leadership, personal

Explaining the affirmations – part 2

If you follow me on twitter, you’ve noticed a daily post for the last 5-6 weeks (if you want to see them, go to @realrickarpin on twitter). It started with this one:

Today is the day that matters. Today I will treat others w/ kindness, respond w/ patience and mercy, and above all clothe myself w/ love.

In my last post, I explained why I came to do affirmations, and how I came up with that first affirmation.

Today I will cover my second affirmation:

I will be a positive leader. Adversity will come, lots of it. But it won’t stop me from encouraging, listening to, and appreciating others.

This affirmation covers a few things I am focusing on.

  1. Positivity. As I referenced in the previous post, the genesis of affirmations for me is negative self-talk. And some lack of resiliency and bounce-back from setbacks. So starting with being positive is important for me. I have to be intentional about this; my natural state is somewhat pessimistic. I’m not sure where that comes from, but I know everyone falls on a spectrum of how they come at things with initial reactions. It’s not good to be always positive or always negative, and in fact responses should be calibrated based on context. But generally speaking, I look for problems, and that initial lens can lead to less than ideal behaviors and interactions. Perspective is a huge piece of this, I have written about that before. I find myself saying the old trite phrase “we’re not curing cancer here” a lot – so that even when I see “problems” I can react better. Good thing I don’t work in healthcare… (haha)
  2. Facing adversity goes along with the reaction to setbacks I referenced above. My affirmation tries to accomplish two things. First, be prepared for adversity, not caught off guard. Assume bad things will happen so you can be prepared to react calmly and with poise. Second, fight through the adversity and don’t let it push me back towards an insular/introverted reaction; rather stay the course and show true leadership/set the example – no matter what happens around us, we will not let go of our core values and behaviors – we encourage each other, we listen to each other, we appreciate each other. If I/we can do that in the worst of times, during adversity, then I/we will build a special team.

I think this affirmation is more universal than my first one, as I think a lot of leaders struggle to show up well when times are tough. It’s often easy to be a “great” leader when things are good, but what happens when financial results aren’t meeting expectations, or a few people quit all at once, or an external event impacts your business? Do we panic, and freeze up? Do we revert to trying to do everything ourselves? Do we start blaming others instead of taking ownership? These are the times we need to be most intentional about our leadership.

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