Leadership Gravity: 12 Behaviors Leaders Can Release to Access Joy

Leadership gravity.  What’s that?  A leader’s ability to let go of and drop what’s in the way or limiting progress rather than carry it around too long.
This post was taken from Leading Coach Meredith Kimbell’s fabulous newsletter: Corporate Adventure Leadership Coaching Notes, reprinted here with her blessing.
12 things leaders can release to create more joy (with the help of gravity and some practice.)

  1. Drop your need to know. Increase your genuine sense of “wonder” and invite new relaxation, creativity, enthusiasm and possibilities you will never discover without it.
  2. Drop your over-exaggerated sense of importance. If you think you are the only one who “gets it” or can do “it,” you’ve mis-stepped as a leader.  Stop overburdening yourself, overlooking others who want to help and causing everyone more stress than needed. Use the time you find to develop and leverage others more effectively.
  3. Let go of any hope of being perfect. Put it down.  Your people won’t be perfect and neither will you.  Dropping this impossible standard will release you to relax, laugh and delegate more.
  4. Put down your seriousness. Laugh at yourself and your mistakes as an awesome way to keep perspective, loosen up and invite others to see you as a person they can approach with ease.
  5. Surrender your sense of being indispensible. Go home.  Take breaks.  Use all your vacation days, unplugged.  Invest in your vitality to keep yourself at your best and set a great example for others.
  6. Drop being the first and most dominant voice. Listen more.  Shrink your airtime and you will connect with others, show you care, and learn things you’ll never discover any other way.
  7. Let go of pre-judging. Hold history like a swordsman holds a sword…not to tight and not too loose.  If you hold on to history too tightly, your prejudices will only guarantee more history.  If you relax and welcome a fresh start, for yourself and others, you will set the stage for creating an adventure worth living.
  8. Release self criticism. Ok, let go of criticizing of others too, but start with yourself.  Substitute self reflection and learning for obsessively dumping on yourself.  Contrary to what you may have learned, you really will be brilliant without keeping your foot on the back of your neck.
  9. Drop the chatter. Whether the chatter is in your head, on TV, radio, or social media, turn it off.  Art starts from blank paper, music from silence and your most authentic knowing and creative ideas from a place of relaxed “flow.”  Learn to relax deeply.  It takes practice, but start with even, deep breathing during meetings and on your commute.
  10. Disengage from so much “how”. Getting consumed with “how will we ….,” puts you on the hamster wheel of urgency, overwhelm and stress.  Get off by focusing yourself and others first on “why” something is worth doing and “what” you can contribute.  Once everyone is clear about why and what, the how’s will flow far more easily.
  11. Drop contracting. Anytime you feel tight, let it go.  Move, exhale fully, talk it out, and let gravity pull down every cell.  Your health, creativity and effectiveness will thank you for it.
  12. Release boredom. Let go of the disengagement that causes boredom.  Reconnect with what is most important to you and contribute what fulfills you so you engage enthusiastically, at your best.

Meredith Kimbell, Award-winning Executive Coach, Co-author of Create the Business Breakthrough You Want can be reached at mkimbell@corporateadventure.com

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