Stepping stones

Relationships are key to success.

The people you have around, your family, friends, colleagues, the mentor you discuss difficult topics with, those you turn to when it’s time to celebrate, debrief, understand.

The idea of the lonely hero triumphing against all odds is just wrong. Success is quite predictable, and the relationships you are building – the two-way relationships – are the stepping stones.

I am sorry

As a leader, saying I am sorry is your responsibility. It helps healing and looking forward, it gives perspective, it makes you human.

It is also your responsibility to not make of I am sorry an empty sentence. If you find yourselves saying that too often, as a reaction to the same situations, it should be clear it is time for you for a change.

Not there

Find something that makes you happy and stick to it.

Figure out what gives you energy and double down on it.

Understand what gives you a sense of accomplishment and do that consistently.

Notice what puts a smile on your face and expand that until it fills most of your days.

The alternative is a spiral of negativity that will be every day more difficult to escape.

Do not go there.

With intent

Good job! is not feedback.

I like how you handled the situation is not feedback.

We are hiring somebody to support you is not feedback.

Performance reviews are not feedback.

The truth is, we rarely get feedback we can work with. And part of the reason is that we probably don’t like it.

We need to be asking for feedback regularly and with intent. What do you want to know? What could help you on your path? What do you feel is important to you at this stage?

Feedback is not going to happen otherwise.

Before the holidays

Few advises for your last day before the holidays.

  • Take care of the emails early in the day. You don’t want to send out an important message while you are rushing out of the office.
  • Find the courage to say no to last minute requests. In fact, plan your day (even your week) in advance, and stick to the plan.
  • Keep the day free of meetings, and let everybody know in advance.
  • Allocate half an hour to draft a schedule for your first day back. It’s going to make your last days of vacation feel more relaxing.
  • Update your calendar for once you are back. Mark down personal commitments to avoid double bookings, send out invites for things you need to follow up with, allocate time for breaks.
  • Remove work related apps from the phone.
  • Log off 5 minutes earlier.

I promise you, when you are back, everything is still going to be there.

Enjoy the summer!