June gloom finally lifted in LA and I’m loving the heat! I do find myself remarking,” wow, it’s so hot outside!” as I adjust to the warmer weather. So often we long for summer and once it arrives it’s too hot. We want to step back into the comfortable, pre-arranged conditions of AC. In the same way, we often crave feedback from our board, our customers, our employees, and when we get it, it stings. We want to shut our ears, close our eyes and return to our comfortable, pre-arranged conditions.
We need the sun, which we just celebrated with the solstice, to create growth in our lives. It causes plants to grow and gives us vitamin D. It regulates our melatonin and sleep schedule. Stay too long in the sun, and you’ll get burned (more on that in our next blog). The right amount, however, gets us energized (learn more in The Energized Executive, our new ebook with 25 easy tools).
We also need the ray of light that clear feedback provides. It illuminates our blind spots and just like the sun, can create strong growth. In my first performance review, I was told I needed to improve my communication. This led me to take communication seminars, re-read my emails before sending, pause when speaking (still a challenge for me!) and read many books on how to communicate. I would not have succeeded in launching Executive Sutra, or in any role, without this feedback, and I’m grateful to my former boss Mike for providing it.
What aspect of your leadership could benefit from illumination? Could you initiate a 360 feedback survey from customers, employees, supervisors and peers? Could you create a safe space where employees feel comfortable sharing their concerns with you? Could you be vulnerable enough to ask for input on where to improve? As we build our capacity to soak in feedback, we adapt and grow.
This self-study is a key aspect of yoga. According to sutra 2.44
“Study, when it is developed to the highest degree, promotes understanding of the most complex” -- T.K.V. Desikachar
He goes on to say “The more effective our study, the more we understand our weaknesses and strengths. We learn to nullify our weaknesses and use our strengths to the utmost. Then there is no limit to our understanding.”
Let the sun’s light illuminate your summer and your leadership.