Are you bringing the ‘real you’ to your leadership?
Ad Florem means “to flower”, which reflects my aspiration to help senior leaders grow and flourish in their roles. But an unexpected bonus of having this business has been how many opportunities I’ve had to grow, too!
After being in business for a few months, I made a commitment to myself.
I made the decision to only spend time on activities that energised me and where I could add value. Basically, if I wasn’t going to feel it, and be energised by it, I wasn’t going to believe in it and therefore wouldn’t perform at my best.
Three and a half years on, and it’s working great!
My first year in business was so different to how it is now
After the first 12 months, I sat down and reflected on what I’d achieved.
I’d worked with senior leaders in NHS Acute Trusts, Ambulance Trusts, Local Authorities and both established and start-up businesses. I’d partnered with two professional institutions and two event organisers to provide leadership workshops across the UK and with Salford University to create an online learning programme enabling leaders to hold coaching conversations to nurture individual performance and growth.
But when I looked back in my diary, I realised I’d also been involved in activities that didn’t feel like achievements. Sure enough, I’d been involved, I’d done something, however, none of it made me smile.
Many of these things I did in my first year kept me busy and my diary full, but on reflection, I realised this was just stuff. I could do it but it didn’t energise me, and therefore didn’t make my list of ‘things I’ve achieved’.
Of course, I had plenty of work that energised me, too. However, I hadn’t always followed through. I reflected that if I wanted to do something, I needed to fully commit, which involved stepping away from certain people and projects and contracting others to complete certain tasks on my behalf.
When I made these changes, even though my diary was initially less full, I had much more energy to be present, connect with people and bring my whole self to my work – exactly what I encourage my clients to do!
So I’d grown, and my website had to catch up!
After three and a half years in business, I’m much more comfortable with who I am. I no longer feel I have to do something just because I can, or behave, dress or speak in a certain way if it saps my energy. It’s more important that my energy is present with people, so I can give the best of myself.
However, although people were getting the ‘real me’ in person, and in my blogs, I realised two years ago, that my website was very much stuck in what I thought when I first set up my business.
I’d grown as a person, and the packaging no longer fitted.
It was time for a change.
So I spoke to clients, peers, and people who knew me in a professional capacity and asked them to describe me and share how I add value. The outcomes of the questions are scattered throughout my website as you see it now, and now I feel people who visit my website are getting the ‘real me’.
I also created a free guide for you to download, “10 things you can do for YOU to improve your performance at work”. This reflects the guidance I give my coaching clients to help them bring their real selves to their work. It’s on the homepage – I hope you find it helpful, too.
Just for fun… do you let people see the ‘real you’? If you’re doing things that don’t energise you, what would you like to change? Let me know in the comments below.