“Everything you do right now ripples outward and affects everyone. Your posture can shine your heart or transmit anxiety. Your breath can radiate love or muddy the room in depression. Your glance can awaken joy. Your words can inspire freedom. Your every act can open hearts and minds.”
― David Deida
When I first started a company in 2016, I was quite clueless about leading a team, having never been in that situation before. On my own, I found it easy enough to keep myself motivated and driven to achieve my goals. Once I was surrounded by a team, though, I found out very quickly that not everyone seemed to share my enthusiasm for the new idea that we were working on. That bothered me because I didn’t enjoy being surrounded by people who weren’t emanating energy and drive. I complained about it internally for days…until I realised that things weren’t just going to happen. I had to make them happen, as was the case with everything else in my life.
That was when I realised that I had to emanate the energy and joy that I wanted reflected back to me. I needed to showcase my enthusiasm and love for the work we were doing. I had to be overt about my drive, purpose, and dedication if I wanted it to become infectious. You see, I had always been the sorts who worked hard – by herself and silently. It felt awkward at first and a little artificial, but soon I relaxed into it all. I wasn’t faking it; I was just externalising what I already felt internally. It wasn’t long before my team livened up too. There was more laughter, more chatter, and more team work. People visibly perked up. It was a joy and an inspiration to watch.
If you are ever around others, remember that what you say or do and how you do it has an effect on everyone else. The energy you bring to the table influences how people feel. This isn’t true only in a team setting but also in every place that you interact with others. Here’s an example. Right now, I’m leading 3-hour ‘work sessions’ on Zoom almost daily. It’s my small way of contributing at a time of uncertainty like the coronavirus pandemic. The work sessions are simple – we all bring the work we want to get done, tell each other what we plan to work on, work for 2.5 hours, and at the end of the 2.5 hours share what we managed to get done. While this isn’t much, I try to bring my A-game to each of these sessions. The members of the group come from different countries and each has a wildly different scenario going on – physically, mentally, and emotionally – with respect to the pandemic. I want to ensure that during the work session, each person feels at home and is able to let everything recede to the background as they focus on the work at hand. I’m keenly aware that as the moderator of these sessions, my energy levels impact the group. It’s imperative that I be professional, empathetic, and light-hearted at the same time. I take my role seriously.
I would strongly urge you to look at the vibe or the energy you emanate. Does it uplift others or bring them down? You are a leader. Be mindful of your words, actions, and behaviours because they matter. It’s even more important in this present reality.