3 top tips for self-realization in leadership: If you have risen to leadership without formal management or leadership training, chances are you've had a successful career as a high-performing individual expert and have been promoted on the strength of that.
There are some leadership skills it will be hard to manage without, if you want to keep your career on an upwards trajectory.
You will learn:
Essentialism, Greg McKeown
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Hi everyone. My name's Dex Randall, and this is the Burnout To Leadership Podcast where I teach professional men to recover from burnout and get back to passion and reward at work. Hello my friends. This is Dex back on the Burnout To Leadership Podcast, and this month I'm running a series of leadership episodes, and this is number three in that series of three. So you might wanna go back and listen to number 65 on executive skills, which is largely about shifting gears in the way you think, strategize communicate and collaborate. And also episode 66, which is on team leadership. It's about high performing teams. And actually I am gonna add a bonus episode next week on managing change. So make. Anyway, today managing, basically many of my students have challenges transitioning to leadership from a hands on role. And they may have been very, very highly successful in the past, but perhaps a little bit autonomously in the way that they like things to be done. So it's really vital if you're moving from technician hands on type role to a leadership role to adapt so that you can sustain your success and your career growth in leadership. And I think also because some leadership practices run a little bit counter to the way that many of us have been taught and the way that we've created success until now. And probably a lot of my clients have not done an MBA, they haven't had formal leadership management training. So they really need to learn how to lead because it's a very particular skillset. And if they don't adapt to it and learn it, then they're really not going to achieve the same standards of success that they have as an expert profession. Because really, I'm gonna say again, the coaching program that I run starts with firstly supporting my students out of burnout, back to feeling good out to a place where they can work their magic again, and where they can feel excited and rewarded in their roles so that secondly, they can focus on their career and leadership development however that applies to them, however they relate with that. Because usually they've got hidden dreams of contributing at a higher level, fulfilling their potential and supporting those coming up underneath them to perform at their best. And so because of that today what I'm gonna talk about really is self realization. What is the best you can achieve from your current position from management and leadership and career growth? So while you're listening, I would encourage you to ask yourself, what do I want to achieve in the next leg of my career or even the rest of my career, or perhaps even on into retirement? What's my legacy going to be? What's my secret dream if I dare to dream it? And of course, if you're in burnout, you might be very downhearted even listening to that. But if I said to you, I promise that with coaching you'll be able out of burnout in a matter of weeks. Is there a little sneaky minnow of a dream just trying to escape in there? And of course, if not, that's fine. It's really tough to connect with our dreams when we're in burnout. The idea to me would've seemed really quite cruel, quite out of reach, based on the level of suffering that we're in in burnout. The voice in our head saying, you know, it's never gonna get better than this, yet it is hard to consider your dream. So if that's you, if you can't even imagine having dreams right now, please, be very gentle with yourself. Put your burnout recovery first, and then once you feel better, those little buds of ideas will start popping up all by themselves. It's kind of an organic part of the recovery process, and that's how you're gonna know when you are leaving burnouts. One of the ways along with having more vitality, more enthusiasm to engage at work and engage with the new challenges that come up for you in a more exciting rather than kind of depleting and diminishing way. So all of that is coming for you with coaching, and it might inspire you also to listen to episode 63 and 64 of the podcast where two of my clients come back from burnout to chase big dreams of their own. And also, if you're in burnout, come and talk to me on a free consult and let's make a plan together to restore the goodness in your work life so you can dream. But now, for those of you who do have some kind of inkling of how you want your future to look, ask yourself again, what are the barriers for you? What stopped you from achieving those goals until now or from starting the journey? And it might be burnout, it might be the in burnout. You can't even imagine progressing, having the energy or the will to progress, which I think even if I don't know you personally, it is almost certainly a waste of your talent. And in which case, let's work together to eliminate burnout as the impediment. Let's do that right away. It's not your path to stay stuck, let's go get your mojo back. Or it may be simply that your life has got into a bit of a rut and you're so involved with the minutiae of your current job, your family and other commitments that you forgot to look after yourself and stick your head up and see what's next. You forgot to take care of your precious mind. So it's got room to consider what you might do in the future. Consider what ambitions you have for your work, so I think in any case, let's look a little bit at self realization what your ongoing career might entail, how you can re motivate yourself and find more enjoyment because life's too short to be miserable all the time at work, right? And I think we're not thinking about self realization, what I really think about, first of all, is reward oddly, and I think really, if you've had a flame out of work, it's pretty much guaranteed that you won't be feeling rewarded, and that's a missing motivator. A missing factor that can help you become more enthusiastic to work. But I think of it this way, if you want to create more of a sense of reward, you need to really find a new way to assess your own