How is your way-of-being impacting your team?

In an ever-changing and unpredictable world, a leader’s ability to adapt in the moment can make the difference between responding quickly and effectively to your environment or getting stuck in old ways that no longer deliver results.

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Megan was busy. She had two mobile phones that she checked constantly. Her new boss was driving her crazy. Megan felt she had to stay on her boss’s case all the time to keep them on track. Although she was experienced in similar senior roles as an executive officer to senior leaders and a senior troubleshooter, Megan was now in her first leader-of-leaders role, and had four direct-report leaders with small, highly specialised teams. Megan cared a lot about her work, and genuinely wanted to do what was best for the organisation and the people it served. 

But while she didn’t realise it at first, she was getting in her own way.

Her background as a fixer and troubleshooter meant that her default settings were about fixing immediate problems by telling people what they should do. She did this bluntly, and without fear or favour. In the past, this approach had really worked for her: Megan had held some amazing roles and fixed some big problems. But in her new leader-of-leaders role, she was floundering. She was stressed, frustrated, felt unsupported, hated her job, and felt like she was just bouncing off her boss all the time. If it weren’t for her big mortgage, she would have quit.

Megan was looking for techniques to ‘make’ her boss be different. Gradually, she shifted her focus to what was going on for her in this experience. Megan became aware of how her focus was on the way her boss was acting. She started to realise the link between the language she was using in her own head about the situation she was in, how this shaped her mood, and how she held herself in meetings with her boss. Specifically, she started to notice that when her boss didn’t immediately answer, Megan would run a story in her head about how her boss was excluding her from what was really going on.

The breakthrough for Megan was to see and feel how these interpretations triggered bodily responses in her that generated a mood of resentment. Thoughts like, ‘I am hard done by, and I will get revenge’ swirled in her head. This would then lead to a mood of resignation, with thoughts like, ‘There is no hope of this changing, so I might as well give up.’ Together, all of this indicated that Megan was suffering from performance anxiety, overwork and confusion. She realised that she wasn’t interpreting the world the right way.

Armed with this insight, Megan started to make changes in her interpretations, her mood, and how she physically held herself.

As she did, she noticed that meetings with her boss started to change. They became calmer and slower, and her boss started to open up more about what she was thinking and what was going on in the larger context.

Megan came to the powerful insight that it was she herself who had become calmer and slower, and that realisation created an important shift in her relationship with her boss.

All this meant that Megan was now getting important, broader information from her boss that she could use to shape the priorities, organisation and work of her team.

To succeed in her new role, Megan realised she had to adapt. Not adapt in some big, global way, but quickly and in the moment. Leadership opportunities happen in moments: moments of sense-making, moments of relationship-building, and moments of decision-making. 

In an ever-changing and unpredictable world, a leader’s ability to adapt in the moment can make the difference between responding quickly and effectively to your environment or getting stuck in old ways that no longer deliver results.

Being Leaders offers a leadership program that provides the practical and helpful tools to effectively make the transition into a leader-of-leaders role. With tailored workshops, self-reflection tools and leadership coaching, the program will equip you with new practices that enable you to succeed in bigger leadership roles.

Transform yourself from overworked to incredibly impactful. 

Contact Being Leaders to find out more.

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Is your way-of-being impacting your leadership?

The answer is yes. Leadership happens in moments; moments of sense-making, moments of relationship-building, and moments of decision-making. Your way-of-being is your overall state at any moment of the day. It determines how you adapt, respond and lead at any given moment.

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