TRANSFORMING MID-LEVEL PROFESSIONALS INTO CONFIDENT COMMUNICATORS AND LEADERS

Leadership isn’t a tick box
Published 25 November 2021
Leadership isn’t a tick box | Amy Jackson - Nurturing Confidence
I love a tick list, really I do.

I love crafting a list every day and the dopamine boost which races through me every time I cross something off!

I feel like I’m achieving something, getting somewhere, progressing in the world. I can flick back through my yearly planner and see how productive I have been, how busy my days, and how much stuff I have conquered.

And yet the spaces in which I have the most impact, that really matter to me, have nothing to do with ticking boxes.

I can’t tick a box that says the client I worked with at 10am now has a completely new framing of this challenging situation at work and will now lead their team to greater productivity. That my client at 2pm has made the first small steps towards what will unfold as their growth in confidence. I can’t tick a box that says I fully showed up as a parent this morning, resisted the urge to scream and shout what they “should” do and instead, paused a moment to listen.

I can tick a box that says I helped out my Mum to do something she couldn’t on her own, but I can’t tick a box that says I showed up as a daughter, vulnerably shared what I’m actually struggling with right now and listened curiously to her thoughts, even if I don’t agree with them.

These are the spaces where it is about being fully present, sitting in the mess in the moment, nudging thinking incrementally and iteratively towards our aspirations for ourselves. It is through these spaces that I actually find meaning and fulfilment in my work and my life. Even though the tick boxes are so much easier!

image

So, what is Leadership?

It’s a choice that we make each and every day to intentionally choose how we show up, how we shape a situation with our words and actions and how we nudge everyone towards shared outcomes that align with our intentions.

  • It’s not the deadline we made, it’s the questions we asked to make sure the brief met what was really needed, rather than what was asked in a rush.
  • It’s not the email we quickly fired back to get it off our list, it’s the email we carefully crafted to consider the other perspective and make it easy for someone to take the action we need them to take.
  • It’s not the team member now turning their camera on for our meetings because we told them they had to, it’s the relationship building we did to help them trust their colleagues and understand the impact on others when they fully turn up for our conversations.

Leadership is the impact we have with our choices of thought, words and actions each day – it is rarely easy, has little visible reward in the moment and I wish so much that I could get the boost from ticking it off my list!

As I work with my clients through the challenges of lockdowns, disrupted routines, too much to do whilst stuck in one space, some of what we are reaching for is absolutely tick boxes – using lists to be able to see and acknowledge progress despite the chaos. The challenging work that we are doing is to use these moments of disruption as a space to practise pause and intentional leadership. To practise bringing our intention to what’s actually needed of us as leaders in this moment, and choosing that. We can’t tick it off because the work of leadership is never done! The work of leadership is in evolving and adapting each and every day.

  • our mindset
  • our thoughts,
  • our conversations and
  • our actions

I am noticing that when we take these moments of disruption as a chance to pause and pay attention to how we wish to lead through them, my clients are able to tap into more of the resources they need, to be more patient with themselves and others and, as an unlikely bonus prize, they feel like they are making more progress than any tick list could show them.

 

So I encourage you this week to pause... and notice –

what does this situation need of me as a leader?

What is really needed here that can’t be ticked off but is actually more important than anything on the list?

 

  • Talk to your people,
  • Reach for help,
  • Ask questions.

 

Choose to be the leader we need you to be right now, and you will have more impact on the world than 365 days of perfectly completed To Do lists!

Leadership isn’t a tick box
Published 25 November 2021
I love a tick list, really I do.

I love crafting a list every day and the dopamine boost which races through me every time I cross something off!

I feel like I’m achieving something, getting somewhere, progressing in the world. I can flick back through my yearly planner and see how productive I have been, how busy my days, and how much stuff I have conquered.

And yet the spaces in which I have the most impact, that really matter to me, have nothing to do with ticking boxes.

I can’t tick a box that says the client I worked with at 10am now has a completely new framing of this challenging situation at work and will now lead their team to greater productivity. That my client at 2pm has made the first small steps towards what will unfold as their growth in confidence. I can’t tick a box that says I fully showed up as a parent this morning, resisted the urge to scream and shout what they “should” do and instead, paused a moment to listen.

I can tick a box that says I helped out my Mum to do something she couldn’t on her own, but I can’t tick a box that says I showed up as a daughter, vulnerably shared what I’m actually struggling with right now and listened curiously to her thoughts, even if I don’t agree with them.

These are the spaces where it is about being fully present, sitting in the mess in the moment, nudging thinking incrementally and iteratively towards our aspirations for ourselves. It is through these spaces that I actually find meaning and fulfilment in my work and my life. Even though the tick boxes are so much easier!

image

So, what is Leadership?

It’s a choice that we make each and every day to intentionally choose how we show up, how we shape a situation with our words and actions and how we nudge everyone towards shared outcomes that align with our intentions.

  • It’s not the deadline we made, it’s the questions we asked to make sure the brief met what was really needed, rather than what was asked in a rush.
  • It’s not the email we quickly fired back to get it off our list, it’s the email we carefully crafted to consider the other perspective and make it easy for someone to take the action we need them to take.
  • It’s not the team member now turning their camera on for our meetings because we told them they had to, it’s the relationship building we did to help them trust their colleagues and understand the impact on others when they fully turn up for our conversations.

Leadership is the impact we have with our choices of thought, words and actions each day – it is rarely easy, has little visible reward in the moment and I wish so much that I could get the boost from ticking it off my list!

As I work with my clients through the challenges of lockdowns, disrupted routines, too much to do whilst stuck in one space, some of what we are reaching for is absolutely tick boxes – using lists to be able to see and acknowledge progress despite the chaos. The challenging work that we are doing is to use these moments of disruption as a space to practise pause and intentional leadership. To practise bringing our intention to what’s actually needed of us as leaders in this moment, and choosing that. We can’t tick it off because the work of leadership is never done! The work of leadership is in evolving and adapting each and every day.

  • our mindset
  • our thoughts,
  • our conversations and
  • our actions

I am noticing that when we take these moments of disruption as a chance to pause and pay attention to how we wish to lead through them, my clients are able to tap into more of the resources they need, to be more patient with themselves and others and, as an unlikely bonus prize, they feel like they are making more progress than any tick list could show them.

 

So I encourage you this week to pause... and notice –

what does this situation need of me as a leader?

What is really needed here that can’t be ticked off but is actually more important than anything on the list?

 

  • Talk to your people,
  • Reach for help,
  • Ask questions.

 

Choose to be the leader we need you to be right now, and you will have more impact on the world than 365 days of perfectly completed To Do lists!