Dr. Rita's Blog
Being a leader who has to rely on influencing to get things done can be exhausting.
Most of us want to have a bigger impact.
We want more time in our day.
We want to be better at influencing our peers and managers.
We want less stress.
What if I told you that sorting the Important from the urgent would give you more of all of the above?
In your head you might say “are you kidding?”
Or you might be saying, “I’ve heard of the important vs the urgent, but can it really help with all those things?”
Today I realized that it can!
I was doing a coaching call with a woman leader who is a member of my Executive Women’s Change Leadership Roundtable.
She has been working with a new tool I created this year to help make decisions about what is important and what is urgent.
She said that taking the time to think through and decide what was important helped her identify gaps that she would not have seen before.
She was able to bring up an issue in a team meeting that no one else had thought about. Because she knew it was important, she had a new confidence in influencing her peers and her manager.
By sorting out the urgent from the important, she had a clearer line of site from a better perspective.
As she was considering what was important, she found herself wondering, How do I spend my time?
Where are my opportunities to shift or navigate, especially in these times?
Like most women leaders, she prides herself on being dependable and getting things done. Which meant she was usually overfunctioning with a very full plate and significant stress.
It dawned on her that with that approach she was unintentionally setting herself up to fail!
With the support, connection and dialogue from the Executive Womens Change Leadership Roundtable, she has had the courage to be more present and actively NOT put so much pressure on herself.
She’s learning to tell the critical voice in her head, “This is the capacity I have for today and it is enough.”
Her professional and personal development now helps her shift. The work of Brene Brown is a big help, too.
She’s enjoying being more present and mindful at work, with herself and at home.
Knowing what’s important grounds her and is giving her a firm foundation to stand on.
It’s making a valuable difference that is satisfying and contributing to her next level of success.
Reach out to me to learn more about how to sort the important from the urgent. And experience the positive impact on so many levels!
Can’t wait to hear from you!
Until Next Time,
Who would have guessed that Covid-19 would create an international stage for women heads of state?
And they would show us how leadership can be refreshingly different than many of the approaches we’ve grown up with.
I deeply believe we need the authentic strengths of women leaders now more than ever.
I was pleasantly surprised when I came across more than one article written about the way six key women heads of state have led their countries during this time.
Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, the author in a Forbes article stated “these leaders are gifting us an attractive alternative way of wielding power.”
Power has been an issue for women leaders for a long time. Many of us have seen displays of power that we didn’t like. But were hard pressed to find a power alternative.
Here are four approaches these women leaders used to wield power in new (and I would say, better) ways.
They used the power of Truth.
Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany stood up early and calmly told her country that the virus is “serious” and they should “take it seriously.” Testing began right away. And the country avoided denial, anger and disingenuousness that has been seen elsewhere.
They used the power of Decisiveness.
Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan introduced 124 measures to block the spread at the first sign of a new illness. She did not need to resort to lockdowns.
Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand locked down early and was clear on the alert she was putting the country under and why it was necessary.
They used the power of Technology
Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir of Iceland offered free covid testing to all its citizens and instituted a thorough tracking system which kept them from having to lock down or shut schools.
The millennial head of state, Sanna Marin of Finland used social media influencers to spread fact-based information on managing the pandemic.
They used the power of Love. (my personal favorite)
Erna Solberg, Norway’s prime minister used TV to talk directly to her country’s children. She responded to kids’ questions and took the time to explain why it was OK to feel scared.
All these women leaders demonstrated the depth of their Emotional Intelligence. They communicated empathy and care because deep at their core they know we are human beings needing heart-felt connections and wanting the security of working together to fight an invisible enemy that we are all vulnerable to.
This is why I coach women leaders. I want more women, no matter where they are or what role they play to bring more of what is in their hearts to the tables and boardrooms of our organizations.
They create meaningful and much needed actions that our world is literally dying for.
Reach out to me to explore what meaningful and much needed actions are in your heart to contribute to our world. You have more to offer than you realize.
Until Next Time,
Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence. ~ Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
Most people don’t think about their leadership presence.
When was the last time you thought about yours?
More than likely you are busy with your daily to-do list.
I can pretty much guarantee that your leadership presence is not on it.
So why should you care?
Leadership presence is the confidence you exude from the core of who you are and what you stand for.
It’s the total package of you represented in the behaviors you exhibit on a daily basis.
Yes, on a daily basis!
We assume it’s an automatic thing. And that it happens by osmosis.
But it’s not automatic and there’s no osmosis involved.
Your leadership presence is something you are in control of. It needs your constant care and attention.
Because it influences everything you say and do.
I’m often asked to coach women leaders to help them with their leadership (executive) presence.
These women are smart, at the top of their game, respected and held in high regard.
But they don’t know how to take control of their leadership presence.
Often times, deep inside they doubt themselves. They let male colleagues speak over them in meetings.
They have trouble really listening (due to the negative chatter in their head) so they miss important elements of conversations.
Maybe they are slow in making decisions or procrastinate on projects due to their fear of failure or criticism.
Or maybe they put in a lot of extra time trying to get their work perfect.
It might even be as seemingly simple as saying “I’m sorry” too often.
What does leadership presence have to do with these things you ask?
When you take control of your leadership presence you’ve done the inner work to know what you stand for and how you want to be perceived.
You find your unique voice. You know how you want to present yourself to foster the success that matters to you.
You know what to do to bring forth the best of who you are and the best of what you have to offer.
You’re real, grounded and authentic.
You know your values and what you want and why you want it.
