Leaders – Create Impact
Do you let your fear of not being enough affect how you show up? You are not alone.
I have seen it hundreds of times in my career. Directors on boards not speaking up because they don’t want to look like a fool. Business owners worried about how they will appear to their teams if they admit mistakes. Managers trying to fit in for fear of doing things wrong.
A wise person once told me to just show up and be me.
This is hard to do when you live in fear or shame. It was hard for me. For years my shame was that I didn’t have a college degree. Yep, I got my bachelor’s degree 30 years after I started it! The shame and fear that I felt from that used to hold me back. It used to limit the way I interacted with others. I was afraid they would find out my horrible truth and see me for the sham that I was – the dreaded imposter syndrome.
I am very involved in my community. I like to use this involvement to meet new people. My involvement led me to many leadership opportunities of several organizations, one of which is the Board of Directors of a regional hospital. I don’t know if you are aware of this, but Doctors finish their degrees!
Imagine how my imposter complex could have held me back from this. But it didn’t. I had learned in a leadership class that in order to be an effective leader, I needed to show up and be who I was. That was a major aha moment in my life.
Being intentional and present can make a huge impact on your leadership capabilities.
Years later, after much research, practice and exposure, I have experienced first hand the impact of intention and presence in leadership.
Anese Cavanaugh, author of the book Contagious Culture states that 93% of leadership is showing up – your energetic presence, tone of voice and the intentions behind your words – how you present yourself.
With this in mind, imagine yourself as you are getting ready to walk into a big meeting. What scenarios are playing through your mind? If you have been struggling in a certain area, do you start to get defensive? If you are expecting stressful tension, do you start to shut down? Do you go into the meeting relying on your reactions, or do you go in with your power of presence and intention?
I used to get pretty nervous. Nervous that I would make a mistake. Nervous because my personality is very expressive and board meetings are serious stuff, right? I felt I had to subdue who I was. I felt that if I didn’t know something it was because I wasn’t smart enough.
I no longer feel that way. I no longer let my fears dictate how I am going to act. Now before any leadership opportunity, I make sure to check in with myself and ask myself,
“How do you want to show up today?”
Think about the power of that statement. If you were to ask yourself that before every interaction with the people in your life, how would the conversation change? How intentional are you in all of your leadership roles; with your spouse, your children, your employees?
Being intentional and present paves the way for better communication which in turn leverages the impact you make.
In his Ted Talk, Drew Dudley states that leadership is an everyday activity. We impact and influence people’s lives in the little moments, that may, in all actuality seem like nothing to us at the time.
Therefore, intention and presence have more impact than we can possibly fathom. So take them and start showing up as only you can do.