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New Rules for Leadership You Can Use to Influence Real Change

“To watch people push themselves further than they think they can, it’s a beautiful thing. It’s really human.” ~ Abby Wambach

Leadership has always been based on a hierarchical model — where a few have power and control over the many. But in the 21st Century, the in-your-face boss is no longer the only model for successful leadership. Nor is it the most effective one! We have discovered new rules for leadership that are building a new model — one that employs a more expansive and collaborative approach.

I believe leadership is an innate ability of every person. Even if you doubt you have it, believe me, YOU DO! And the good news is that you can enhance, strengthen and refine it. If you don’t believe me, think about the many ways you already lead others today. For example,

  • You lead your family members to become the best they can be.
  • You lead your friends in ways to make their lives easier and better.
  • You lead your business peers through supportive networks that lets each one use their unique skills so you can achieve a shared vision.

WOLFPACK: How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power and Change the Game.As a woman, I’ve been on a journey to discover my own unique brand of leadership. I recently stumbled across another great resource for refining my rules for leadership. I found them in a book by Abby Wambach, WOLFPACK: How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power and Change the Game. I highly recommend you read it. She’s a two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA World Cup champion and is noted for her leadership skills as she helped transform her soccer teammates into one of the most successful, powerful and united Wolfpacks of all time.

I wholeheartedly agree with her 8 new rules for leadership that encourages women to “claim their individual power, unite their Pack, and take their lives, families, careers and world further than they could have imagined.” In the list below, I share her rules for leadership along with links to articles you can read on my website that share similar lessons. (If you order the book, let me know what you think!)

1. “Create your own path”. This is something I’m passionate about. Only you can live your life and bring your gift to the world.

    1. Celebrate the Unique Person You Are and Stop Being a People Pleaser
    2. Finding Your True Self – The Key to Embodied Leadership
    3. Find Your Zone of Genius and You won’t Have to Hustle So Hard
    4. Embodied Leadership – A Lifelong Practice that Leads to Excellence and Mastery.

2. “Be grateful for what you have AND demand what you deserve”. This is so true! Gratitude is an essential part of your mindfulness practice. And you can’t wait for success to come to you.

    1. How to Fully Utilize the Power of Gratitude in Your Life
    2. 3 Tips to Get You Headed in the Direction You Want to Go.
    3. Feed Your Ambition & Catapult Your Leadership Career to Success.

3. “Lead now —from wherever you are”. No longer do we lead from out in front. We can guide from the sidelines as we encourage the most qualified person to run with a project or initiative.

    1. 5 Principles of Thoughtful Leadership Makes Good Leaders Even Better
    2. 7 Ways to Model Purpose Driven Leadership in All Aspects of Life

4. “Failure means you’re finally IN the game. Personally, I don’t think in terms of failure. Instead I consider each setback as an opportunity to learn something new about myself.

    1. Overcoming Fear of Failure – One of the Most Valuable Lessons Learned in Life
    2. Failure Leads to Success When You Know this Olympic Secret

5. “Be FOR each other”. This is where women really shine as leaders. We know how to collaborate!

    1. Women – Use This Secret Advantage to Secure Leadership Positions
    2. How to Develop True Emotional Intimacy between Friends

6. “Believe in yourself. Demand the ball”. So many times we get in our own way and keep ourselves small by feeling inadequate or unprepared.

    1. You Don’t Have to Be a Natural Born Leader to Make Leadership Your Career
    2. How to Deal with Fear – Ten Ways to Cultivate a Fearless Mindset
    3. When Opportunity Knocks – are You Ready to Step Through the Door?

7. “Lead with humanity. Cultivate Leaders”. I do believe it’s our responsibility to shape a better world by nurturing and empowering others.

    1. 25 Ways Highly Successful People Make Us Feel Better About Ourselves
    2. 7 Strong Leadership Scenarios: How Do You Measure Up?
    3. Develop Leadership Skills in Women Who Want to Make a Difference

8. “You’re not alone. You’ve got your Pack”. I love how we can create a synergy and accomplish so much more when we work together.

