My son and I were on our way to karate class when the instrument panel of my car flashed, Cruise Control Inoperative. Without hesitation I immediately went into problem solving mode, instructing my son to retrieve the owner's manual from the glove compartment, to look up the problem.
And then in a moment, that I really can't explain - I had an insight that maybe there was no problem with the car, but instead the universe was sending me a message to get out of cruise control in my life.
I posed the possibility of this being a message from the universe to my son, he was intrigued by the idea. Immediately the energy in the car shifted. We were no longer tense and upset about this "problem," we now had become curious as to where we might be doing things automatically, without conscious thought in our own lives.
So consider consciously making cruise control in your own life inoperative and begin to notice what shows up.
Last week, the guest speaker of SheForward (http://discoverpls.com/index.php/calendar)
shared one of her favorite quotes: “To thine own self be true…”, William Shakespeare.
This in follow-up to the question: What advice would you give a young manager beginning to develop their leadership style? Her response, be yourself, be genuine, be authentic.
I have to admit, it’s easy to veer off the path of authentic leadership. The desire to stay relevant in our professional lives drives the need for constant growth and personal development. It’s easy to lose ourselves in the “what we should be doing” and “who we should be being”.
I have 3 ideas about how to lead from the real me (and the real you):
1.Check in with clearly defined values. Think about the last time you felt some internal conflict. It’s usually a result of a something bumping heads with a core value.
2.Embrace (and not always adopt) differences in styles – just because it’s right for one doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for another (even if it’s published in a book, presented at a conference, or found on the internet!).
3.Listen to our intuitive self. While it’s important to challenge the discomfort of change, let’s also trust our own internal “higher coach” (yes, we ALL have one).
So that’s how I feel about authentic leadership. How are you ensuring authentic leadership?
While watching both of my children diligently perform their homework one evening, I couldn't help but conclude that homework provides each of us with our initial leadership practices.
Practice is defined as repeated performance or systematic exercise for the purpose of acquiring skill or proficiency. And as students of life, just as students in school we need to be consistent with our practice to manifest the intended results. One reason ongoing practice is important is because the body of knowledge regarding most any topic is constantly changing and growing - what got us here, won't get us there.
We need to be aware of and open to new ways of being and in order to internalize these new ways, we must be willing to engage in regular practice.
I define regular as daily and emphasize an integrated approach - which means practicing with the body, mind, spirit, and heart. I suggest a minimum of 90 minutes per day as a good starting point for practice in order to make it an internalized habit. Practices include meditation, yoga, exercise, reading, and spending quality time with key relationships.
So what are you waiting for? The best way to get started is to start.
Think about a time when you felt most free.When was it? What were your life circumstances? For me it was during my college days. Although I didn't own much then, in fact everything I did own fit comfortably into the 1968 Chevelle that I inherited from my grandfather. But this was a time when I was free to dream, free to go, free to choose whether I attend class or not.
It was a time of seemingly unlimited opportunity. While the job market wasn't great, that didn't seem to worry me much or take up any emotional or psychological space. Things worked out for most of us, probably because most of us were trusting the process of life.
It wasn't until a few years after college that I started to collect things and started the process of eroding my freedom. I collected all kinds of material things; cars, apartments, houses, bigger houses, nicer cars, and lots and lots of other stuff. The more stuff I have, the more stuff I have to keep track of, insure, and worry about. The more space I had as measured by square footage, the less space I had as measure by freedom.
So when am I going to start getting it? The next job, or house, or car, or boat, can never and has never ever given me what I already have - me.