Do you ever stop and wonder if someone is watching you? I don’t very often. But sometimes it hits me that I’ve been merrily going on my way blissfully ignorant of the ripple effect I am having around me. It can be startling. In a good way.
For those that have been following my journey, you’ll remember that last year I left a full time job. It had been my life for about 15 years, and was all my children saw me do. Fast-forward to 2016 and I’ve now been working full-time in my own business over 6 months.
It’s been a huge learning curve! To accelerate the journey I’ve been focused on role modelling those ahead of me. Caught up in my own development, I forgot that I was being watched all the time.
Here are the 3 startling things that have happened as a result of being watched:
1. I’ve been raising young leaders in the making
You may have read last month’s blog about my daughter Rebecca becoming School Captain. Since then she has stepped it up another notch. Coming with me to the School Council strategic meeting, she provided her insights into how her school can be even better. She stepped forward and asked to visit other schools to see how their School Captains are handling their responsibility. She is gaining confidence each week with her public speaking. She is 11 years old.
Birth date has been an obstruction for the eldest of my two children, Cameron. He falls only a month short of being able to play the next level up in our local footy league, waving goodbye most of his friends as they move to the next age bracket. A sense of frustration at it being ‘unfair’ resulted in him seeing a different opportunity. As a senior player in the under 14’s, he is now embracing the opportunity to become a leader within his team. It’s allowed us the opportunity to talk about resilience and responsibility and I am bursting with pride to watch his maturity in accepting something he realises he has no control over. He understands who he has to be to have the coach consider him to play the occasional game in under 16’s is someone who shows maturity in the face of disappointment.
2. What I project is reflected back to me. Always.
At times I hear women say how they cringe when they catch themselves sounding just like their own Mum. And I have to admit I have been known to do this too (sorry Mum, it’s just human nature!). But to hear my own daughter talk about me as her inspiration truly warms my heart. She recently relayed her thoughts after returning from a swimming carnival at school:
Proudly showing me her two first and one second place ribbon, she said “Mum, I found the breast stroke really hard. But I thought about you and what you would do and I just told myself ‘I can do this’. So I did!”
It’s in moments like these the hard days are worth it, following my dream has been worth it, moments of doubt and worry about leaving a secure job to start up a business – worth it.
All the language I use regularly with volition and teach others, is reflected back to me through her. Amazing!
3. I have lifted my standards
In my professional community, I have been able to share with my peers some of the successes I have had in my business. When discussing this, I talk to them about the strengths I’ve drawn on to keep going even when the times are tough. My top 3 are:
And through talking this, I have had walk it too by living up to those standards. It’s fine to talk about all these great qualities, but I’ve learnt it’s what you do when nobody else is around is what matters. Because if I just say it and don’t follow through, then my results (read as ‘non-results’) start to reflect the opposite of all of those traits. And people are watching. Even when I least expect so.
As a leader at work, at home, or in the community you are constantly being watched. I remember a wise mentor of mine once telling me that when you step into a leadership role, you will become dinner table conversation in the homes of the team members you lead. His advice – make sure it’s a positive conversation!
So I wonder, how often do you look around to see who’s watching you? What you find may startle you too!
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