Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Mindset is Key for a Leader





















Especially in the midst of a global pandemic and an international escalation. Leadership is about posture, grace, and setting the tone for the whole. 


Leaders today can set the tone of panic or peace within their environment by their actions, words, and mindset. Even if no global things were happening this prior statement is still true. 


Let’s look at this in another way. Let’s say you are the General Manager of your organization and you get news that could be either a good thing or a bad thing but you are not sure yet. 


You could call a meeting and start to panic, fear, and worry about your key leaders and they would do the same for their team members and thus the ball of angst is in motion. The staff starts rewriting their resumes just in case, your leaders call the local headhunter and ask what else is in the marketplace right now. You stress out making your blood pressure rise, your tone and words are sharper and your family gets less of you because you are emotionally tied up. Your social media becomes sharper in tone or stops altogether. You expect your team to do long hours and put in more work to impress senior management or the board. Everyone is stressed.


OR 


You could call an all-member meeting and be calm in your delivery of what could or couldn’t be the case. You ask your team’s opinion. You reassure them that things are going to be alright and you are in this together. You and your team attend a local art project, or meditation session or hang out outside of work like you normally do. You maintain your regular hours. You encourage everyone to do good self-care. Your social media efforts are valuable and make your customers/clients feel appreciated. You launch a community care project to pull the team together. These are great things to do during times that could go either way. 


I know for me, I’d rather be in the second scenario but so many times in life, when there is angst, unknown, or uncertainty, the first of the two scenarios is what happens. Retraction is normal, it is a human reaction to keeping ourselves safe. It is what your brain knows. 


Being mindful and having a positive mindset are things most leaders can and should work on. Your reactions to “news”, changes, or the unknown will flow more gracefully when you are mindful of how you are feeling, reacting, and being. 


Remember, people follow amazing leaders for who they are being rather than for their long list of accomplishments. You get to set the tone, pace, message, and morale of your team. 


Lead in love. 


Best, 


Manal


(This article was first published in the Locala Magazine)

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

As a Leader, Do You Have This?

 As a leader do you have a spring in your step? 






























You have seen that leader in your life that is always “on”. They seem to be naturally happy, positive, and optimistic. I have heard people say you can not be negative and positive at the same time. In this pubmed.gov study, the medical professionals say that happiness and sadness are mutually exclusive feelings but their findings have shown that we can have mixed co-emotions at the same time for brief periods. 


So when it comes to that happy leader, how does he/she say they are optimistic? In my opinion, they choose this. Anyone can shift their perspective at any time. 


Some of the skills I have learned about resetting my choice points are as follows:


One of the core leadership lessons I have learned is to lean into the energy that flows over the energy that feels forced. When you do this, things just seem to flow. It is as if you own the belief that Tony Robbins says, “Life is working for you”.


Maintain a good balance of awareness in your life. When I am in flow energy, I am usually taking good care of myself, ask for what I need, and communicate clearly. My first question to myself when things are not working is, “How is my self-care?”. It is a true reflection of keeping my own life in balance. 


Always be growing. The leaders that maintain this natural positivity are invested in personal growth work. That might look like webinars, seminars, events, books, and coaching. When you are growing, you have certain ownership in life.  


The next time you see that happy leader, ask them their secret of positivity and optimism. Tell them you want to learn to be more like that in your own life. They will be flattered and happy to help you own this too. You may help them realize the power they hold. They may do it so regularly that they forget to see the benefit of a good choice every day. The ripple effect of this awareness is going to bless everyone that knows this leader. 


Wishing you a spring in your step too. 


Best, 


Manal

(This article was first published in the Locala Magazine)



Tuesday, May 3, 2022

When the Season's Change













Seasons Change not only in the weather but often in life. 

You’ve probably heard the expression “born leader.” The phrase implies that the qualities that make a good leader are innate—you’re either born with the skills it takes to be a leader, or you’re not. And certain traits indeed tend to be innate—such as charisma, humility, and a sense of humor.  


