In all the noise, listen for what matters

Sally-Anne, 24.12.21

So here we are. We’ve reached that point in many traditions where friends and family come together to celebrate.

Another year over, a new one about to begin.

And a time, in all the noise, to carve out some quiet space to take stock.

As a boss, parent, partner, colleague, friend – in other words, as a leader…

How were you this year?
How are you now?
And next year, how do you want to be?

Here in our French Alpine village, it’s a white Christmas.

And, for the second year running, a quiet one. Travel restrictions have caused thousands of people to cancel their mountain holiday. It’s going to be another tough winter for the ski industry.

From promising to disappointing. Again. What do we do with that?

In a skilful leader’s job description, there’s an unwritten rule: “show up, no matter what”.

By showing up, I don’t mean presenteeism, I mean presence. Presenteeism (working while sick) happens when you’re disengaged from what’s actually needed. Presence (being fully awake) happens when you’re engaged with what’s happening now, and therefore able to see what’s actually needed.

A leader is present when, as a working parent, at the end of a long day, they are there for their family; or as a busy team leader, they take time to support a colleague in difficulty; or as a friend, they listen.

A leader is present when they cut through the noise in their own head to be there for someone else. When they show up, regardless.

A leader is present when they see what really matters. Now.

This Christmas, as many of us face enforced isolation, or unwanted separation from family and friends (or worse), we have another opportunity to show up, regardless.

Let’s practise being present for what is real, now.

Let’s cut through the noise in our head and create the space for what really matters: love, peace and goodwill to all.

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