We are launching a new online leadership program. I hope this isn’t news for you. Our in-person program has been a hit and we are stepping into new territory taking it online. Back when we decided this, it all sounded so easy. We are familiar with Zoom, we have a great online platform and the context works well. So let’s go, we’ve got this!
The feeling of taking a leap
Here’s the thing, we haven’t done this before. And yet we expect it’s going to turn out great and frankly be perfect. No pressure. Now I’m in the middle of it, I am reminded of what it is like to start something new. I am living with that feeling of not knowing and feeling that I should know. A 25 year business and leadership career, and a respected coach who advises others. I am supposed to know the answer.
Here’s an example. With our in-person program, we can sit across the table from our customer and explain the benefits. We listen to what is important to them and shape the program accordingly. Selling to an online community feels completely different. We send messages out into the world and hope they land in the right place and resonate. We don’t know what that person cares about and how they are feeling. To be completely honest, there are times when I question whether I know what I am doing. What was I thinking?
At times like these, I have to step back and remind myself this is new and feeling uncomfortable is normal. It is ok to not have the answer and to have the humility to ask for help. For me this is the hardest part. It is much easier to take the safer path and stick with what I know. To stay in the space where I do have the answer, at least I think I do.
My wife said it best, “If you do nothing you learn nothing”. I have already learned so much from taking a leap with our new program. Even though I wish I knew more, we are so much further ahead than if we played it safe and stuck to what we know.
If you are unsure about whether to join our program, I hope you take a leap. In fact, this is one of the things we will learn together. Leadership is about declaring a future that others commit to achieve. If we aren’t willing to be vulnerable and risk creating a new future, we aren’t leading. This quote in HBR from Annie Peshkam and Gianpiero Petriglieri says it well.
“Whether you are a CEO, senior manager, or junior professional, if you neglect learning, you stop adapting and forego leading.”