No matter if you are a born or a leader who learned how to lead, today’s leader is open, willing, and must be able to withstand change as the one thing is true, nothing is staying the same in today’s business environment.


You do not need to supervise or be a manager to cultivate leadership skills. You can develop these skills on the job in the following ways: 


Take initiative: Look beyond the tasks in your job description. Think long-term about what would be beneficial for your department and the company. Try to brainstorm ideas and commit to doing work that goes beyond the daily routine. 


Request more responsibility: While you wouldn't want to ask for additional responsibility in your second week on the job, once you've been in a position long enough to become an expert, you can share with your manager that you're eager to grow your leadership abilities. Ask how you can help out—are there upcoming projects that require a point person? Is there any work that you can take off of your manager's to-do list? 


Target specific skills: If you have a specific skill that you want to develop - whether it's creative thinking or communication - create a plan to improve your abilities in this area. This could mean taking a class, finding a mentor to help, reading books, or setting a small goal that forces you to develop this skill. Talk to managers and co-workers, as well as friends outside of the office, to help develop your plan to improve.

 

When you have initiative, seek out how to benefit the organization or you are working towards a set goal - you are sure to be noticed amongst the crowd.


Best, 


Manal


Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The Grateful Leader

 












Gratitude seems to be the new buzzword as you hear people say it all the time, “just be grateful” but let’s take a deeper look into what that means in terms of leadership.

The grateful leader practices gratitude and leads others to practice gratitude too.

Gratitude is more than saying thanks. It is a trend that can get us through troubling times.

Many of us have a habit of sending thank you emails or thank you notes as a gesture of thanks but perhaps they are without the depth of feeling they could have. Sharing how a gift or deed had meaning in your life will have more impact than just using words of appreciation.

Gratitude is something we have to work at. Thankfully, there are some great ways to do this. 

I suggest daily journaling as a way to start being in gratitude. For some people this feels too much like another thing on their list of the many things they have to do. The internet is full of ways to show gratitude in your everyday life. Perhaps you could call friends/family more, cook a meal for people you love, choose not to participate in negativity, give compliments, and choose to see the positive in all situations.  

In the professional setting, gratitude can be incorporated into everyday life as team-building exercises or in one-on-one meetings with your team. 

Gratitude isn’t just something nice to practice but it also has some great health benefits. Educating those you lead about this will help them want to practice the habit of gratitude.

The benefits of gratitude can benefit you personally as well as your family, friends, and your workplace. Here are some of the benefits of gratitude for the individual leaders and groups: 

  • increased happiness and positive mood

  • more satisfaction with life

  • less materialistic

  • less likely to experience burnout

  • better physical health

  • better sleep

  • less fatigue

  • lower levels of cellular inflammation

  • greater resiliency

  • encourages the development of patience, humility, and wisdom

  • increases prosocial behaviors

  • strengthens relationships

  • may help employees’ effectiveness

  • may increase job satisfaction

 

Best, 

Manal


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Meeting Anger with Love

 













As a leader, you’ll interact with all emotions - yours and others.

There is a quote by Marcus Antonius that says, “Consider how much more you often suffer from your anger and grief, than from those very things for which you are angry and grieved.”

Anger is an emotion that has come up in the last two years for people. So let’s look at it as a way to better self-manage and as a way to help others through it too. 

People are dealing with emotions based on things that are not always in their control. So how do we make the most of this emotion by noticing it and dealing with it? We’ll look at this because doing so can change your life. 

Anger is a surface emotion. Anger is something people lean on when they want to get attention. They or you may not even be aware you are using this. Underneath the core feeling of anger there is generally hurt, pain, and fear. Meeting your true feelings with kindness can allow you great freedom. 

When we are angry, kindness is not always what we think of first. Physically the body tightens, contracts and burns when in anger. Be aware of your body in these moments. When you are aware of the physical sensations that are happening to you or with others, allow yourself to feel what is present. 

As a leader, do you expect perfection of yourself and others? My guess is you might have autosuggestion that is harsher than you might imagine playing in the background of your life. You might not think of this as anger - but it is. The solution is to meet your anger with love. 

Oftentimes when someone is angry they love to tell “the story” of what happened to them - over and over and over again. It is like an out-of-control record playing on repeat. Most of the time, these anger stories are not serving us. This isn’t denying that something bad happened to you but that you simply get to decide how long you let it hold you captive. 

Angry people focus on what they want or them being right but if they come to others from a place of collaboration and harmony, there isn't much room for separation and disharmony. Living in the emotion of anger is an easy way to push people away, scares them, make them fight back, or make them shut down.

Lovingly investigate what has been triggered in you, and your whole perspective on the citation will shift. Opening up a place in your heart and mind to see and hear all the possibilities of what happened and what can happen next will liberate you from the injustice of it all.

Leaders help themselves by dealing with their own feelings of anger and help others through the process of it too. At the end of the day, anger is an emotion that is saying, “there is something more here to look at”.

Best, 


Manal



Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Women Lead Differently

 












Women and men lead differently.

This article is not about how men lead versus how women lead, but rather about being the best leader you can be regardless of your gender.

If we look at leaders, many women have alienated themselves from their core leadership traits because they do not think they have to comply with how business works today. Nothing could be further from the truth. Women, we need to be ourselves and use our gifts and talents in the workplace. Leadership is generally known to be masculine but feminine leadership has its place as well. 

Females may not even be aware they are alienating themselves. Perhaps they are hoping to attract more business or gain respect from their male counterparts. When you are not being who you were made to be, you typically end up with excessive stress, tears, and broken mindset/psychology.  

I am a champion for encouraging women of all ages to stand in their natural traits, embrace who they are, and allow their natural gifts to prove their efficiency. You do not have to be like anyone else. 

Let your femininity shine. Be insightful, drive from your values, and transform the workplace because of your heart for others, your care, and your energy. Ask amazing questions and provide insightful answers. Women have a natural ability to sense things, accept others, approach situations with grace, remain present in key times, offer input, and have the gift of nourishing others.  

As a society, we always feel the need to improve ourselves. I think we can all agree the world needs more empathy, sensitivity, caring, sweetness and compassion. When you lead in these characteristics, people will feel loved and a part of something bigger.  

There are moments in my own life that feel like “doing” versus being but what I know is when I am being, I am a more attractive feminine leader.  

Who is your favorite female leader? What characteristics do you love about her?

Best, 

Manal


Tuesday, April 5, 2022

The Developing Leader



In a busy world, one must take time to grow or the simple ebb and flow of everyday life can take over. The Developing Leader has a big vision and dreams for the future. 


This person is someone who sets aside time for all the things in life: family, worship, health and wellness, growth and development, finances, community/others, and the other things that are important to them. 


A developing leader is someone that is invested in being better tomorrow than they are today. What workshops, events or zoom meetings have you attended lately? How about what good books have you read? 


Fitness and health are important to this person. They take care of themselves so they can take care of others as well. A routine is a vital part of a leader's life. They know when they are doing different aspects of their day. Perhaps this habit is a morning or evening routine after they lend their skills to the business community. 


Relationships - most leaders I know that are successful set aside quality time for themselves and for the people that are important to them. This way work is work and time off is time off. Everyone says there is no such thing as balance but I believe when you are doing what is important to you, life is naturally balanced in the everyday ebb and flow of it. 


Community is an important part of leadership. This may look different for each person as some work for for-profit organizations, non-profits organizations, or are business owners/leaders. No matter what it looks like, involving others and communicating with them is a vital part of a leader’s world.


I would encourage you to google “Balance Wheel” online and look at the various images that come up and evaluate in what areas of life you need to improve and which ones you might be spending too much time in. Perhaps you are overworking and not spending enough time at home with your family or not taking care of yourself physically. 


"All things in moderation" is the best way a developing leader can move the needle towards amazing leadership. 


Best, 


Manal