Learn more about Shannonโ€™s book, Breaking Free: Stop Holding Back, Start Being You

๐™Ž๐™ค๐™ข๐™š๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™„ ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™ก๐™™ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™™๐™ค ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ง๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ก๐™™ ๐™จ๐™–๐™ซ๐™š๐™™ ๐™ข๐™ฎ ๐™—๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ฉ ๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™–๐™œ๐™š ๐™ก๐™–๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™ข๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™.

In the corporate world, I used to lead a bi-weekly Steering Committee with various EVPs and SVPs from across the company for a major project I was working on.

I equally loved and hated these meetings.

I loved them because they gave me exposure to many different leaders across the company, I got to see different leadership styles, and I learned to always prepare in advance and be ready for any tough questions that may be asked. Plus, my boss was with me and there to help guide and support me.

But they were a ton of work. And while I understood the importance of communicating the project status, wins and challenges, making these decks took away from us working on the actual project, which could be frustrating and mean finding the time outside of work hours to make the updates.

Running the meetings was a fantastic experience but also super stressful. And one time, my boss pulled me aside and asked me not to do something at the start of one of the meetings. And ironically enough, doing that very thing caused me to manage a power outage like a pro at the beginning of a talk to 500 people at a conference last week.

What was I asked not to do?

๐——๐—ผ๐—ปโ€™๐˜ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ ๐—ท๐—ผ๐—ธ๐—ฒ.

Before one of our steering committee meetings, my boss asked me not to make any jokes at the start of the meeting. He liked that my style was to break the tension with humour, but this particular meeting was a serious one where we had to break some difficult news, and he didnโ€™t want people to think I wasnโ€™t taking it seriously. It made sense, so I agreed not to.

But then we got to the meeting, and the executives were making jokes, and I found myself frozen. Do I laugh? Do I not laugh? I had no clue what to do and felt really off and uncomfortable. I half smiled in the end, and then we kicked off the meeting.

And then, last week, I took the stage at a conference to speak to 500 people (my biggest audience yet) on Beating Burnout & Workplace Wellness for 50 minutes without notes. I was super prepared and excited; I got up on stage, asked the audience a question, and BAM, the power went out.

And my instincts kicked in.

I told them, โ€œWow, Iโ€™ve never brought the house down before.โ€

The audience laughed.

I confirmed they could still hear me as my mic and slides still worked (perhaps from a generator), so I let them know we would keep going.

And 30 seconds later, the power came back up.

I was complimented by the organizer afterwards on how well I handled the power outage. And really, I have my gut to thank for that. My gut told me humour would help and it did.

So remember, just because someone told you not to do something once doesn’t mean it’s always the right thing to do. Follow your gut.

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๐™Ž๐™ค๐™ข๐™š๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™„ ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™ก๐™™ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™™๐™ค ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ง๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š...

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