I had a meeting today with a team who'd asked me for some feedback. Our meeting was to discuss some of the core challenges they were having and how we might address. This is an awesome company, great group of people, doing good and important work, and all totally wiped out. Exhausted.
I once had a mentor whose grounding principle was "How you do one thing is how you do everything." When I heard it, it kind of landed. Not fully. Truthfully, I wrote it off to "personal development speak" and put it in my back pocket. But...I started to pay attention to where this might be true. I noticed how I addressed things (straight on or "avoidantly"), how I was with my time integrity, how I followed through on things, how I engaged with conflict, and how this rippled into every other area of my life. Years later, after coaching hundreds of private clients and teaching thousands, I can see this to be absolutely true -- maybe not the exact wording of it or 100% of the time -- but the absolute ramifications of it and the gift in paying attention to it for ourselves and those we lead.
Years ago when I wrote CONTAGIOUS CULTURE (McGraw-Hill, 2015), people were surprised to find that when I talked about “creating a healthy culture,” I pointed them to first look at their own leadership health, and how they showed up, to actually create that culture. This was both confronting and liberating for many, after all, I can’t control my culture or the people around me, however, I can absolutely control ME; how I take care of myself, how I show up, the energy I bring to the table, and how I ultimately contribute to being the culture I want (or don’t want). This means I have tremendous power, this also means there may be big work to do.
My stance on culture created a lot of positive results as well as many questions for people, so I wrote my next book. In CONTAGIOUS YOU (McGraw-Hill, 2019), I dug deeper into the IEP Method® body of work and took people further into how to be their most positively and usefully contagious self (energetically, emotionally, behaviorally, and attitudinally) and how to strengthen their leadership in order to create the impact and culture they wanted. Again, confronting — however even more liberating if you did the work (at 384 pages, with an executive coaching program pretty much built into it, as one reader emailed me, "It’s not exactly a light read, Anese, but it is a game changer.").
I recently had a conversation with an executive team who wanted to work on ways to make their culture feel better right now. People are tired, they're trying to connect remotely and do their jobs while walking their dogs and managing their kids' Zoom rooms, workload is high, connection is low, and presence is extra tricky right now. This organization was particularly interested in exploring ways to build resiliency and create a healthy culture now in this new business environment.
Years ago when my ex-husband and I completed our marriage, to keep things extra clean and as emotionally easy as possible, we worked with a mediator. Heading into that first mediation session we both knew what we knew. Our intentions were clear, our energy was clean, and we were present to the situation at hand and how we wanted to be with each other and for our kids. We went into the first mediation session, each of us with a Post-It detailing what we wanted our division of assets and agreements to look like. Four months (and a lot of cash) later, we walked out with almost exactly what was on those Post-Its. Having the mediator helped us with the paperwork and navigating some of CA's divorce laws, AND, we knew what we knew going in.