Leadership + Influence

Who You Are, Now

One of the best gifts we can give in conversation when reintroduced to people we've lost touch with is, “Tell me who you are now.”

None of us are the same person we used to be. We set New Year's Resolutions with this very goal in mind, putting hope in our potential to do and be better. All of us have grown and changed, having been shaped by the experiences that come with turning another year – or several years – older.

If you’re still defining someone by mistakes they made years ago, chances are they’re still defining you by yours as well.

If you haven’t seen someone for a while and your paths cross, allow yourself the gift of being the first to extend the benefit of the doubt.

Originally published January 2015

Celebrating Success

Assuming everyone has an ulterior motive is a toxic way to live.

Sure, some people do. Others, however, truly want to see what's best for you happen. They often want to contribute to your success out of a belief that a rising tide raises all ships.

If the people in your life seem to only get excited when others fail, if they're all too eager to gossip about someone any time something negative happens, if they intentionally feed discord based on assumptions, then give yourself some space. Find and surround yourself with people who not only celebrate the success of others but who also help work to make it happen.

More importantly, be that person.

Originally published July 2014

Creating Meaningful Work

Previously, I've talked about how certain vocabulary habits are an indicator that we’re playing small. Today I want to talk about what the phrase “playing small” means.

Playing small means not fully showing up for your life.

Playing small means not taking up the space you are meant to take up.

Playing small means not using your voice.

Playing small means minimizing your gifts and talents.

Playing small means allowing others to define who you are.

Playing small is a form of arrogance, falsely dressed as humility.

Whether you want a giant, scalable business that is one day listed on the New York Stock Exchange or a small yet “big enough” business with just you and your best friend on the payroll, you will have to show up, speak up, and use your gifts.

You cannot play small and expect your work to resonate with anyone on a meaningful level. Your perspective and what you bring to the table matters.

True humility doesn’t hide its gifts. True humility doesn’t play small.

Originally published January 2017