The holidays are a stressful time for all of us, when we struggle with work-life balance (or not) and work to serve our business and our families with equal gusto, too often at the expense of ourselves.
This month when things are so crazy, I’m reminded that the holidays are a good opportunity to practice a leadership skill that I believe is #1 for anyone at any level: Integrity. The ability to do what you say and say what you’ll do is much more challenging than the simple words themselves. When you really commit to the principle of integrity, you think much harder about what you’re capable of doing within any given timeframe, you ration your most important resource – yourself – much more precisely, and you accept your own mistakes with more grace.
I gave a leadership development seminar recently and one mid-level manager, an attorney, stood up and declared that he credited his personal commitment to Integrity with his own career success. He went on to say that his office director had made a public commitment to this core principle as well and he’d witnessed the reputation of their office do a 180 over the course of the last 18 months. A simple little principle that pays off in deep and powerful ways for individuals and groups.
Integrity is a Cure for Holiday Stress
So here’s an executive coaching tip; there is no time when Integrity is more needed than at the holidays. The potential for distraction and falling out of Integrity is greater than ever. Stay fast to your principles. Say “yes” when you mean Yes and “no” when you mean No. Be your word and watch the stress melt away.
There is no perfect solution to this challenging time of year – only your own. And this is the test of true leaders, to internalize all the lessons “they” toss out at you about what it means to be a leader. It’s all “true” but it only makes you a powerful leader when you make it your own. Then it’s inside you. It’s yours. You’re In Power.
If it sometimes feels overwhelming, don’t despair. Know that you’re not alone and that the world will forgive you if you bail out on that one last party that was going to drive you mad or take you away from something truly important. Just be straight up about your intent and live by your word as you decide what you’ll do and what you won’t do.
Have a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate, a peaceful time when the world shuts down for a few hours here and there and a Happy New Year!
Explore your authentic leadership style, to help you bring your best self to work, at InPowerCoaching.com