You can do whatever you want in life. But when all is said and done, is it beneficial?
Life has an interesting way of helping us grow. Every day we make thousands of little choices. Do I wake up now, or do I hit the snooze button? Should I exercise or not exercise? Do I wear a white shirt or a blue shirt? Shall I gather the team or skip the team meeting? Should I carve out time for that conversation I have been putting off with my direct report, or should I clear out my email box? Every day in our life and leadership, we have the right to choose.
The other day, I talked to an employee who was thinking about making a shift to a new organization. When I asked why they said, "I am thinking about making the shift because leadership is simply refusing to listen." "What do you mean?" I asked, "tell me more?" They shared with me that the pandemic had placed pressure on some and given others in their organization pause to reset their priorities. What they had accepted...
"Good Morning. How's your day going?" I asked.
"It's been such a hectic day, and I've not gotten much done. I've been busy doing HR stuff all morning!"
"Really, tell me about your day so far."
"Well, I had an interview this morning, then met with an employee to discuss an issue, completed a few performance review discussions, held a team meeting, and now I am here meeting with you in HR."
I looked and him with a sly grin and said, "Oh, you've been doing leadership stuff all day."
I get it. As leaders, you have a list, and it seems that no matter how hard or efficiently you work, it never ends. However, no matter the length of your list, if you sit in a leadership seat, perhaps it is time to reconsider how you prioritize and categorize your day.
Like the leader I chatted with on that bright sunny morning, you can think of the time you spend with your team as "HR stuff." Or you can shift your perspective and see it as a critical...
The other day I was driving in my car, in silence. It was a forced silence. In a world that constantly bombards us with content and demand, we have lost the ability to sit in silence. So I made myself do it, and as I sat there, I was uncomfortable. I wanted to make a call, listen to the music, anything to give my mind some input. But I forced myself and sat there in silence. At that moment, the traffic slowed to a standstill. I just sat there, in the silence, looking at the water and then up to the sky.
Flying about half a mile from my car was a bird, with no effort, just gliding. Curious to see how long he could glide before he would have to start flapping his wings, I sat and watched. I must have watched for at least 5 minutes. He never moved a muscle - he just glided through the air.
I decided to glance around, and I noticed that the trees were having a different kind of day, unlike the bird. The trees lower to the ground were rustling gently, and one big palm tree...
A few months ago, I was talking to a business acquaintance about how they could help people of color, especially women feel more included? One of the solutions was to connect at lunches and other social gatherings.
Listen, I won't knock it. I think that is absolutely a start, but it is only a start. Inviting someone different from you to lunch or the business table is never a bad thing - in fact, I recommend it. However, here is what I have learned as I travel this life journey. Inclusion cannot always be deepened at social gatherings or light lunches. When we grow up differently - different family cultures, educational experiences, social norms - there is very little on our natural life's journeys that would inspire or compel us to connect.
Social divides exist, and I don't believe in all instances they are sinister. Perhaps I grew...
Most of us are frustrated when that "thing" we want is seemingly out of our reach or the yes that we want is a no. In less than 24 hours, I encountered it twice. My recurring back injury was radiating, and instead of going for a long relaxing walk, I spent the afternoon lying horizontally.
In the wee hours of the morning, when I could not sleep because of the pain, I started pacing the house and noticed my daughter's lights on. As soon as I cracked the door, I quickly found out that she was in the middle of her own crisis. It was after midnight, and the app that she was using to edit her video assignment kept crashing.
I tried to comfort her, but in the moment, she echoed the exasperation that I was feeling about my back. Why, why, why! Not now! I don't have time for this!
I have found that life with inopportune precision will hand us - whys, not now - I don't have time for this - on an almost daily, sometimes, hourly basis. In the end, the key is to shorten our periods of...
It's that time of year when we start to think about new year's resolutions and how we’re doing with them. I enjoy the process of planning, and I believe in having a vision and setting goals.
However, it occurred to me the other day that there is one thing that we often struggle with that gets in the way when it comes to living our best and most productive lives, but first, a quick story.
I love to walk; it's my favorite way to connect with my tribe, create and relax. A good walk on a brisk cool morning, for me, there is nothing better. This past week I walked three times. The first day my back felt tight, and I kept thinking I really should stretch. However, I walked in the door and quickly forgot, even though the tightness never really went away.
The second day, I walked with a friend, I was so distracted by the great conversation that I forgot to stretch, and it was a half-hearted stretch when I remembered. Not a total fix, but it did...
My word for 2022 is freedom. In my exploration of what freedom means, I discovered that when most of us think of freedom, we think of it as personal, physical, political, or psychological. Freedom to act, be physically free, speak, and be who we are. However, as I delved into the word, I discovered more.
What if we thought about freedom as a catalyst for change? In nature, a plant must be exposed to sunlight and water to have the freedom to grow. When we understand our annual physical results, we have the freedom to make choices that impact our health in positive ways.
When it comes to tribes, when we shift our mindset, the way we think about and show up in our relationships, we have the freedom to be more open and thrive. In leadership, when we share our strategies and goals, we provide our teams with the freedom to execute and be creative. When we take control of our schedules, we have the freedom to work on the projects that matter. When we rest, we...
They say life is lived forward and understood backward. So as we prepare to wrap up this year, I wanted to take a moment to reflect.
2021 has been an incredible year of firsts—my first full year of business. The first full year of Assemble the Tribe being available on the world stage. Our first large-scale DFI virtual event. My first series of keynotes and my first leadership program launched.
As I sit here and take in all those firsts, the thing that hits me is that even as a solopreneur, I accomplished nothing alone - I did it with my tribe. First, I have to say thank you for divine inspiration. 2021 was a challenging year, a pandemic year, and yet I’m still here, you’re still here. Without strong faith and spiritual grounding, it would have been impossible to make moves. Thank you to all my vendors, sponsors and partners - you make me better, you help me achieve things I never thought possible. Thank you to my tribe of accelerators (you know who you are)...
This month in honor of the US time of giving thanks, a season when we reflect on the things we are grateful for, I want to go a little deeper and explore the gift of process. It may seem odd, but I am actually thankful for ‘process’. In my life and leadership, healthy processes and systems have accelerated my success. So this month, as we give thanks, let's explore why process is a gift, and also talk about some of the processes we should add to our list.
At the beginning of 2021, I invited a neuroscientist to talk to a group of ladies about the neuroscience of goal setting. One of the things we learned is that the brain does not multitask; it simply switches tasks. We also learned that goals are best achieved when we break them down into small bite-sized pieces. The same holds true for complex tasks - need to ensure that you stay on track with your 20-page strategic plan or lose 30 pounds? Those big goals are more likely to be...
Every month, I take some time to review my tactical plan, and by October of each year, I am starting to formally ink my plan for the following year. This year, I wanted to bring you along for the ride and share a bit of why I think planning is so important and how you can start leveraging it in your own life and leadership.
If you were to visit my home, you would find a house of opposites. The risk lover and the risk-averse. The tv watcher and the bookworm. The meat-eater and the flegan (flexible vegan). The planner and the spontaneous. We are just a microcosm of a world full of opposites, preferences, and choices.
You may love to plan, or you may hate to plan (or maybe you're a mixture of both). However, no matter where you are on the spectrum, here is one thing I know to be true - if you want to be successful, you have to plan to succeed. In this blog, we'll explore five benefits of planning for leaders and their teams that I have realized throughout my career.