I love to remind my executive leadership clients of the Charles Swindoll quote, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
Maybe someone less qualified than you got that promotion at work, or maybe you weren’t asked to speak on behalf of your organization at a big external event.
Things will happen in life, you can count on it. As John Lennon famously said, “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.” But great leaders learn to be resilient.
The Resilient, Forward-Thinking Mindset
When life throws you a curve ball, don’t make it worse by focusing all your precious energy on reliving the disappointment in the movie theater of your mind.
Change the channel and keep moving forward, because that is what executive leadership is all about. What you do right now – not what you may have done yesterday or are considering doing tomorrow – is what really counts.
The mood, attitude, and emotional energy exchange you bring to every situation and conversation throughout the day will ultimately determine your long-term success.
Let it Go and Keep Your Head in the Game.
Have you ever held on so tightly to something, trying to maintain control, that you lost it? There is story told in India, that if you want to catch a monkey then put some peanuts into heavy jar that has a narrow neck. The monkey will reach in, grab the nuts, and then refuse to let go – keeping his arm trapped inside the jar.
I’ve never tried that on a monkey, but I’ve seen managers and leaders do it in the corporate world. To really excel at executive leadership you have to train yourself to know when to let go.
Don’t think of it as relinquishing executive control. Instead think of it as exerting leadership control over your mind and emotions. If you learn to harness mindset power you will tap into and master your most valuable natural resource.
Take Away Exercise: Control the 1st Executive Leadership Decision of Your Day
Each day, first thing in the morning, mindfully make an executive leadership decision to engage yourself with a positive mindset.
Squelch the soundtrack of that “evil twin within” who tries to rehash past setbacks, dredge up deep-seeded insecurities, or exaggerate the fear factor.
Make a vow. Whatever life throws at you today, you’ll figure out a way to push through it, reframe the negatives into positives, and keep your morale (and that of those who depend on you for leadership) high and unstoppable.
Try it for 10 days, and then please let me know the results, okay?
As a pioneering and visionary innovator, Sarah is a certified professional image consultant and brand strategist, speaker, trainer and author. Her company, Illustra Consulting, provides leading-edge image and brand management strategies for top leaders and high achievers who wish to take their career to the next level. She also delivers innovative and inspiring corporate workshops to assist large organizations in strengthening their corporate brand.
Copyright © 2015, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIM, CPBS 1-800-267-3245, [email protected]
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