To reinvent yourself as a business leader is an inside job. Believe me, after decades of consulting and working with leaders at every level in companies, it’s the same for every leader. You have to do the inner work—and only you can do it.
Reinventing is all about how you see yourself and the world, inside and outside your company; it requires personal change in how you relate and respond to what's happening around you. See things outside yourself for what they are—the reality of what you do control and the reality of what you don’t. You can learn to relate to both, without judgment. You learn to face your current reality from a place of, this is what's happening today… and maybe even tomorrow. It's not good or bad. It's not right or wrong. It just is. You may not even really know what it is. You simply accept the present state of your business. And within your company, only one thing is certain; it will not stay exactly the same.
What I want you to remember, through all the business cycles and above all else, the most giant part of reinventing yourself as a leader, is in how you perceive yourself—and that is: YOU ARE ENOUGH! Reminding yourself of that, and consciously accepting that truth, takes the weight off your shoulders and enables you to move forward with clarity.
Yes, you are enough, even when the sales of your new product didn't go like you hoped, or you didn’t get many new clients. That reality does not mean anything about your capabilities, about your intentions, about your ability to show up well and continue to work toward your goals, right now, right here. You are present for whatever the world is serving you.
And every single day, you have a choice. With strong intention to do so, you get to choose to show up with actions that reflect your best self. This consistency models to those you work with, your team, that you lead from a place of genuine confidence.
And that confidence is not based on the fact that you know you will definitely be successful in reaching the current goal. True confidence is based on knowing that no matter what happens your inner voice is saying, I know I'm fine. As a human being, I know that I'm already successful. I’m okay. Whatever I do, and whatever the results, are outside me.
Always remember who you are In this way. And then, as things swirl and dip every-which-way around you in your business, you feel secure in who you are as a person. This changes the significance of events and how you observe and perceive all that is uncertain and challenging. Amidst this, you know and fully accept that you are grounded solid, even when business goals are on shaky ground. This naturally strengthens you and how you lead others.
Let’s look at WHY you must reinvent the way you look at the world. You might be thinking, Annie, seriously, why is all this so important to my success as a business leader?
The importance of reinventing yourself as a leader is because business reality looks and feels something like this…
I want you to know, business is truly harder today and change is coming faster and faster. Everything from the economy, technology, social platforms, algorithms impact, to business expenses. Not to mention the challenge in finding committed, skilled people that responsibly fill the roles you need. And when you think you’ve “got it” figured out, and all things align, something inevitably changes. Things go well, but just for a little bit. Then you must shift.
Gosh, it’s true, many of my clients are just trying to have as much revenue as last year. Staying ahead of the curve is a serious challenge. In today’s climate, in 2023, even less revenue in many cases is still quite good. However, that’s not what you want to hear, right?
Okay. So when everything is changing and things feel bad, how are you going to not only survive, but really thrive in this business environment that is not easy. What do you do as things get more challenging? How do you cope when unexpected curveballs keep coming at you?
This is when you need to remember that business has two parts: the business part and the people part. The business part includes organizational structure, your business strategy, goals, projects, how you get things done, all your customer service, technology, etc., right?
But here’s the key to success: The people part! Companies are reliant on humans to do the amazing thinking, and to perform well, all while doing it really well together. However, more often than we like, as people, we fall into self-protection, which is when we fall into emotionally triggered places. This is when our thinking and how we behave is driven by our emotions, not in our sound, critical thinking. Protective thinking makes us feel not okay. However, our human reality is—whether it’s me or you, we are walking and talking, and just fine, even when business circumstances are problematic. It’s a matter of regulating our emotions, so that we behave intentionally, even under pressure and stress.
Here’s a glimpse into what REINVENTING YOURSELF AS A LEADER looks and feels like:
- You begin to confidently reinvent yourself when your inner self understands and believes, “I am okay, my life is safe”—no matter what else swirls around you in your business.
- Value connecting with people in a way that is calm, centered and focused.
- Listen to what people say, without jumping ahead in your head thinking, this isn't good enough. I’m going to interrupt.
- You are approachable, respectful and safe. This allows people/teams to interact openly with you.
- You are available to hear your team’s best thinking.
- As a CEO or executive leader, you avoid self-protective behaviors. Prioritize being ready to show up your best. Grow in Self-Leadership. This promotes your team’s ability to trust you and surface their critical thinking, problem solving and ideas.
- Model leadership that attracts and retains the talented people your company needs.
- Trust you are a competent leader, even if you make a big mistake, or if something isn't going as you planned.
- Appreciate you are still okay. Show up, your best, today, and again tomorrow. Always remember, you are okay… today!
I’ll leave you with this quote for leadership and life. From the movie called, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The hotel owner and the hotel general manager repeatedly say:
“Everything will be alright in the end; if it's not alright, it's not the end!”
As you strive to grow and reinvent yourself as a leader, tell yourself the same!
This is Leadership!