June 23rd is a day that I will remember for ever. Not only because on June 23rd1964 my first child made his entry into this world but now because it has become what is likely to be remembered as Independence Day. A day of truly mixed emotions – euphoria, excitement, energy, worry, panic, fear and depression. From the highest to the lowest extreme.
Leadership has never been more important. Not just thinking of leadership in the corporate sense but at every level, in every situation and in every environment. With the absolute belief that leadership at its most basic level comes down to three things – how you choose to think, understanding responsibility at a profoundly deeper level, our communication and the impact of that communication. I am now really going to see if I can live what I teach!
There has been so much rhetoric over the past weeks about why we should remain or leave the EU, and even more about why we shouldn’t that I imagine an awful lot of us have been deeply confused and fluctuated from ‘in’ to ‘out’ on an almost an hourly basis – that, to an extent, was true for me as I listened to all the arguments (largely negative sadly). Now that is past and the decision has been made – an unexpected result that certainly left me reeling as it was not expected and the uncertainty of how that might impact us all is concerning. I voted to remain because, with limited knowledge and a certain amount of confusion, felt this was best for Great Britain. I now have a choice about how I choose to deal with a very different reality.
I am fully aware that I can absolutely choose my response – am I going to constantly bemoan the decision giving reasons why it is not going to work, how bad it is all now going to be, talk about it and create negative feelings wherever and whenever I get a chance, however tempting that might be at times. Or – am I going to recognise that this adds no value at all, to myself and others to whom I speak. I want to remind myself that what I put my attention on expands and what I take my attention away from withers and dies. A situation has occurred and I have the option of choosing my response. Perhaps I can begin to think about how I can make it work, where I might find the benefits, what pluses there are if I just look for them and what I can give to the situation that surrounds my life and business.
This may sound a bit crazy but believe me when I say that I absolutely know this is a more useful response – I feel better, I create a belief that it will ultimately be better for individuals at all levels and, critically, it will allow me to think better. I do not think well when I am cross, upset, or worried and none of those are useful ways to feel. Whatever belief I hold, whether useful or not, I will invariably look for evidence to support that belief. I did vote to stay in, and yet leave is the outcome that the majority wished for. I will take 100% responsibility for how I deal with this new situation and I will talk the majority of the time about the opportunities that can be created. I will not spend my time bemoaning how awful it all is as it will achieve nothing whatsoever other than my upset and stress!
I will choose my thoughts, take 100% responsibility for how I choose to think and critically, how I choose to communicate. I will do my best to demonstrate what I passionately believe in - great leadership.