Beyond Expertise: What Leaders Really Do
It’s been the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows. A time when leadership really matters.
In May 2019 we launched The Compassion Mindset at the Association for Talent Development International Conference and Expo in D.C. We’re going all in with TCM. We are bringing every ounce of knowledge, experience, faith, grit, and optimism we have to this thing. We have high hopes of breaking into the biggest markets in the world and are passionate about the impact we believe TCM can make in the world. It has been like starting a whole new company from scratch. Exhilarating. And scary as hell.
ATD was awesome! After four years exhibiting at this conference, this year was the best. Clearer message, more interest, stronger leads, better networking.
Cloud nine, baby!
Returning from D.C. we diligently and enthusiastically began our follow-up and sales work. We faithfully executed our go to market strategy for TCM.
May evaporated. June came and went. What even happened to July? Only a small trickle of newly booked business. Nowhere near our projections.
What have we done? When will it take off? How long can we hold out? Why isn’t our plan working? This summer was supposed to be the best ever!
These questions started to dominate the conversations. Anxiety began to creep in, along with forecasts of gloom and doom.
Thank goodness for leadership. This time it didn’t come from inside our company. It didn’t come from me, the CEO who is suppose to have it all under control. It came from Stephan Mardyks of SMCOV, the consultant we hired to help us build and launch TCM. Here’s how Stephan is helping us carry our vision and ourselves through the ups and downs. It has nothing to do with his immense knowledge and expertise, and everything to do with great leadership.
Stephan believes in us and encourages us, even when we doubt our dream and our own abilities.
Stephan genuinely respects each of us, including our unique backgrounds, personalities and skills.
Stephan is not just positive by nature, he has cultivated a discipline of optimism that embodies a growth mindset.
It’s easy to lose focus when things aren’t going great. It’s tempting to grab at straws for anything that might get a quick result. Stephan helps us distinguish what matters from what is noise.
Stephan sees the big picture. He shows us how each activity, each day, contributes to the long-game.
Stephan reminds us that great things take time and there are no magic bullets.
No matter what we say or do, Stephan is fully with us. No judgment, no criticism, just validation of our experience.
Stephan doesn’t mince words and he doesn’t sugar coat things. He gives us helpful and honest feedback without attack.
Stephan is generous with his time, energy, and wisdom. Every time we finish a phone call with Stephan or pay a bill, we feel grateful and blessed. How is that even possible?!
Turns out Stephan is much more than a consultant. He is a leader and a partner in our success.
My guess is that any leader could be ten times more effective if they added these qualities to their resume. It’s certainly something I want to emulate.
This past weekend our team gathered in Colorado for a company retreat with the goal of stepping back, regrouping, filling our tanks, and re-aligning ourselves with our purpose.
We are going to be OK. We are going to change the world. Thank you Stephan.
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Thanks again for your honest truth-telling; it is a balm in these times when even good friends can be hiding, not coming out with their “what is”. I needed to read this today, as in my working life, even
in my garden, there are so many challenges and I feel inadequate to meet them fully. I turn to a
greater presence for guidance and calm down to be silent enough to receive the download. For a
doer, this isn’t easy, but I’ve pretty much exhausted every other way of the many ways I know.
There is an answer and I am being called to be patient and present enough to feel the gentlest breeze that wafts by with all the colours I need and have been missing.
Blessings to you and yours,
Thanks Nate, a great reminder that we are blessed if we have a mentor who cares, unconditionally. One of my mentors introduced the 7 P’s to me, an oldie but a goodie, “patience, persistence, perseverance, paths the path to permanent prosperity.