I was working with a brilliant business leader last week on her leadership impact with her team. She's smart, huge heart, highly talented, and wicked quick (I'm heading to Boston right now as I type -- excuse me while I get my "Boston" geared up). She needed some support with some of the team dynamics she was seeing -- specifically around trust and safety on the team. She also had a strong sense she was a part of creating said dynamics.


We got to work. Dug in. Half way through our conversation I asked her three questions:


What was she doing to take care of herself on a daily basis? What was her level of self-trust? And how kind was she to herself?


Simple questions. I was curious.


She burst into tears.


This is not uncommon.


I get to work with all sorts of people in all sorts of industries, in all sorts of positions, in all sorts of rooms, and at all sorts of venues.


Here's the thing, no matter who the human, the industry, their position, or their intended impact... these humans engage to be even better. They Show Up to lead.


And these 3 questions (and about 7 others) rattle many.


Why these 3 questions? What's the big deal? Surface-wise you may answer them quick and keep rolling... And, hold on tiger, go deeper. Your presence, confidence, and influence are at stake here.


The quickest pathway to enhanced leadership presence, increased leadership confidence, and positive impact is in how we Show Up for ourselves first. (Cue Super Power activation -- now.)


Here are 5 questions to ask yourself, paired with 5 things to do about each, to strengthen your leadership presence and confidence starting right now. Don't let the simplicity fool you. The rocket science is in the discipline of awareness and making it all so.


Inquiry: "What am I doing to take care of myself today?"

Take care of yourself: Eat well. Exercise. Get sleep. Be your word with self-care. If you say it's important to you -- honor it, make space for it, go that extra mile (or foot). If you don't realize it's important to you yet -- cool, try it on. Little things go a long way. Here's what I witness and experience over and over again... When we step up and Show Up for ourselves in nourishing our minds, bodies, and spirits -- in whatever way is congruent for us -- self-confidence, self-trust, and self-awareness increases. And so does our ability to create positive impact. (#projectimpeccable2017 coming in Q1).


Inquiry: "What is my relationship with time and how does it impact my credibility?"

Practice Time Integrity: Be on time. Start on time. Finish on time. Honor time. It's an easy culture to buy into that says "we're all busy, late is okay, and a few minutes here and there doesn't matter - everyone is late"... but... think on that one. Feel into it. You're in a room waiting (you're on time), your leader walks in late and harried. Got it? What's the energetic impact? Feel it? The minute you're late, you've lost credibility. Not only with "them" but with you. (And yes, stuff happens, so when late, speak to it, clean it up, make amends, and use the learning.)


Inquiry: "Am I my word?"

Be Your Word: Do what you say you'll do, say what you mean, and honor your promises to self. Make yourself important enough to honor the agreements you make with yourself to lead well, show up at your best, and feel good. "They" will benefit as well.


Inquiry: "Am I kind to myself? How so or how not?"

Love Yourself Up -- Find the Awesome: Enough said. We spend simply not enough time appreciating ourselves, seeing the good, and loving ourselves up -- especially when we "fall down", and, sometimes even more so, when we "kill it" beautifully. Self-love and acknowledgement is a leadership skill. The more we experience the beauty and light in ourselves, the stronger we make our own self-appreciative field, the more beauty and light we can see in others. It's a positive, contagious, and virtuous cycle. (Works the other way too; we see what we project.)


Inquiry: "What is my relationship with "falling down"?"

Get Curious, Learn from It, Use It: Everything is a result. If you aren't getting the result you want, or you're not digging your answers to the queries above, no big deal... Notice what's up, get curious, learn from it, and use it for good. Self-beatings and churning in the "wrong result" won't get you too far... BUT, awareness and intention and loving yourself up will move mountains. Notice what you let be more important than taking care of yourself, being on time, being your word, or being nice to yourself. Just notice. Breathe. And move from there.


This is not about perfection, this is about awareness and practice. Every time we honor ourselves, do what we say we're going to do, be on time, take care, be our word, and practice kindness, we strengthen our energetic field, our self-trust, our leadership presence, and our ability to pay it all forward. Combine that with being in service of others and creating intentional impact, and we become a force together.


This article first appeared on Inc.com on November 7, 2016.


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