An excuse is an internal explanation that helps us justify are actions. Excuses make us exempt from responsibility for whatever we choose to say or do. When we make excuses we are making an allowance for what we are doing or not doing. The excuse frees us from any obligation or duty. It grants us a free pass, pardoning us from leading our life.
I have a dirty little secret – I love sleep. I go to sleep before midnight every night including weekends and I wake up between 8 and 8:30 every morning without an alarm. This way I don’t get grumpy – as my friend Clare would say. So why is this a dirty little secret? Because somewhere along the line sleep deprivation got associated with being successful, a real go-getter, being a winner. Many of my clients suffer from sleep deprivation but the mere mention of getting more sleep is met with more resistance than pretty much any other challenge I make in my work. And believe me my work is often about turning the way one does things on tilt.
Huma Abedin was most definitely victimized when her husband pushed the send button on his computer on multiple occasions. As was Hillary Clinton, Jenny Sanford, Silda Spitzer, Jackie or Marianne Gingrich, and many others when their husbands very publicly humiliated and betrayed them. As women we all sympathize with them. This is because most of us have felt the sting of betrayal or humiliation at some time, which can leave us spiraling down into a deep hole of victimization.
When women learn to step up as the leaders of their lives we are better able to switch from reacting to responding to life and work. We are better equipped to make more informed decisions and take responsibility for how things turn out. Acting as leaders we open up more options in our intimate relationships, concerning our finances and health, within our families and communities and of course, in our work and career.
Every one of us contributes to the shaping of our world. We make it – our world – every day through how we act and what we do. There are all sorts of ways we do this. We talk to people sharing our opinions, ideas and knowledge. We express opinions. We are emotional. We use our intellect. We build things like websites, gardens, highways or health care systems. We raise children, love our husband or partner and help our neighbors. We work, volunteer, vote, and build lives in cities and towns.
I feel electrified by anxiety today. On the one hand this makes me feel very alive and energized. On the other hand I feel like jumping out a – figurative – window to end the frayed feeling just like Mel Brooks in the movie “High Anxiety.” I’ve done enough work on myself that I can finally make the choice to use the anxiety to create wonderful new things rather than be caught in the swirling spiral but this has not been an easy lesson to learn.
I am shocked that so many people misunderstand what should be included in a bio and further by how many boring, useless bios exist. Like a fingerprint a well-written bio should result in setting you apart from everyone else. The reader should get a sense of your unique skills, experience and personality. A bio is not a paragraph form of the resume.
I am tired but can’t seem to stop Facebooking, Tweeting, writing about leadership and surfing the web. I thought I needed some food to provide much needed energy. But even after a delicious lunch of organic lunchmeat and cheese on gluten free bread with a side of sautéed veggies fresh from my garden I’m still tired.
Life Leadership is about accepting responsibility as we walk through our everyday life. It means when something needs doing you recognize it and take initiative to get it done. It means agreeing to take action as if it is your duty. When you accept responsibility for what goes on around you it does not mean you control everything that happens or other’s responses. What it does mean is that as things outside of your control happen you are in charge of how you respond and the choices you make about what you do.
I was listening to “Car Talk,” the NPR show where listeners call in for help with their cars. The hosts make me laugh and nostalgically remind me of my two Italian uncles. They were talking about what makes marriage work citing John Gottman of all people. Gottman is a professor of psychology at the University of Washington and director of The Gottman Institute where he has studied marriage for over thirty years.
“My leadership coaching helps you identify who you are – both your strengths and vulnerabilities – and how to use them to go further than you ever thought possible in your career and life.”
Elizabeth C. Hechtman is passionate about people leading every aspect of their lives. For over 25 years she's collaborated with clients to be leaders in their families and relationships, at work, with friends, and with their finances, health and wellness.
Elizabeth's clients are c-suite professionals, entrepreneurs, middle managers, creative professionals, recent brides/grooms, stay-at-home parents, and singles. She lives in the Philadelphia suburbs.
She created this blog as a forum to disseminate the golden nuggets she learns everyday, bat around her views on leadership and and invite a rich dialogue about all of it.