Ep #95: Knowing Yourself is the Leadership Superpower

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I believe that our toughest moments are our greatest teachers. What did you learn about yourself during this monumental year that was 2020? When we take time to sit and reflect, it helps build clarity. Clarity of thinking leads to knowing yourself – and THAT is a major leadership superpower.

What you’ll find in this episode:

  1. Instead of setting New Year resolutions, Kris will be doing this instead.
  2. Details about Kris’ virtual retreat.
  3. Something that you must have if you’re leading and directing others in their work.
  4. What Paulo Coelho means by being a “master.”

Featured on the Show and Other Notes:

  • The Archer by Paulo Coelho
  • The next 12-week How to CEO program starts January 20, 2021. Go to howtoceojoin.com to get on the wait list.
    – Classes meet once a week on Wednesdays.
    – No more than 50 people in the class.
    – Then there are office hour coaching sessions where we answer your questions and coach you directly.
    – Register EARLY by December 31, 2020 and immediately get access to a bonus course called Managing Overwhelm for Female Entrepreneurs.
    – We’re also going to do a live mini virtual retreat with Kris on January 2, 2021 that’s all about planning 2021. This is only available to people who register early.
  • If you don’t like the group thing and prefer private, confidential, and personal advisory support, Kris offers private coaching. Ali Brown says it’s like having Kris on the Bat phone! She has two openings for private clients in December 2020.
  • Kris is also doing two virtual strategy afternoons if you’d like to coach with her for 4 hours. If you’re interested, go to krisplachy.com/appointment and schedule time to meet with her team to see if it’s a good fit.
  • What’s your view as you listen to this podcast? Take a picture and tag me on Instagram.
  • Let me know what questions you have or what you think at hello@krisplachy.com
  • Follow me on Instagram and send me a DM.
  • I’d be honored, if you find this podcast of value, if you would write a review. Then DM me on Instagram or Facebook or email me at hello@krisplachy.com and let me know it was you. Then we’ll send you my favorite books list!

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Podcast Transcript

Hey, I’m Kris Plachy, host of the Lead Your Team Podcast. Running a million dollar business is not easy. And whether you’re just getting started with building your team or you’ve been at this for awhile, I’m going to bring you honest, specific, and clear practices you can use right now, today, to improve how well you lead your team. Let’s go ahead and get started.

Hello, welcome. How are you? This podcast is going to come out the very first full week of December, which December is my favorite month. My birthday’s December 3rd. Happy birthday to me. If you are a long-time listener, you know this time last year I was all whoop-de-doo about my 50th birthday. Very excited. And to be honest, I had an amazing start to my 50th year, but starting in February, right? March 10th exactly, things changed. It doesn’t follow that the year was terrible, it just means that’s when it all began for all of us in so many different ways.

And certainly, how we choose to tell the story of this year will be very impactful on the rest of our years. So as I have been reflecting and having gone through my own personal life crucible recently here in the past several weeks, in addition to the national crucible that we appear to be going through with our most recent election, and then the global crucible of the pandemic, right? There hasn’t been any one of us that haven’t been touched. And what’s been really interesting about my work, I would say… I haven’t counted, but I think if I were going to count, I would say I probably worked with about 100 new women this year and some for a hot minute and some for the whole year. I would say that that even for the women who had really amazing business years, and the truth is there were many, I’m quite honestly so impressed with my clients with very limited exception. Honestly.

I have one person that I know I stopped working with. I don’t know what happened to her, but everybody else I’ve worked with and has continued to work with me has rallied the heck out of this year. And some people have had their best years ever. And so it’s been intriguing to watch people who are really suffering and struggling. And I’m very empathetic to people who’ve lost jobs, people who’ve lost family members, people who’ve lost so much, and then this striking alternative experience of people whose work hit a sweet spot right now. And what they offer the world was exactly what the world needed, and they took off, but that also presented its own challenges to them.

So I was talking to my team today because, I think I mentioned this last week, the How to CEO Program starts on January 20th. I cannot wait to meet more of you and work with you. And I am feeling quite empty gap-ish. It’s funny, everything happens obviously the way it’s supposed to. I do believe that. I’m not a fan of everything happens for a reason. I just believe everything happens the way it’s supposed to. And I think my friend, Brooke, taught me that more than anybody. But I always do my retreats in Hawaii for female leaders. I have done it for seven years in a row. And it’s always in the late fall, usually in mid to late October. Last year, I had it in the end of September, but that was just… There was a reason for that. And that is exactly when I had my surgery was October 27th this year. And I wouldn’t have been able to avoid that. I had to do it.

