We’re rounding out our corporate series with a few concepts that really pack a punch. Enjoy!
Being Your Authentic Self
I always have to put in a little plug for the cardinal rule in leadership: show up as yourself. Make every day “Bring your personality to work day.” You’ve got more in you – I know you do. Stop worrying about how you SHOULD be showing up and start showing up as YOU.
My boss, Steve, who was super comfortable in his own skin, sure knew how to do that well, and he didn’t hesitate to bring his sense of humor into the boardroom.
We were in a meeting with senior-level executives at Caterpillar, and a rather serious one at that.
During this meeting, we reviewed financial scenarios, and the atmosphere was rather tense.
An exec from CAT asked what the options were for accomplishing a particular objective, and Steve used his sense of humor to cut the tension a bit and responded, “Well, there are several different ways to skin the cat…” (Cat – short for Caterpillar. Get it??)
Everyone cracked up, and I still laugh about that to this day.
That’s just one example. Relax. Talk like YOU. Dress like YOU. Be YOU.
Between working and studying for my actuarial exams, it wasn’t uncommon for me to log 85 hours a week for years on end.
I couldn’t have sustained that pace for decades, and I wouldn’t have wanted to.
I did a particularly horrible job of taking care of myself in those days, and my late afternoon energy boost was either caffeine or a Snickers bar. I got sick often because I was so run down, and I wasn’t taking a holistic approach to my well-being, that’s for sure.
I do think there’s something to be said for paying your dues, though, and putting in the time. I don’t regret any of it (although I could have nourished myself way better throughout). There’s value in grinding it out for a while. There’s no easy button for achieving success. Nothing worth having comes easy, and nothing that comes easy is worth having.
And even if you make a switch to a different industry at some point in your life, you take your experience with you and can apply your knowledge and wisdom to the next season in your life.
Trust that every season of your life serves a purpose.
Over the years, I’ve fine-tuned the lifestyle component, and now I help execs have it all. Yes, it’s possible.
And lastly, to end on a lighter note, humor.
It wasn’t only serious business for me and my colleagues. In between all the beyond-reproach work we did :), we found time for lots of fun and humor. We may or may not have had a running document that we all added to over time, with corporate cliches strung together so long that they could have wrapped around the earth three times.
Hey everybody! Let’s move the needle, knock it out of the park, and then grab the low-hanging fruit, which we can have with soup to nuts. Then we’ll circle back after we touch base and put our heads together on who will be at the helm of all these spinning plates. If you feel like you have too many irons in the fire, let me know, and we’ll be happy to give you another learning opportunity. This will create a win-win for everybody and ensure we all take it to the next level.
Disclaimer – I still love a good corporate cliche from time to time, so if you hear me say one, don’t judge me.
Annnnnd that concludes this episode of Wisdom From My Corporate Days. I hope you’ve all enjoyed it and found value in it that you can incorporate into your life and business.
If you’re ready to dive in and take it all to the next level (I HAD to), reach out here. I’d love to help you.