The Positive Energy Workplace Your Leadership Prowess Rests on These 3 Things (Part 1)


I'm frequently asked to work with business leaders and their organizations to help them unlock leadership potential and build healthy cultures. Even upon the initial conversations, I can tell fairly quickly how easy our work will be and how quickly we'll create impact by three things:

  1. How well they show up for themselves.
  2. How well they show up as a team.
  3. And the size of the "container" they hold for each other and those they lead.

That's it. If they show up well for themselves, we have a nice foundation. If they work well together as a team (even if not perfectly or with a lot of conflict), we're off to a good start. And if they regard others as big, capable, and valuable--with high potential for growth (even more than the individual might see for themselves)--we're in really good shape. From here it becomes about optimization. These three parts of the recipe are easier said than done, and they all support each other. They build; show up for yourself, be better for your team, see others bigger, create better results. Period.

This week I'm hitting up showing up for yourself, next week we'll hit up showing up as a team, and the next, we'll hit up the container.

5 ways to know if you're showing up for yourself, and therefore, better equipped for those you lead.

1. You take care of yourself. You eat well, take time for timeouts, create "me space", are nice to yourself, work on meaningful things, and hold healthy boundaries. You even have your own "well-being" posse; good friends, good food, accountability and pleasure buddies, professional help where you need it (think therapist, financial advisor, coach, nutritionist, trainer, etc.)--whatever supports you in feeling good.

2. You listen to yourself, trusting your intuition and internal voice. You trust yourself, knowing that you're your own best guru, AND that you don't have to figure it all out alone. You honor the "ick" ("No. This does not feel good.") and the "oomph" ("Yep! This is right on, lets go!") When you need more information you get curious, do your due diligence, and listen to your gut.

3. You take accountability for your life, your story, and your results. You know you're driving your bus and you know you have impact. When there's a problem, you look at how you've contributed to it, what you can learn from it, and how to make it right. The stories you don't like? You learn from them, consider what you can do differently next time, get into action, and craft a story that serves and inspires you to show up bigger.

4. You surround yourself with the right people. Your relationships are "life-giving" not "soul-sucking". The people in your inner circle are people you can count on who care about you, challenge you to step up bigger, see you in your glory and grime, love you where you're at, hold you accountable, and inspire you to lead well. You feel seen, challenged, and loved up all at the same time. If you're lacking these people in your, you get into action to create and nurture these relationships.

5. You create space for intention, inspiration, and dreaming. You give yourself time every day to consider what you want to create, how you want to feel, how you want to show up, and what you want to nurture. (If you're really showing up, you give yourself regular executive white space--a day a month, 3 days a quarter, whatever--to retreat and vision.)

So, how are you showing up for yourself? What would you add to your own list of needs? How are you nourishing your mind, body, and spirit so you can show up even more powerfully for those you lead? Hit up one (or all) of these this week and I'll see you next week to dive into showing up as a team. Ready? Go.

This article first appeared on on February 16, 2015

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