The curse of almost every person with drive and ambition is this:
Without them, you won’t get too far.
With them, though?
Well, things can go wrong. Things like…
Becoming an overwhelming, micromanaging, brutal slavedriver who burns your people into ashes. When you have high standards, folk will disappoint you. The danger is that when they do, you punish them.
There was a time when people saw this as strong leadership. Use a firm hand to whip them into shape.
Show them how it’s meant to be.
Some folk still ascribe to this model – even in creative industries. No one worth listening to takes it seriously though. They’ve learned the better way to lead:
Set high standards and show understanding.
When people make mistakes, coach them through it.
Even better – remove obstacles in their way before they make the mistakes.
Do that and the team will grow stronger from each crisis, not weaker.
Now, okay, great. But aren’t we supposed to be talking about self-improvement? So what’s with the unsolicited leadership advice?
It’s great self-improvement advice too.
All you need to remember is you are your team and its leader.
Because here’s a tricky question for ya:
The last time you screwed up, what did you do?
Did you bully, berate and badger yourself?
Did you think – or even say out loud – something about how you should know better, you can’t believe you messed up so much, anything like that?
It’s easy to be cruel to ourselves – to take everything we know about treating folk right and throw it out the window.
Self-compassion isn’t about cleaning up your inner dialogue – the way you talk to yourself in your mind. Although that may be part of it. It’s a completely different attitude towards yourself.
A healthier one.
And, yes, a more productive one.
Because what if you thought about your relationship with yourself as a coaching/mentoring role?
Now, before you kick up a stink and say something about how you can’t coach yourself because you already know everything you know… well, just remember coaches don’t just impart information.
They offer guidance and support.
Do you guide and support yourself?
When things go wrong, do you beat yourself up, sugar coat it, ignore it… or find the lesson worth learning in it?
What if every time you struggled, you sought to guide yourself through it?
Sometimes that guidance would be to seek guidance from someone else. You’re not expected to have all the answers.
But you are expected to have the right attitude.
You can begin that simple self-improvement technique now.
And enjoy its benefits for the rest of your life.
If you really want to take your mind to new places? To improve more you dreamed possible?
You might want to read about this mind training program: