Summer’s almost over – Are You Ready? [Leadership Toolbox]

August is one of those months when a large part of the business community seems to slow down.

The “out of office” replies are more frequent. The pace tends to soften, and if you work in an office you’ve probably had a lot less people around this month than usual.

August is likely the time you are (finally) taking some time away from work, but I also know that for many of you this is your busiest time of the year for programming and public activities, or for preparing for all that is about to occur in the Fall.  For some of you, August means its ALL of the above.

Are you ready to lead your organization forward?

Last week, I led the final live video group coaching call for the participants in our Arts Leadership Development & Strategy program and Mastermind, and our discussion revealed some common threads about this time of year, and what leaders are facing.

This Mastermind is a diverse group. I’ve partnered with The City of San Antonio’s dynamic Department of Arts & Culture, and 12 arts and culture organizations were accepted into this new six month program. Participants in this Mastermind include Board Presidents, Executive and Artistic Directors, Founders and staff.

Each organization varies in budget size, age, mission, and has different goals, challenges and opportunities, and it’s been an honor supporting these leaders move their organizations forward.

Here are the questions I posed during last week’s group coaching call that are meant to offer a strategy to check-in with yourself, and then get out in front of the fray by taking charge of the situation – regardless of whether you’re in the non profit space, corporate America, or run your own business.

Four “Check-In” Questions to move forward strategically (and with a spring in your step)

When you think about the Fall, and the next 12 months:

  1. How are you feeling? Prepared?  Behind?  Stressed or burnt-out?  Excited and energized?  In balance?  Healthy? Take a minute to really notice and observe.
  2. What’s working for you right now? What needs adjustment? Why? An internal assessment is key to understanding what needs to be done next in order for you to get what you want and need as a leader – so that you can help your organization be its best.
  3. What will the upcoming 12 months mean to you/your organization and business? Will this be a time of growth and/or, change?  Will it be a time of reflection to create internal strength so that you can be prepared for an upcoming milestone year?  Will this be a time of transition and crisis that you must manage carefully?  Elevating and “framing” what you are about to do in these broadest of terms, helps translate all that’s in your head about what needs to be done, and simplifies it into one “umbrella statement” which is also easily understandable by others – a rally cry, or simply a way to prioritize.
  4. As a leader, what is the intention you want to set for yourself during this time? Do you want to engage and enroll others in your movement/cause? Do you want to empower/teach your team? Do you wish to create the causes and conditions that allow you to keep your strategic, 30,000 foot view perspective? Do you desire to bring mindfulness and the power of presence into your day to day approach?

With so many incoming and competing demands for your time, taking charge, setting your intention and reflecting on some of these “big picture” questions are important leadership tools.  I always say that these types of activities are not meant to be part of your “To Do” list, but rather your “To BE list”

And here’s the beautiful part:  nothing can prevent you from BEing the way you want to be.

See if taking a few minutes to rise up above the fray (or your summer tropical drink umbrella) creates any insights or shifts in how you think about September and beyond.

To your success,


P.S. – If you want to gain more clarity on how to set the intention and “frame” your upcoming year in a way that creates the possibility for new momentum, engagement and success – CLICK HERE and we’ll get on the phone for a complimentary Strategy Call to talk about your specific scenario.

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