progress and success such that it satisfies your need, for meaning, fulfillment, personal contribution, ambition, recognition at work. Because what normally happens is we think we want reward from outside from other people, but whether that comes or, not, it's only going to land with us if we're first rewarding ourselves, and that's because really reward is a habit, you cultivate it or you don't. Let that just sink in a minute reward is a habit you cultivate it or you don't... And if you doubt me, look into your patterns for rewarding other people, do you give them a pat on the back, do you write them a kind note, do you praise their efforts in a meeting, or do you thank them personally for what they do? And I think this really suggests whether you have the habit of reward or not, because really people in burnout are mostly very, very harsh on themselves. So much so that, praise and appreciation are a rare and fleeting moments. Your inner critic is much more likely to be being quite uptight and judgemental, perfectionist, taking your good work for granted and denying you the support and encouragement, and that will help you flourish. 'Cause like they say, you're running on the sniff of an oily rack, and that kinda means you're running your engine on fumes. You are empty. And you're probably starving yourself of praise to be like, I think standing in a sealed room that has only half the amount of oxygen that you need to stay alive. Can you relate to that maybe? I certainly came from my days in burnout because I think what happened with me is I took vicious recriminating, self abusive thoughts to be my due. I felt that I was under performing and it was what I deserved. Now, I would probably compel myself to perform better. Thinking back, I can report to you, that it's not what worked to get me out of burnout. So then today I think if we're not feeling a sense of reward or anybody who feels inadequately rewarded in their role, the antidote to that is to become the most amazing self advocate as it takes almost no time and it's free. So the way to do that is really seek reasons to praise yourself, thank yourself for your work, appreciate your tiniest talent and effort. And I think do this out loud or on paper, so that you can... Because your mind processes what you say out loud and what you write down differently than if you just simply think it has more of an impression. So seriously, find at least 10 things you did that were admirable today, even just smiling at a colleague, completing a scheduled task, answering a tricky email, whatever it may have been. And in this, I would suggest that you treat yourself like a small child, who brings home a painting, he'd stick it on the fridge, right? You wouldn't critic the stick figures, the colors, the proportions, you wouldn't berate them for not finishing it, you wouldn't make that child cry and at this point, I'm just gonna say now, for any parents listening please, do not start criticising your parenting right now, it's not appropriate, and it's not the time. I think you're hurting enough already if you're in burnout, it obvious these things happen. But remember what I said. Okay, reward is a habit. So this is good news, because you can change, it means that if you're noticing a desire to work differently or a desire to parent differently. Once you're out of burnout the organic upside of recovery is it becomes easier and easier to be the person, the parent, the worker, you deep down want to be. So hold that thought, burnout is not the moment to take yet another rod to your back, so be gentle, be careful with yourself. But in any case, it's you're inner child that needs a praise, right? If you're perhaps playing the long game as a leader and not seeing the immediate results that you're used to as a technician professional, just praise your effort not the results. If the results you're aiming for as a leader are a little bit intangible and hard to measure day by day, again, praise your intention, your commitment, your service, your. If nobody else notices your work or rewards you, don't worry, fill that praise gap yourself. Look on purpose for any skill, intention, strategy or capability or attitude that you normally take for granted in yourself and praise that. Find ways every day to cultivate the habit of reward because when you have this habit, you will reward others as much as you reward yourself. And that my friend will create a great deal of loyalty and energy and success in both of them. How much success do you think you can trade from being hard on yourself, and how much by treating yourself with appreciation? In the light of your probably huge desire for reward, do you think carrot or stick works best for you? So that's reward in cultivating habit of reward. Another really important aspect, I think, is creativity. And to that end, what I'd encourage you to do as a leader is give up workaholism and a tight schedule to give yourself time for creative thinking at a higher level. It's really hard for us type A personalities to let go of the addiction of being busy, of a tight schedule, of being superman or superwoman who gets everything done off working long hours. And that approach might seem to have built your self image as supreme and invincible, but really does it? I think if you inspect it more closely, you might get a bit forensic and find out something different. But also the flip side of that is, are you criticising yourself for all of those things as well? Are you criticising yourself for trying to be superman, trying to overwork, working too many hours, etcetera, etcetera. I think that we kind of play both sides at the same time, because what if you could provide higher quality service in 30 hours a week than you can in 60, I'm not kidding. Your service now as a leader, becomes about your brain, not your hands or your time. So you're really going to need to let go of overwork to kick up to the next level. You need to redefine your work ethic and what it means to you. And I think that's basically essentializing so that you've got plenty of creative problem solving time because creativity needs open space to play in. It's a lot more difficult to do it on a schedule. And one of the reasons you might have been overworking is as the fixer. So maybe you're used to sweeping up other people's problems and solving them, but your job as a leader is to facilitate people to learn, grow, stretch