New Job: Start Strong by Remembering…

Trust Takes Time

The ingredients of a vibrant team, vulnerability and trust, emerge amidst faithfulness.

This recipe takes time. It takes faithful curiosity. It takes faithful listening.

Recently, I quietly began a new full-time, short-term contract. Amidst the transition, I’m trying to remember all of the relationships I’m developing will take time.

Teamwork is inherent in great leadership. Possibly my top responsibility as a leader is to nurture a great team.

The team will grow amidst my own candour and vulnerability.

For example, one day I was musing about how to connect with a team member who felt remote and even a bit closed off. Then, I remembered, I must go first. It’s mine to initiate. This changed everything. As I drew closer, tenderness happened.

It takes so much time. It takes a lot of availability and some casual conversations on the couches, on the beach, or on walks.

So, I’m trying to wrap myself in humility and open my heart.

Embrace the Awkward

I love this one. One day, amidst my new job, The Builder, my husband came to pick me up. He casually mentioned to me, ‘You have some food in your teeth.’

AHHHH! It had been there for hours. I ate at about 2pm and it was after 5pm!

Needless to say, I was walking around with lunch in my smile for a while.

Who is going to tell me?! Maybe no one noticed? But, I was mortified. At this point, I have a well-worn shame spiral.

However, the truth is, maybe no one noticed or maybe no one felt comfortable enough to say something. Regardless, the opportunity is to embrace the awkward and have a sense of humour. No matter which reality is true, I can be honest and giggle.

The next morning, I delegated this job to the administrative team: ensure if I’m walking around with food in my teeth, my skirt tucked into my pantyhose, or two different shoes on, kindly let me know.

As I told this story, we laughed at my faux pas throughout the day.

I was glad I had a sense of humour about it all.

Slow is Smooth and Smooth is Fast

Trust-building and relating with the team, takes time. Some days, I’m not sure what I’m getting done. I’m trying to learn. I’m taking the time to listen. I’m meeting many new important leaders in the sector.

Yet, I am not sure if I’m getting traction or moving things quickly enough.

Then, a colleague reminded me, “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.”

It’s true. Let’s be thoughtful, intentional, and strategic.

Anyone can be busy. It takes wisdom and time to move strategically. The tempo will quicken as we build a foundation.

Keep Practicing

Working out, journaling, quiet time, yoga, meditation, walking in the sunshine, sleep hygiene, and eating nutritiously are practices that support my leadership. Each practice is at a different level of mastery and development. They are all upended by a new schedule.

However, they are practices.

I’m not afraid to begin again, try some more, or iterate on the design.

They aren’t all incorporated in my new rituals. But, they will be and I’ll draw on them as I can feel I need each one.

This weekend my dad gave me one of his new fountain pens, so I may be journaling a bit more.

What I know for sure, Stillness is the Key, and caring for my health is essential.

Cultivate Compassion

The world needs our compassion right now.

“People bearing trauma’s scars almost uniformly develop a shame-based view of themselves at the core, a negative self-perception most of them are all too conscious of. Among the most poisonous consequences of shame is the loss of compassion for oneself. The more severe the trauma, the more total that loss.”
― Gabor Maté, The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness and Healing in a Toxic Culture

Our colleagues need our compassion. Yes, even the one that is already under your skin. So many of us are working through hardship, loneliness, or trauma.

We need to offer compassion to others as we enter into new spaces and take new ground.

Furthermore, I received a meaningful text this week from a former client who reminded me of an invitation I offered her that was making a difference.

The thought experiment was, “What is the most compassionate response you could give to someone else? Then, respond to yourself in kind.”

Indeed, we need to offer compassion to ourselves. “Be gentle with yourself.”

Leadership, amidst our own humanity, is challenging and requires self-compassion.

So, if you’re transitioning to a new role this year, I hope you’ll start strong with these reminders.

For the sake of the children,