I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to write about tonight because there is so much. I just finished reading “Redesigning Leadership” by John Maeda, it felt honest, unassuming, forgiving and kind to read. There are a lot of leadership books where ego gets in the way of the lesson; they feel like a “you’re doing it wrong” read. Just from this 80-ish page book, I have five items I want to work on personally in my professional life.
The first is less emoticons in emails. I’m not over the top but I tend to default to them, either to indicate a literal smile or to soften a disagreement. It is like I am yelling, “I am still on your side! I still support you! (But this is wrong and here is my idea.” That doesn’t make sense. People know who I am; I do not need to reassure them of anything.
The second is no arm crossing in meetings. I’m aware of this as it is and try to smile to counteract the arm crossing. It is just more comfortable, but I’ll figure something else out.
The next is related, be a “wannabe.” We all have meetings we don’t want to go to. But I love my job, so I wannabe there. Show it.
Similarly, be open-minded. I get protective of my projects, but different perspectives make them better.
And finally, remember “intention at the beginning matters.” If I intend to improve all these things because I want to be a better co-worker, employee, leader, etc. people will see that and I will get there.
I also want to say that Bianca Giaever’s video was a timely reminder to use my overactive imagination to imagine away the scared and focus on the positive. Who doesn’t need that?