How you’re showing up today. And the 3 most important words in creative Leadership.
How you show up matters. Who you decide to be today matters not only today, but tomorrow and the next day, into next week. It is no trivial matter. This, too, is your legacy, something you build day-by-day. How you show up to create matters. How you show up for your family & friends matters. How you show up for your colleagues and the people you lead matters. Even how you show up for the help and strangers matters. Everyone gets the same treatment from you.
There’s nothing more compelling than that equal treatment metric because people care how you show up. They may not tell you — they may never tell you — but they care how you show up for them. So, how will you show up for them? Ready to serve? Going through the motions? Lame like a typical, clueless 12 year old? Or, showing up strong and smart with a bit of warmth and ready to give? Remember: there’s nothing more attractive to others than generosity. Those who give, give, give. And then give some more. That’s how I want to show up. How about you?
It’d be great if more people did the self-analysis work and actively thought about how they were showing up and who they wanted to be on a day-by-day basis. Only most of us don’t. We need performance prompts. I need performance prompts. I need the standard Who-do-I-want-to-be-today questions just like you do. We all need self awareness help because our self-awareness is usually on mute. Just look at your friends. Look at your colleagues. Look at the people who mistreat the help. Not so good, Al. No. Not at all. Not compelling.
Now, what do we do about it?
2020 has been interesting times for us all. In many ways, it’s bonded us together, which is a great benefit. In other ways, it’s been a character revealer, especially for those of us suffering great hardship such as job loss, or worse. Anybody can have great character when things are going smoothly. Not just anybody can have great character when things are going sideways. How we handle adversity is a signal of who we really are, much like having plenty of money is or like drinking WAY too much might be. This is the year of saying, “This is part of it,” like Brendon coaches. Yep. This is part of it. Don’t necessarily like it, but here it is. Didn’t want it, but it is what it is. Now, what do we do about it? What would my highest and best self do about this scenario? How do we make the best of this adversity?
The 3 Greatest Words in all of creative Leadership.
I don’t pretend this is easy. I don’t pretend that it isn’t there. One of my favorite things to do in these situations is to *ask for help in all of creative Leadership. No one is saying you have to go about it alone.
Perhaps your highest and best self would ask someone for help, a professional handler of such things. Someone who has been here before and conquered. Someone who knows what the best thing to do in these situations is. Someone trained and polished. Someone you might seek to hire like a consultant or coach to help you through the difficulty. Wouldn’t you rather face the adversity as a team vs. alone? Most would. I would. There are situations I do not pretend to know the answers. But I believe in my ability to figure things out creatively. Do you? Do you have the confidence to see things through to the other side? No matter your situation, there is someone, somewhere who has gone through it before. Remember that you are not alone.
That’s the chief struggle today, especially in these times: we’ve never felt more alone. With SIP orders, social distancing orders, and those lucky enough to work from home, 2020 isn’t exactly bringing us together physically. Yet we are physical beings, used to touch. Demanding touch, actually. (Yes, really. Look. It up.)
Yet ‘authorities’ tell you ‘Don’t touch!’ And for good reason. Just because you’re told not to touch doesn’t mean you don’t miss it. (If I were a teenager today, I’d be touching anything and everything because the parents and pseudo-authority figures told me not to.) Of course, you miss it! Everyone misses it! Especially the touchy-feely-types among us. The Huggers. Even the Bro-huggers. It’s hard. It’s a culture shift, and many of us don’t like the shift. (I think there is great power in human touch. You just have to be WAY more creative about it today.) The autocratic proscription is not helping our collective loneliness.
Still, we decide who we’re going to be today. As Brendon reminds us, we decide what feelings and energy we’re showing up with today. We decide through prompting how we’re going to feel / who we’re going to be today. We decide to combat loneliness by calling people, FaceTiming people, safely meeting in person at the restaurant as you can, etc. (Highly recommend meeting over food. Food will always bring us together and is the chief antidote to loneliness. Like Chlorine vs. the COVID, Shared Food trumps loneliness every time.) We decide what food we’re showing up with today. We decide what energy we bring when we show up today, ready to serve.
Notice how much more effective and empowering this is vs. the other way around, the default. The “I’m feeling whatever I am feeling and I can’t help it.” No. That’s disempowering. That’s exactly like saying, “Nobody understands me.” Nope. Also, not true. Plenty of people understand you and your situation. You just haven’t met them yet. Or, you have but they don’t know you well enough. (Should they!?)
Don’t show up as the selfish jerk. Geeze.
Like Seth Godin says, if the real you shows up as a selfish jerk, leave the real you at home. We don’t want to be around the real you. We want the giving you. We want the generous you. We want the empowered you. We want the best of you — not the jealous and selfish you. Even if you have to fake it for awhile, fake it for awhile. Change your behavior. It’s totally possible. Not easy, but 100% possible. People do it every day, even in 2020. Design the new, improved version 3.0 you. After all, you’re the chief designer of you. Not anybody else. Not the boss. Not the spouse. Not the parents. Not the in-laws. Not the doggies. Not the friends. Not the colleagues. You. Behavior design is about you owning you 100%.
What will the new you look like?