Leadership is being conscious of the impact you have outside yourself

Today’s podcast again features Kimberly Davis author of the book of Brave Leadership and well-known leadership development Blog writer Janice Kobelsky.

Kimberly can be found at  https://onstageleadership.com/blog/

Janice can be found at https://janicekobelsky.mykajabi.com/blog

Burnout makes us experience heightened emotions of stress, feeling overwhelmed, vulnerable, fearful of change, and anxiety.

Here are some strategies to manage these:

  1. Identify your super-objective:

This really is purpose-in-action. Purpose often can feel very overwhelming! Yet it doesn’t have to be. All it takes is to be asking the right questions. There are three key questions:

  1. A) Why do you CARE?

Given how important work and the identity it gives us is this question points out what we really care about. It also helps us know if it’s the reason that makes us get out of bed. Importantly we need to give ourselves permission to truly care for the reasons we care about our work.

If you don’t that’s a red flag!

It’s going to be really hard to fully engage and bring the energy and passion one is capable of bringing in life.


  1. B) What is the IMPACT you want to have outside yourself?

Most of our impact needs are self-centred. It focuses on the ‘I’ and is inward looking.

Whereas one needs to focus on the impact one wants to have on someone or something, outside of self, when looking to have an impact.

  1. C) WHO or WHAT do care about most?

Are you a one-on-one person or are you seeking to impact your team or inspire large groups?

Is it about individual development or societal issues?

In getting to having a super-objective having clarity around these three questions helps frame it. What having the super-objective does is that it puts you on an active path to move through.

  1. Start from within:

Everything begins within. Not from the outside. It all begins with oneself first. Starting from the outside is not the answer. Purpose-based actions always start from within and move out. It provides for the bravery in doing what one needs to do in order to be acting from one’s purpose.

  1. When faced with a stressful situation fall back on the super-objective questions and answer those honestly to self.


Think back on these questions and, in that moment, answer them. It helps bring into perspective what and who is important to us and if what is stressing one out is in that perspective or not.


What these strategies do is that one doesn’t have to wait for something to happen to reduce stress. Just by re-focussing one can live and work and lead on purpose. You end up bringing purpose into action through this.

Imagine you find yourself up against a big change, or your feeling vulnerable or your feeling afraid. You’re typically focussed on what might happen to you in the face of this. What this does is that in the amygdala in your head–the centre of emotion management– it gets triggered and it starts to send cortisol, the stress hormones, through your body and then you get the physiological sensations of stress. That leads to the reaction of protecting ourselves through fighting back or do things we do when we feel threatened.

If you can take your focus off yourself what that does is that it gets in the way of your amygdala. It stops it from triggering and you don’t get those physical sensations! And that leaves you free to show up powerfully to make the impact you are there to make. It frees you up from your own physical limitations.


In leadership, this is very helpful. Where leaders, once they practice this, can look at helping their teams manage stress.

Whilst the same questions could be difficult for a leader to ask, as it may trigger defensive reactions, asking about the impact and how success looks and how a team member looks at creating value, are some of the ways that stress, for the team, can be alleviated.

However, leaders have to be careful in asking these questions. As team members may try to seek out what’s the right answer. But leading through by asking what gets one most excited circumvents that right or wrong issue and puts the focus back on the individual. And that then acts like the issue at hand and cuts through creating stress.

For leaders, they can approach this through looking at the legacy they want to leave. Evaluating the super-objective questions through the lens of legacy allows them to focus outside of themselves and work on positive activities.


All of the above comes back to mindfulness. To be able to pause and quickly recalibrate through reviewing their super-objective questions in order to be clear on the desired impact.

It results in showing up with energy in your authentic self.

About the author, Ross

Behavioural leadership coach committed to bringing more soul into business and reducing a leader's stress in managing their people

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