Last week I was sitting in a cute and cozy coffee shop in Queen’s Village (in Philly) catching up on some work as I waited for a friend for dinner. I had just come from a fantastic brainstorming meeting with one of our clients and I was eager to get what I had in my head, into a cohesive plan on my laptop. I hunkered down at a table by the window that also faced the door (I’m Italian and an extrovert, what can I say!) As I sipped my latte and compiled my ideas, I was vaguely aware of what was going on around me until the belly giggles of a young girl and a deep chuckling of her Dad piqued my curiosity. I found myself chuckling too, so I looked up to see what the fun was all about.
I noticed two things when I scanned the room that made me smile even more–almost everyone in the shop was smiling, grinning or chuckling too (remember your attitude positive or negative is contagious). What was even more striking, was that most of the tables were filled with men with their kids.
I decided to take a few minutes to sit back, and enjoy the moment. What a phenomenal scene. First of all, I loved, loved, loved the paradigm shift. These were Dads taking time out of their schedules to be there for their kids. Some were chatting, one duo was playing a game (a real one, not one on a computer!), a few were working on homework and others were sharing a snack.
You’re probably asking yourself what this has to do with leadership—well EVERYTHING!
These dads were not only being amazing role models, but they were teaching their kids the very foundational skills every great leader needs to master—the art of conversation, giving and receiving feedback, problem-solving, decision-making, listening, showing interest, balancing work/life, setting priorities, and being committed to others. These Dads were integrating their life and work while creating life-long memories that would fuel their relationships now and for years to come.
Aren’t these the exact things we yearn for from our leaders? Don’t we want them to drive results but also create environments where we can be heard, feel valued, acknowledged and know we matter? Don’t we want them to make the time to talk to us not just about our to-do’s, but get to know us on a human level? Don’t we need them to model what is expected and show us that it’s okay to have a life that integrates what matters most to us so we can perform at our very best?
In that moment, it struck me. If we are going to help leaders become even better, we will have to support their growth not just in the traditional sense of their organizational roles. We will have to get them to look at a more integrated view. We need to compel them to be LEADERS in their LIVES both outside and inside their work environment.
In our intertwined and inter-connected world we can no longer view leadership in a vacuum. To be a LEADER in their LIVES means looking at tough topics like health, wellness, work/life integration, resiliency, stress and burnout, purpose, community involvement and career fulfillment. In this short exchange, I was able to see that the same skills needed in our work lives were the very things these caregivers brought to their interaction with their children. In developing Leaders, we need to focus on an even more integrated approach to development to highlight the connections between the two.
So, this year you’re going to see us continue on our relentless pursuit of excellence around leadership (we have some amazing new ideas, tools and resources!) but we are going to add a twist. We want to start a serious dialogue with you about what it really means to be a LEADER in your LIFE.
Our conversations with you in 2020 will tackle some tough topics:
- How will you create the right blend of experiences to drive your engagement, development, well-being, career and life so you can perform at your highest level?
- How will you stop feeling guilty and learn to make more micro adjustments versus sweeping changes to be the best leader you can be in all aspects of your life?
- What are you willing to do to stop waiting for things to get better, slower or change in order to create an integrated life filled with experiences that matter?
Along with that dialogue, you will also see us:
- Sharing new and exciting tools, resources, keynotes, training and coaching focused not just on enhancing your leadership skills but also making the tweaks you’ll need to balance your health, wellness, stress and resiliency.
- Making enhancements to our website, providing easier navigation, access to tools and resources so that we can help you be the leader in your life you aspire to be.
- Rolling out a virtual “hangout” called SHIP HAPPENS where we can come together to learn, grow, share ideas and discuss challenges.
As I packed up my things in the coffee shop, I thought about a commercial I had recently seen for Tecovas Boots. In their spot they say “In the grandest sense this is everyone’s first rodeo”. Boy, did they get it right. It’s a one-way ticket, make it count.
What do you want your rodeo to be?