It seems that there is an ebb and flow to work as tasks and projects creep forward. Certainly there are times during the day or week that project management and leadership begin taxing. Groups are working too slow or too fast. Communication may be lacking. Staff may be having conflict due to particulars and direction. In all cases great leaders have stamina and continue to lean in on staff.
Leaning in is a skill that certainly can be learned. Tasks and projects require air time and room to breath. Managers observe every task, evaluate, and offers feedback. Leaders will observe but not engage tasks. Over the course of tasks patterns may develop requiring leadership to reshape or redirect. The overall project has an expected outcome. The Manager will focus on every task to assure the project is completed. The leader will allow tasks to develop and offer push inquiry.
Leaning in is not the same as leaning on! Leaning in is hearing and evaluating. Leaning on is exactly that; no room to breath.
Stamina to maintain this distance even when it seems tasks may be going a different direction is critical to solid leadership. Our staff will never learn to lead if they have not learned how to fail gracefully and with support.
What I found is that it created a habit for me in exercise. Just showing up made me better.
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘just show up.’ This phrase can be used in different context based on what one is trying to achieve. If I am throwing a party and need more people there, then yes, ‘just show up.’ Yet in this article the idea is focusing on ‘just showing up’ in life.
I learned this lesson when I was younger and there were days that I did not want to get up and run. Either I was carrying a slight injury, maybe tired, or maybe just flat out lazy. A friend of mine said “just show up. Just run a mile.” What I found is that it created a habit for me in exercise. Just showing up made me better.
In our lives with our families, ‘just show up’ carries much more importance. For our children at a recital or wanting to play in the park; JUST SHOW UP. For our kids when they ask about needing help with homework; JUST SHOW UP. For our spouses or significant others who want to talk or go for a walk; JUST SHOW UP.
In all cases, practice makes perfect. It starts today, however, as you need it for yourself and your family and friends need it from you! Get off of the sidelines and JUST SHOW UP!
Do you have get the idea that we are running in place? Think about the same arguments that continue to surface with different players, different topics, and different people over and over and over. How do we get to the point where we can rely on facts and not emotion or assertions?
In my view, the sooner that we are able to converse on facts and not on conjecture, the better in my view. Of course, we love to live in the grey area to ensure that we can get to our point. Yet, even the grey area allows for fact if it is well articulated.
This blog is not creating answers but certainly expecting you to analyze whether you work in facts, grey area with facts, grey area, conjecture, or emotion. Perhaps this alone can get clarity and move discussions, topics, and ideas forward.
Is my plate too full or is your plate too empty?
How often do we hear ‘My plate is too full.” Why would someone think that? Certainly I think it when the many activities converge in the same time span. No doubt, this happens and certainly the plate being full applies. Yet, if this is a regular occurrence then perhaps it is an issue with balance and planning.
For instance, I am involved in work at our charter school organization, a father and husband, a volunteer in local organizations, an assistant scoutmaster, and occasionally a coach. Certainly any one of these could completely consume my time if I allowed it.
Yet, rather than let any one area consume my time, I balance my talents between all of them with the ebb and flow that the schedule and events occur. In Scouts I realized that I wanted to be most involved with high adventure so I backed off of the other activities. Similarly, I realized that I committed to assistant coaching to ensure that the players had a reliable head coach. With my family, I make sure that I have time every day to listen to my children individually. Of course this gets harder as they get older (teenagers:)!
So then the question is whether my plate is too full? Or, should the question be whether your plate is too empty?
Keeping your core values and keeping your core friends and family in harmony.
Our ability to manage our internal compass that keeps us rationale with the irrational inputs from external sources is critical to communicating with those that we love and to be honest, those that may not be our favorite people. Certainly we are bombarded by the news, the news of the news, and the analysis of the news of the news. All of this can be daunting and centers on you to be assertive.
First, (1) how do you know your own core values and how do those core values drive your own life? (2) How much do your core values drive your conversations with family and friends? (3) How much does the external noise push the core values out in a more overt way from you to others? (4) Are your core values interfering with your relationships?
Each of the questions build on each other and may, or probably will, create increased tension with friends and family as your core values become overt. What does all of this mean? Truly, in my view, it means remaining balanced because we as individuals can and should control our own core values, maintain our core values, and maintain the relationships that we have with other people that may or may not share our core values.
I am most vulnerable to discomfort in a relationship when I fail to communicate the simplest of ideas. I find that if I fail to alert my spouse of a meeting that I am attending after work or double book at work I find myself on the defensive and kicking myself (almost literally!). If we communicate clearly what we have going on during ‘shared’ time we will always be on good footing.
Strategies abound including shared calendars, emails, and texts to alert those on the shared calendar. This seems simple but our lives are not getting less complicated.
When we talk about trust and faith in relationships, we truly are talking about the integrity that we bring to the conversation. If we only live in a pattern of being forthright and honest, we establish a pattern that creates its own momentum and the discussions move forward with little sideways momentum. Yet, if we offer ‘some’ trust and some ‘faith’, we are moving the relationship slowly or not at all.
Think about something as simple as setting up a meeting or a date with a loved one. If I hedge to committing time then I am offering only ‘some’ trust and ‘some’ faith. To offer all that I can offer I would better serve myself and the other person with a clear answer and clear direction. If it is something that I don’t want to do then I need to weigh the value of how the other person ranks it. If it is important for the other person, the trust, faith, and integrity will allow me to say ‘YES’ I will go. If it is something that I value low and the other person merely wants my company I have to weigh my personal pursuits to the OUR pursuits. Certainly MY time is important but so is OUR time.
This also brings us back to balance. If you are balanced then the requests should go both ways with equal congeniality and in many cases, Love. If the other person or I am hedging commitment, the trust, faith, and integrity of the relationship can erode or remain stagnant. Why not say yes and go!