Leadership Unleashed: Unraveling the Power of Old Habit Patterns in Leadership

Summary: Read the award-winning book “Don’t Bring It To Work” and complete the companion online program “Total Leadership Connections” for profound insights and practical strategies to revolutionize leadership development and collaboration within your organization.

Dear Dr. Sylvia,

I want to thank you.

I was drowning by putting in twelve-hour days. Finally, after two weeks, my mind shut down, and my body resisted the accelerated pace.

Thus, I named this “My Race to Exhaustion.”

I’m embarrassed to admit how bad it was, yet I will do so to stay faithful to my narrative.

Consequently, I had my first panic attack.

In fact, it was my first panic attack ever!

No awards, please.

My award was to have some sessions with you as an executive coach.

I’m not a VP. However, I am “a “HI-PO.”

When Hi-Potential employees are given tools and techniques for positive leadership, they thrive.

I am a high-potential employee and the powers that be want to groom me for the next leadership level.

I am writing to you now with a favor.

Can you outline what we did in those magical six sessions I had with you? They helped me release my fear. Then, I was in a healthier place to tackle complex situations with my boss and co-workers.

I did the online program at leisure, and I feel much better, personally and professionally.

Exhaustion and even panic attacks are more common at work than ever before.

As an illustration, for those who have never had a panic attack or worked with someone who has, I would like to describe what it feels like.

I was ready to start week three of twelve-hour days.

When I woke up, I was feeling dizzy. I got out of bed and had to stop.

I felt like I was on a kid’s merry-go-round. So, right back to lie down.

My heart was racing, yet the room was quiet, and there were no distractions.

For a few minutes, I thought I was going to die. Either I would fall, hit my head, and be a goner.

Or someone lurking outside the bedroom door would come in and attack me.

My mind went a bit wild!

I sat at the edge of my bed, trembling and feeling like I would throw up.

It seemed like I was sitting for hours.

However, I looked at the clock, and maybe 10 minutes had passed.

The anxiety and fear began to subside. However, I still could not get going. I thought

about quitting my job. I decided my boss was a demon for demanding too much.

Present upsets are often connected to memories.

Subsequently, I am grateful that you entered my life the next day.

All things considered, you helped me pull from my memory the frightening time

when I was the top student, yet nothing was ever good enough for my mother.

I had a memory of when I was eleven years old. I was the ultimate pleaser.

If “she” said I was good enough to be first in my class! Then, there was no discussion.

So be it!

However, the demands were too much, and the only way out of that dreadful time

was from a terrible bike accident. Accident? Maybe so!

I broke my leg and a few ribs.

I was home-schooled for months and sadly lost my rank in my class.

Not intentionally, at least not consciously.

In short, please tell everyone how my story ended when you talk about how to

break the old, outdated patterns.

In addition, fill in how the past and present are so entwined and how to move past

outdated fears and anxiety that can still show up in the present time.



Too many leaders have joined the unhealthy “race to exhaustion and burnout.”

Dear Fearless,

Thank you for pointing to what so many are dealing with these days. It combines two extreme positions— wanting to please at all costs while heading to burnout.

Leadership and collaboration are the cornerstones of success in any modern workplace.

However, challenges often arise when unresolved family and personal dynamics enter the professional environment. This groundbreaking work sheds light on these patterns and provides actionable solutions for leaders at all levels.

For example, “Don’t Bring It to Work” is not just another leadership book; it’s a transformative guide that helps you identify and address recurring patterns from your past that impact your current professional relationships.

Individuals and teams can ultimately unleash their full potential by recognizing and breaking free from these patterns.

Understanding the Patterns is the first order of business, any business.

The book begins by helping readers understand the essential patterns that often surface in the workplace. These patterns are rooted in early family dynamics and can manifest as communication issues, power struggles, and dysfunctional behaviors within teams.

For instance, one of the most common patterns is the “Super-Achiever.” This person strives for perfection but can be overly critical of themselves and others.

The super achiever at work is also known as a perfectionist.

Your story, dear Fearless, is a perfect example of the super-achiever coupled with the pleaser that led to your panic attack.

Here is another story about a high-performing project manager named Sarah. She consistently exceeded expectations but struggled to collaborate effectively with her team due to perfectionism. She had unrealistic expectations and quickly pointed out flaws in her team’s work. This led to tension and decreased morale among her colleagues.

