December 2009 : "What message are you projecting as a leader in your
Is it packed with fear during these economic challenges? Are you
coming from scarcity? Is the manner you are projecting based in stress,
concern and worry? Is your body or your voice abrupt, tight and
abrasive? Are the words out of your mouth thoughtless and based in your
emotions? What moods are you projecting? What messages are you putting
out there for those who believe in you to read or hear?
Is it time to consider the possibility of "shifting" or transforming the
conversations you are projecting as a leader in your company? The above
conversations are not from the perspective of a leader grounded in his
commitment… unless his commitment is to scarcity.
Your team, your employees, your bosses are working from "what's possible
in the company." Are you communicating with them appropriately? Or are
to them as if they 'need to know' the absolute minute details of the
challenges the company is having in this market, as you might with a
Board of Directors?
Believe me, they too know that the economy is pinched and do not need to
the company is in 'near dire straits.' They are dealing with it
themselves and to hear this information coming from you, their 'trusted
leader', just may be undermining their hopes for peace of mind, your
leadership and eventually the health of your company.
Let me give you an example of what I mean. As a U.S. Coast Guard
licensed Captain, I took participants of my courses off-shore cruising
(out of sight of land) on 40-50 foot sailboats for 4-10 day cruises, and
during these cruises I learned a valuable perspective I hadn't
At times we would be challenged by weather or an engine mishap or once,
a backstay snapped off causing the main sail to be supported only by the
wind leaving it impossible to drop the sail until we were under an ideal
situation. Over time, I found that if I projected fear or upset as their
'leader,' participants were absolutely frightened for their lives. If I
was 'down in the dumps' and was unconscious about it, they became upset,
angry, and bickered with each other. If I was having problems with the
boat, the weather, the situation, etc. and showed it to them via my
voice, my mood or my body dispositions, they became almost unreachable
and untrustworthy and then my problems increased exponentially.
If you 'come from' scarcity in your moods, your language, or your body
dispositions, your company employees will come from scarcity.
What worked was for me to always stand in what was "possible" - not
certainty, but the possibility of creating and standing in a life that I
had designed by taking on being their leader. Once I had stepped back
and observed my way-of-being, my crews naturally became well aware of
when I was focused and knew not to interfere with what I was
doing on the boat. Their upsets and concerns naturally fell to what
their crew assignments were. They trusted that I was doing all I could
do to ensure their safety. At times, I didn't know what the heck I was
going to do; however, they were focused, excited and content and kept
bringing me back to the solutions I always seemed to find
out of them being who they were for me.
You are the proclaimed leader of your company (YAY!). My unsolicited
Stand in what's possible - not probable and quit spilling your guts!
Ouch. Did I say that? Yes, I did. Begin to observe the messages you are
projecting to your company. To your family. To yourself. Is that really
the message you are choosing to project and in fact, 'live into' in your
As Bucky Fuller said:
"You cannot change people -
But you can change the environment
And people will change."
Change the environment of your company from scarcity to abundance. You
are the leader, and it can only come from you. THEY [we] follow YOUR
Sometimes you have to step out and make choices that are not easy;
however, 'we' do not need to know the reasons why. Understanding is the
My intention is for you to succeed and to continue to draw from who your
employees, your team, your boss, are for you. They are your rudders.
They are there for you to be brilliant and to continue to move towards
your vision. Listen to that intention and live into it.
Stop. Yes, stop. Stop what you are doing. Stop thinking of what you are
thinking if it is anything but of you.
Take a breath. Now take another breath; one that is a conscious breath
full of the realization that life is full of many aspects that you may
have been unconscious about given the drift of the conversations in the
world right now.
All is not lost. You are your most important resource in the job "you
should / want to / have to / or need to get done." Your job is unique to
you because of what you bring to it. The people that work for you are as
good as what you project to them. Become curious. Who you are being for
yourself? Or for them?
Relax your shoulders. Relax your back, your neck, your body. Take
Think about the message you wish to project. Ask yourself, how can you
practice that message rather than the one you have been practicing?
Please share with me what you are now noticing.
Patricia Hirsch, MBA, Master Certified Coach and Chief Empowerment Officer with Design Your Life Coaching