As part of my new position, my organization has an executive director who truly believes in training his staff to be leaders. Being on the leadership team, we are looking at the team meetings as leadership training and as such are approaching the topics accordingly. Although I know that I pretty much write this blog for myself and I don’t publish to my facebook or give out the web address, I feel as if this is the only sounding board I really have to dig deep into my thoughts and in response to this book that I am asked to read. So far, I have read one chapter and man, does this book dig deep. It is called “Tales from the Top: Ten Crucial Questions form the World’s #1 Executive Coach” by Graham Alexander. It’s interesting to see where this book will take me and what book or articles we will read next as a team. For now- addressing chapter 1.
Well, the chapter starts with the question “What are you hiding?” When I first started reading this section, I stopped and wondered “I don’t know what am I hiding?” I usually wear my heart on my sleeve and will tell people what I am thinking and what I am feeling. I think that if you asked me recently, I would say that what I am hiding is the fact that I think I need to do everything myself in order to ensure it is done correctly. I’m not sure that’s true any more. I am learning though that it’s not true and that I need to go outside of myself. This was blasted into me when I left my job in September 2010 and I needed to find friends and family to pray with and for me. Although I am still working on this, I believe that I have made significant progress. When I turned the next page, I was reminded of some of the things that I am hiding…
The job takes up most of my time either in person or in thought, I have concerns with things outside of work including family relationships, my health, and the health of my family members. I wonder what others think of me, I want to make big changes in the program, I don’t know what the best use of my time is or where I add the most value as I am getting involved with every aspect of the program, I want to change the program from low performing to high performing and maintain the diverse culture we have. I worry about my relationship with my supervisor as I don’t get feedback and I’m not sure why. I wonder how I come across one on one and in groups, I wonder how I compare to others (other than the fact that I’m not sure if anyone else would have taken on this program with all of its problems and dreams). I am striving to understand a new management style and yet am confused as to who to respond to. My supervisor, the H.R. Coordinator, and the Executive Director all say different things and have different priorities. To be honest, everything is thrown at me saying “top priority,” but I can only handle so many “top priority” items at the same time before I become inefficient due to multitasking. The book states that these are all topics that need to be examined. My answer is: honey, I have a lot of work to do.
The book does continue to drive home the idea that pressure is building to be confident with a can-do attitude about everything along with the warning that if I think I’m doing everything right, I am in a dangerous place. What about if I feel like I’m doing everything wrong? I don’t get positive feedback from my staff, I don’t get positive feedback from my supervisor, I don’t get positive feedback from really anyone. All I get is addressing the problems and how to fix the problems.What if I don’t want to focus on the problems all the time, but would rather celebrate some successes too! Part of that may be on me though, I have never been one to accept compliments very well and I often become very awkward regarding compliments.
Soooo, back to the question, what am I hiding?-EVERYTHING!!! I have a lot going on in life and I don’t think I’ve ever fully let anyone in on everything that is going on. People know little tidbits here and there, but everything, not a single person on this Earth knows that. My life is between me and the holy trinity. Is that okay?
Next question: “So what is life all about?” I have no idea. Like I stated in my blog yesterday, I’m not sure what life is about or what God has planned for me, all I know is that he placed me where I am for a reason. I love being outdoors AND indoors. I like music, books, movies, technology and at the same time can appreciate it when it all stops and I can just sit still in complete silence and think… Or not think. At the end of the day, I just love life. I try to find the positive thing about every situation in every day and call it my “smile of the day.”
Next question: “What are you afraid of?” Me, I’m afraid of more than I let on. I’m afraid of what will happen next, I’m afraid of making waves that are too big and drowning everyone behind me. I’m afraid of everything and at the same time appear to be afraid of nothing. I think the biggest thing that I am afraid of is myself. I am my own worst enemy and I know this. It’s a matter of how I stop it.
Next question: “Are you willing to dare to be open?” I think I’m making that step as I go. In the beginning of my blog, I dared to be open by revealing a letter I wrote. I’m daring to be open by putting this much of myself on my blog. The next step would be to actually let someone read my blog-although that may not be a bad idea and will probably be required to share what I learned and explored in each chapter.
Next question: “What’s motivating you?” Right now, for me, that is easy. Knowledge. My goal is to be well-equipped to face my future and to have the right knowledge so that no matter what life throws at me I know where to go to get the answers. I know that prayer and interaction with God will lead me to answers, but not necessarily the ones I want to hear.
Next question: “What are you avoiding looking at?” I am avoiding looking at how bad the problem is both professionally and personally. Professionally, the problems just keep getting discovered and no matter how much I try to dig us out, there is another problem lurking around the corner and I’m tired of fixing the problems. Part of it is my fault though that I’m not asking for help on fixing some of them. Personally, there are way too many problems that are happening with no motivation to solve them. I just need to find the right motivation and move on from there, the problem is, how do I find that motivation?
Next question: “Would you rather have the results you want in life, or the reasons you haven’t got them?” To be honest, I’m not sure. I love to have results as the results spur me to continue. Don’t give me too much recognition because then I think my job is done and I just maintain. However, at the same time, I’m so used to chaos and it’s effects in my life that I would almost love just to have a balance between them. Idle hands are not good for me and I know this about myself. I just need to change the things that I’m doing with my idle hands so that I’m not working all the time, but doing the things I love… By the way, what do I love? I haven’t had time to just sit and relax that I’m not sure what I love any more and that’s not good either.
Action items- I don’t want to necessarily spell these out as it is not needed and also, I don’t want to give away all the secrets of the book! Get your own copy!
Action item 1:1 I address this with my blog.
Action item 1:2 I also address this with my blog.
Action item 1:3 I have discussed this extensively in my blog, however, it might be good to admit it again–I NEED HELP!! I cannot do it by myself!
Action item 1:4 I have started this process. I have not yet found someone internally that I can trust at 100%, however, I believe that I found people with specialized knowledge that can help me.
Action item 1:5 I don’t necessarily let people know what I am really thinking, however, I might need to start not only with this blog, but in real life too. SPEAK UP!!!
Action item 1:6 I am facing the facts as I go, I need a comprehensive list of my situational facts to address appropriately.
Action item 1:7 My health, in particular my fitness. I have a joint problem which either adds over 100 pounds of joint fluid on me–which renders it difficult to move and much more painful to do things or it is simply excruciating pain. How do I plow through it all and still be successful?
Action item 1:8 Bite-sized chunk number one. Walk everyday. I love being outdoors, use it as my motivation to just go out and walk around.
Chapter one–complete. If this is how chapter one feels, I fear the next nine. Not necessarily what is to come, but what I will find out about myself.