Earlier this year, I did an interview for a site for entrepreneurs called Business Info Guide. It has just gone live! If you would like to learn a bit more about me and my book, “The Consummate Leader,” be sure to check it out.
Here is a bit of the interview to whet your appetite:
What is your book about?
My book is a holistic and interactive guide to leadership that is designed to help leaders to be more effective at inspiring and developing those who report to them. The book is appropriate for leaders of varying levels of experience, and as opposed to providing a lot of techniques, I encourage the reader to take a deep look at himself or herself so they can increase their insights and be very intentional about how they are interacting with others. In the book, I discuss the seven characteristics of a Consummate Leader, which include self-awareness, spirituality, self-management, positivity, authenticity, relationship building, and coaching and developing others. The book draws heavily on research, case studies, my personal experiences as a consultant to senior leaders for the past 10 years. There are also a lot of exercises throughout the book, so you can work to become a better leader in a very tangible and practical way.
What differentiates my book from a lot of other leadership books is that it requires the reader to do some hard work. I think books that make it seem as though effective leadership is the result of following steps like a cookbook are over-simplified. I really encourage the reader to take a deep dive into themselves, so they can understand themselves and the experiences that underlie the choices you make. I also take a holistic approach so the reader can understand how choices they make in their personal lives influence their effectiveness at work. Things like physical exercise, nutrition, meditation, and how you manage your moods, for example, have been shown to influence your effectiveness in the workplace.
As I write this article, my quadriceps and hamstrings are sorer than they have been in years. I have been gingerly climbing stairs and letting out glorious sighs of relief every time I sit down. What, you ask, is responsible for the pathetic state in which I find my body? Car accident? Fall down the stairs? Slip on a banana peel? Nope! My dear husband, my accountability partner, is responsible for my wretched existence – and I couldn’t be more grateful.
My husband, amongst his many talents, is a certified personal trainer. And recently, I got over my issue of not wanting him telling me what to do and agreed to let him train me. It has been a challenging, yet rewarding experience. While there has admittedly been some discomfort, it has totally been worth it. Not only am I stronger and healthier, I also feel capable of things I didn’t think were possible. It has also shown me the ideal characteristics one should seek in an accountability partner.
An accountability partner is an ally who helps you work toward your goals. Whether you are aiming to get healthier, reach new heights in your career, or pursue an artistic endeavor, everyone who is serious about personal or professional development should have one.
Recruit a friend, significant other, colleague, or professional coach to work with you, knowing that this person can be powerful collaborator in your personal growth.
The key is making sure he or she has the following characteristics:
When you are working on personal development, having someone who will give you positive reinforcement keeps you focused. Throughout our workouts, my husband encourages my efforts, saying things like “Good job” and “You’ve got this.” This helps me to stay upbeat when the going gets tough.
While it can feel great to have friends who will let you stay inside your comfort zone, your accountability partner should be someone who will push you. After all, if you are going to grow, you need to experiment with new behaviors! Doing bicep curls while balancing on one leg after having run up and down a hill twice wasn’t exactly something I would have chosen to do on my own accord. But, when I followed my husband’s suggestion, it strengthened my core, developed balance, and gave me a sense of pride when I completed it successfully.
Personal growth can be challenging, and knowing someone can relate to what you are going through can be helpful. While your partner may not be working on the exact same issues, hearing someone say, “I know how you feel” or “I’ve been there” can be comforting.
4. But Not TOO Compassionate
While you want someone who is compassionate, you don’t want her to be so compassionate that she will listen to your excuses and complaints and allow you to sell yourself short. During our workouts, my husband can relate to the fact that I might be a little uncomfortable, but not so much so that he allows me to quit.
5. Emotionally Resilient
The path to personal growth is not always a smooth one, and sometimes, we need someone who can be an emotional support, without taking some of our comments personally. By the end of some workouts, I find myself giving my husband death stares in response to some of his requests. He, however, takes it all in, stays good-natured, and continues to push me and provide encouragement.
6. Willing to Give Constructive Feedback
We are not always the best judges of how we are doing. Having someone who is willing to provide constructive feedback can help us course-correct and help guard against blind spots. When working out, a few helpful comments help me align my body appropriately, and get the most out of my exercises.
7. Sees Great Potential in You
Research shows that we often meet others’ expectations of us. So, if the bar is set high, we frequently attain it. Likewise, if expectations are low, we can achieve mediocre performance. During a workout, I sometimes look at my husband incredulously in response to a suggestion saying, “You want me to do what?” He just smiles, says, “I know what you can do. Just try.” Nine times out of ten, he is right, and my conception of the feats of which I am capable expands.
8. Gives You a Break
While personal growth requires persistence, sometimes you just need to recharge and get ready for the next challenge. Whether he suggests I take a day off, or nurtures me with a soothing massage, he gives me moments to rest. Your accountability partner should understand when you need a breather, and be there for you to recuperate, plan for the next sprint, and help you reflect back with pride on all of your progress.
Regardless of the domain in which you are trying to develop, if you have the help and support of a great accountability partner, your odds for success will increase. I encourage you to find one (or several) today!
Could you stand to be a bit more resilient? If so, I suggest you read this article in which I was featured in Lady Lux magazine…
Have you ever noticed how some people are stressed during transitions while others seem to be unfazed by it all? People who can face failure, or stressful situations, without getting overwhelemed are showing emotional resilience. Resiliency is the ability to recover and learn from life’s setbacks without losing your optimism, sense of self-worth, and the ability to take reasonable risks. Resilient people soothe from within and not from sources such as drugs or alcohol.
Here are seven things that emotionally resilient people do when faced with a difficult situation:
Learn the Immense Power You Possess
Patricia Thompson, Ph.D., an Atlanta-based corporate psychologist and author of “The Consummate Leader: a Holistic Guide to Inspiring Growth in Others…and in Yourself,” shared her thoughts as to the top traits of resilient people:
Click here to read the rest of the article
This is a very personal post I wrote for Tiny Buddha about my own journey to find purpose. If it resonates with you, I would love to hear from you in the comments!
“Our lives improve only when we take chances and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.” ~Walter Anderson
Growing up in a small town in Western Canada, I was known as the kid who accomplished things.
I was the well-mannered and conscientious child who skipped grade two, was at the top of her class, played three musical instruments, took ballet lessons, French lessons, swimming lessons, and any other lesson in which I expressed an interest.
While this might sound like the calendar of an over-scheduled kid, it actually never felt that way. I had a real love of learning, and appreciated the opportunity to be exposed to so many things.
While I was grateful for all the privileges afforded to me by my parents, the unintended side effect of being the kid who accomplished a lot was that it set a very high bar in terms of others’ expectations of me.