7 Game Changers To Improve Your Leadership Position

Shift Your State

Anese Cavanaugh’s new work, Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set the Tone, and Intentionally Create an Organization that Thrives is a terrific guide to upping your leadership and creating a positive, contagious atmosphere.

After our first interview, I thought to ask Anese about some of her tips for shifting someone’s state. Why? Because it’s one of the most important aspect of leadership. The ability to help someone from one state to another is a skill that every leader should master.



7 Game Changers

In your work as an advisor and “thinking partner” to leaders and organizations, you developed 7 game changers to shift someone’s state. What has been your experience using them as a coaching tool?Anese Cavanaugh

I’ve found that even offering these as places for people to look can make them game changers within themselves. So much of this work is about awareness. Awareness as to what’s working – and what’s not, awareness of their role and impact in how things are and how their choices have led them here, awareness that they can choose, awareness that there’s dissatisfaction, awareness of the impact their relationships have on them (and vice versa), and awareness that they can very much in fact do something to shift things – even if that something is just getting a bit of extra water, finding ONE thing they’re grateful for, telling someone they see how great they are, taking ownership and cleaning something up, asking for help, or finding (and claiming) the request (or wish) that lives underneath their complaint. Once they have awareness that these 7 things have impact – they can get into action. Big or small.


7 Game Changers To Improve Your Leadership Position

1: Do your work. Be accountable for your choices.

2: Stop complaining and start resolving.

3: Ask for help-admit your glorious imperfections.

4: Surround yourself with good people.

5: Practice gratitude, even for the stuff that hurts.

6: Eat well. Really well. Move your body. Drink water.

7: Love your kids. Love your friends. Love your people. Love yourself. Remember who you are.


Simple ways to integrate these 7 points is to take each one and try it on for a day. For example, ask: Where do I need to show up bigger? Where can I be more accountable for the choices I’ve made? How did my choices lead me here? What choice can I make now to start shifting this in the right direction? How would I like things to be instead? Where do I need help? Where am I making “looking good” more important than asking for help or creating real and positive impact? Who’s my professional posse / my advisory board? How am I taking care of myself? (Truly?) What’s the littlest thing I can do to shift ANY of these? Little things make big ripples.


Shift From Complaining to Doing

How do you help someone to stop complaining (#2) and to start doing (#1)?

When you hear them complaining, you ask them what they’d like instead – what’s the request or the suggestion they have that can help them get more of the outcome they’d like? And then invite them to step into it, to get into action, to make it happen, or to engage the right people to support the outcomes. Often when people are complaining, they don’t realize they have power in it. The power is in finding the uncommunicated request or suggestion that lives underneath that complaint. Help them see that and you open up a whole new world of opportunity. You also give them more ownership for making a change and creating what they want. If they’re not willing to do anything with it, or to help figure out a solution – it’s likely not that important (or they just really don’t want to do the work). So you can get curious with them. Do they really want it? If yes, then what’s the littlest thing they can do to move forward? If not, cool. What is it they DO want?



Remember Who You Are

You end with “Remember who you are.” What does that mean in practice? Is this a common issue people have?

Contagious Culture_jacket_2dI’ve found we get so busy — so so so “busy” – that it’s easy to disconnect from our “why” — the original reason we started a company or took a job or said “YES” to that thing that has now “swallowed us up.” And in this busy-ness, or lack of consciousness, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and forget who we are. What are your core values, that drive you on a daily basis, that are essential to be in alignment with in order to feel in integrity with yourself? What’s important about the work you’re doing, or being a good dad, or getting that advanced degree or making the million dollars? What’s the impact you truly want to have on people around you? The legacy you want to leave with this precious life? A high percentage of the people who come to me for private work, and so many in our programs, are coming because they want to create space to remember who they are, what they stand for, and what they want their leadership to be about. They’re amazing people, wicked smart, often devoted to everyone around them, but in this, they may get fuzzy on who they are and that gold nugget, that “oomph” that energizes them to keep rolling, to keep showing up. The clearer they are on this, the more powerful and effective their leadership, the better aligned they are with their work and “why” they’re doing all this in the first place, the more pleasurable the journey, and ultimately the better they sleep at night.




Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set the Tone, and Intentionally Create an Organization that Thrives

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