The New Normal…?
This week I hosted the first of a series of calls to explore Leadership in the ‘new normal’. These are conversations with people who want to expand their leadership capabilities and see more about what it means to be a leader no matter how they define that or what ‘role’ they are in.
The first exploration-and maybe we should be calling it step one on the ‘five step process’ with the same title ;-) ), was the exploration of what is it that makes us grounded as a leader?
What creates your solid foundation no matter what?
The context of the series is, as you can guess, this thing we’re calling ‘the new normal’, and, yes, we can dissect, from an intellectual perspective, what it is and what we want it to be in some not-yet-created future…
…but we also live in times when it’s more evident than ever that change is a feature of life, that it’s ever-present, no matter whether we experience it or not-change is like season, we suddenly look up and it’s autumn, or we realise it’s time to turn down the heating-the change is there and then, sometimes, we notice it.
It’s true, life can feel ‘normal’ when there is a degree of familiarity and predictability; when we know what we’re in for. But we only ever imagine we know what we’re in for-the future is never actually fixed until it happens.
And, yes, sometimes ‘change’ speaks more loudly, shouts at us even, and that creates an opportunity to do something different, but the ‘thing’ that makes us capable of grabbing that opportunity with both hands isn’t what we want to create, it’s the foundation on which we stand, the ability for us to respond, to create, to participate in circumstances, that is where the power comes from.
If Change is Ever-Present…
So… if change is ever-present, then ‘new normal’ is not about defining or arriving at a fixed set of circumstances, or setting a goal to aim for, or even defining a ‘new way of working’, it’s about finding that special ‘something’ in us, the thing that helps us be grounded and centred and respond with more thoughtfulness and more effectiveness; that something in us that makes it easier for us to access our skills and capabilities as a leader, or in any context.
We experience it as a kind of calmness, a quiet knowing which can look like as self-assurance or quiet confidence on the outside-something that is very settling for others by the way (I talk more about working with others in step two…tbc…).
It’s more flexible and yet also more solid than that; it’s about realising that the foundation of being able to respond effectively and wisely to change and to normality no matter what, which has nothing to to with the ‘what’ of that phrase, and everything to do with the foundation we have within ourselves.
Even those words-grounding, centred, anchored, they imply a base to come from rather than a place to get to.
Action Step One!
Step one, then, if you choose to participate is to think about that for a minute-would it make a difference to you to feel more ‘grounded’ as a leader? What might be the implications for you and for those around you and for your organisation? Would people notice? Would it be helpful? Would it help you access your skills and expertise more quickly and more effectively?
If we give our attention to something then we will see something new about it, and that’s the purpose of conversations like these. For you, reading this now, after the fact, I recommend making it an exploration you go on yourself, rather than a chance to take in yet more information. A journey in guided reflection, or self-guided reflection.
In step two we will look more in the direction of what it means to be a leader in relation to working with, and ‘leading’ others. What is that role that we label ‘leader’ and what do you want to make it mean in the work that you do?
Enjoy the journey, whatever you find!
Originally published at https://cathypresland.com on October 30, 2020.