I’ve just returned from coaching a brilliant academic client whose vision is to improve health equity around the world. She has bold and lofty goals but has already generated a huge amount of interest and enthusiasm for her vision.
She’s also met negativity, cynicism and those who feel overwhelmed with the enormity of the task or can only see how hard it’s going to be.
Which voices should she pay attention to if she is to generate momentum, energy and action? Who should she hang out with to maintain her own enthusiasm and commitment? Where is she most likely to find encouragement, support and assistance?
Of course, the sensible path is to listen to those who are excited and enthusiastic about the possibilities.
It seems a no-brainer, but how often do we allow negativity, disbelief and cynicism stop a good idea in its tracks?
Too many of us fall into potholes created by others and reinforced by our own fear and self-doubt. The potholes that impede our ability to achieve our destination and goals. We listen to the critical voices that tell us what we can’t do rather than the positive, encouraging voices that fuel our hopes and aspirations and generate energy when we feel it flag.
Leadership is hard because we’re in the spotlight. We’re visible and a target – for others’ hopes and fears. But we can choose who we listen to – and we must.