I am tired of seeing burnt out leaders.
It ticks me off ever time someone starts beating themselves up because they are disorganized, because they messed up, when they dropped a ball or they are reminded once again that they cannot be everything to everyone.
It is NOT your fault!
You are not disorganized!
You messed up because you are overloaded with responsibilities.
"It's not the same as it used to be" said a middle aged Team Leader to me last week.
No, you have got that right! It is not.
Instead of managing one group home a few years back, she now has two. Yet she has no more resources than she had a year ago. She echo's a similar story for a lot of leaders.
We have hit the tipping point.
Actually, we passed it a while back! We cannot pile any more work on to Leaders. They are doing more and more and more and struggling to do it well. They are dropping things, messing things up and making unnecessary errors. Then, they feel bad for this. They blame themselves and damage their confidence in the process. What is really happening is that they are tasked with way more than is humanly possible for one person to do.
Are you one of these leaders?
It's time to put your foot down. It is time to say"NO". It is time to say "I can do only this much."
I am not talking about delegating necessarily. Those below you have more than they can handle in most situations also. It is about truly saying "NO! We don't need to do that, pick that up or be responsible for that."
"NO! I will not attend that meeting."
Send me the minutes and I will look over them if/when I have the time and it is truly a priority."
"NO, I will not complete that report by tomorrow morning."
I will however focus my attention on it three days from now when I am finished dealing with this priority issue that is in front of me."
"NO, I cannot cover off that program and deal with the things on my plate right now too."
I can however provide you with a template I used to check off everything I need to make sure is in place when I go away for a week and give responsibly of the program to someone else.
"No, I already have more than I can handle. "
Listen here as I encourage you to say "No" more often.
I am at the airport getting ready to board my first of three different planes home from San Jose. I have to get connections in Los Angeles and Edmonton, with several hours layover at each location. In Los Angeles I will have to switch terminals twice, going on a shuttle and then a bus in between. I have a long 12-hour day ahead of me for sure! I’ve just come out of the bathroom frustrated with myself. No, I didn’t wet myself. Once again I am realizing I have too much shit! When you can’t get in and out of a bathroom stall without getting stuck you know you have too much baggage.
Each trip I vow to be different and yet it never is. My luggage was full of stuff I never used. I had to open my suitcase at check-in to take out some heavier items and putting them in my carry on revealing my sexy bras for all to see! My carry-ons are another story. They are overflowing and heavy. I end up with sore arms and shoulders as I lug them through airport terminals. Crazy!
As I sit hear and reflect, waiting for my flight to be called, I realize how this is reflective of many areas in my life. Often as I go through day-to-day journeys, I lug around excess baggage with me. I carry big bags of judgment, fear, blame, and insecurities abound. Never knowing from one minute to the next, what I might need, I pack a variety of clothes, on a real journey and it seems in life, I am prepared to unpack whatever emotion I think fits the occasion as well.
When I step into some of my parenting journeys, I bring the bags that are packed with the way I was raised as a child and my fears of not measuring up to my parent’s expectations. I bring all the judgments of myself and with that, my own expectations that I need to be perfect. I’ve taught parenting skills for years to other parents; I’ve mentored employees to do the same. I should know how to do it “right”. And then I cram into the bag the doubts about things I probably have done wrong over the years to have created this parenting dilemma (I knew I should have limited T.V. watching!) This baggage is heavy and at time has holes in it with stuff falling out.
As I am journeying down my path of entrepreneurship, I bring a few extra bags full of second guesses, insecurities, opinions of others, fears and doubts. I have worry that sits in a back pack on my shoulder and weighs me down some days. Will I get more clients, do people find value in my training, am I really a good speaker? It stifles my ability to be creative and energized.
Other times on my trips, I pack the light stuff; the self-confidence, self-assurance and self-love. I pack forgiveness not only others, but for myself. I pack authenticity, which is this airy light practice of being real in everything I do. I cram my bag full of consciousness and mindfulness, allowing me to be open and present. I throw on an extra jacket of gratitude and a hat full of joy. And in all of the extra little pockets and slots, I jam my bags full of love! This kind of stuff is interchangeable no matter what the weather or the destination. It is reusable and never gets dirty. And most importantly, it doesn’t feel heavy and doesn’t weigh me down.
When I leave the heavy baggage behind, I stand up straighter and taller, I have more energy and enthusiasm and I enter into each step of the journey with a smile on my face. And I am excited about what adventure is in store for me. The lesson for me is to be more conscious of what I pack with me every day and make an effort to pack a little lighter! It will make life much more enjoyable.
I lead a full life full of love, adventure and growth. Check out my latest thoughts here.
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