I heard myself in conversation with a potential coaching client ask, beyond your leadership at work,
how would you rate your leadership in your life?
In that one question lived a tickle trunk filled with presuppositions.
First and foremost that we are all leaders, and second, that it all begins and ends in our life leadership.
Jon Kabit Zinn has this great line, which is the tile of his book: Wherever You Go, There You Are.
I hear myself saying this time and time again,
Well, everywhere you go, there you are!
This has become a bit of a mantra for me in my life. In particular when I get caught in any illusion that I can be / do “this” in one area of my life and not in another. When I get slippery with my follow through, when I deflect what is true for me in a moment or I just plain want to give myself a pass.
Self compassion is always called for in these moments when I sing this mantra, as is a dash of humour, because it can feel like a flood light is shining right at me!
So of no surprise, in that moment of curiosity in conversation with this woman, I revealed a deeper layer view of mine that has been floating around in my awareness and had not yet fully landed! As stunned as the look on her face (what do you mean leadership in my life?), I too was pondering, where did that come from.
Truth is, listening is one of I believe the greatest forms/ expressions of leadership. The one we all struggle with as we seek to get our point across, seek to feel heard, seen and appreciated (often the underlining motivations).
how often do we really stop and slow down and listen to what we are saying?
There is wisdom in that there space and place!
As I have shared in previous posts, there are a TON of resources, approaches, methodologies and frameworks designed to support us as humans, leaders (as I believe at our core we are first leaders in our life) to uncover and discover what we deeply care about so that we can tap into that authenticity to fuel our work in the world!
And what is often overlooked is what we saying to ourselves (our inside voice) and out loud in the presence of others.
It is a call to take the discovery process from beyond the one-dimensional view of expression of what we think about who we are, all along the continuum of revealing ourselves to ourselves in a way that creates depth and transformation.
For me in that one moment of hearing myself clearly articulate a simple question, a million dots connected for me that had been floating around in my awareness, not get coming together to reveal an insight. In the reveal of the insight lives the potential of gaining clarity, shifting perception and as a result redirecting our efforts and actions. For me it has lead me down new paths of curiosity….
What would be possible for us , and in particular as women, if we were to shift our identify to that of leader in our life?
What choices would present for us, that might otherwise have stayed outside of our awareness, or have fallen into the bucket of “some day”? If you woke up and owned that your life leadership was the most important J.O.B , what would open up for how you engage choice in your life and work on the world?
So beyond these inquires to support your reflection on YOUR LIFE LEADERSHIP….
Here is a A Four-Fold Invitation:
Slow down and Pay Attention
Start to slow down and notice what you are saying and doing.
Become your own greatest archeologist and detective. Where are you holding the idea of leadership as something you just “do” at work?
Take it Easy
As you start to hear yourself give voice to what is really happening for you and see yourself walking through your world, take is easy! Take a breath, have a giggle! As simple as this can all seem, it is not inherently easy to begin to see ourselves clearly.
Own your magnificence
Time and time again for me in the conversations of women, leadership and well being I find the tricky spot often does not present in our blindspots of not getting something right or missing the mark, RATHER, it hides in the shadow of OWNING the magnificence of who we truly are, beyond the roles, the structures and confines of environments that say, “here, this is the way!”.
What is MOST important about this in today’s world, let alone my own world of life leadership is, the foundation of my showing up with humble appreciation of who I am creates a very different suite of choices which then drive my behaviours, then if I live and lead from a sense of unworthiness, or lack.
One of my most favourite quotes of Marianne Williamson, from her book A Return To Love is…
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”