themselves and solve their own problems. Just because you think they're not as good as you, and maybe they genuinely aren't, or you think they're making you look bad, it doesn't mean you need to snatch problems off them rather than find ways to inspire and train them to solve their own. It's a leader's job to take responsibility for the team, not to assume that they can't work to a high standard nor to do the work for them. And associated with this, you might find it hard to delegate or to absent yourself from meetings. Similar problem with all the reasons that you can do things better yourself. This is a real trap you need to free yourself from to lead effectively. Having work delegated to you if you think about it in your history, being trusted to work it out for yourself is probably how you grew your own skills and experience. So why deprive your juniors of that opportunity? You'll also, gather a lot of respect when you start delegating more skill fully and stop doing work that's now below your pay grade. So if having a tight schedule and overworking is your comfort zone, notice how you feel when you try to give that up. It's gonna be uncomfortable for you, perhaps a little bit vulnerable, or a little bit exposed. And notice who actually is judging your workload in hours. It's most likely you, you're probably trying to impress yourself. Others are really gonna appreciate you for the solutions that you gift and how you help them solve their problems rather than how long you spent at your desk. So if your self esteem is attached to work hours, how about a rethink of what your deepest responsibilities now are and whether time is the biggest factor in meeting. I do recommend reading a book Essentialism by Greg McKeown if you are stuck on this delegation and use of time and overwork topic. And I do also teach all of these super skills in my coaching and I practice it in my own business where I now work, frankly less hours than ever. The next thing is, you know, along the same lines, it's my proposition that this rethink on time, energy, effort and what creates success will be the biggest factor for your growth in leadership. So the next habit to change is saying no. You've probably been rather unwilling to say no in the past, but the best leaders say no more than they say yes. Many say no to 90% of requests. I would suggest also you listen to episode 63 of the podcast on this, where my student Pejman a $30 million business owner, tripled his income and reduced his work hours to 30 a week. And now he's going for a $100 million business. Believe me, he's had to say no a lot to get there and now he's there. He's absolutely loving it. If saying no goes against the grain for you as a technician fixer, you're basically cramping your leadership success with over commitment to low level work. I imagine you're used to being the fixer you like to be in control and probably you feel pretty anxious letting unsolved problems go by you. So if that rings a bell, here's what to do. When I spoke about being your strongest advocate and rewarding yourself so that you basically change yourself image about work and what success looks like, you're gonna find this influence is how you relate to yourself, your work self, and yourself as a skilled person and a leader. You're gonna become more comfortable with who you are being at work, the quality of your thinking rather than relying on what you are doing so heavily. It's gonna be a shift of your self concept from do it as a leader, and it's going to become more and more natural to you to mentor others and let go of the reins of it. So really don't skip that self reward step. If you want to be comfortable with saying no, because saying no implies that you trust yourself and you trust other people. So if you want to be able to delegate, you're going to have to reclassify what success looks like for you for one thing, and also accept your role as a mentor of others. And then you're gonna be able to stop just grinding away by yourself all the time at these low level tasks. So if self realization as the leader is your aim today, we've talked about creating comfort by rewarding yourself so that you can relax into your role more and what success looks like. We've talked about creativity versus time based kind of fixing thinking, and we've also talked about the power of saying no. And ascendancy into leadership I think requires a change in our M.O a fundamental change which is deliberately created. And those three habits are going to release an enormous amount of potential for growth. I will also suggest that you listen to the podcast episodes 60 to 64 on goals to help you bring forth all that potential that's in you. And after this leadership series that I'm doing now, listen to episodes 69 to 72 about protecting the asset, you. And that will also help you further release your potential and energy more freely as a leader. So that's what I have for you today. And don't forget to tune in next week for episode 68 on Managing Change because there are some really critical skills in there to manage not simply the organizational and logistical aspects of change, but the people side too. Helping your people remain calm, not getting into resistance and fear of the unknown connected to your vision for the upside of change and participating actually in that change so they can give their best throughout. And that's even when you're propagating a change that didn't come from you and maybe you're not the biggest fan of the decision, maybe it's come from upstairs and you're not in favor, but still you can get people on your side and create the best possible result given the decision that's been made. So thank you for being here with me and listening today. I appreciate that. It's always great to connect and I do know that your time is precious, so thank you. If you have any questions, about the podcast, you can always ping them over to me on social media. You'll see the links in the show notes. And if you are in burnout, finally listen for the link at the end. You must come and talk to me about how to recover quickly and sustainably to get back to your best performance leadership and most of all, enjoyment inside work and out. If you are in burnout and ready to recover, come and join my Burnout To Leadership program. You can book in to talk with me @burnout.dexrandall.com. Just tell me what's bugging you and let's make a plan to fix it.