Leading Blog






12.02.19

Contagious You

Contagious You

HOW WE SHOW UP in life matters. Our intentions, energy, and presence matter. The impact we have on others depends on how we show up. We create the culture by who we are. As a leader, this is critical to our mission.

Anese Cavanaugh invites us in Contagious You to be the leader we want to be—the culture we want to lead. We’re contagious for better or for worse.

It all begins with awareness, and she provides a self-assessment for that. “Awareness is about 70 percent of the battle with the other 30 percent being what we choose to do with it.” With that done, contagious you becomes a matter of adopting a mindset of personal responsibility and be clear about what you want to accomplish. To make that practical she offers the Five Steps to Intentional Impact Framework:

Outcome. What is the outcome you want to create? This should be tangible and something you can see or touch. You would not have created this outcome without the meeting, conversation, project, and soon.

Impact. What is the emotional impact you want to have? How do you want people to feel? How do you want to feel? You will create an emotional and energetic experience with your presence and actions either way.

Show up. How will you have to show up to create the outcome(s) and emotional impact you desire? What will your presence be? Your quality of listening? Your body language? Your attire? Anything that impacts how you show up here.

Believe. What will you want and need to believe in order to show up that way? Make this authentic. If you’re having a hard time finding something useful and real to believe, go deeper. What’s the truest thing you can believe to help you show up well and congruent?

Actions. What actions will you need to take to make it all so? What will you actually have to do? Before, during, after?

All steps are important and should be taken in order. You can use this framework for a particular meeting or event, or you can use it to craft a vision for yourself in everything you do. What is the you, you want others to see? It becomes a state of mind that you bring to everything you do. It brings the energy and sets the tone to any interaction or situation we encounter. When things are going well, it’s easy to imagine making this happen—managing our energy. But when things go wrong—when someone insists on sucking the energy out of you—then what do you do? Again, this is where awareness plays a big part.

There is an “inner game” and an “outer game” of leadership playing at all times. The inner game being the intentions, energy, beliefs, mindset, well-being, presence, and who we are. The outer game being what we actually do in our communication, skills, and interactions with others. The inner game drives the outer game. And no one can play your game but you.

As leaders, we need to strengthen what Cavanaugh calls our Intentional Energetic Presence or IEP. “The more we tend to this proactively, the stronger it becomes, and the easier it is to command our energetic presence at will. This ultimately allows us to respond and lead in the most appropriate, helpful, and effective ways possible”—no matter what kind of situation we find ourselves in.

The bulk of the book explains how to strengthen our IEP. Once you begin to strengthen your IEP, you will be better able to reboot your presence in the moment apart from what is going on in your life or in the room you walk into. Another goal is to create a presence strong and energetic enough to allow others you come in contact with to step into it as well. This makes it easier too, to deal with “the people who may be more challenging to work with, you can better serve, navigate, and lead them with clarity, grace, and effect—without burning yourself out, getting sucked into their stuff, or giving yourself away.” In this way, we are able to create intentional impact. The key is knowing what we are, what we want to be, and what we actually do.

Our energy is generated from the inside out, as is the experience we’re creating for ourselves, which can be felt by those around us. Whatever we’re feeling internally is generating an experience externally, and whatever is happening externally influences our experience internally. We proact and react. We project and receive.

The stronger, more present, and more intentional we are, the easier it is to create our experience, to decide what we’ll take on, to know when we’re projecting our energy on others, and to be more intentional about it all. Which means we have great influence on creating a positive and productive experience and on being positively or negatively contagious. When we own this and support it with our well-being, we can more effectively partner with and influence whatever is happening versus be reactive or victim to it.

That said, most of us know this intellectually, but in practice, it’s another thing. We tend to be guided by our emotions and the emotions of those around us. Which, as I’ve mentioned is great when all is positive, but when things turn negative, it is too easy to get caught up in a negative, downward spiral. Knowing this, Cavanaugh provides very practical methods and frameworks to turn this around to become the leader we intend on being. There are no silver bullets here. There’s a lot of self-work, but then that’s what the best leaders do.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 08:09 AM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Personal Development



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