    1. Strong Convictions – The Secret to Becoming an Influential Leader in Your Community

Even though leadership is an innate part of us, it can lay dormant, buried, disguised, or unappreciated. Are you ready to step up and apply these rules for leadership in new and exciting ways? As Abby Wambach says, “You never know if you can actually do something against all odds until you actually do it.”  If you’d like to team up with me, please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Together we can accomplish great things!

Become Counterphobic — Get OUT of Your Comfort Zone and INTO Success

Fear is a natural and essential part of growth. When you become counterphobic, you can consciously choose to step out of your comfort zone and into success. “Take risks sometimes… It’s not normal. It’s not easy. But oftentimes, it’s very, very rewarding.” ~ Tony Dungy 

Become counterphobic? What does that mean? It’s your behavior and attitude in response to anxiety; instead of running away from the source of your overwhelming fear or anxiety, you actively seek it out, hoping to overcome it. It’s going counter to or against your natural inclination to stay in your comfort zone.

Your comfort zone is a place where you feel certainty and predictability, because you’re surrounded by what’s familiar. You’ve already mastered everything within the confines of this zone, so it feels cozy. But the downside is that there’s nothing to challenge you, nothing for you to learn, to conquer, to experience. Everyone has the potential to go further! Yet, if you allow your comfort zone to restrict you, you won’t reach your full potential, because you won’t be able to take advantage of opportunities that come your way.

What situations make you fearful? Public speaking? Marketing your business via in-person networking? Confrontational situations? Learning new skills? Putting yourself out there where everyone can see your vulnerabilities? Whatever your fear, you can become counterphobic and turn that fear into an opportunity.

Here are some suggestions:

Reject rationalization. A common reaction when you’re afraid is to minimize the benefit you’ll get if you participate. This gives you permission to give in to your anxiety and fear. You tell yourself dismissive statements like: “It’s not that important.” “I don’t need to do that, if I do this.” “I didn’t want to do that anyway.” These statements may be true, but they may be your way of avoiding the thing that makes you uncomfortable.

So ask yourself:  If you had zero anxiety about it, would you do it and benefit from it? If so, you’ve identified your fear. Now you can mindfully use my Tea Time Exercise to reassure all of your Parts that you’re safe and everything is alright. Then plot out the baby steps that will keep moving you toward your new intention or goal.  

Customize your approach. There is seldom only one way to accomplish something. If approaching it head-on scares you, circle around from the side and work up to it, step by step. Customizing your behavior like this makes you successful, while being true to yourself. It helps you take control and make it your own.

Embrace accountability. Progress happens when you measure the success of taking daily baby steps. It’s easy to get down on yourself, to talk yourself out of doing things outside your comfort zone. That’s when a coach or mentor can really help you to keep going despite the discomfort you feel. They help you see the situation and yourself through new eyes. They can point out adjustments, which will make you more effective.

Get real. We all tend to have certain habits or behaviors that we resort to when we feel uncomfortable. Upon closer examination you might discover that indulging in them is keeping you stuck in your comfort zone. For example, you might feel discomfort so you grab your go-to self-help tool — a book, a recording, a YouTube video of Tony Robbins. That sounds good. But if you don’t go and do what causes you discomfort, what good has the self-help tool done? In reality, it’s become a way for you to hide in your comfort zone.

Show insight and widen your perspective. Assuming you know everything or leaping to conclusions are ways we put our own slant on a situation, when there is no basis for those judgments. And we tend to use those assumptions to behave in a negative, limiting way that keeps us in our comfort zone. For example, you might be talking with a client who seems defiant and uncooperative. You proceed to tell yourself how you’ve failed to reach her and it would be best to cancel future appointments. What you don’t realize is that she had terrible personal news that threw her off balance and she needs you more than ever. Getting your wires crossed, you retreat back into your comfort zone, without inquiring and digging deeper into what could be a messy conversation.

Fear is a natural and essential part of growth. When we become counterphobic, we can consciously choose to step outside of our comfort zone. The next uncomfortable thing then becomes a little bit easier.

Make the brave decision that the time has come for you to take your first bold step toward the biggest future you have imagined, however far off the beaten and comfortable path that may take you. I invite you to contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I’d love to help you become counterphobic so that you can lean into what makes you uncomfortable and achieve your full potential for success.

