Dear leaders:

Early in the pandemic, many of us were operating on our surge capacity (Great article here). We had the kind of energy and focus we’ve seen first responders bring to a natural disaster. Surge capacity works great in the beginning but after a while we get worn out.

By late spring, after a few months of business, mothering, and “home schooling” I found myself tripping over my words. I’d never felt that way before. I was concerned and I knew I really needed a rest. Here’s what I came up with when I stepped back…

How is your capacity right now? When you think about the fall, do you feel energized? Scared?  A mixture of many things?

For me, it is a real mix. When I get out of presence, I fear getting calls from school in the middle of a Forum day, needing to constantly zig and zag to deliver our conscious leadership work etc. When I am able to stay in the present moment, I can see that I have everything I need. My family are I are healthy.  My business is in good shape.  My colleagues are supportive. Excellent leaders will join a new cohort of our Conscious Leader Forum in October.

Nonetheless, I feel I will need some touchstones this fall. My summer experiences and reflections helped me put together this little formula. It may resonate with you too.

Meet the Muse + The Hoss Approach + Conscious Acceptance = Big Impact Over Time

Let’s explore the pieces.

Show Up Every Day to Meet the Muse

Don’t wait for the muse…. Your job is to make sure the muse knows where you’re going to be every day from nine ’til noon or seven ’til three. If he does know, I assure you that sooner or later he’ll start showing up.

Stephen King

For a couple of weeks in July, we had the good fortune of staying in a cottage in Canoe Cove. We enjoyed time on the beach collecting sea glass. The tiny pieces that felt not worth bending for eventually became this tall vase full of coloured glass.  It took showing up each day at low tide + staying until we found a handful of glass each day to amount to a full vase. This daily ritual with my daughter Lali, and sometimes with friends, felt really peaceful and connected.

We are using this approach in our little flower charity Les fleurs de Lali also. This is our third summer growing flowers to sell. We arrange and sell a bouquet a day (more or less).  We’ve raised $700+ for Ronald McDonald House Atlantic so far this summer.

What life or leadership result do you want to create? What small daily action, compounded day after day would eventually give you a full “vase”?

The Hoss Approach

During these COVID times, it can be hard to muster enough energy to tackle big and complicated projects. Enter “The Hoss Approach”. Hoss (Don) is my dad. If you know him, you know he’s a guy that gets things done. I have long admired his just start energy. Sometimes there is a little collateral damage but that’s a topic for a different post.

Need your garage cleaned? Get up right now and put a few things in a pile to donate. Need your windows washed? Spray some glass cleaner on the dirtiest one. Sometimes you get in flow and finish the whole job. Other times, you simply get a start. Either way, you will have accomplished something.

Conscious Acceptance

It’s fine to promise yourself that you’ll show up to “Meet the Muse” each day at 9 a.m. and that you’ll use “The Hoss Approach” to chip away at an important leadership initiative you want to launch in 2021. In a perfect world, that would work.  We live in the real world. We live in a COVID world. We live in a racist world. Some days, you may be tired, sad, or angry. Some days, someone else will interrupt your plan. Some days you might question why the initiative even matters. 

Conscious leaders know that things shift all the time.  Conscious leaders know that they cannot change what they cannot accept in themselves, in others and in the situation. They get very good at asking themselves how they are showing up in any given moment (Context). They follow this by asking themselves if they can accept themselves for feeling scared, distracted, annoyed etc.  Leaders who know their context, can truly change the game for themselves and others. 

Big Impacts Over Time

As we move into fall, challenges will be coming our way. They always do. Starting with self-acceptance (over and over again) can help us meet the moment.  And planning to meet our muse every day for a little bit of “Hoss” progress will mean we can fill our vases with what matters most…even in these trying times.

And remember…

Meet the Muse + The Hoss Approach + Conscious Acceptance = Big Impact Over Time

P.S. – Thank you Wendy MacIntryre of resolveHR for sharing the article on surge capacity!

2 Comments

  1. Cathy Payne on September 3, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    Thank you Lisa for this wonderful article! It is beautifully written. You made a difference for me today/

  2. Betty Allen on September 3, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    Fabulous article Lisa – you are an amazing woman – unlimited talent in all aspects of your life PARENTING and entrepreneurship

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