Today’s blog is unapologetically a bit of a Radiohead/Beyonce mash up. It came to me a while back following attending a memorial service for a very dear friend of mine – (Gordon) who had sadly passed. I could not complete it until now a few months on- I was too upset. During Gordon’s memorial service, I found out so much about him that I did not know. He was already a phenomenal friend to me but his life was so much richer than I ever knew. His generosity and his kind spirit was admired by many and – he had literally saved lives during his career. The huge turnout to pay respects both in person and online was really so touching. I hoped he was somewhere watching it.
During the service three things crossed my mind:
- I wonder if he ever knew in life how much everyone thought of him? Did we all take the time to tell him?
- Why didn’t I know all these things about my fabulous friend?
- Then the ‘ego’ one slipped in- ‘What would people say about me?’
On 1 and 2, I want to pledge to know one thing I did not know about the friends and colleagues I work closely with by the end of the week. I encourage you to do the same. Perhaps it will fuse closer connections. Why wait until someone is no longer around to find out the important contribution they made to this life?
On 3, there have been a number of times in my life where the ‘imposter’ has made me dilute my achievements. I confess I have been at conferences in the past and thought:
‘What the hell am I doin’ here?Radiohead ‘Creep’
I don’t belong here… ‘
I think this was because I had not found my purpose. But then I met Toni McLelland from 1st Life Group who unleashed my inner Beyonce and reminded me that these were old tapes playing. I was entitled to be there as much as anyone, my voice is my voice and it may help someone. It made me realise that some of the more challenging experiences at work I had experienced in the past could strengthen and not weaken the cause for compassionate leadership. As Beyonce sings :
I’m more than what you made of meBeyonce ‘Listen’ from the motion picture ‘Dreamgirls’
I followed the voice you think you gave to me
But now I’ve gotta find my own, my own
I know now not to define leader by grade. When you think about it- anyone can be a leader. We also all want to be considered as being ‘special’ to someone and this is not just in our personal life but our work-life too. We may not all want an all singing dancing recognition party but there is certainly a bit of me that craves a small ‘Gordon’ moment? I also want my imposter to stop comparing and start sharing:
‘You’re so very specialRadiohead, ‘Creep’ [edited expletive]
I wish I was special’
If we find it within ourselves difficult to be compassionate then how can others be compassionate to us?
So if your work situation is toxic or you are leading an unhappy team, reach out. You may discover something about someone you never knew. Otherwise you may lose someone valuable to your team.
But I’ll be moving on
If you don’t, if you won’t
Listen to the song here in my heartBeyonce ‘Listen’
A melody I start but I will complete
Feel free to drop me a line about what you have found out about your colleagues today and thanks for reading.