You know your strengths and the unique attributes that make you who you are. And you apply those strengths and attributes at the right time and in the right place.
You get good at saying ‘no’.
You trust in what you know.
All of these behaviors are connected with owning your power.
In its purest form, Leadership Presence is about owning all the authentic parts of you and deliberately choosing behaviors and actions that maximize your greatness.
When you know how to nurture and apply your leadership presence in every moment of every day, you are happier, lighter and more successful.
You live in the joy and delight of being you. Which is a good thing because that’s what the world wants most!
If you find you're not giving your leadership presence enough attention and care lately, email me. Rita@wiseleader.net
I’d love to help you be more of who you really are, especially at work. We’ll work together to annihilate any shards of judgment hindering you and lay a solid foundation for living every day full of energy, authenticity and deliberate actions.
Until next time!
P.S. I have a brand new Leadership Presence training (virtual or in person) that is receiving rave reviews. If your team or training department wants to learn more, get in touch.
The power of book ends? You may be asking, what in the world is Dr. Rita talking about?
I’ll tell you.
Like everyone, parts of my world have been turned upside down. I came to the realization that I got a significant amount of my energy from face to face meetings throughout my day. Overnight, with Covid, those meetings came to a screeching halt.
I spent the first two weeks of the pandemic re-doing my home office. And boy, did it need it! When I moved in, six and a half years ago, I plopped everything in and went to work. No repainting. No deciding how I would like it to be. I just made it as efficient as possible.
At the start of the lockdown, I realized I can’t be in there for 8 hours a day without going crazy. I busied myself with choosing the right color for a home office, ordering a new rug online…and a new lamp. A fun, funky red one.
Painting the walls morphed into a meaningful exercise. With each stroke of the brush I reminded myself that I was letting go of the old and welcoming in the new. I wasn’t sure what the new was going to be yet, but I wanted to start making room for it.
That felt amazingly good!
I love my office today and whenever I meet up with a slump of energy or a frustration, I look at my blue wall and remember my conscious effort to be out with the old and in with the new.
You may be wondering at this point, what about the book ends?
I realized that even though I love my new office, I still needed a start and stop boundary at the beginning and end of my work day.
Here’s where the book ends come in.
I needed to find a way to book end the beginning and end of my day in a way unique to me. In a way that makes me happy as well as gives me energy.
I started by taking our dog, Bailey for an early walk every morning. He walked and so did I. Whenever I could let him off leash I would, because his enthusiasm for the day and his racing back and forth sparked the energy in me that I needed for my day. Bookend for morning discovered and put in place.
It took a bit longer to find the afternoon book end. I’m an avid gardener so my afternoon book end has become a 4:30 stroll out to look over my flower and vegetable gardens. There’s always a new weed to pull or a new zinnia or tomato to plant. Bookend for afterwork discovered and put in place.
These book ends have been helpful beyond words for giving me a daily structure that gets me out in nature, doing something I love.
I’m curious. Do you have a deliberate way to start and end your day that fills you with joy and energy? If so, let me know what you are doing. New ideas are always welcome.
Now my phone says its 4:28. Time to wrap up and get outside. I wonder what’s new in the garden today?
If you’d like to find more energy and joy at the beginning and end of your day, reach out to me and I’ll help you get creative. Rita@WiseLeader.net or 612-598-6614
Until next time!
P.S. I'd love your help. Please share with others in your network. It helps leaders find me and helps my network grow. Thanks for being a catalyst in the development of women leaders!
Ever had something negative happen to you at work?
Then wondered why you can’t stop beating yourself up over it?
If you answered yes, you are not alone.
Many women, have had painful situations where a manager belittled them in a team meeting, a male colleague got the promotion that was promised to them, or feedback was given in a demeaning way.
We say things to ourselves like: “What did I miss? Why didn’t I do it differently? I should have known.”
Not only is this familiar approach a waste of time and energy, but blaming ourselves makes us feel bad and deflates our ability to be the confident leaders we truly are.
There is a better way.
It took me a number of years and coaching women leaders who found themselves in similar situations to finally realize that how we think about what happens to us makes all the difference.
And we have total control over what we think.
It may not seem like it at the time because we have so many automatic thoughts. But the truth is, we are in the driver’s seat when it comes to what we think.
We can tell ourselves a story that makes us feel empowered or disempowered.
Telling ourselves a blaming story is always disempowering.
It's like the bottom of the 9th in baseball where one half of the stadium is yelling "It's a ball!" and the other half "It's a strike!".
The umpire calmly strides from behind the plate and says "It ain't nothing until I call it!"
Like the umpire, no matter what life pitches at us, we are the ones who get to “call it.”
When we find ways to create empowering stories and thoughts around life’s pitches, we spend more time living the life we truly want and enjoying the moments that we have.
We sleep better.
We feel better.
We have more energy and confidence.
When life throws us a pitch, whether it’s something our manager says, a situation that doesn’t go our way or anything else that feels “negative” to us, remind yourself that “it aint nothing until I call it.”
We need ways to process negative situations that have happened to us. Especially so we can confidently create the happy futures we deserve!
That’s why I’ve created tools that show women how to deliberately look at these types of situations and redefine them by “calling it” on their own terms.
This makes it possible to transform situations into springboards for strength. And that leads to a kind of power that is admirable and unshakable.
If you’d like to test drive my newest It Ain’t Nothing Until I Call It tool, email me back.
It’s helped me and many of my clients move through negative situations faster.
I’d love to share it with you.
Until next time,
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