The Leading Edge Podcast: The Credible Leader – Well-being
In this episode, Travis Nipper, sits down with Diane Egbers, CEO and Founder of Leadership Excelleration and co-author of The Ascending Leader, to learn more about the first element of “The Credible Leader”: Well-being.
Did you miss the previous episode in this series? Part 1 is here.
Travis: Hello everyone and welcome! Last time we got an overview of the four elements of The Credible Leader, well-being, relationships, culture, and performance. We visualized this in that commonly familiar box-with-four-quadrants model which you can find on Leadership Excelleration’s website. Let’s dive a little deeper today, Diane. You ready?
Diane: I am!
Travis: Set some context for me and our audience. I know we talked last time about how the concept of The Credible Leader has been in your mind for years and how the concept first got on your radar but let’s take a different step back as we dig into well-being. In our modern world why is well-being important?
Diane: You know well-being is important because it is at the center of being a credible leader. When we think about why people choose to follow us as leaders, they choose to follow us because they feel connected. And the degree to which we are distracted or centered and present helps us on a daily basis to be that strategic, connected leader that really helps to foster credibility.
So at the center then, is well-being. And when we think about the 21st-century knowledge economy and the accelerated rate of automation, you know…the expansion on a global-scale and the accelerated rate of artificial intelligence as well, there are a couple things that won’t be replaced. Our credibility as a leader is based on our ability to set a vision for a team and to communicate that with influence. As well as to really connect with people so they choose to follow. And so when we think about all of those things that are relevant, no matter what changes in our world, those critical elements of being credible will continue to be a play.
Travis: Yeah, interesting! And Diane I’m just wondering, as it relates to credibility, what is important about well-being?
Diane: So Travis, as it relates again to being a credible leader, we either on a daily basis show up as centered and calm, and no matter what the storm or the crisis of the day is, we’re that centered leader that people can come to. We’re reliable, accountable, and present with regard to whatever those needs are. Or, (the alternative is) they don’t experience us that way. And that is very much related to our own well-being. So at the center then, of well-being is first and foremost, our confidence. And our confidence comes from having a clear sense of our purpose, our passion, and our potential. And when we zero in on that and know, and become more comfortable in our own shoes, that’s really the first element.
The second, is really finding our authentic voice as leaders and communicating in a way that garners influence. And influencing people to gravitate toward a change that they maybe don’t feel they are ready for, say to support a new vision for new market, or a potential new opportunity… there are a lot of reasons why we want to influence people to follow us in new directions as a leader.
Travis: And so, as I was listening to your answer there, Diane, the words “confidence” and “authentic voice of influence” really struck me. It sounds like there is some first-hand experience there as you’ve coached over the years. Maybe you have a story you can share with us?
Diane: Sure! So much of what’s comprehensively included in one-to-one coaching, which is a lot of the work we do, is helping a leader to really reach their potential. And you know whatever is on that journey often is in scope. And so we start with the concepts of how centered do you feel on a daily basis, and do you feel you’re present to lead your team.
So, I had a leader approach me recently, that I coached last year and she said “…you know, I just wanted to appreciate the fact that in just in this past year, during our coaching time and subsequent to it, have really become more comfortable in my own shoes as leader. I know more about my authentic voice. I feel much more sure about my purpose and passion. I see the potential of my team and the work we’re doing.”
And she also said, “You know, this has gravitated interestingly for me at home as well, that I have that strong sense of being centered both at work and life.” And when we talk about well-being, it’s at the center of our credibility because we don’t have credibility with others unless we have that space on a daily basis; that vital space, to connect with them and to put their needs above our own.
Travis: That’s interesting because you spoke about those daily practices and it really strikes me. It’s like, we’ve had conversations on the side here about…mindfulness, if I have that right, and it really sounds like…yes, just being mindful is something we need. Because, I think to myself: I work hard to balance work and family at all times. I’m just wondering what advice or what would you have to add about that mindfulness.
Diane: Sure. So some of the mindful practices that we recommend when you’re thinking about contributing to your overall well-being. And that’s the centeredness by which you are present and available for people on a daily basis to lead them. The highest credible leaders make you feel like you’re the only person in the room when you have their attention. They give their full attention and that only is possible if you’re centered and have a sense of well-being yourself.
So a couple of strategies: The first one is asking “What’s the best strategic use of me today?” And “How am I making sure that the things that are most important to my success, I am literally showing up for?” And that always for us as leaders is connecting to other human beings and creating that vital connection. And then another mindful practice suggestion is when we think about our own mindfulness, is “What can I do to center myself today?” For some of us it’s meditation, some of us it’s prayer, some of us it’s taking a run, some of us it’s on the drive in the car, other times you know, it’s the time in the shower…it doesn’t matter! It’s really, you know, the “Where do I find that space to really center myself and really be present for others as it relates to well-being?”
Travis: That’s a great way to cap it off, Diane. Thank you for sharing your insights!
Stay tuned for our upcoming podcasts as we break down and learn more about each of these elements and how they can keep you as a leader on the leading edge.
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