Leading through change

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Melissa Albers  0:02  
Well, it's no surprise that a lot of us are talking about change right now. You know, 2021 has given us so many reasons to talk about,

JJ Parker  0:13  
you know, many opportunities for change.

Melissa Albers  0:15  
There's a whole bunch of opportunities. And I think that as leaders, we feel this tremendous burden to go first have our first opinion about it guide people.

JJ Parker  0:25  
Right? Whenever and whenever anyone in the organization, you know, gets anxious gets worried. Everything all eyes on you, right, like, okay, now what? Right, you know, yeah. And that can be, like, really anxiety inducing.

Melissa Albers  0:40  
Yeah. Right.

JJ Parker  0:41  
You know,

Melissa Albers  0:41  
you know, what I think is, is interesting, too, is that anxiety exists when you're growing in a positive way. Also, it isn't just when things are constricting are getting smaller.

JJ Parker  0:52  
Yep. I've experienced that in our teams. Yeah, they are like, okay, we're, we're poised for this big growth period. And they're all worried about how we're going to get there. Because that means more people more scale, like, how do you ramp it up? And that can just be as just as anxiety inducing as the other side when you're maybe on the downward cycle of, of a business. Right?

Melissa Albers  1:15  
Exactly. Right. And I think too, don't you kind of feel like, people can sort of get your vibe, how you're feeling, right? Like your team, regardless of what kind of leader or what position of leadership you're in. Your team knows you have a certain feeling about it.

JJ Parker  1:32  
Yes. Like, for me, when we were going through the early pandemic stuff, you know, that was very anxiety inducing, like, No, I understand even worse, like no one even knew what to do. It was just like, I have no answers. Yes. And the way I approached that was really head on. Like, I actually shot a video of me sitting in my living room with my cell phone is very raw, and it was just like, you guys, I don't know, I really don't know. I'm just as scared and worried as you are. Yeah. But we're gonna try to figure out how to get through it together. And that kind of just, even though it seems so vulnerable, as a leader to say, I don't know, yes. That's sometimes what you have to do.

Melissa Albers  2:22  
I agree. And I think just being able to share your feelings about it, and you use the word vulnerable, which is a really beautiful word. Because you know, what, if you think about anyone that you know, the only people that are willing to be vulnerable are the strong ones. Those are the only people that are willing to be vulnerable and share their feelings and go first are the ones who are more strong. So never think of yourself by sharing your feelings as being weak, or that someone is not going to look at you favorably if you're willing to share your feelings.

JJ Parker  2:52  
Yeah, it takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable.

Melissa Albers  2:54  
Yeah, it sure does. It sure does. And then how about the feeling that the the real desire as a leader, to be positive?

JJ Parker  3:06  
Yeah, like let's cheerlead ourselves through this crisis. Go deep go, everything's gonna be okay. Yeah, yeah. Well, you're secretly just like, yeah, completely paralyzed

Melissa Albers  3:16  
and not feeling positive, maybe you're not paralyzed. Even maybe you're still plugging along, but you're not feeling positive. And I think people can see through that,

JJ Parker  3:25  
you know, you have a story about bringing an audience through an emotional cycle, which I think is really Yeah, awesome to use in a leadership context.

Melissa Albers  3:33  
Yeah. So I had the huge fortune of taking a whole year long boot camp with Les Brown, who is a famous motivational speaker. And he said something in one of our boot camps, that was such a profound thing, and I've never forgotten it. And I realized that it doesn't just apply to speaking and to an audience. It's leadership, it is 100% leadership. And, and he said that in any conversation that you have, in any speaking event that you're doing, the audience needs to come with you on an emotional journey. And your group of people have their emotions, and some of them are down here. Like they're scared, they feel fear about what's happening. And as a team of people, and as being the guiding force of that team, it's really important to let people have that time. But the next thing he said is, don't leave them there too long. Because that's when people begin to lose hope. So by being able to really let people have their feelings authentically in the team, and be banded together because of it, then bring them back up to that place that says yes, and, like it's okay for us to have these feelings. But let's not make our decisions based on our feelings of fear. Let's make our decisions based on the other end of the stick. If we're going to be in this space, then it's let's at least give the positive equal time up here. And I think that's a really interesting way to think of You know, as you're talking about being more authentic as opposed to overly optimistic or pushing out this false positivity,

JJ Parker  5:08  
I really liked that I really liked the idea that, you know, let people go through their emotional cycle and not try to like paper it over. Right, right. We've all experienced leaders, that it's just it's really thin, right? Yeah. Oh, they're just trying to like smooth everything over and yeah, whatever. And it's not very really truly helpful to the team.

Melissa Albers  5:26  
Right? Exactly.