When Mary-Anne arrived back at work after the break she received an email from her boss that upset her. She had asked him to confirm his end of year offer for her to lead a big new project in February. But his response was ambivalent. It seemed to her like he was withdrawing his support.
She would have advised anyone else in this situation to have a clarifying conversation with her boss. But instead she stewed in self-doubt, anger and disappointment. She was ready to pack her bags and find another job.
She had the presence of mind to step back and reflect on why his lukewarm response had triggered such a strong reaction in her. While it was disappointing, it was not the end of the world.
Mary-Anne had fallen across the finish line in 2017 after a non-stop year. Like many of us, she focused on what she had not done. Because of her perfectionist tendency, she largely ignored what she had actually accomplished. Whatever she achieved did not seem like enough. She picked up the new year where she had left off, dissatisfied and unfulfilled.
The email from her boss confirmed her worst fear, that perhaps she really did not have what it takes to be a game-changing leader.
When she made the time to list what she had accomplished in 2017, both personally and professionally, she was pleasantly surprised. Sure, there were some goals that she had not fully achieved, but she was proud of the big things that she had made happen. From this firmer foundation of accomplishment, she could see her areas for improvement as just that, not as evidence of her lack of leadership capability.
She was also able to adopt a fresh mindset for 2018; a year of greatness for herself and others. She instituted the practice of keeping a ‘legend file’* to list her daily accomplishments, big and small, personal and professional. It serves as a reminder should she lose sight of her greatness mindset. By the way, the process of acknowledging her accomplishments gave her the confidence to stand for her value and straighten out the misunderstanding with her boss. She will be leading the game-changing project.
Are you building on a foundation of accomplishment for 2018?
Best regards, Brian
*With thanks to Peter Cook for the legend file practice
PS: Want to take your leadership to a new level in 2018? Contact us for a free 30 minute leadership diagnostic.