The following Maya Angelou quote is a timely calling card for 2020.
“Stand up straight and realize who you are, that you tower over your circumstances.”
Realize who you are… The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines realize as the act of bring something into concrete existence. These last several months in the midst of this pandemic and tumultuous economy, I’ve witnessed many of you realize who you are as innovators, problem-solvers, servants and savvy leaders. You have had to rethink your goods and services, supply chains and the heart of your mission. And you’ve been pushed out of your comfort zone and challenged to the core, demanding you stand up and bring new parts of yourself into being.
There’s great value in learning how to show up in new ways for different situations, stakeholders and challenges. Many years ago when I served as the Executive Director of JUMPSTART Productions, I quickly learned that working with producers, artists, funders, government agents and audiences demanded different ways of thinking and being. Some circumstances required showing up strategically minded, others creatively or analytically minded. A one-size-fits-all approach rarely works for leaders.
Today as an Executive Coach, I enjoy supporting clients as they consider who they need to be in a given situation. I find that we’re typically focused on what we need to do, and then how to go about doing it. But we often overlook the critical third pillar: who we need to be. When we embrace the best mindset for a situation – whether it’s being bold, decisive, cautious, patient, or humble – we can then more easily identify the driving behaviors to engage and critical choices to make for the greatest effect. It can be a great tool for you to use with those you manage at coach. Helping your employees consider when they need to show up can make the difference between mediocre and stellar performance.
Case Western Reserve University professor, Richard Boyatzis’ Intentional Change Theory documents how a strong vision of one’s ideal self in a particular situation helps to support sustainable behavior changes that positively impact performance. And I have found in my work that a significant factor in this ideal self-vision is an appropriate and intentional mindset.
Here are a few to consider:
Curious Courageous Open Decisive
Bold Perseverant. Resilient Patient
Creative Self-starting Rebellious Adventurous
I’ll leave you with a few other questions to ponder:
• How will this mindset help you meet your challenges?
• What might get in the way of maintaining this mindset?
• How will you REALIZE WHO YOU ARE during this time?
I wish you the best as we transition from summer to fall.