When you just *can’t*

Leaders are supposed to keep on keeping on. They’re supposed to make decisions, offer support, give feedback, notice who’s struggling, catch all the balls, help their teams through burnout, keep projects on track, stagger out of the office and deal with the kids, the dog, the cat, the partner, the family, the friends, the neighbors … Shall I stop now? Because …

gljudson Self-awareness

Twisties, anyone?

If you’ve been paying any attention at all to this year’s Olympics, you know that Simone Biles, considered the greatest gymnast of all time, withdrew from the all-around and, as of the time I’m writing this, is uncertain for the individual competitions. The public reaction has been predictably … intense. From those condemning her (I’m not going there) to those …

gljudson Professional empathy, Self-awareness

Verb your values!

The problem with most companies’ values (and, dare I say, most people’s values) is follow-through. What we do about them once we’ve declared them. I wrote here about whether values are really values if we don’t always manage to live up to them. Spoiler alert: yes, because we’re human. But – and this is an important point – if we don’t …

gljudson Self-awareness

Values, preferences, needs, and wants (oh my!)

“Values are important” – there’s a real Captain Obvious statement, hm? I’ve written about values before, and I call out that importance – quite emphatically – in the Empowered Leadership program. But how do we go about discovering and defining our values – instead of just taking it for granted that of course we have them? My thoughts on this …

gljudson Self-awareness

Better? Worse? Different!

We’re a bit over a year into the pandemic. Some people are struggling. Some people are coasting. Some people have found silver linings – and some of them feel guilty about that. Some people are nostalgic for how things were. Interestingly enough, though, they’re a significant minority. Most people do not want to go back to How Things Were. The people …

gljudson Leadership, Self-awareness

Stress, anxiety, exhaustion – it’s Pandemic Brain!

“What’s wrong with me?” More than one client has said that to me in the past few weeks. “What’s wrong with me?” One client is exhausted. Another is anxious – “for no reason.” And then there’s the lack of normal productivity, the difficulty thinking clearly, the unexpected challenge of making decisions. “I’m really lucky. I have a good job. I’m healthy. …

gljudson Professional empathy, Self-awareness

Got potential?

So much possibility wrapped up in that one word: potential. Maybe you – or one of your kids – got that dreaded note on a report card: “Not living up to their potential.” Ugh. But here’s the thing about potential: it’s meaningless. Without action, without the willingness to take risks and make mistakes, without the drive to learn and fumble and …

gljudson Self-awareness

Motivation is a crock

There. I said it. Motivation is a crock. Willpower is too. Motivation is fickle. Sometimes it’s there, sometimes not. Waiting for it to wander back into your life means you’re not doing the things you really do want to do. If only you “felt like it.” Willpower. Gritting your teeth and forcing yourself forward. Exhausting. And when you’re exhausted, just …

gljudson Self-awareness

The stress of Not Knowing

People are starting to really feel the effects of extended upheaval and stress … and not knowing. It’s hard. All of it is hard. Not knowing what’s going to happen, not knowing who will get sick, not knowing who’s already sick and about to infect you. Not knowing if you’ll have a job (if you currently have one), or find a job …

gljudson Self-awareness

Managing the emotional labor of leadership

There’s a reason you end the day tired, worn out, and even exhausted. Management and leadership are hard work. The mental and emotional work of keeping track of your team’s progress, understanding what’s going on for each team member individually, being aware of what they need from you in the moment, interpreting your boss’s priorities (and moods!) … It’s a …

gljudson Self-awareness