Building a business is fun, right? However, we also know that it can be tough sometimes. We may notice this particularly when we are building leaders. In this post, I (Sarah here today!) want to share with you a few key pieces on how you can lead when no one seems to be listening!
Personally, I often felt like I was leading and yet, no one was listening to me. I felt like I had this rockstar advice that if people would just follow it – they’d win, right? Wrong!
A Short Story that I think will Help you …
5 years ago, I had a chance to be a part of a brand new company. It was just starting up and we were excited! Totally packed with motivation and full of enthusiasm. We were doing daily calls, online meetings and the daily disciplines of the business.
One day a business partner of ours was on a call with us. We did the introduction and invited those on the call to announce themselves …
There was no one. Not one person. What could have been the most deafening silence you had ever heard was happening. And let’s be honest – we had every reason to just end the call. After all, who would know?
But guess what?
We rocked out that call with one of the most enthusiastic messages we had ever delivered up until that point. And, we did it with no one listening.
Well that’s simple …
We learned that whether there is an audience of one, or an audience of a thousand people, we needed to show up and deliver. And, this didn’t just happen once. In fact, it happened more times than we probably want to admit and still each time we showed up and showed out!
This might sound familiar to you.
When you are just starting out your business it can feel almost easier. You are full of incredible heartfelt emotions and excitement. And all you want to do is get out there and tell the world. However, then we get to the middle .. and that’s where it appears to get harder.
It can be messy, overwhelming, discouraging and all things in between.
These are the moments that begin to shape who we are as business people. They give us some of the biggest challenges, our character is tested, our limits are stretched, our vulnerabilities exposed, etc.
But it is in these moments ….
We learn how to lead.
I have always leaned on this saying;
‘in the middle is where we discover what is in the middle of us’.
So when you come across these moments and you feel like no one is listening, it’s because you are/were in the middle. Learning how to lead is among the greatest skills you will both acquire and learn as you go along your journey.
Think back to the last book you read. Seriously, take a moment to think about the best parts. Now, imagine if the middle of the book was omitted. Chances are that some of the best parts of that book would be gone. I would even go as far to say this — there’d be no book!
It is in the middle, that is what inspires others. When you feel like no one is hearing you, don’t allow the middle to intimidate you. Don’t let it make you feel alone, or weary, or disillusioned about your business. Just because there is a pause, doesn’t mean it’s ending.
And, just because there is a delay in your success, that also doesn’t mean there is denial.
Everyone wants to rush to the end of the book however, you are actually being tested when things start to become familiar. Here are 3 things I would encourage you to keep in mind when it comes to learning how to lead (even when it feels no one is listening).
- Be prepared. Get in shape for your business. Do a good job of getting better at it everyday . Be prepared to lead when they do show up ready to be lead by you.
- Be persistent not just patient. Learn to peer up and keep going and be ok with that. Your perseverance will become someone else’s prevision. If you don’t persevere, you can’t give others the tools to persevere.
- Words matter more. People will come to you, to make their problems your problems. Guard your environment. Sometimes we get distracted and intimidated and this is when we forget our commitments “maybe this isn’t working, maybe people don’t like me” just remember you’re in the middle. Be careful of your self talk. Sometimes, we have to close our mouths and know this is where we need to be.
There is no mediocrity in the middle.
The middle is where you are working on your story! You need the stories in the middle and, you need to be OK with that. Mistrust, disappointment, criticism, pride, can all have a poor response.
The miracles happen in the middle.
And, if I can leave you with anything else today it’s this … be excited. It’s all perspective. You’re growing and learning so that you can be a better leader to someone else.