If you do, then you are on your way to becoming a
I have been notorious for
engaging in type A behavior for much of my
What this looks like is that I overbook and
overstretch myself. I say yes far too
often and attempt to do the juggling act where the term
"multi-tasking" is an understatement. If you
can relate to this one bit, then you know the feeling of
self-satisfaction that comes along with this
You know that feeling of superiority when
you think you've conquered the impossible that mere
mortals could never pull off. It happened
just the other day when I was engaging in a phone
conversation while checking my email and searching for a
piece of paper to write on...all while speeding down
Interstate 10. OOOH that adrenaline rush!
Type A behavior assumes that you can control
everything and that you have no limitations.
What I have come to realize about this behavior
is that the only person that seems to be the
most pleased with this performance, time and time again,
The truth is that if you have been around
people engaging in multi-tasking-on-steroids
behavior, it is not only distracting, it is downright
annoying and it doesn't foster connection.
In fact, this kind of behavior repels
others. This behavior doesn't allow for any space
and time to exist between people and without this, we
can't build meaningful relationships and
Leadership is all
about connecting. So if you are too worried about
getting through the TO DO list and trying to
control everything, you may be multi-tasking your way
out of your ability to lead others.
I would like to say that I am a
recovered Type A, but the truth is that I am still
recovering. It takes time to catch your behavior
and to build awareness around slowing down to tackle one
thing at one time, especially when you are interacting
with another person.
We live in a
society that is impulsive and filled with the need for
immediate gratification. With a computer mouse click or
two, you can have a new product at your doorstep
tomorrow. We live in an
optimistic culture where we believe that anything is
possible and we believe that we also can manifest
anything. Our Type A behavior is directly
related to the belief that if you want it, you must do
it. You must control it in order to get it, whatever
It is no wonder that there is so much
depression and feelings of lack of self-worth when we
seemingly lose control and not get what we were working
towards. Think about the emotional impact this
current financial market crisis is having. Think
about the impact when someone loses their job. Or
the impact that a major change in strategic direction at
your company has on your sense of
There are many reminders
in life to tell us that we aren't in control.
There are many humbling reminders that not all
things can be pointed to and clicked into your shopping
cart, even though e-harmony might suggest
Leadership is a humbling thing.
Effective leaders are the ones who finally wake up one
day and realize that they control nothing!
They focus on the interactions with others with
connection and meaning. They build relationships
with trust and enable others to act on their behalf with
integrity. They are mindful of these Type
A behaviors, knowing that they are only self-serving and
self-gratifying. They know their limitations and
they accept that they can't control it all.
This is the kind of leader I am working towards
becoming. If you are on the same journey, start
1. Redefining what it means to
create opportunities for yourself.
2, Recognizing that going at it alone
is no longer an option.
3. Realizing that getting things done
is less important than building connections.
4. Understanding that no time is as
important as now, with the person in front of
5. Learning that forcing things
forward has a way of swinging back
Lopez is a performance strategist, leadership specialist
and branding expert with more than 20 years of corporate
leadership experience. Most recently, Laura Lopez was a
vice president with The Coca-Cola Company. Laura's book,
The Connected and Committed
, is available via her Web site at
at your local bookstore or on www.Amazon.com. As the
owner of her own business, Laura helps companies and
business associations achieve more sustainable business
results through the power of leveraging diverse talent
with effective leadership and branding. She is available
for speeches, workshops and customized programs. Laura
can be contacted via her Web site at: http://www.laura-lopez.com
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