Showing Up, Well

What a time to be alive! With so much going on in the world, not only is this quite a time to be alive, but it is also quite a time to be a leader. As I’ve journeyed with leaders over the past two years as their coach and thought partner, I am reminded that so many leaders are having to learn different methods, dig deeper for resolve, and access a new level of resilience.

Organizational leaders are thinking through both existential and practical questions about transformation, how to inspire new vision, and how to lead staff into a post-pandemic future. Amid navigating inflation, world conflict, political division, and so many other challenges, we are reminded how little control we have. Yet, as organizational leaders, we have control of how we show up for those we walk alongside and lead every day.

Here are three intentional ways to lead yourself and others well during this transformative moment of great uncertainty:

1.     Be Yourself. For the past two years, many of us have gained a greater appreciation for introspection and self-care. The reality of working and living through a pandemic, at home, has blurred the lines between the personal and professional and we are cultivating greater authenticity. We are no longer interested in the “fake it till you make it” way of being that encourages us to abandon our full selves in the name of professionalism. As a leader, your authenticity encourages an inclusive environment which leads to a greater connection to the mission and purpose of your organization. As you move throughout your day and engage with your colleagues, who is showing up? Is it the real you or your representative?

 

2.     Be Present. With so many distractions, so much of our time and attention is spent thinking about the past or looking ahead to the future. We struggle with being present, but when we are present and mindful of the current moment, we show up differently. We are better listeners and communicators, we make clearer decisions, and we realize that the present moment is setting the stage for every moment that will follow. What mindfulness strategies could you implement to reduce distractions and be more present to others throughout the day?

 

3.     Be Well. During times of great stress, change, and uncertainty, we often neglect our wellness practices. Many of us find ourselves struggling for balance and choosing unhealthy ways to keep our minds and spirits at ease. When we neglect our wellbeing, the unintended consequence is that we dehumanize ourselves. Often, we become robotic and go through the motions and routines of daily life without showing up for ourselves. However, as the late Audre Lorde suggested to us, self-care is not an indulgence or even a luxury, it is an act of resistance. Stressful times becomes an invitation to look inward and find strength within ourselves and our communities to keep going. How are you taking care of yourself right now? How might you commit or recommit to your wellness practices?

 

Consider this a friendly coaching moment. In the spirit of self-reflection, I’m inviting you to sit with the questions and think about how you might show up, more fully, for yourself and for those you lead.

 

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation,

and that is an act of political warfare.”

Audre Lorde

 

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