Helping leaders emerge

Everyone seems to be struggling these days, just when things seemed to be a bit more normal, we now have Omicron spreading like wildfire impacting holiday plans.

And despite tough times, it’s the practice of any effective leader, whether in family, community, or at work, to be able to see things as they are and still show up cheerful enough to inspire and motivate others toward achieving a common vision.

Given being positive is an important leadership skill, I often ask executives – how do YOU do it? How do you see the world as it is, without being in denial or dismissive yet show up with a positive mind state? This is what some of them have shared:

  • I make sure I have enough quiet, reflection time so that I can step away from the busy-ness of the day to feel more spacious, creative, and positive about our organization’s future vision.

  • When a difficult situation arises, I make sure to hit the pause button, allow any strong emotions to settle, stick to facts, and not get caught in a narrative. I focus on letting go of my need to “fix” and control everyone and instead I try to go with the flow and move us in the right direction.

  • I’ve learned to pick my battles by letting go of the need to be right and instead do what’s best for the organization. It can sometimes mean taking the hit for something that isn’t directly my fault. Focusing on what’s best for the organization and managing my ego helps me stay out of drama – and remain grounded and upbeat.

  • I know it sounds funny but when an uncomfortable situation arises, I shift my awareness into my feet, feeling their weight and physical sensations, and it keeps me more grounded. Not only does this help me manage triggers in the moment, I’ve noticed that the stronger emotions move right through me so I don’t have left over emotions lingering around for a day or two like I used to.

  • I’ve learned to accept that difficulty and negativity are baked into our human condition and kind of focus my mind to what’s going well and move towards positive actions and outcomes.

  • I just make sure to get away from it all and walk my dog or play golf or go for a run, that always helps me gain a better perspective.

  • I just get away from it all and watch I Love Lucy!

Resources to Be More Cheerful

  • Embodied Presence During Conflict. Click here for Norman Fischer’s Guided Meditation on “Presence for Conflict Resolution professionals” (twelve minutes). It’s an excellent practice for using the body and breath to show up with an intuitive, creative, and spacious mind state and a client favorite.
  • Cultivate More Joy. Click here to read how Joy Leads to Better Work Performance with tips by Shawn Achor, a Harvard educated happiness researcher who works with Fortune 100 companies. He defines happiness as the joy you feel moving toward your potential and offers five tips for cultivating more joy.
  • Importance of Being Cheerful. Click here to listen to What is Nirvana on Dan’s Harris’s Ten Percent Happier podcast with Robert Thurman. Thurman, retired professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University and friend of the Dalai Lama, discusses the importance of cheerfulness, what is nirvana, and the Buddhist Four Noble Truths.
  • Breathe for Better Brain Health. Click here to read Your Breath Your Brain’s Remote Control and try a five-minute breath meditation by Diana Winston to help you cope with stress and anxiety. In meditation practice, we take a long and deliberate inhale to energize and wake up the body and a long and deliberate exhale to invite a sense ease and calm into the body.
  • Nothing is Personal, Permanent or Perfect. Click here for a worksheet on Energy Management and the 3 P’s. A favorite go to resource for many clients.

Wishing you a cheerful, healthy, and safe holiday and 2022!