A Leader’s C.A.L.M.; The BIG 4 of Calm Leadership!

Have you ever had a boss that was super-stressed, on-edge, and fidgety? How did they make you feel? Have you ever entered a business and waited to be served by a chaotic staff? How did it make you feel? I think we’ve all been there and have sympathy for the stress a boss or staff must be under…. Especially in today’s professional world of constant change and transition; however our initial internal response, fair or unfair, may be that the boss or staff are incompetent, rude, and you may debate getting a new job or never return to said establishment!

I once had a boss visit our site one day per week… and like clockwork, he’d burst through the door like Kramer from the TV show Seinfeld; looking disheveled, panting, appearing confused, and spitting out random details and jargon… true story! This man could have been right about everything he was saying, however his lack of calm significantly diminished his leadership in the eyes of staff.

Many years ago, I went to get a tooth extracted and it was a horror show! It wasn’t funny in the moment, but I laugh out loud about it to this day. When my wife and I entered the dentist’s office, the waiting room was packed and staff looked like they were racing to put out a 4-alarm fire. Once I was called back, a nurse raced through instructions and prepared me. The dentist entered whispering something the nurse with his back to me… a big burly man standing about 6’3 and at least 230lbs. Suddenly, I heard a woman from the next room begin to cry aloud in agony. The 6’3 and 230lbs dentist then turned around to face me and said, “Are you ready?”. I said, “Ready for what?” as he put his forearm in my chest, a shoehorn type instrument in my mouth and said, “Go against it!”. After the sounds of bone cracking, my tooth was finally extracted… with the nurse popping back into the picture giving a gatling-gun explanation of how to care for the brand-new hole in my face! I stopped her, exclaiming my bewilderment of the experience, ventured back out to the waiting room, looked at my wife, and said, “I don’t know what the heck just happened to me!” We still laugh about it to this day! The point is being frantic can get in the way of your leadership, decrease the respect your people have for your leadership, and your team may not know what to prioritize when everything is a perceived crisis. There’s a time… sometimes a strategic time for leaders to lose their cool… however, most of the time A Leader’s C.A.L.M. is on your side; so how do you do it and maintain it?

Confident

As a leader, it’s easier to stay calm and to calm your team when you’re confident…. and confidence comes in three parts!

  1. Show Up Confident – Instead of bursting through the door like Kramer and being disheveled, hyper, and confused like I described earlier… be mindful of how you enter the room, how you begin your virtual calls, and your tone via email. Take a breath and begin with head up, eyes up, greeting others, and sharing the agenda and flow of the meeting or day. It’s helpful to look as though you want to be there! Remember, your people are watching…. Why would they want to work for you, with you, and for an organization that makes their leader look so stressed and burnt-out. Also, leader’s build other leaders… and very few people will want to replace you if they believe your job makes you look that way or that the organization allows you to look that way… Be Mindful!
  2. Know What You Know – Be a nerd about your craft; allowing you to increase your confidence in your skill-set and ability to assess and address a multitude of issues.
  3. Create a Marriage – Your confidence and the confidence your organization, team, and people have in you will increase when you choose to marry what you know and want to give with what they need most right now!

When you increase your confidence, you’ll increase your calmness; knowing you are prepared, ready, and eager to win and lead your team!

Affluent-Minded

I’ve found those that are affluent in achievement and/or wealth stress less over problems and disappointment because they are too focused extracting the lessons learned and preparing the solution. When I was first starting my business; I did what many entrepreneurs do in the beginning… throw anything and everything against the was to see what sticks! I partnered with a gentleman and decided to host and begin our own monthly networking events; a great way to get our desired prospects in the same room and to get our message out. This concept was outside what I really wanted to do, however I married my dream not the path and was willing to experience the outcome. No one showed up, Lol! It was so tragic, I remember praying as the time passed that no one walk through the door, because that would be more embarrassing!

As we sat there, I shared ideas of what we could have done better, if this was still the ways to go, other options, and never wavered in ideas or excitement. The owner of the establishment asked how I could be so positive and I remember answering, “Because we can’t change what is, at least we know what doesn’t work, and we get to move onward!”. I remember both, the owner and my partner, being impressed and speechless.

Impress your staff with your Affluent-Mind and know you can be a leader no matter where you are within your organization or in life as long as you understand why you were successful, why something didn’t work, lessons learned, what the person (client, customer, boss, employee, etc.) need most right now, and how to best deliver it… in a positive manner!

Listen

This is simple, yet monumentally important. States of panic tend to reduce your ability to listen effectively. As a leader, when you’re practicing your calm… be sure to listen. As you walk through the office, attend your virtual calls, and read your emails I’m sure you’re inundated with people’s questions, statements, and ideas. Fight the urge to interject too early and actively listen to what they are saying, why they’re saying it, the validity of their message, and possible solutions if applicable.

This is truly a balancing act and an act of leadership; as leaders must protect their time as they have a thousand things to do and possibly on to their 17th virtual call of the day. In my Trainings and Speaking Engagements, I often share A Leader’s Doorway and A Leader’s Two Dates as positive ways to listen, protect their time, and build other leaders in the process. The goal for “Listen” is to be present when your people are speaking with you and responding to you; allowing you to best understand their point of view, offer fine-tuning tips, and helping to best prioritize tasks and duties. To remain calm… be sure to make eye contact, nod your head, write down their ideas in front of them, affirm you hear them, and schedule a follow-up meeting if necessary. It will make you appear more calm, more approachable, and them willing to listen to you in return!

Motivate

There’s a famous story of Joe Montana leading his team to a Superbowl victory in the calmest way ever. He was quarterback of the San Francisco 49’ers in the 80’s; there was a minute left in the game and they needed a touchdown to win. He gathered his team in the huddle and he noticed they looked anxious and stressed… it was the Superbowl! He looked each of them in the eye and said, “Hey, isn’t that John Candy (a famous actor) over there in the front row?”. His teammates were mesmerized by how calm he was to point someone out in the crowd during the biggest moment of their lives. Yes, it took skill and execution to win the game… however, remaining calm in the face of massive pressure had something to do with it! Needless to say, they drove down the field, scored, won the game, and Joe Montana and that team became the team of the ‘80’s!

There are times for Rah-Rah motivation and that’s the style of some leaders. However, not everyone on your team are motivated that way, like that style, or believe you to be that way. Calmly motivate, influence, impact, and thank your team via email, virtual calls, and in-person meetings by verbalizing your faith in the vision, the mission, and their ability to achieve win after win! Enjoy your C.A.L.M as you enhance not only your Leadership & Work/Life Harmony, but also that of those you’re leading!

“Your people are watching…. Why would they want to work for you, with you, and for an organization that makes their leader look so stressed and burnt-out. Leader’s build other leaders… and very few people will want to replace you if they believe your jobs makes you look that way or that the organization allows you to look that way… Be Mindful!” – Andre Young

Written by: Andre Young

Click www.youevolvingnow.com to find out more about Andre Young’s Leadership & Work/Life Harmony Trainings, Speaking Engagements, Books, and more; evolving your organization, your leaders, employees, and teams!

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