This kind of hope supports showing up when there is not evidence things will get better or be better.
Truly, some of the most hopeful leaders I know have been through some of the darkest experiences. They have a capacity for the whole human experience. They are often seen as uncool or too positive. But really, they are the grittiest people I know.
Their hope does not bypass the messiness of heartache, disappointment, betrayal but instead, they repel cynicism in these moments and embrace it...
Instead of making an enemy of your anxiety, you can make a friend out of your anxiety.
This approach to the challenges of living with anxiety—in both your life and business as a leader—helps to turn the fear that comes with anxiety into your superpower.
But if you’re to make friends with your anxiety, you need to understand the story behind its fear and concerns. Anxiety has a mission to protect and it often does so in ways that are crushing, robbing you of your presence and the place where you show up in your truth.
Making friends with your anxiety—and finding the story beneath it—isn’t done by pushing through or thinking your way out of it. That just turns up the dial.
Instead, when you build a relationship with the parts of you that hold your anxiety—instead of trying to kill it or crush it—your life will be different and your ability to lead will feel different.
You will lead with your anxiety instead of it...
Overfunctioning is the default setting for so many leaders.
They want to fix and rescue everything—and sometimes that looks like working harder than others. But is that truly leading?
Fueled by anxiety, a high sense of responsibility, and a lack of clear boundaries, over-functioning can hijack the best of us. What’s tricky in overcoming over-functioning is that part of your superpower is seeing the solution and knowing what needs to be done to fix it.
And while over-functioning might be a part of your day-to-day life as a leader, boundaries can be the balm to soothe your default over-functioning and need to fix-all-the-things to become the leader you’re meant to be.
My guest in this episode is Krystel Stacey. She’s a powerhouse serial entrepreneur who leads and works hard to make everything around her beautiful and filled with meaning and purpose. And if you are fortunate to be in her presence, you will be so moved by her genuine belief in what is...
One of the most challenging aspects of leadership is facing bullies.
…the bullies from our past.
...the bullies in our present.
...and the bullies between our ears.
We live in a culture that normalizes—and even elevates—bullies in the name of entertainment. Our culture encourages us to enjoy the suffering of others instead of empathizing with the personal pain of the bullied. Our culture increasingly urges us to see bullying as a sign of strength.
When in truth, the culture of bullying is fueled by shame, fear, and violence. It perpetuates a right to retribution that dehumanizes. It ruins lives and lacks accountability, compassion, and empathy.
That’s why it’s more important than ever these days to take a stand. To face the bully, the oppressor, the abuser, the betrayer and say: enough. No more. Not now. Not ever again.
Gemma Went is my guest today. She’s here to share about when she decided to push back on...