Ah! The secret to success that we are all in search of - I wish there was one answer I could give you! But it would depend on what success means to you. For some people success is having financial stability and for others it might be work-life balance.
Regardless of how you define success, here some key ingredients to JERK success that I have noticed most leaders who I have coached possess:
Listen to my podcast or simply read on...
J. When leadership gets you down, you know what you got to do! - Just keep learning, learning, learning.
Not just about your subject matter but about everything that intrigues you. I read that learning de-automates your responses and therefore makes you think about different and better solutions to problems instead of sourcing a reaction from the past. Learning helps you innovate!! Go ahead - try it. Make it a goal to learn something new everyday! Go to sleep everyday knowing one more thing than you did the night before! Learning builds consciousness....which takes us to the next key ingredient.
This is probably the most overused word in corporate and leadership speak but all this says is to be more aware of yourself. Be a self expert of sorts.Know what makes you tick, acknowledge your lesser strengths. Be acutely aware of how you show up and the impact your energy has on the people around you.Take responsibility for that. This means - know when to stop talking and start listening. In a recent HBR article I read that if you catch yourself speaking for more than 40 seconds at a stretch then you are probably talking too much! "How can I become more emotionally engaged ?", you may ask. Well, it takes a lifetime. But start by being more conscious - take 5 minutes to center yourself 2 times a day. I've found this extremely useful. You don't need to be in a quiet space to do some centering, I do it on my way to work in the bus. All you need is a calm mind. There are several centering resources that are available online. I personally like this guided meditation that one of my friends created. If you are looking for something shorter then I would recommend this one.
R. Respond don't react
We spend more than 90% of our life reacting to people, situations, movies, politics etc. What if we changed all those to responses? Well sometimes it's just more fun to react - gives you that adrenaline rush. Feels good in the moment... reactions are like tequila! You feel a rush of empowerment in the moment but the next day? Oh boy! Self damage in the form of headaches and social damage/ broken relationships given all all the wildly humiliating things you said /did. Nothing good ever comes from tequila - at least for me :) So the next time you find yourself having a super emotional reaction- ✋ PAUSE. There is a trigger right there. Now before you detonate, defuse it! Acknowledge that you can't reverse what just happened (unless time travel becomes a reality!). Walk away from the situation for a couple of minutes, sleep over t
hat nasty email sitting in your drafts., find your breath and ask yourself - what can I do now that will benefit me, the other person and our future relationship? Don't fall prey to the false sense of urgency that shows up in every situation. We live in a super fast paced world that brings with it a false sense of urgency into almost everything! Beware. Know that you don't have to have an answer right away! Remember Mahatma Gandhi consciously chose not to react and that was his greatest strength.
Promote kindness and positivity. No one wants to be around negative people. To be a leader you have to take people on a positive journey and inspire them to be their best. Ever heard of being inspired by Negative Nelly? I don't think so! Heard of Emotional Contagion? It’s when employees catch the emotional state of the leader, the same way you would catch a cold/flu! So imagine if you as a leader did not show kindness or respect in the workplace? Congratulations! You just went around spreading the Zika virus and then are sitting in your office wondering why people in your organization are dying! Complement those who work with you.I'm not saying don't ever correct them but try to have a complementing to correcting ratio of about: 3:1 or 5:1 . This has proved to work much better in increasing productivity in the workplace.
Recap:The recipe for 'JERK' success has 4 key ingredients:
J- Just keep learning!
E- Emotional Engagement
R- Respond, don't react
So leaders, I would love to hear about your recipes for success. Go ahead and type in the comment box below and let's carry this conversation on.