Peggy Noonan of the WSJ predicted it, and publications from the NYT to Rolling Stone are reporting it.

Ms. Swift has been named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any time, you know that I’m a big fan of her music, which has always taken up a lot of room on my running playlist.  I don’t think of myself as a Swiftie, didn’t see her on tour this year (although every client that did reported that it was truly amazing) and have seen only one of her docs on Netflix.  But I love her music and her brave heart and find her storytelling remarkable, particularly in the realm of love lost and found.

Whether you listen to Taylor or not, there is no denying her stratospheric success.

And glancing at the headlines this morning, one suggested that with such grand heights comes an even greater distance to fall.

A few thoughts:

  • It is often the case that the higher you rise, the more you’re subject to criticism and perhaps even contempt. More exposure, more people, more opinions.  Which makes it crucial to have a few trusted people in whom you can confide and who will tell you the truth.  I was talking with the CEO of a large organization recently who was sharing how difficult it is to hear pointed criticism when he’s making every effort to lead and giving it his all.  He noted that part of what makes him good at what he does is caring.   Another part, I told him, is being able to filter what you let in so that your confidence isn’t undermined, you’re not distracted, and you continue doing the great work you’re doing in the world.
  • If you find yourself on the on the other side and are looking at someone with envy, that is a signpost. Use it as such.  When envy is kicked up, it’s pointing us in the direction of what we want.  Sometimes it’s not the thing itself (the fame, dating Travis, the talent, …) but, instead, the feeling we associate with the thing: belonging, regard, relationships, esteem.  Don’t push envy down; let it speak.  To you.  From there, all kinds of purposeful things can happen, from noticing the abundance of what you already have to making a plan for bringing more of what you want into your life.
  • Lastly, surround yourself with people who genuinely root for you, want your success, are admiring of your efforts, and are happy with you.  That circle may change over time, and that’s ok.  Anyone who openly or secretly is hoping that you slip and fall doesn’t belong on the inside.

For more on working with me on your leadership journey in 2024, drop me a note:

And if you saw Taylor on tour, let me know in what city and your favorite part of the show.