However, one thing I’ve learned in the last three years is that no matter how great your team member and how committed, they will not be as committed as you. It’s not their business, they didn’t found it, they have a life beyond it and leaders should too. You can never expect that same level of commitment, that’s disappointing but also realistic. I never had the same commitment before I started something. It’s really understanding that inspiring and meaning in their lives, which is easier said than done.
Kristen: As you’ve transitioned from managing to leadership, have there been voices that you’ve been listening to, like books that you’ve read, or podcasts that you trust, that have helped you guide this process?
Leah: I really have a cohort of other entrepreneurs, especially women entrepreneurs, and we don’t get together often enough but in the times that we do get together it’s really important, and we talk about things that we don’t typically talk about, like fears. I thought that as a leader you think you shouldn’t show fear, right? It’s that old Chieftain mentality and then but I’ve read so much about vulnerability and authenticity and it was so hard for me to internalize that, and I’m not saying I’ve internalized it completely, it’s a process of internalization, and continuous balance. So my cohort of women entrepreneurs, Brene Brown, I would not have read Brene Brown 5 years ago, I would have said, ‘Oh, please.’ I didn’t like that whole success doctrine, as they call it, and it’s just but you know what? I loved ‘Daring Greatly.’ It’s really about the courage to not be perfect. I’d always thought that you should be perfect as a leader, and it’s really not and that was a big revelation to me.
Erin: The courage of acceptance is massive.
Leah: Yes, and understanding that it is not weakness, because that’s how I saw it before. But really, it’s showing that you do have the vision but also and you do have the courage, especially as they see the battles that you’re fighting externally and that you have your team’s back. I think it’s also a constant process and it’s only been recently that I’ve felt like I need some external help, which again is not a weakness.
Kristen: In fact, understanding your weakness is strength.
Leah: Right, but in the old school, there’s this whole thing about true leaders, or leaders are born, and for me it’s reached a point where I know that I need support too and emotional support. This whole concept of self-care that a lot of people are so proud of not doing, it’s like the whole thing like ‘I am too busy to do this, and too busy to do that.’ And this whole kind of putting busy on a pedestal.
Kristen: Yeah, absolutely, I call it the tyranny of businesses.
Leah: Yes, and it’s like, well, I did that for a couple of years, it’s really made my health go down, and I got insomnia, and my decision making just went. This self-care thing, you have to understand that it’s what you need, you need to do it if you care about your organization.
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