As many of you know, it was Mother’s Day last Sunday, here in the States.

I was walking with a friend early this morning, and she told me of how she had texted one of her friends “Happy Mother’s Day to a great mom,” on Sunday, and of how her friend had replied with an answer something like, “No, you’re the great mom. I’m not a good enough mother…”

What is wrong with us anyway?

And what does this have to do with leadership? And being Thoughtful?

By “what is wrong with us anyway?” I mean, why do we deflect, and deflect, and deflect the compliments and good wishes that come our way? Why is it so much easier for so many of us to list what we haven’t done well, or well enough, or enough of, than to own our accomplishments and our strengths? Or at least be happy with where we are and how far we’ve gotten?

And what does it have to do with leadership? In many ways, everything. Because a key tenet of effective leadership is owning one’s strengths and accomplishments. It’s not going out into the world too full of oneself or with a huge head or ego, but it is being able to acknowledge the value one contributes, the challenges one has overcome, the ease, joy, success, and inspiration one brings to others (and when you’re a mom, or a dad, or a partner, or a good friend, or a…you get the picture – the love).

And being Thoughtful? A key tenet of Thoughtful Leadership is being present, and being present with what is in the moment. And sometimes what is in the moment is an acknowledgment of the effort you’ve put in and the success you’ve achieved. Sometimes what is in the moment is learning to say “Thank you. You too.” and to let someone call you out for being great.

In My Humble Opinion, many of us – and maybe this tends to be an issue for women more so than for men – deflect too much. And In My Humble Opinion, many of us need to fully, wholly, and completely own – as much as we can – all we do, how hard we try, and mostly just who we are. Maybe if we were all a bit gentler on ourselves, we would be a bit gentler on each other. Maybe if we allowed ourselves to feel good about these things, we’d have less need to jockey for position or dig into office politics. Maybe we’d have less to prove, and we’d therefore have more time and energy for the work we set out to do.

Maybe if we gave ourselves a little more credit, we’d have more energy and enthusiasm to lead, and live, more Thoughtfully.

How do you need to take credit?
Click here to comment.

If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.


For support in realizing your strengths and your contributions, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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