Caroline talks about In-person events, 360 assessment, and a new project.
Well, we are well into the second quarter of 2022. I prefer to do my big picture reflection and planning by season, rather than by quarter, but the year sure is flying by!
These past couple of months have been a strange mix of joy and anxiety that comes from a calendar starting to fill up with in-person celebrations and work events. My poor nose feels so worn out from being poked around with COVID test swabs.
Last month I had the pleasure of attending an in-person event for a book release by Reshma Saujani for her new book, Pay Up: The Future of Women and Work (and Why It's Different Than You Think). Hilary Clinton was a guest speaker, and I especially loved hearing about how she negotiated her maternity leave with her all-male partnered law firm in Arkansas just hours after giving birth to Chelsea Clinton in 1980. Just when I was done sharing on my Instagram about this inspiring event, I learned that along with Hilary Clinton herself, a few of the attendees tested positive for COVID, and I subjected myself to daily testing for a week in order to make a responsible decision about upcoming in-person events. (I ended up being okay!)
And after much back and forth and heartache about whether to go, my family and I took off for a long-awaited spring break trip to Portugal earlier this month. We were all floored by the beauty of the place and the gentle, kind people we encountered there. My daughter declared: “I would fake my death to move to Portugal.” Haha. It was a magical, deeply appreciated time with my fast-growing kids.
Leadership Circle Profile
In the Zoom world, I’ve been working with the Leadership Circle Profile (LCP), my favorite 360 assessment program, a whole lot. I incorporated it into a talk I gave to the WOC Radiant Leadership Institute, and also worked on executing and debriefing it with a nonprofit senior leadership team as a group and individually. If you aren’t familiar, 360 assessments gather feedback on your performance not just from your supervisor, but from all angles of your work life, including your direct reports, peers, and others. I love the LCP model because it’s a research-based leadership competency model as well, so I can use it to help people think about what the components of good leadership are, even if they don’t participate in the full 360 program.
It is a rather complex model. But out of everything the model is based on, there is one simple idea that I think really resonates with everyone who works with it. It is the idea that leadership is equally about people and relationships on one hand, AND about tasks and getting things done on the other hand.
If you are amazing at all things related to people, like inspiring them, connecting with them, and mentoring them, but if you are unable to get things done with them, that would make you a wonderful person in their lives, but not their leader.
If you can get so much done (check, check, check, and done!), but you are unable to bring your team along, and you find that you are doing all the things yourself or resorting to extreme micromanagement all the way, you are a star player, and an amazing individual contributor, but not a leader.
If you are interested in learning more about the Leadership Circle Profile, please feel free to take this self assessment and I would be happy to help you understand the model. Warning: without the 360 component, this assessment will only show you your own perspective on where you may be putting out your time and energy as a leader. This may not align with how others experience you as their leader. That means you should not feel self-congratulatory if your self assessment makes it look like you are a great leader, likewise you should not feel upset if it makes you feel like an ineffective leader! It’s just one set of data and an invitation to reflect on what makes a leader and which pieces you would like to work on.
For my very first 100-Day project, I’m jotting down one childhood memory a day in a simple gray softcover notebook. I roped my son into doing one with me and he’s creating one pencil drawing a day in a camouflage print notebook I gave him. We are on Day 30.
My 100-Day project partner and I, next to a sign that has nothing to do with us.
Photo Credit: Chong Oh
What I’ve learned so far:
Make it as easy as possible. I leave out the little notebook before I go to sleep where I normally sit and have coffee in the morning, along with my favorite pen. I can sit, pick it up and just write first thing on most days.
Don’t be too ambitious. If I had put “Write for one hour each day.” as my 100-Day project, I would have psyched myself out after Day 2 or 3.
Don’t overthink the outcome. I’m just trusting and enjoying the process, and I will see what happens when I’m done! I’m definitely not trying to write a book. But who knows what will come out of it?
Forgive yourself if you miss a day. On the day we were traveling, I put it off thinking I will have time on the plane to write. Once we got on the plane, it was cramped, food came out, and then I was trying to get a little sleep. Before I knew it, the time zone had changed and it was well into the next day as we were getting off the plane. My son, who had done his project at the airport, looked at me to see how I would respond. I didn’t make a big fuss and just wrote two entries later in the day.
Think about what Day 100 looks like. I think about leafing through the pages of our books with my kid, and going out to a special mother-son date to celebrate, IF he agrees.
Accountability partners really help! My son and I find ourselves checking in each night, “Did you do yours?” I’m also enjoying looking at other community members’ posts on The Isolation Journals Instagram. People are so talented.
It usually takes me about ten minutes of sitting down to write a few paragraphs. To be honest, I often feel like I don’t even have ten minutes of extra time and mind space. This means some of my other daily commitments and habits have suffered a little. Some days, I find myself skipping my usual ritual of sitting down with my notebook to make my to-do lists, review, and plan for the day and upcoming weeks. Skipping that practice for more than a day or two is not a good thing for me, so I do try to prioritize that. On the other hand, I have literally forgotten all about my Wordle streak, and that’s been totally fine!
Sometimes I want to sit and keep writing more than one memory. If I have additional memories flooding in and don’t have the extra time, I add them to a growing list of incidents and people I save for later in the back of the notebook.
If you have a project or idea you are feeling stuck on, a 100-Day project might be a good way to kick it off. I might do another one later in the year. Let me know if you are interested in doing it together. In the meantime, can you tell I’m trying so hard to bond and create memories with my kid before he leaves his family for (hopefully) college? Haha.
Making memories with my kids
Photo credit: Chong Oh
And...it’s almost Mother’s Day. I’m thinking of all of our mothers, including the mothers no longer with us.
And as a mother myself, here is a beautiful quote I’m loving that reminds me of how little control we all have over our kids. At the end of the day, after everything we pour into them, all we can do is to send them off into the world with love and just hope for the best. It’s from a Marginalian (pervious called Brain Picking) post called: On Children: Poignant Parenting Advice from Kahlil Gibran.
“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself…You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams…”
Well, thank you for indulging this sentimental Mom, and see you in May! I’ve got some books and podcasts I’ve been wanting to recommend. We will start with that next time!