And so it’s so intriguing that I couldn’t do my retreat this year because people aren’t getting on planes and Hawaii isn’t really interested, at least they weren’t up until October 15th, in people coming there. That’s just not a coincidence to me. But nonetheless, I really love that time personally. I love it to spend time with women on the beach, toes in the sand, really, really doing meaningful, thoughtful, soul filling, exploring work. And I like it for myself. I love that time. It’s a beautiful time to take. And I believe we all should take that time for ourselves, wherever that is for you. Some of you it’s the mountains, some of you it’s a lake, some of you it’s a boat. For me, it’s the beach. But I didn’t get it this year. I know that a lot of other people, and that’s okay. There will be another time and it will be amazing.

But there’s a gap for me in that exploration and that insight. And I think of all years, this is that year we all want to make things mean something, right? It seems to be a human condition, tendency, desire is to translate our circumstances into meaning. And I actually think we’re witnessing that in a lot of ways right now. And I don’t think anybody’s right. And so I do believe as a leader, it’s my responsibility to listen to people’s meaning and not necessarily believe them, but also hold space for not judging it either. And that’s sometimes hard to do, but I’m really willing right now because in the absence of clarity, people will make things up to make things make sense. I think right now, because this pandemic has been such a imploding experience and has tested so many of our values, we’re watching people make it all make sense in their own way. And of course that’s based on what they value most.

So I just wrote a little mini article that I’m sending out to my list, and I just thought, I’m going to talk about this too on the podcast. So we’re doing How to CEO on January 20th. And as I was talking to my team, I thought about, I know that making decisions is hard. Good Lord, after this year, it feels like every decision is difficult, although I always know when that’s the right decision for me, it’s just a hell yes. I recently joined and started working in a group of powerful amazing women led by Allie Brown, and it just is a hell yes for me. When I have signed up to do work with Brooke, it was a hell yes for me. When I signed up to get certified as a life coach years and years ago, it was a hell yes for me. When I decided it was time to start my business, it was a hell yes.

So I think you have to listen to that. I do believe we all have sort of that hell yes in us. So I want to help people help themselves. And my work is always focused in service. I do as much as I can to support each of you as best I can. And so what I want to do is a mini retreat, even though it will be virtual and we will all be in our homes. We won’t be in Hawaii. I still want that experience for myself and I want it for you. And so I was talking to my team today about what do you make 2020 mean? We had a really great conversation that it’s been everything from an amazing year to a pretty tough year. As Michelle said, I had trials, but I learned and was really validated. And again, remembering that I get to choose how to feel and I get to choose how to handle what happens. I may not be able to control the circumstance, which of course we all can’t.

And so what I wrote down after she said that was that we’ve all gained access to resilience that maybe we didn’t know we had. I can say for myself, this has been a really intense confronting year of some deep fears I’ve had that I have never really allowed myself to indulge. And I’m very proud of myself and the work that I did. But I also want to say that if this is a year where you just wanted to hide all year, that’s okay too. I think that it’s been a year to hide, to reveal, to see, to learn, to shine a spotlight on something, to overcome something, to truly experience transformation, to build some strength you didn’t know you have, to really discern your own hierarchy of what’s important, to look at your judgments, to consider who and what you expose yourself to.

It’s like Dr. Camille Wise says, right? What is your intellectual nutrition? What do you want more of in your life, less of in your life? Can you forgive yourself if you just chose not much this year, just to stabilize, to survive, to get it done? Did you learn any business lessons? Maybe you learned mental health lessons. Can you accept the fact that your business did thrive or that you’ve been thriving and not feel guilt compared to what might be going on around you? And can you celebrate less and feel like it’s a big deal and do that with compassion? These are things I wrote down just on our conversation.

I do believe that our toughest moments are our greatest teachers. And as leaders, I do think that if you expect people to follow you, your clarity of thinking is critical. And that doesn’t mean you do that all the time. It doesn’t mean that you feel clear every day. I don’t think that’s reasonable, but I think if you don’t feel clear, I think you have a responsibility to explore it and to find your footing again and reinvest. Now, we talk about the new year a lot as a place to set goals and new year’s resolutions. And that doesn’t feel right to me. I won’t be doing that. But I will be evaluating my priorities, I will be rediscovering my joy, I will be exploring my liabilities and my lessons, and culminating not into a vision invoice for myself next year. We don’t know what next year will bring. If any of us have learned anything, that’s true.

However, we can still have intention around who we want to be, how we want to show up, how we want to lead, kind of voice we want to have. My hunch is the first six months of 2021 will still be pretty messy wherever you are in the world. I do believe this is just my intuitive sense. I do not subscribe to any particular philosophy or website or agency. I just have a bright light around June and July of next year in my mind. So I’m going with it. And so I want to pour back into women like you listening to this because I know you’ve done a lot of work this year. I know you’ve fed figuratively and literally, people to keep them going. And maybe you haven’t had that same well, and you’ve been okay. Like you’ve sucked it up. You’ve managed.

