Updated: Jan 29, 2022
Thank you for reading this Leadership blog. It is the last release for 2021. As I reflected, I considered my previous releases this year. So, before diving into this month's topic, let's remember some leadership principles I have shared. They are:
As a Leader, I want to lead others to be better than me and outgrow me.
Leaders aren't just born. They are developed. Therefore, everyone has potential.
Leaders listen, explore, and affirm.
Leaders have hope.
Leaders help others UNHIDE (by uncovering their hopes, ideas, dreams, and excitement).
Leader's bond, unite, invest, lift, and develop (BUILD) others.
You are not a leader unless someone is following you.
These principles caused me to release the Leadership Guide, LEAD: A Guide to Fostering Perpetual Leadership. I am thankful for those who have put that guide into practice. It was a timely release in a period full of uncertainty as the world first learned of COVID-19. I am proud that many leaders used it to stay focused on delivering and developing who will follow them. What are your leadership principles?
Today, please consider the last time you dealt with a problem that affected you and was caused or triggered by an outside stimulus. Imagine these stimuli taking the form of traffic, missed deadlines, inconsiderate people, equipment failures, or unrealistic deadlines. What did you think as the reality that you would be interrupted set in? Were you angry, disappointed, ashamed, or simply speechless? What was your first response when you realized it would change your plans? I will not ask what you said.😊 Inevitably, all of us will face circumstances like this. As leaders, your response to these life interruptions may indicate how you deal with stress.
The title of this blog is Leaders deal with it. So, how can you accept the interruption and conve
rt it into something you can use instead of letting it stress you? You may wonder why I didn't ask about some of the other options like denying its impact, ignoring it, or fighting it. I didn't give those as options because each is a quick way of ultimately wasting your time and causing more stress. You don't have to take my word for it. Just consider your own life experiences. When you faced issues caused by an outside stimulus, how beneficial was it to spend your time fighting to change it, ignore it, or fight it? Don't get me wrong; I admit that sometimes, those things work to result in a change. But even to take those steps, you first had to accept the interruption and deal consciously or unconsciously with it. And that is the ultimate p
oint I am making for leaders. Leaders deal with it. They attempt to minimize wasted energy and effort. I believe this is a secret stress buster.
I remember as a youngster someone sharing with me that when I spend time and effort being angry with someone, it is like allowing them to live rent-free in my mind. Ultimately, I would be stressed while they are living their best life comfortably in my personal space, free of charge. Eventually, they become large and in control, while I become small and a victim. How you allow stress to affect you may get similar results. As a Leader, how do you want to handle the interruptions of life(i.e., stress)
A leader is always managing risk. Rarely do things ever go as planned regardless of the planning effort. Sometimes we fail to manage interruptions well. To maximize efficiency and reduce waste when managing interruptions. I have three simple steps to consider. They are to ask:
What's the next step?
How can this interruption be used to our advantage?
What can we do to lessen the future impact of similar circumstances?
Dr. Shirzas Chamine, in his book on Positive Intelligence, suggests that you can boost your me
ntal fitness for handling challenges by building new muscles in your brain. In addition, he has developed a remarkable study explaining how people sabotage themselves by allowing negativity to guide their thoughts. I have participated in his program and found it beneficial, and I use his work in my practice. Here is an excerpt from Dr. Chamine's home page:
A key to Mental Fitness is to weaken the internal Saboteurs who generate all your "negativity" in responding to challenges. Your Saboteurs cause all your stress, anxiety, self-doubt, frustration, regret, shame, guilt, and unhappiness. Your "Sage" lives in an entirely different region of your brain and handles challenges in ways that produce positive emotions like curiosity, empathy, creativity, calm, and clear-headed laser-focused action. As a result, you'd perform better and feel happier.
My three steps help you activate this "Sage" he speaks of by allowing your mind to accept the interruptions and deal with them efficiently. When you think of these three steps, they are rooted in something that every leader needs, "hope." First, leaders must believe in what they are doing and where they are going. As they believe, they inspire others to believe. The method and timeline of what they envision might change, but their hope for the result will ultimately keep them moving forward. Interruptions will come and go. But a leader's hope must be stronger than their propensity to give up or get distracted by interruptions. That hope allows t
hem to continue moving forward. This concept of dealing with it is a stress buster and keeps you from falling victim to negativity.
I could spend time deconstructing each of the three points for more clarity by extending this blog, but I think it's more vital to do that in your own words and understanding. Remember, my goal is to help you be a better leader than I am. If you only see things the way I see them, my limitations might limit you. But when you take these principles and discover how to unlock them for yourself, you evolve into being the best leader you can be.
can you tap into positive emotions when dealing with interruptions? How can you see these interruptions as opportunities to use them for good? My approach may not be natural or easy at first. But, if you can command your mind and turn what others might see as unfavorable events into opportunities, you are on your way towards less stress. Try it. Let me know how it works for you. Please post comments at www.leadperpetully.com, or you can email me at Info@AllenManagementInc.com. I would love to hear from you and offer other techniques if you are interested. So now go forth and #LEADPerpetually.
The information contained in this blog is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness, or timeliness. To subscribe to these blogs, please visit www.leadperpetually.com. You will also have access to a leadership guide that started it all.