A few weeks ago I went to a workshop on centered leadership put on by McKinsey. The Centered Leadership training is something that McKinsey has created to develop female leaders. It evolved from the desire to understand what drives success for women and is designed to help women better cultivate the skills and mindsets needed on their journeys to become leaders. There are five themes that are covered in the training. We focused on energizing (knowing where your energy comes from, how it is drained, and what you can do to manage it).
This workshop has helped me to crystallize several things I've been thinking about over the last couple of weeks. I have been developing this mental list of what activities make me happy irregardless of whatever else is going on. Here's my (abbreviated) list:
1. Ironing - this is one of my zen moments, I especially like shirts
2. Making apple pie - I can't decide if this is because I know I'm good at it or if it reminds me of fun times with my dad
3. Improving processes - I love finding ways to do things better and faster... it makes me happy
4. Crafts in general - I'm never too concerned with doing something "right" so this is really low stress because the outcome doesn't matter
5. Sharing knowledge or understanding - maybe this comes from being an oldest child but I really like developing other people and sharing my knowledge and experiences
6. Talking about other people - not in a gossipy way... I'm just always interested in what is going on in other people's lives more so than talking about what's happening in my life
I've also learned a lot about what saps my energy here at b-school. First and foremost, I hate being put in a position where I have to get other people excited about an activity, idea or project. I am firmly of the opinion that people should excite themselves and get on with it. I also don't think that it is a big deal if people aren't excited. There are some things that just aren't exciting and this expectation that whatever generation I have been lumped into (is is X, Y, why not ... I can never remember) has that every moment of every day should be fulfilling and exciting is ridiculous. Just sayin'.
In conclusion, mix it up. Do things that energize you but recognize that there are times when you will have to tap into your energy reserves and that's just the way it is.