I paused for a second to reflect on what was so different about 2018. No surprise to anyone that knows me, I worked hard as heck as usual yet something about the year was different. I found that I was way more intentional in my actions and approach. Whether it be my work environment or my personal life, I was consciously making some adjustments to my approach and even some relationships, which I found necessary for my personal satisfaction.
John Maxwell constantly speaks to the need to be intentional as a leader and while I am a firm believer in accepting one’s reality, I think last year I better understood the need to be intentional in working towards desired outcomes. If you recall, I have been challenging myself to adopt a new approach to taking risks. One such goal is to reduce my involvement in the day to day operational side of the business. This is a bit of a challenge for me since it means that I need to delegate more, while accepting the risk of delays and even final delivery that varies from my typical standards. Trust me, sometimes this effort frustrates the heck out of me to a point where I want to just jump right back in….but I resist (well most times lol). How else would the team grow and how else would I be able to focus on my own leadership journey?
Both personally and professional, the opportunity to mentor others has peaked my interest. With so many life lessons that shaped my journey, I honestly believe that I can offer new perspective and direction to persons truly seeking to grow. As I too focus on my own growth, I am grounded in my desire to remain humble and for this too I have found the need to be intentional. Whether this means evaluating my responses in certain situations, my tone, my body language and even my ability to listen more. This level of self-assessment really has been an eye opener for me as I think for the first time, I realised how easy it is for others to misread your intentions.
I am committed to maintaining this approach, as I see value in constantly assessing my personal style. Being intentional about this process causes me to ask myself, how do I wish to be perceived by others? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t spend a lot of time internalizing about what others think of me; however, I do think it is important for the people that matter in my life to view me in the way that matches my intentions. The attributes I possess of being genuine, caring, thoughtful and fair, while establishing high standards is really what I wish to constantly portray. I ask myself, am I being successful at this and how do I identify when I am going off track? This approach really encourages me to be intentional in my actions, while consistently evaluating for personal growth. Sounds a lot easier than it is mind you, especially when you are faced with difficult and self-centered people.
“Your life only gets better when you do! Focus on improving yourself and enforcing your personal standards and the rest will follow.”
I speak a lot about leadership in my work life but my approach spills into my personal life too and to my relationships, some of which I am still working to refine. My personal satisfaction and happiness have become of greater importance and priority for me. Over the years, I have found that people are happy to keep taking and taking with very little commitment in return. Now I am at a stage in my life where I find it critical to adjust my personal style when dealing with such characters.
I feel encouraged that my efforts at making these much needed adjustments are well underway. Needless to say, I recognize that this change in mindset and approach is a work in progress. That being said, I am truly committed to making whatever changes are necessary for me to improve my quality of life, including my interactions with people both personally and professionally. Being intentional at pursuing my wants, needs and desires is no longer a choice for me…it is my new way of life!