After reading “Don’t Bring It to Work,” Sarah recognized her Super-Achiever pattern and its origins in her upbringing. Her mother set the bar too high, and Sarah did not want to be seen as a sissy.

She kept her mouth shut for most of her growing-up years. However, when the perfectionism led her to panic attacks, she tackled the issue head-on.

Change at a core level happens when you are willing to tell the truth in relationships.

She had several in-depth dialogues with her mother, and the theme was, “You cannot live your life through me. I never wanted to be in the Olympics as a gymnast. That was your dream. “

It took some time, and fortunately, these two caring humans reframed their judgmental and demanding relationship.

Sarah learned to manage perfectionism, communicate constructively, and empower her team members. As a result, her team’s productivity soared, and a more positive work environment emerged.

How long did this take?

You could “feel” the difference with her team in under three months.

There is no magic bullet; there is, however, more knowledge about why we behave the way we do. That makes all the difference.

The Labyrinth of Leadership helps you understand why you must go back to go forward.

As an illustration, I introduce the concept of the “Labyrinth of Leadership,” which illustrates how leaders often find themselves caught in a web of unresolved family dynamics. These dynamics can include favoritism, power struggles, and avoiding conflict. The book provides a practical framework for navigating this labyrinth and fostering healthier leadership dynamics.

There is a six-step process to better relationships at work

To truly transform leadership and collaboration, “Don’t Bring It to Work” offers a six-step approach and the way OUT:

1. Identify Your Pattern: Recognize your recurring pattern and its impact on your professional life.

2 Trace the Pattern to Its Origin: Understand how your pattern developed in your early family dynamics.

3. Reframe the Pattern: Shift your mindset and behaviors to break free from the pattern.

4. Reclaim Your Power: Regain control over your reactions and interactions in the workplace.

5. Revise the Rules: Rewrite the rules of engagement with your team and colleagues.

6. Reconnect with Others: Foster healthier, more collaborative relationships at work.

A Holistic Approach to Leadership Development for mental, emotional and physical health at work.

One of the book’s strengths is its holistic approach to leadership development. It addresses not only the cognitive aspects of leadership but also the emotional and relational aspects.

In other words, helping leaders uncover and address their underlying patterns, “Don’t Bring It to Work,” equips them with a deeper understanding of themselves and their colleagues.

Creating a collaborative culture is vital for employees to thrive.

“Don’t Bring It to Work” aims to create a collaborative and emotionally intelligent workplace culture. When leaders lead by example, teams become more cohesive and productive. The book teaches leaders to model healthy communication, conflict resolution, and empathy, improving collaboration and overall job satisfaction.

To illustrate the book’s impact, let’s hear from real leaders who have embraced the “Don’t Bring It to Work” philosophy:

John, CEO of a Tech Company: “This book transformed how I interact with my executive team. By recognizing my pattern of avoiding conflict, I’ve become more comfortable addressing tough issues head-on. Our decision-making has never been more effective.”

Laura, HR Manager: “I’ve incorporated Dr. Lafair’s insights into our leadership training programs, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Team dynamics have improved, and employees are more engaged.”

In a world where effective leadership and collaboration are paramount, “Don’t Bring It to Work” and “Total Leadership Connections” are game-changing resources.

Helping leaders identify and break free from recurring patterns rooted in family dynamics gives you a path to more productive, harmonious, and thriving workplaces.

The story of Sarah, the Super-Achiever, demonstrates how the principles of Pattern Awareness can create tangible, positive changes in the workplace. As leaders embrace the six-step process and navigate the leadership labyrinth, they can unlock their full potential and pave the way for a brighter future for their organizations.

Investing in leadership development through “Don’t Bring It to Work” and “Total Leadership Connections” is an investment in your leaders and the future success of your entire organization. By fostering healthier, more collaborative workplace relationships, you can propel your team toward new heights of excellence.

In conclusion, are you ready to transform your leadership and collaboration? “Don’t Bring It to Work” and “Total Leadership Connections” are your roadmap to success. Embrace the journey, break free from old patterns, and lead your team to greatness. Your organization’s future depends on it.

To your success,

Sylvia Lafair

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Sylvia Lafair

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