We were working tirelessly to meet our client’s deadline. We had spent many late nights in the office, ordering in, focusing on the minutia of our projects; fixing commas here and spelling mistakes there. We poured our hearts and souls in.
I was never really sure if we were working so hard because we truly believed in the work – or because we really loved being a part of a team, working together towards something greater.
Truth is, the product we were working on was, in fact, live saving. But the work we were doing didn’t feel like it.
After weeks of working this way, we got to the final client meeting and our client informed us we wouldn’t yet be ready to push the site live. At the time lots of big companies in our industry had been faced with lawsuits for inappropriate marketing tactics, and everyone was terrified of being hit with a massive fine for non-compliance.
They wanted more changes. Changes that we had already thought through and decided against. Changes that we already knew wouldn’t work.
And yet the leader of the team said “okay, we’ll do it.”
My heart sank.
She knew what I knew. She knew what we knew. Why would she agree with the client rather than standing up for the team? Why was appeasing them more important than trusting us?
And that’s when I knew it was time to move on.
I couldn’t identify it at the time – I didn’t realize why this had rubbed me the wrong way so strongly. After years of coaching and training leaders, I can clearly see that this particular leader had become disconnected from her team. She was focusing on achieving results and watching the budget, keeping the client happy, and having something to showcase to senior management – but she had forgotten to co-create with us and to protect us, the team who had worked tirelessly to get the job done.
When leaders don’t take the time to check in with themselves, to see what they are feeling, to see what their heart might be telling them, they certainly won’t take the time to check in and see how their team is doing.
And the team feels it. Every time. They know that something is off, that there’s a disconnect, that they can’t fully trust the person in charge to do what’s right by them.
Heart-centered leaders trust their own instincts and move forward with conviction and courage. They are able to navigate difficult situations with fairness and a belief that as long as they show up authentically and openly, they will be able to find solutions that work. They show compassion for others – and genuinely care about the well-being of their team.
Becoming a whole-hearted leader takes work. But it is a journey of a lifetime – to do the deep inner work that allows you to fully trust yourself and feel confident in who you are as a leader. Being whole-hearted allows you to connect on a much deeper level to the people around you, inspiring trust and confidence in others, and creating safety for others to show up whole-hearted themselves.
It is my personal mission to help create whole-hearted organizations, for that is where people are allowed to show up as themselves and create magic. Where people show up full of vitality and enthusiasm ready to take on the challenges of the day and build strong relationships and bonds with peers that carries the organization forward.
If you are an unconventional leader who wants to start showing up with your whole heart, Alchemy was created just for you.