I recently joined Stacy Mayer on her podcast, and we talked about intentionality. Leaders who operate and stretch with intentionality, grow faster. So try on different skins and take in different voices as 2 things you can do to accelerate growth.

1. Try on different skins

try on different skins

Each new start provides an opportunity for a fresh beginning. I remember when Laini started a new grade and began introducing herself as Melaina. She tried on the skin of being Melaina vs. Laini. And it turns out, she prefers Laini. What a wise and courageous experiment! My kid recognized the opportunity to try a new skin and went for it!

You can do the same thing each time you start a new job, or even a new role at the same company.

Ask yourself:

  • What skin do I want to shed? Is there language, behavior, or habits that don’t serve me well? What if I tried a different way?
  • Who am I when I’m at my best self? What context enables me to be at my best, and what practices should I adopt to enable that version of myself as consistently and as often as possible?
  • Who should I surround myself with? What kinds of people challenge me? Which friends sharpen me and make me better? Which friends aren’t really friends at all?
  • How should I operate? Are there different ways of working, changes in how I might manage my calendar, time, and energy? 

As we try different skins, we may keep part of some and discard others. Ultimately, we find the skin in which we’re most comfortable. After all, in this one precious life of ours, we are living to discover who we are. And this is one way to accelerate growth.

2. Take in different voices

take in different voices

Do you believe you view the world through a biased lens? I’m pretty sure we all do. And today, more dramatically biased views are becoming more prevalent. Do you know why?

Well, I think it’s largely because of the predominance and ubiquity of social media. You see, content is becoming increasingly extreme (shock ‘em and stop ‘em in the scroll!) and technology is serving up more extreme content based on your behavior. Pretty soon, you’re taking in one skewed view of the world, and you may not even know it. This is why it’s important for us to be intentional about taking in multiple voices.

Ask yourself:

  • Are you a liberal thinker? While it may feel uncomfortable, listen to a few conservative voices. Add a few new podcasts to your queue.
  • Has your family lived in this area for years? I’ve heard folks saying things like “How can those red caps really believe what they believe?” and “I can’t keep track of all the letters… what is it now, LGBTQ… Seek to understand the lived experience of those who have immigrated to the country.
  • Is there something you don’t understand? I challenge you to make it your business to try and understand that thing, perspective, or world view.

Also, I think this intentionality should extend beyond the voices we take in.

I believe we each carry a responsibility to create and project alternative voices

After all, if we don’t, who will? If only the paid voices are heard, can you imagine how polarized the world might become? Ah, and this is why creativity is so important.

Creative storytellers help shape how we see the world and our role within it, with the only desired outcome being to make you feel something and think differently.

In my own effort to find less biased voices, I’ve started curating the following list. I’d love to hear – what are your trusted voices?

Check out my full podcast chat with Stacy, listen here. And for related articles, check out:

All images generated by AI using Dalle 3.