"Do not try to do the great things; do the little things with love."
Mother Teresa

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In last week's edition of Leadership Notes, I invited us to do an exercise. I wonder this week, how it went, how did it feel to conciously thank colleagues?

I'm becoming convinced that leadership, and other parts of our lives that involve the heavy lifting of emotional labour, require a certain emotional fitness level. In the same way that we are more resilient physically, and physically stronger when we work out, the more emotional and psychological work outs we do, the stronger psychologically and emotionally we'll be.

And of course, one doesn't simply start running a 10k run alone on day one of a new physical regime. In this journey of emotional and psycholigical strength, we each need to start off with the foundations.

So to consider some starting places, we can look at the work of psychologist William Glasser who argues that we humans are genetically driven by some foundational psychological needs;  the need to belong, the need to gain power, the need to be free, and the need to have fun. We might fullfill these needs, in their simplest form as follows:

1.       we fulfill the need to belong by loving, sharing and cooperating with others,

2.       we fulfill the need for power by achieving, accomplishing and being recognized and respected,

3.       We fulfill the need for freedom by making choices in our lives,

4.       We fulfil the need for fun by laughing and playing.

For us as leaders, as curious as we may be about other's needs, we need to begin with ourselves. So for this week, I wonder about where you best share and co-operate, where you best achieve, where you best make choices, and where you best laugh and play? The answers may well give you perspective on what psychological and emotional strength you have and can build upon.