There’s Nothing Wrong with Herbal Tea
There’s Nothing Wrong with Herbal Tea
One of the great myths we like to dispel here at VIM Executive Coaching is that all executive coaching sessions try to direct the client into the same pattern or leadership style. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The inspiration for this post concerns a “C” level executive who worked for a major coffee roasting company. In addition to the fact that he had allowed himself to become overwhelmed with stress, his coffee drinking led to him developing agitation, anxiety and tightness in his chest. His physician recommended he cut way back on his caffeine consumption with the suggestion that he take up drinking herbal tea.
“I can’t do that,” he said to his doctor. “What will my co-workers think of me?”
The doctor wisely commented that whatever they might say, they will say it to him in the present tense, and not visit him in another setting (such as the hospital).
The Initial Shift
When the executive leader showed up at a meeting drinking herbal tea, there were more than a few interesting comments about him switching to “the other side.” He was apprehensive that his worst fear would be realized, that he would not be thought of as a team player. However, he patiently explained that on the basis of his cardiologist’s advice he would cut back, drink decaf and herbal tea.
He was quite centered in his explanation, kind and responsive to the somewhat silly comments directed his way. In the end, he was approached by others (on the sly) who said that they too often drank herbal tea and that he was absolutely right in taking care of himself.
This is neither an endorsement nor a negative comment directed in regard to coffee versus herbal tea, only that his authentic response rather than his angry reaction impressed his co-workers. Had he dismissed his physician’s suggestions and kept up his coffee drinking habit who knows where the journey might have taken him?
The point here is not so much about one executive or entrepreneur at a coffee roaster, rather that his leadership style and his pattern, by necessity, had no choice but to change. In making that change he had to be mindful of his own needs without being dictatorial, intransigent or mean-spirited when he was chided for his change in beverage. Incidentally, he retained his position for many years after and eventually left of his own volition.
What is your style of leadership?
VIM Executive Coaching cannot purport to tell you how you should lead, only to gently direct you on the path you should most likely take to get you where you need to go. For that reason, we help leaders discover their leadership styles through the context of mindfulness, meditation, leadership exercises and the development of techniques to help you be more responsive to co-workers both above and below you in the organization.
Because the techniques we coach are so personalized, it is impossible to fit any two people, let alone several, into one pattern of leadership. An individual who is quiet and introspective, is no more or less a leader than someone who is more of an extrovert and effusive. For there really is no one style, except for this: authenticity.
Those around us respond to our authenticity. You don’t have to be a certain type, so much as you are true to the type where your mindfulness really wants to lead you. We believe that every executive leader already holds the elements of their leadership style within them, all they need do is to access that style with authenticity and positive intention.
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