Do You Know Who You Are as a Leader?

June 13, 2011

Does that seem like a strange question? Have you thought about it recently? Who are YOU as a leader?

Have you given up on yourself because others view you a certain way? Has society, your teachers, your family, your friends, your coworkers and even your kids already decided who you are and you have bought into it? Have you ignored, neglected or forgotten some of your passions and dreams? As a leader, you will have the greatest impact when you are able to integrate all parts of who you are and when you are able to be with yourself and with others fully present and authentic.

I attended my younger son's graduation from 6th grade last week. He attends Santa Barbara Montessori School http://www.sbmontessori.com  in California and is entering into the Erdkinder class which is made up of 7th and 8th graders. He is fortuante to be in a learning environment where his whole being is supported and he can learn to lead from his own strenghts, passions, desires and weaknesses. He and his classmates, along with the 8th grade graduates all gave a speech. These were 11-12 year olds and 13-14 year olds. Do you remember yourself at that age? Not exactly the easiest thing to stand up in front of a bunch of adults and the rest of the kids in the school and inspire them through your words.

Each speech was as unique as the child who created it. The audience laughed, cried, felt moved and felt the impact these young people are already having in the world. This is not about "doing" a charity or "performing" for a grade or an award. This is about being authentically who you are, embracing it and being the best you can be. It is about connecting with yourself, your heart and your soul. From this place you feel strong and from this place you will have the most impact as a leader. So whether it was the young man who embraced his nerdiness and lack of athletic desire or the young woman who stated that she will qualify for the next Olympics or any of the other kids embracing their musical talents, humor, wit, intelligence and their unique stories... they were inspiring.

So, just as my son quoted Confucius in his speech, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

  • Take 1 minute right now,
  • Write down 1 current situation where you want to go with all of your heart, be more fully present
  • Write down 2 actions you can take this week that would allow you to do this
  • Notice what happens within you and with others over the next couple of weeks

And thank you for reading my blog!

Destiny

June 01, 2011

“To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation.”- Paulo Coelho in the Alchemist

Who are you meant to be? Are you fulfilling your destiny right now in your personal and in your professional life?

Too often we are caught up in doing what we think we should do, what others expect us to do or what we

are told to do. Why do we invest so much time and energy in maintaining our status quo? We may be “successful” by society’s standards, yet there is something nagging us in the back of our minds…we feel there is something missing but not quite sure what it is or what to do with the feeling. Fear keeps us stagnate and prevents us from living up to our full potential.

Do the following questions stir anything up in you?

  • What is your biggest dream and what prevents you from from realizing it?
  • If you could change anything in your life, what would it be?
  • What makes you feel most alive?
  • What is the secret you haven’t told anyone yet?
  • What do you really want?

Our world is in a state of transformation, some might say chaos, at all levels. The opportunities for transformation in your personal life and in your work life are abundant. You can choose to make a greater impact in the world by choosing to to be who you are meant to be. Will you?

Crisis

May 16, 2011

What do you think of when you hear the words: Japan? Earthquake? Tsunami?

This disaster that has affected so many of us around the world and has brought our attention back to the fact that some events are out of our control. So what do you do when faced with an unexpected event? A disaster in your own personal or professional life?

  • Do you react unconsciously, out of fear or habit? Or…
  • Do you take conscious action?

Reacting is an habitual response with its roots connected to our fears (the fight or flight response which is automatic), our habits and our desire to regain control. This is a respoonse we have as humans that is so critical to our survival (e.g., fighting back when physically threatened or running away from a dangerous situation).

However, we often revert to this when a situation is not life-threatening (e.g., a client fires you unexpectedly, your team loses a critical member in the middle of a project) Reacting this way in non life-threatening situation will hold you in the same patterns you have developed over your lifetime and you will revert back to a status quo (i.e, comfort level) But, is that what is really best in this particular situation? Is that what is really needing to happen?

How do you choose to act otherwise? How do you use this chaos an an opportunity for change?

  • Become AWARE (What do I sense is needed? What do I have to offer at this time? What is really happening? What do I know now that is new and different?
  • Become CLEAR (Clarify your options and explore opportunities you might have overlooked previously. Clarify why you want to take certain steps and what the intentions are for each of them)
  • Take CONSCIOUS ACTION (Once you are aware and clear, make a conscious decsion to move forward. This may mean following another’s lead, it may mean waiting and observing for a bit longer and it may mean stepping in and taking charge)

Just as natural disasters will happen, chaos or crises will arise in you own life. You can choose to use these events as opportunities to make changes in your life. You can choose to act consciously and powerfully!

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