Believe me, I love the compliments … but I also regularly Impostor over how many leadership-related compliments I [and we at TDP] receive about my [TDP’s] leadership online [and on Instagram, in particular].
Reason being? Honestly? … I still [very-much-so] feel like a “baby leader” [picture a baby giraffe, taking its first steps if you’re a person who needs a visual], because “baby leader” or baby-giraffe-taking-its-first-steps is still definitely 2020-me embracing what leadership looks like to me [both individually, and as TDP’s organisational leader].
I’m not there yet [are we ever, really?], but my oh my I’ve come a *long* way … and so for that reason? I’d like to share with you today [or tonight, depending on when you’re reading this] the leadership resources I couldn’t be without, because a leader who goes it entirely alone? … not a real leader [in my humble opinion].
First and foremost? I’mma need a business coach [and a really good one]. #gimme
A coupl’a years ago, we aligned ourselves [and TDP] with a business coach who was the kinda business coach who makes business coaching as an industry appear to be a little [or a lot] … muddy.
I’ll spare the details [and the defamation suit, ha!], but this particular business coach screwed a lot of people [not just in a monetary sense, but in a headf*ckery sense, too].
I’m not angry at that person, tbh. I’m really sad for them. I saw their instability [as a person] very early on, and something in my stomach [and my heart] said to my head, “don’t trust this person” … and so arm’s length was where I held them, whilst simultaneously feeling incredibly sorry for them.
The impact that situation had on me, though? … I struggled to trust business coaching as an industry, tbh. [my head intellectualises things too much, sometimes].
But then I found Ami. And I don’t even know how to articulate the impact she’s not just had on me as a person … but my business, too. She’s everything I [Cherie Clonan] needed from a business coach [and that add another eleventy billion % of things I didn’t even know that I didn’t know I needed], and I’m still barely doing justice to just-how-good she really is.
And so for that reason [and before I make this entire blog post about my profound love for Ami, ha!] … I’m going to tell you that every baby-leader / baby-giraffe-learning-to-walk needs a business coach. A really good one. Ami is *so* perfectly suited to everything I crave from a business coach.
Megan Luscombe. Or if you don’t know her name? A therapist.
I see Megan fortnightly, and I honestly don’t want to own a business [and deal with all that this entails] without a therapist. Megan, specifically.
After lockdown 1.0 and heading into stage 4? … I spent one particular session bawling my eyes out into my phone [I’m not actually someone who cries a lot, so I need you to understand that me uncontrollably crying into the phone was a pretty profound thing], and Megan said to me: “I can’t see you again until you take two weeks of annual leave”.
And so I did. And taking those x2 weeks made me realise that I was post-lockdown-1.0-fully-fledged-burnt-out … and I’m glad I had a therapist who knew what she was up against [an ADHD Founder with a high propensity to tackle “ADHD burnout” by piling more tasks into her to-do list], and so subsequently said: “you don’t get to see me again, unless you’ve taken leave”.
That’s just one example of how she helps me [on the reg.], the others are significantly more significant [but too personal for this here blog post] … but basically have a lot to do with the development of confidence you’ll need in your tool belt as a people manager / organisational leader, dissecting the sometimes sh*tty comments we receive on socials [and helping me to understand when some comments are warranted, versus others that are no more than someone responding from a place of trigger and are subsequently “not my task” etc.], and I guess, just … the ongoing development of confidence, in general.
I am so lucky to have a resource like this in my tool belt, and I genuinely won’t be doing much of my business owning life without an incredible resource like this to turn to when I need it [and when you’re an organisational leader? … that’s fortnightly, ha!]. #sozMegan
You’ll genuinely want [nay *need*] to know what your personal values are … and they don’t have to be your company values, too [you are not the sum of the workplace you’ve built. F*ck me. I am so much more than that].
My personal values are [thankfully] very complimentary to our company values, but they are also not our company values … and I can’t put into words how important it is to really do the work on knowing what your personal values are so that you head into leadership less “baby giraffe” and a lot more all-walk’n / all talk’n [well, grunting. Do giraffes grunt? I think they do? I digress] giraffe.
Knowing what my personal values are [like, really knowing] helps me to understand why some workplace behaviours might trigger me [oh my lawd, I legitimately can’t handle bad manners. I share this now, because we don’t have this within our workplace currently … but we have in the past, and now I just know: “Cherie, this isn’t going to feel good for you because it goes against your personal values”].
There’s a lotta power in a personal values acknowledgement, and it helps you to make sense of what feels really values-aligned versus what doesn’t.
A *killer* book collection
If you follow us on Instagram [and more specifically, Instagram Stories] … you’ll know I’m almost always nose-deep in a book [and I have a particular love of any book that’ll take me on a more in-depth experience as a leader, both personally speaking … and professionally].
Booktopia. Amazon. Local book stores. I’m thinking I’m probably on a first name basis with all [lol!] … and I’m a frequent order-er-er [and consumer] of anything that’ll blow my tiny little “baby giraffe” leader mind, and have me inspired by how I can do better by knowing better … and a lot of the knowing more comes from the books that I [very regularly] consume.
I’ve left this until last because this [to me] is most important.
Years ago, I was promoted to an in-house Senior Management position and I was told on day one, “prepare to be hated”. I remember thinking, “who, me? No way. My colleagues bluddy love me” [I don’t mean for this to sound arrogant, but in any workplace I’ve ever been in? … I’ve been described as the “loveable” one]
The thing is though, that person was [semi] right. Two months in? … and I was sitting in performance management meetings / telling people they couldn’t have the thing they were requesting [because their expectations were unrealistic] / saying “no” and having perfectly justifiable reasons as to why that “no” had to exist / etc. etc. So spoiler alert? When you’re not giving people the things they’re commanding [and sometimes even demanding] … you’ve got to find a courage in those scenarios to feel ‘ok’ with being ‘disliked’.
And ultimately? … having the courage to be disliked has lead me to just how important self-love is, and I’ll be honest? 2020 is the first year I have finally reached a more genuine place of self-love.
I love me enough to say “no”.
I love me enough to not onboard a red flag client.
I love me enough to cease with the toxic “people pleasing”.
I love me enough to stand behind the content that I share.
I love me enough to take on feedback.
I love me enough to differentiate feedback from “not my task”.
I love me enough to regularly remind myself, “you’re a good person. You have a beautiful heart. You regularly do kind things. You positively impact people via the work that you do. You’re an industry disruptor. You’re a changemaker. Your employees are fortunate to work in a workplace that prioritises human beings, and their health and wellbeing. Your clients are fortunate to work with an organisation that is high-performing, intelligent, kind and compassionate. And for every person out there judging you harshly? … there are 10 more thinking to themselves, thank f*ck this woman exists”.
Self-love not [yet] within your leadership tool belt? … I’d consider a really great business coach, paired back with an exceptional therapist.
That’s 5 things I [permanently] need in my leadership tool belt, but the thing is … that’s just my personal experience [i.e Cherie Clonan’s tool belt], and I’m more interested in you.
What’s in your leadership tool belt?
LMK in the comments below.
Want to see where we share a lot more of our leadership journey?