It's Time to RELAX!
Honestly, you can accomplish more with less stress
I launched The Progressive Leader on Substack back in February – on Valentine’s Day, to be exact, since we certainly weren’t going out to dinner in the middle of a global pandemic! I was cranking out content at first – probably more than most people cared to read, if I’m being honest with myself – but I felt like I had a lot to say.
We weren’t just in the middle of a pandemic though, we had just come through a contentious election and had witnessed an insurrection at the United States Capitol. If ever there was I time for solid leaders to step up and fight for progressive change, that was the time!
Here’s the thing though – I’m not actually a member of the “Shouting Class.” Sure, I can get fired up and passionate about certain issues but I’d much rather have a healthy discussion about them and then figure out what we can do to have a positive impact on the problems we face.
Unlike many members of the Shouting Class, I’m not looking for attention and I don’t feel the need to be ranting about something all the time. I’m just not wired that way. In fact, I’m pretty chill most of the time. I don’t get very stressed out and I’m not a worrier anymore. On those rare occasions when I do get REALLY angry – and it’s only happened a few times during my adult life – you definitely don’t want to be anywhere near me... but the likelihood of me getting that mad is slim to none.
My point is that I care about all the crazy bullshit going on in the world but I’m not constantly fired up about it, so I certainly can’t pretend to be that way when I’m creating weekly blog posts and podcasts.
My messaging missed the mark
Unfortunately, as people started to find The Progressive Leader, it wasn’t what most of them wanted. When they saw the name – The PROGRESSIVE Leader – they immediately thought it would be a political blog, railing against Republicans, all the establishment Democrats, and every leader who isn’t progressive enough for the members of the Shouting Class who are also uber-liberal.
Well, those of you who have stuck with me and continue to read what I write and listen to the podcast know that those folks didn’t find what they were looking for. Yes, I’ve talked about politics and I’ve been clear that I want to help people who have progressive values become highly effective leaders... but I’m not interested in writing about politics all the time or even putting a political spin on everything. And I’m definitely not interested in shouting all the time. I have better things to do in my life than rant about the issue du jour!
Back in May, I took some time to refocus and rethink my approach to this newsletter and podcast. I changed things up a little bit but not too much. I tried to adjust around the original idea of The Progressive Leader and it was okay... but I still wasn’t satisfied. Something was missing. It still wasn’t exactly what I wanted to share with people who are working to become better leaders.
One comment brought clarity!
A few weeks ago, someone said something and it really struck a chord with me. I was talking to a person who had come to me for my opinion/advice. When we were wrapping up our conversation, he said, “I don’t know how you can always be so relaxed. You’ve got so much going on and you’re getting so much accomplished, but you’re never stressed out at all. I’ve got less to deal with and I’m running ragged, freakin’ out most of the time! We need to get together for a beer at some point so you can share your secret!”
“I don’t know how you can always be so relaxed. You’ve got so much going on and you’re getting so much accomplished, but you’re never stressed out at all.”
Now, to be completely honest, I do feel stress; I just deal with it differently than most people, which keeps it from compounding. I actually think a little stress is healthy and helps us maintain balance.
Think about your body when you’re standing up and walking around. It’s the push and pull of the muscles – the tension and release against the stress of gravity and momentum – that actually allows you to move around. Or think about exercise: Muscles get stronger and grow when you put them under stress, whether through increasing the weight used or the length of time they’re worked (endurance).
I think of emotional and psychological stress in the same way – it’s just different pushes, pulls, tensions, and releases – so the idea is to work with them to get you were you want to go. The more you effectively deal with stress, the stronger you become and the easier it gets. Easy peasy.
But not for most people, apparently.
Since that conversation a few weeks ago, I’ve talked to several other people about whether or not they would find it more valuable to learn about being a progressive leader or learning to be a more relaxed leader, and the overwhelming response was that they’d LOVE to know more about how I manage to stay so relaxed.
People want to know how I can always be so calm and seemingly easy-going while getting lots of amazing things done, receiving Departmental recognition and industry awards, and building a team of people who actually talk about what a good boss I am and rave about the great team we’ve built. Toot-toot! (Yes… I just tooted my own horn.)
It’s time for another change
After a lot of deliberation, I’ve decided that I’m going to start focusing on sharing what I’ve learned about being a highly effective but relaxed leader. I’m going to share the tips, tricks, tactics, and strategies I’ve discovered that help me make progress towards big, ambitious goals without burning out myself or my team. I’ll be sharing plenty of stories from my own experiences but I’ll try to make sure I provide solid advice and actionable ideas for you to use.
I understand it won’t be right for everyone – and if you subscribed to The Progressive Leader looking for political rants, this new direction certainly won’t fill that need. But if you’d like to learn how to be a more effective leader without getting totally stressed out, then stick around – it should be fun!
Before the end of the calendar year, The Progressive Leader will become The Relaxed Leader. I’ll be updating all of the blog posts and some of the past podcasts. I’ll also be switching from a Substack subdomain to my own custom domain: RelaxedLeader.com
Once I’ve changed everything over, I’ll get back to publishing an article on Monday and a podcast on Friday, with occasional bonus content thrown in here and there, when I have the time (and the inspiration) to do so. Subscribers will still receive emails when posts and podcasts go live, so there’s nothing for you to change – just remember that the emails will be coming from The Relaxed Leader once the changeover is complete.
Finally, I’m starting to plan some potential online courses to offer. I can only share so much through weekly articles and podcasts, so in 2022 I’ll be offering some self-paced online courses to teach the basics of becoming a Relaxed Leader.
Thanks for sticking with me over the past few months and I hope you decide to stay around to see what comes next!