We Lead How We Live

This past week I drove inland a few hours (and stopped to snap this picture) on my way to facilitate a workshop for a group of women. All physicians, we were there to talk about leadership. Differences in leadership styles, the conditions they run up against in the work place, and to start a conversation amongst themselves. Basically all the things.

We lead how we live.

Who we are with our friends, family, and in the grocery store aisle is pretty much the same way we show up in our work teams and to run a meeting. Are you marching into the store and down the aisles pulling produce out of the bin while marching to the next aisle? Or are you sauntering a bit with a coffee in your hand and having a conversation with the woman at the floral counter as you make your way to the carts? It’s the same as the workplace.

Some of us are super efficient and enjoy getting everything thing done and walking out the door at 5 to go to the gym or see our son’s soccer match. Others of us take the day with a bit more ease and like to spend more time having one-on-one conversations. Grocery store aisle or the hallway at work — it all crosses over.

So while we were there to talk about leadership at work, we veered into all kinds of other lanes. We saw some aha moments and a fair amount of sharing amongst the group as well. For my part, I led them through a method I call “Don’t Show Up for Someone Else’s Game. Make Your Own Rules.” The base recipe is the same for all facets of life, I tweaked it a bit for the leadership topic at hand.

There’s no set in stone list of things we absolutely must do or be in life.

There’s no game being played we need to subscribe to. Instead, it’s about our rules and what we want our life to look like.

“I want to have a balance and for me that means I keep my head down in the office, do good work, and I’m out the door at the end of the day.” Perfect.

“I really value knowing all the people in my department, but also maintaining a level of professionalism when making decisions. It needs to work for the department as a whole.” I love it.

“I’m ok with not being super friendly with my teammates. It helps me remain focused throughout the day.” I hear you.

Whatever the things are, is not the point. It’s about being CLEAR about how you want to lead (live, show up for a marriage, be a parent, etc) and then making them your north star. You can’t find your north star without first looking up in the sky to locate it.

The same is true here. You need to locate them, identify the boxes we want to check off. Clear out all the other noise and lay them down. Like a boss. I used that phrase in jest. But in this case yes, just like a boss. 

A few hours spent together working on who we are individually and collectively is a constructive way to spend a Friday afternoon. Especially when you walk through the doors Monday morning ready to implement your shiny new checklist with a willingness to see right through the ‘shoulds’ of life and tell those babies to hit.the.road.

If you would like to host a Workshop at your home or workplace that gets to the core of it all, let’s be in touch.

Attendee feedback ranged from excitement about being a more intentional leader to enjoyment of having a frank discussion of limit setting to abandoning the ‘shoulds’. There were realizations that trying to live up to the ‘shoulds’ of life usually results in a misalignment internally. When we’re so focused on trying to achieve a list of things we don’t even want, our happiness is out the window.

And overwhelmingly everyone appreciated connecting with themselves and the other women in the room. It’s the connection that matters. Both internally and externally.

I’m with them. My Friday afternoon was indeed well spent.