It has a nice ring to it. It’s easy to say. Will it be easier than 2021? Or 2020 which seemed so promising with its lovely ‘roll off the tongue’ sound?
With an inbox and social media feeds awash with images of fabulously lithe athletes who only do 2 minutes of exercise a day in their beautiful airy Manhattan apartment that has nothing but a yoga mat and a fern (really?!!), I carefully chose what goal planning activities I would get involved in. I did my own (a regular system around business goals, setting up for success, admin prep – not exciting for most people but these are grounding exercises for the part of my brain that feels at ease when there is order!). I also did a group event with other business owners.
At the beginning we were asked to identify one word to define our year ahead. At first I put ‘Secure’. Who doesn’t want to be secure…
By the end after directed content, speakers, breakout rooms, chats, brainstorms and quiet writing segments I changed my word to something that was not so safe, but made me feel more alive.
I had originally written that word in a tribute to Betty White who passed away last week. (What a beautiful soul she was). In a flash during the group event I thought, if that’s something I admire in someone else, why not be that?
It’s not safe because I’m quiet. If you are a regular reader of my posts or newsletters you will know what I mean. We sometimes like to stay safe. Yet we wrestle with a yearning to do something good. How do we push ideas forward while being authentic to our ‘quiet’ self? How can we lead when some of us prefer to serve from behind the wings? Do we have to be loud and ‘out there’ to be a trailblazer?
I think there is a way to be both. We can still be who we are and focus on what’s important to us, while thinking outside the box about solving problems.
So my interpretation of trailblazing is going to involve thinking outside the box. What hasn’t been done before in terms of helping employees speak up and their leaders to listen up. (Open to suggestions here so hit reply if you have an idea, please!).
In the meantime, my first thoughts are that it involves educating young people who are the leaders of the future. (I also realise it means speaking up more MYSELF!!) Important messages don’t have to be shouted out – they can still be conveyed by speaking quietly and gently. In fact, probably best delivered that way.
As a quiet leader, what’s your word for 2022?
What is not small and safe, but a stretch that gets your heart beating a little? Have a think – one word. And what’s your interpretation of that word, that feels authentic to you?
Until next week, stay safe.