We all have fear. It’s a natural instinct that helps us shy away from things that will hurt us.
I used to think of myself as fearless. That was more bravado than reality, however. Responsibility for helping a little one navigate the world around us dramatically changed my perspective on fear. Now it is a constant companion.
For most of my career, I have worked in the project management field. Anticipating what could happen, what could derail a project, is a critical skill that most of us in the field have to develop to be successful.
Either I was born anticipating worst-case scenario, and project management became a natural career for me, or the career choice helped me develop these skills. Either way, it’s second nature for me to consider a situation and think “what’s the worst that can happen?”
Many months ago, we moved to an island. Our house does not have a dock associated with it, unlike many of the homes here. While it makes our lifestyle more affordable, it also makes our house less marketable.
We were recently approached about a mooring, which would allow us to keep a boat just off the island and associate it with our property. The potential for increased value and marketability of the house is something we couldn’t pass up, even though I had reservations about the investment.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the mooring without a registered boat, so we went looking for a used one that would fit the bill.
The lakes region of New Hampshire is north of where we live, so we headed up to a family-owned business we knew from years ago. When you find fair and reasonable businesses, you tend to want to interact with them again.
Lately, I have found myself considering leaders I have known, looking for common characteristics. Those things that make me want to follow them.
Characteristics that, if I can model them myself, would help me be a better leader.
Not every leader I have admired has demonstrated every item on this list. Thinking back, each leader mastered one or two of these. The characteristics that differentiated him or her from other leaders I have met.
Each leader may have demonstrated many other items on the list, but there was only one or two that stood out above all others.
1. Compassion – Great leaders start by looking within. When someone struggles with understanding or delivery, leaders reflect on what they can communicate or model differently.
It was one of those weeks. The ones that feel like they will never end…as early as Monday afternoon.
I’ve found that as long as one of my roles is going well – whether it’s as a mom or leader – then I can work my way through the unforeseen challenges of the other(s).
That week, something at work threw me for a loop. I was managing it, but my patience probably wasn’t what it should be. That particular morning, my son decided it was time to push mom’s buttons, because at this age, I swear they have built in radar for knowing when and how to get a reaction.
I remember thinking, let me get him to before care. He’ll get it together and end up having a good day. I’ll get my head on straight during the drive in to the office and we will reconnect over dinner.
The day did not go as planned.