But I want to create that space for you where you can put your hair down and sit with me and talk to me and one another and allow a little bit of a process to happen so that we leave behind everything we don’t want to bring with us from 2020. And there are circumstances we cannot change, but there are attachments that we can. There is the story of how we tell the circumstances of this year that we can adjust, modify, so that we tell it in a way that leads us to pride or ease or compassion versus anger or hurt or sadness or fear or judgment. So we’re going to do this retreat. It will be virtual. We’re still playing with the details, but I have it in my mind that I’m going to be on my couch with my fuzzy socks on and my blanket and my journal leading you through that as if we’re all together in this cozy cabin somewhere. That’s my vision.

And so, as my wise coach says to me when I have crazy ideas, she says, “All I’m responsible for is the invitation and making it clear what to expect, and then just asking you, do you want to come?” So to join me in this retreat, you register for the How to CEO Program, which starts in January, and then in the How to CEO Program, that’s when we do all of the blueprint for how to lead, manage and coach your team. Whether you have two people, 22 people or 202, the fundamentals are the same. And whether you sign up to work with me or not, I want to emphasize that if you haven’t done it and you don’t have it on your calendar, find a parking spot to sit and reflect. And not in a destructive, derogatory, painful way, but in a… If I had to walk away from this experience of this year with one thing, what would it be? What did I learn about myself? What did I learn about running a company without any direction? What do I know now that I didn’t know before?

Because I do think, again, however you describe this year, it was a monumental year. So whether we say it was a dumpster fire or a transformation, it was big and has been big. And I think it’s an important thing to do to honor it. So as we talk about being leaders and we talk about other people following us, people follow you because of your voice, because of your energy. I wrote down today as I was thinking about this, what is the glue that attracts and keeps people to work with you? What is it? And is it grounded in your values and your ethics and your morality? Is it intentional or is it frantic and scattered and whimsical and rushed and hurried?

We all go through that. We all go through moments in our business and our lives where we are totally ungrounded and confusing. And of all of the years that I would expect that to be the case, this would be one. But I believe, again, if you are leading and directing others in their work, you must have a clear sense of how to lead and direct yourself first. And I do this for a living and I need to do this work. So I think if you tell yourself, I’m good, I’d love a half hour with you, and maybe even doing it all along. So who are you now versus who were you a year ago? What do you know and how do you take that vision of your business yourself and your team into this coming year and make it meaningful and useful and directive and clear for the team?

So it was just a little bit more of an esoteric podcast. Hopefully it resonated. And I hope that you hear it. The last thing I’ll leave you with is this. I just started reading The Archer by Paulo Coelho. I never quite pronounce his name correctly. So forgive me. And there’s a quote in there about a master, and that master is not someone who teaches, but a master is someone who reveals a person to themselves, right? Really reveals the magic that is within them to themselves. And I’ve always held this belief that that’s what coaching is. That coaching is truly not about me teaching you to be a way, it’s more about me asking you the questions and connecting with you in a way that taps my resources, my experience, and my intuition, et cetera, and allows you to see parts of yourself you hadn’t seen.

And so, as we approach this change again in our lives, we turn the dial, we move into a new year with all sorts of new potential, I invite you to believe this one notion, which is that everything you need to know, you actually already know. You just have to turn the distractions off so that you can hear her. Because she’s been working to get your attention, but if you’re like most of us, you’ve had a lot and you’ve been trying to help everybody else know what to do. And sometimes that constant deciding and distraction of everybody else’s needs dims the light, quiets the voice of your own knowing. So what you need to know is not outside of you, it’s within you. I do believe that. But we’ve become overly reliant on everybody else knowing better than us, but what if that’s not true? What if you know? And that knowing is what will direct you through this next season.

So I’d certainly love to help you in that discovery, however I can do that. If this podcast has been the spark for you, that’s awesome. And if you want to learn more about joining us in the How to CEO Program, you just go to howtoceojoin.com. And as I mentioned, women who join by the end of December will be invited to the virtual retreat in addition to the free Managing Overwhelm for Female Entrepreneurs course. And we will start together in January. And I’m incredibly excited. I’ll tell you guys next week about who our guest speakers are, OMG, for the next How to CEO. It’s going to be pretty great. So I thank you for tuning in. It’s a little bit of a longer podcast for me. Thanks for tuning in today. And I’ll talk to you soon.

One more thing before you go. In a world of digital courses and online content, I like to work with my clients live because I know that when you have someone you can work with, ask questions of, and meet with, you’re so much more likely to get the success that you want. So head on over to howtoceolive.com to learn more about our very exciting, very exclusive program just for female entrepreneurs. We’ll see you there.

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