Practicing Leadership - Managing Your Fear

Practicing Leadership - Managing Your Fear

When we discuss leadership development, we don’t talk about the basic behaviours that can make or break a leader.  We focus on things like delegation, strategic thinking, and communication.  These are important, but good leadership also needs a strong foundation.  It’s assumed that anyone who has moved into a leadership role already has the basics under control, and in some cases this may true.  However, if we think about the reasons why leaders fail, we can often trace the problem back to a rocky foundation. 


February 2017

At the beginning of 2016, I set my theme as "Growth". I should have set the word "Transformation" because that's what was always in my mind, but that word seemed very radical. I was afraid to call that word into my life because I didn't think I was ready for the type of change that it might bring. But as the months went by, Transformation became my only thought. Against my will, I started to transform.

I remember telling someone in mid-2016 that I'd gotten everything I ever wanted, and now I didn't want it anymore. And that kind of ungrateful attitude seemed like inviting bad karma. I had a great job - great title, lots of responsibility, high profile, and a nice pay cheque. And yet I was chafing against the job. I started finding it hard to bounce out of bed in the morning. I really had to struggle to care about the big and small issues of my work. I knew that I couldn't continue on much longer without becoming one of those people who is dragging down the whole team.

And yet, what would I do next? There weren't that many jobs available, and the ones that appeared just seemed to be carbon copies of the one I was already doing. And maybe worse - who knew? Better the devil you know.

Partway through the year I made a plan. I wrote it down. It became the main thing I wanted to think about. I executed the plan - I quit my job. Yikes. People were shocked, disappointed. People were gossiping about me. I honestly and truly didn't care. Not in an angry or negative way, just with detachment. I didn't want to go away mad, I just wanted to go away.

I had no idea how tired I'd been. I spent the first few weeks resting, napping, catching up. Then I started to panic. What would I do next? Being a stay-at-home mother to one well-organized teenage boy is a fun gig, but it doesn't pay much.

I made another plan. I had already started to execute it, and it felt so right. I'm in the middle of the plan now. I chafe against the transition, the waiting, and the wondering if the vision I have will come true. The burning platform is my own desire for success, and for the type of life that I know I want to live. The word "Transformation" got me here, and the word "Believe" will keep me moving forward.