Over the next four weeks I will be in Washington, D.C.; Cody, Wyoming and Billings, Montana; Raleigh, North Carolina; Minneapolis, Minnesota; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Austin, Texas three times. With all that travel, for work and for speaking engagements, I will have more limited time to write because the time I’m home I want to make sure I am completely present with my husband and kids.
So a few of my posts will be some of my greatest hits. On Leadership Tuesdays, I’ll look back at some of the original posts but will have some new entries from the new materials I’m preparing as I speak. Since I’m going to be talking a lot about bravery, here’s a post from this time last year about that exact topic – so go be brave you strong leader!
I’ve not ceased being fearful.
I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back, turn back, you’ll die if you go too far.
Sometimes, when aspiring leaders hear “take risks,” they translate that to “don’t be scared.”
That’s not risk-taking.
Smart calculated risks mean going ahead despite the pounding in your heart.
As Shona Brown, a Senior Vice President of Google, put it, it’s that point where you’re about to jump off a ski slope that you know you can ski, “and your stomach is going woo!”
Or as blogger Lisa-Jo Baker so succinctly puts it, “Scared is the new brave.”
You move forward even though you are still scared. You bravely take the step that needs to be taken even when your knees are knocking.
Change making is what leaders do. If it were easy, everyone would lead. If it were easy, the world would be a peaceful, vibrant, encouraging place. Change is hard. Change means you won’t always win the popularity contest. Change means things might get harder before they get better or easier or stronger.
Yet as Diane Yu told me when I interviewed her for my first book, “We cannot blindly enter into leadership roles without a practical perspective of what that leadership comes with, yet the burden is one we must bear in order to effect change and make a positive difference in the world around us.” (Learning to Lead)
Sooo… I’m writing another book.
Ack. I just wrote that down.
I am scared.
Because I’m doing this one without the safety net. But this is the book I want to write. This is the book that I feel inspired to pen with each new book I read or each new speaker I hear or each new story I am told.
What if it’s a disaster? What if everything I’m coming up with has already been said? What if this and that and the other? You know how those voices in your head work. And they stop you from doing what you are called to do and uniquely capable of achieving. You are marvelously unique. No one else can accomplish what you can in the way that you can accomplish it.
What would you do if you could do anything?
What would you set your sights on if you felt you could climb that mountain of fear that is blocking your view?
Where would you travel, what job would you take, which position would you run for, what decision would you execute, who would you call, what platform would you build?
Do. That. Now.
Don’t do it foolishly. Lightheartedly. Without analysis and perspective and counsel. Of course. Be savvy.
But do not let fear stop you.
Go ahead despite the pounding in your heart. In fact, go ahead because of it. (===> Click to Tweet) That’s when we live and grow and learn and develop.