No Lazy Leaders, No Team Building, and Less Weird Small Talk

The Year is Almost Over. It’s Easy to Be Lazy as a Leader.

I find it very tempting to look at the date–December 3–and just wish January 1, 2021 were here. Wish that this year was over. Refund, please. Or, do-over, please. 

In 2021 we will still be wearing masks.

In 2021 there will still be a pandemic.

In 2021 there will still be uncertainty for many people: job, home, food, paycheck, money, safety, health, you name it . . . 

In 2021 there will be still a lot of the same, and so, it’s tempting to sit back and let 2021 arrive. 

I think that’s lazy. I think that’s a lazy move for all leaders.
So, I invite you to join me for a webinar on December 9. An anti-lazy leader webinar. 

On December 9 at 9 am PT/12 pm ET/5 pm GMT, join me for a webinar titled, Plan Your 2021 Leadership (and Have Fun & Stay Sane at the Same Time).

Here are details:

  • You’ll need a leadership planner, and I have you covered. Download my kick-start 2021 leadership planner here. I’d love if you joined the webinar, too, but if you just want the planner, that’s fine with me. 
  • We’ll walk through the planner during the webinar as well as cover exercises I use with my 1:1 executive coaching clients and my coaching cohorts.
  • You’ll get a sneak peek at the exercises participants in Awesome Manager use to hold themselves accountable.
  • You’ll get to ask questions and learn from your peers.
  • Download the calendar invitation or add this Zoom link and the passcode of 449389 to your calendar for December 9, 2020 at 9 am PT/12 pm ET/5 pm GMT.

You don’t need to register but if you’d like to, it sure helps me plan. I want to make sure to have enough cupcakes for everyone. 😉 

Register on this page.

Now, for you, the anti-lazy leader, a quick tough love message from me:

Your leadership skills will only change if you set an intention to develop them and hold yourself accountable. 

It never happens by accident. Never. 

Trust me on this. I’ve coached over a hundred execs 1:1s and over 2,000 people in workshops. 

Leaders grow because:

  1. They want to.
  2. They get training and help and support.
  3. They plan. And revisit and revise. 
  4. They ask for accountability.
  5. They see a connection between their role and their team and company. The big picture is small enough for them to “get” why being an awesome leader matters (a lot). 

Leadership happens because you say you will do it and you follow through.

So, join me on December 9, 2020 at 9 am PT/12 pm ET/5 pm GMT. Free and open to all. Register here

A Holiday Gift: Less Weird Small Talk

If you’re living in the US, you know last week was Thanksgiving. If you’re unfamiliar with this day, here’s what it is: an American holiday designed to buy a lot of food, prepare a lot of food, eat a lot of food, and then do a lot of shopping. And, oh, be thankful. 

The event usually involves driving to someone else’s house and squeezing together on a couch to sit and eat and drink and talk in a small, uncomfortable place because there’s never enough room for everyone. 

And if you’ve been assigned to bring a certain meal and hate to cook but actually work hard at it and make something good (that’s me), it’s really annoying to get there and see four other people freelanced and brought dessert, too. What the heck?!

But because it’s a pandemic and all, no one should have gone to anyone else’s house. It should have been a quiet and small Thanksgiving for most Americans. 

The one great thing–and I wish I could claim I said this but I can’t (argh)–about Thanksgiving 2020 is that if you stayed at home, you got a gift: less weird small talk. 

Yes, that’s right. Less weird small talk. 

Weird small talk is:

  • Talking to people you’re related to but have never had anything in common with. And never will. 
  • Talking to kids if you don’t have or like kids
  • Talking to kids because you have kids and people think, “Ohhh, Leila, you have kids–talk to this kid!” My POV: I already have two kids, who talk a lot. Why do I need to have more around me who also talk?! Why assign a NEW kid to me?!
  • Talking to neighbors or friends of your host. And some of those people are, ahhh, “interesting”. You have no connection to them but you should be nice to them. Because you gotta get to dessert, which is the whole reason why Thanksgiving exists (another POV of mine). 

But most of us stayed home, and as such, ahhh, we had less weird small talk.

Thanks, pandemic??

And thanks to Heather, who said this before I did. 

Team Building Anyone?

I don’t like team building games. I never have. 

This dislike started with the trust fall game I was forced to play when I was 13 years old. 

Did you ever “play” that game? You close your eyes and purposely fall backwards so people can catch you.

Who designed that?! What type of person considers that a “game”? Considers it something anyone should try to “play”?

Can you tell how I feel about this?

I don’t like wasting time. I prefer to get to the root of things fast. And so, I don’t trust you to catch me. No offense kid who sits next to me in 8th grade, but you’re not an expert catcher of people. I don’t want to play this game. Let’s not pretend we’re friends. Because we’re not.

Why the **** would I trust a bunch of 13-year-old kids to catch me if I fall backwards?

I think I should trust myself and NOT fall backwards.

What’s the connection here with this nutty story and leadership? Here is it: a great article on the neuroscience of trust. No falling backwards required.

Lead with ease and talk to you soon,

PS The photo above is from one of my favorite coffee table books, The Daily Oracle. Need to give someone a funny but approriately fun book? This one fits the bill.