Quick. Without overthinking, does your mind go to a positive or negative space when you hear the word “stability?” Answer, please.

As I tripped going down my stairs today, I cursed myself for not having better balance and a stronger core so I wouldn’t be as clumsy. I’m certain there are important exercises I should be doing to improve my overall stability. Some people are stable. Others, like me, have work to do.

Physical stability can absolutely improve with exercise, practice and determination. I believe stability in leadership also can improve with time and work. Team members need a steady strong presence from us. What are we doing every day to offer stability to the teams we serve?

Throughout 2023, in “Living Leadership” I’ve focused on what Gallup tells us followers need from leaders (Strength Based Leadership). Trust, Compassion, Stability and Hope are the four basic needs we must focus on to better serve our teams. An exercise we’ve worked on is to ask yourself, as a leader, what are you doing every day to build trust, demonstrate compassion, provide stability and inspire hope? When you break it down, it’s not so easy to articulate. Forcing yourself to answer, especially as it relates to stability, is crucial. 

Do team members know who they are getting? Consistency in leadership matters. Your moods shouldn’t dictate your responses. An awesome responsibility as a leader is to be able to put your personal emotions aside to rationally address who you are engaged with in the moment. If we are unable to do that, we need to find a way to collect ourselves so that we can be the anchor they need. 

This is hard. As leaders there are times we feel personally attacked and taken advantage of. Providing stability means we must set that aside and tackle what needs to be addressed. 

If team members wonder what kind of mood you will be in or if they can approach you at any given time of the day, that, my friends, is a problem. Consider what message you are sending and whether that offers a sense of stability. 

There are certainly other facets of stability we need to consider. I plan to focus on that next month. In the meantime, if you have ways you are offering stability in your leadership journey, let me know. I’m interested in learning from you. 

Stability is so key in leadership and it’s about more than just showing up every day. It provides a feeling, a sense of knowing and security that matters. 

Julie Thorson was the 2018 recipient of the LeadingAge Dr. Herbert Shore Outstanding Mentor of the Year award. She currently co-facilitates LeadingAge Iowa’s Leadership Academy. She is a Leading Age Academy fellow and former coach. The Head Coach (president and CEO) of Friendship Haven, a life plan community in Fort Dodge, IA, Thorson is a coach’s daughter at heart. A former part-time nursing home social worker, she is a licensed nursing home administrator and completed LeadingAge’s Leadership Educator Program in 2019.

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