A while ago I wrote about one Leadership Superpower, Encouragement.
Today I focus on another, Belief, inspired by the brilliant Georgie Loxton (if you want to truly look at what wealth means at all levels for yourself, she is who I refer people to, always). Georgie suggested I look up “the sketch guy”, Carl Richards (his site here).
I love the way he captures ideas with simple sketches, and the first sketch that caught my attention was this:
Carl wrote a terrific piece on this here, a couple of snippets from it :
“On paper, your investments in stocks, real estate or even cash may look like your greatest assets. While all those things are superimportant, you have something else that’s even more valuable. It’s the investment called you…. Finding ways to increase your value while doing the things you love may be the most important thing you do….They all involve doing something new for you, but when you head down this path, you are probably going to run into this thing, this fear that you’re bumping up against the limits of your ability….It’s at the moment when you’re most vulnerable that all your doubts come crashing in around you. When I first heard that voice in my own head, I didn’t know what to make of it. The fear was paralyzing….I worried the world would say, “You’re a fraud.” ….During a session with a business coach, I shared my fear. I was shocked when she told me this thing had a name….The first step to dealing with this fear is knowing what to call it.”
As my friend and mentor Suki Smith says “awareness is the greatest agent for change”, so yes, the first step comes before knowing what to call it, and is simply to acknowledge the feeling is there.
After that, what is the next step ?
To begin, I give you a favourite sketch from my favourite business artist, Hugh McLeod.
We all feel imposter syndrome from time to time. Carl’s article has some wonderful stories, including a reference to what I believe is Seth Godin’s most powerful and personal work, “The Icarus Deception” (which I’ve also written about on this site).
To create something of value to the world, then, it is key that we believe in ourselves.
A massive support in this is to know that others we respect actually believe in us. The market for something to believe in is infinite indeed, and so is the value we gain from someone who believes in us.
We all have something unique and powerful in us. I am reminded of Heather Wilde, who is the “Unicorn Whisperer” (yes, unicorns are real.. and hey, the national animal of my home country of Scotland!), and Nilofer Merchant, who teaches us the power of “Onlyness”.
So, what can we do to support others around Belief?
In my post on Encouragement noted above, I finished it with:
“One key caveat. Encouragement and appreciation must be praise based on true ability and achievements, given sincerely and with recognition of the true value of what is being praised. Go out there and praise someone today!”
My work with leaders, individuals, and teams, is centered around bringing forward Insights and then having authentic and powerful belief in them so they can bravely step forward and believe in themselves. I’ve seen time and time again, over and over again, the power of authentic belief in others.
Insights, Encouragement, Acknowledgement, Belief, Bravery… I find these to be superpowers indeed in our impact and value in the world.
Go out there and tell someone you believe in them today!
Oh, and believing in others is a virtuous circle. Believe in others and you will believe in yourself, and as Genesis said “Its the bottom of a staircase that spirals out of sight”.
For a tangent, I leave you with that song, a favourite of mine, and as I listen to it, memory flies back to October 2007 in Chicago, many thanks to my dear friend Steve for insisting he and I go for that as a birthday experience for me… this live version from that same world tour.