At the end of March I wrote about the Four Core-Ners and how through the lens of these Core-Ners of Self, Relationships, Work and World we can live and lead with more alignment, integrity, authenticity, awareness, understanding, compassion and empathy.
As I mentioned in the previous article, Your four core-ners are what make you a successful leader.
Leadership is a privilege, it’s about lifting people up, trust, respect, seeing the person in front of us and recognising that their unique skills and talents are what makes them unique. When we lead from our core and recognise that our own four core-ners are what makes us unique as leaders, we not only see, but we appreciate and value the uniqueness of the people we lead, and it’s through this that we change the world of work.
When you know who your true self is, you make decisions that are right. Your true self and your core values become your true North. No longer can you lead in a way that isn’t authentic, honest and real.
Through knowing and understanding your true self, your relationships have meaning. All of your relationships. You realise who is important, who matters and you connect much more deeply with others because you are connected much more deeply with yourself.
When you know your true self and you have relationships that matter, you bring this meaning into your work. You want that to make a difference. You realise it’s about more than power and status, it’s about making a difference, making a positive impact and being a leader that creates workplaces that put people first.
And when your true self has relationships that matter and work that creates meaning, you want to make the world a better place. Your world can be your immediate world, your family, your friends, or your community. It could be your neighbourhood, your town or your city or it could be that you want to change the world on a bigger scale.
I was asked what happens when we ‘get it wrong’ and when these areas are out of alignment, and so today, I’ll go some way in answering this by focusing on just two areas. Let me start though by saying that this isn’t about right or wrong. Life happens, to us and for us depending on your perspective and point of view, it is what it is. Some things we can change, some we can’t, some things we can influence, some we can’t, some things we can control and some we can’t.
And the Four Core-Ners aren’t a magic wand that can just make things better. But, they can help to create awareness and through awareness we can create change and acceptance. So what happens when any of these Core-Ners are out of sync, out of alignment or impacted by things completely out of our control? Let’s start with the Core-Ner of Work.
When work is going well, we feel good, proud even. We’re doing something that we love on a daily basis, we feel a sense of purpose, a sense of achievement and as though we are adding value and making a difference. We’re happy. Energised. Confident. We’ve got a spring in our step. And this positively impacts our relationships. Our partnerships, how we parent, our friendships, how we relate to colleagues, how we communicate with others, the level to which we socialise and are the life and soul of the party. Our view of the world is good. We feel secure. We have a place. We belong.
And then somehow, work turns to crap. And this could happy for any number of reasons. We start to disagree with our manager, or our manager becomes a bit of a dick. Colleagues turn against us. We lose our love for the work. It’s no longer enjoyable. The culture sucks. The customers are always moaning. The place you once loved, is now somewhere you dread. But it’s just work right? How could one thing possibly impact all of the other areas of your life?
Maybe it starts with a change to your sleep patterns, maybe you just can’t sleep. You need more coffee to get through the day. The coffee keeps you awake at night even more and so it’s a few more alcoholic drinks of an evening to help you sleep. Maybe you’re spending more, buying things to help you feel better. Maybe gambling becomes a thing to help distract your mind. You lose some of your confidence. You feel a bit crappier everyday. Your energy changes, and so does your mood and so you start to argue more with your partner, kids, colleagues and friends. You’re no longer fun to be with because you just moan constantly, and so people call you less and want to spend less time with you, unless you’re drinking, because then you’re fun again. Your view of the world turns to the world being crap. You start to ask why anyone has to work, what’s the point? Is this really all life is about? You start job hunting but the jobs all look crap, or don’t pay enough, or you’re not getting any interviews or any offers and you become bitter and argumentative. Your health starts to suffer and so to do the other areas of your life.
But it’s just work right? How could it possibly impact your life on a bigger scale? What then about the world? What happens when that’s out of sync? What happens when a global pandemic hits and the world closes around us? Can that really impact the other Core-Ners of our life?
Overnight, our relationships and our sense of connection, real connection were taken away. Our work changed. Many of us forced to work in the four walls of our homes. Many others continuing to work in places that may not feel safe any longer. Distance must be kept. Masks cover the faces of those we know and love. They hide the feelings and expressions that many of us are so used to seeing, to comfort us, to make us happy, to help us feel a sense of belonging and comfort.
The longer the world stayed closed, the more distant some of us felt from others. For some, the harder we worked, the longer the hours we worked, the more distant we become from family and friends. The longer we worked, the more distant we became, the less happy we felt in ourselves. We ate more, watched more, withdrew more. The video calls that had, at the start, given us comfort and fun, now feeling pointless, too much effort. Our lockdown locks in need of a cut, our lockdown waistlines keeping us in ‘loungewear’ and comfort, a state of hibernation. Our sense of self further impacting our relationships and our work and our view of the world become more cynical, more clouded, less appealing!
But one core-ner surely can’t impact all of the other areas!
I realise some of these examples are worst-case scenarios and that not everyone has experienced these things, and yet these examples show that when we see ourselves as a whole person, connected to everything and everyone around us, the knock-on effect of one core-ners, can and does, impact the other core-ners. And we can’t pretend that one doesn’t impact the others.
If we want to live and lead from our core, it’s important that we are aware of our Four Core-Ners and that we do what we can as much as we can, to keep them aligned.
When we become the leaders that the world needs, aligned to our core and with our four core-ners as a whole, the leader that our people need, we change the world of work.
Want to get clear on your four core-ners? Find details of my coaching packages at www.kellyswingler.com and book a discovery call. Kelly is an Executive Coach for CEO's and CPO's who want to change the world of work at kellyswingler.com and Founder of The Chrysalis Crew.
She leads and coaches with an open heart, an open mind and has the courage to challenge the status quo and do things differently so that we can all love our roles, find balance in our lives and so that we can all change the world of work for the better.