One of the perks of working at home is that you get to choose your soundtrack.
Well, kind of. My kids mostly choose mine. Most of my writing is done in my pyjamas, with up to three little kids beside me at any given time pleading for snacks.
As a work at home mom, I've joined the ranks of parents worldwide who have been privileged to watch Disney's Frozen one zillion times. My littles swoon to the soundtrack and wear Elsa dresses to the grocery store.
My favourite thing about Frozen (and probably the reason I am still sane) is the surprising emotional intelligence in its writing. I'm relieved to finally see female characters who are strong, complex and vulnerable. I love hearing dialogue where characters are candid enough to question each other's choices and stand up for what's right.
So it's high time for a mashup. What can Frozen teach us about leadership?
1. When you level up, life will take you outside your comfort zone.
During Elsa's coronation ceremony, her hands shake as she removes her gloves. Sure, she's hiding powers she's afraid of. But aren't we all? When it's time to step into a leadership role, it can be frightening to acknowledge the power you hold. Because once you acknowledge your own power, you're accountable to it. If your hands shake, that's okay. Rely on the people who support you, keep your goals front of mind, and you'll get through it with grace.
2. Emotional resilience is everything.
If you want to rise into leadership, you have to stop caring what others think. Ignore the haters. Be yourself and don't give a rip what anyone else thinks.
3. You can't rise as a leader until you've done the personal work.
This means facing your fears. Step back, get some perspective, and make sense of your personal challenges. Forgive the past. Straighten your posture. And you'll soon own your personal leadership again.
4. Your loved ones will offer well-meaning but misguided advice to stay small.
Often the people who love us most caution us against taking risks. Every leader can tell you stories of family and friends who advised them not to take action. Our loved ones mean so well. They want to protect you against the dangers they perceive in the world... But it can take a lifetime to overcome this advice and grow into your greatest strengths.
5. Focus on what you want, even if it seems impossible. The "how" will follow.
Maybe you have a big dream that other people are bound to laugh at (like the snowman who longs for summer). Don't let the impossibility stop you. Don't get caught up in the how. Dream your dream, take little steps toward it every day, and you will be blown away by how the universe moves to give you opportunities. See also #9.
6. When you hit a snag, network with people who can help solve your problems.
As a leader, you will always encounter obstacles. This is when we make the most of our lifetime spent building relationships. In a pinch, your network can help you navigate challenges as they arise. For example, you might need to build a relationship (say, with the sister of the Snow Queen) in order to resolve your supply and demand problem. Just saying.
7. Don't rely on anyone else for your own happiness.
In leadership, and in life, relationships sometimes go south. Key leaders switch companies. Someone you were counting on falls through. The key here is to find your happiness irrespective of anyone else's involvement. In business, for example, you don't need any one person on your team. Disappointment is okay when these things happen, but don't let it stop you from growing the best business you can.
8. Leadership is all about posture.
Sometimes, the best way to become a leader is to simply assume the posture of someone with authority. Think of a doctor who pushes through a crowd in a medical emergency. Or Prince Hans, who takes over rule of Arendelle in Anna's stead. Nobody asked these guys for their qualifications. They simply stepped up and started leading. You can do it too.
9. When you have a burning goal, no mountain is too high.
Henry Ford said, "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal." If you are clear about what you want, and you are taking steps every day to get closer to your goal, no obstacle can hold you back. Even if it means climbing the North Mountain in heeled boots with no equipment. It's amazing how magical staircases appear to help you out. See also #5.
10. Take personal responsibility for your mistakes.
Princess Anna admits upfront that she's made mistakes and is responsible for fixing them. She's onto something here! Don't pass blame or responsibility onto anyone else to solve your problems. Maybe, as a leader, you realize you've pushed someone and you have to take steps to make it right. Or maybe someone has hurt you, so you do what you have to do in order to heal yourself. Whatever is causing the issue (and whether or not it's actually your fault), act as if it's your responsibility to fix it.
11. Strive to bring out the best in people.
This is summed up in one of my favourite lines of the movie: People make bad choices if they're mad or scared or stressed, but throw a little love their way, and you'll bring out their best. Leadership is about encouraging people to grow in ways they would not grow without your guidance. When you work with problematic people, find compassion for them. Remember: we all make bad choices, but those choices don't have to define us. Start fresh. Meet people at their level and work with them to find their best foot forward. That's the mark of true leadership.
Maybe after one zillion more viewings of Frozen, I'll be an even better leader. I'll get back to you on that. As soon as I finish cleaning up the Legos.
Mia's dream is to help thousands of awesome people to build businesses, realize their goals, and become better people in the process.
Are you a real person trying your best to make a positive change in your life? If you think building a home business might help you, book a Get Acquainted call with me. I'd love to chat!