In a Mental Slump? 11 Ways to Boost Your Energy Naturally

Don't rely on energy drinks! Learn to boost your energy naturally.“The energy of the mind is the essence of life.” ~ Aristotle

How much would you pay to stay energized all day? According to one analyst, people are spending BILLIONS of dollars! “In 2017, the energy drink/shot market was $13.4 billion. The forecast through 2022, is that the market will reach about $16.9 billion.” Unbelievable! This quick fix isn’t sustainable. I recommend you learn to boost your energy naturally. You’ll go further faster.

Mental energy depends on how well you care for your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health, as a whole. If you want to boost your energy naturally, it’s important to address all aspects of your life. This somatic approach requires a greater awareness of self. I’d like to share some simple, but meaningful, ways to start assessing your progress towards boosting your energy naturally.

Boost Your Energy Naturally – Body

1. Get restorative sleep. You might be used to existing on five hours of sleep, but it’s going to catch up with you, because the body and brain needs seven to eight hours of all the sleep cycles to clean and restore themselves. Tune into your body and support it with the rest it needs.

2. Eat a healthful breakfast. Mindfully listen to YOUR body and see what energizes YOU. Some people love oatmeal; others feel energized after a fruit-filled, green smoothie. If you’re eating the wrong kind of food for YOUR body, it will set you up for major mental slump! Start the day with healthful food and you’ll more likely make healthy food choices throughout the day.

3. Keep moving. Being sedentary is a real problem today. It’s important to be mindful about how your body is reacting. Do you feel yourself slouching? Then it’s time to straighten up and stretch. Daily practicing Progressive Muscle Relaxation Techniques helps stretch your body and increase your awareness. Are muscles getting tense? Time for some breathing exercises and a short walk. Getting more oxygen boosts your energy. Doctors recommend, at a minimum, 30 minutes of exercise daily, 5 days a week.

4. Stay hydrated. Feelings of hunger and tiredness are often symptoms of dehydration. Instead of reaching for a candy bar, take a long drink of water. Sugary, caffeinated sodas and energy drinks do more harm than good. You’ll gain some health benefits from a moderate consumption of tea or coffee. Just remember that drinking caffeine six hours before bedtime may compromise the quality of your sleep.

5. Keep power snacks handy. Fruit and a handful of nuts are great energy boosters when you feel the afternoon slump coming on.

 

Boost Your Energy Naturally – Mind and Spirit

6. Feed your passion. I am passionate about doing Cross Fit and also helping my clients in my life coaching practice, so daily I find ways to engage in activities that support me. For example — because I want to improve at Cross Fit, I eat healthy foods; junk food or alcohol just don’t tempt me anymore. And because I want to give the best to my clients, I go on retreats that refresh me. Staying engaged and excited about life is paramount to feeling energized and inspired.

7. Clear out mind clutter. Drama wears a person out! Being focused keeps you from overthinking or worrying unnecessarily. When you simplify your life and remove unnecessary events, you’ll naturally boost your energy.

 

Boost Your Energy Naturally – Emotions

8. Remove energy zappers. Manage your mental energy like managing a bank account. Know what drains your energy and mindfully avoid them — be it a self-doubting thought, an unsupportive action, an unhealthy relationship, or the clutter on your desk. Choose to spend time on things that boosts your energy, like gratitude and positivity.

9. Vitalize your relationships. We need to receive and give energy to each other. Remember that there’s a lot of power in laughter. Let’s borrow AT&T’s slogan and “reach out and touch someone” emotionally and physically as often as you can each day.

10. Connect with the earth. Almost everyone has room for a small garden pot. There’s something energizing about seeing life sprout from a tiny seed. Try growing your favorite veggie or herb and feel the energy it’s drawn from the soil, as you eat it.

11. Reconnect with the sun. Sunlight is very healing. Just take precautions for your skin type, then get outside and soak up some Vitamin D!

None of these suggestions are hard. In fact, they’re all enjoyable! Concentrate on changing one tiny habit at a time. What do you do to boost your energy naturally? I’d love to hear your suggestions on my Facebook page. And if you’d like an accountability partner, please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).

7 Ways to Model Purpose Driven Leadership in All Aspects of Life

Purpose driven leadership reaches all aspects of life – marriage, family, friends, business, communities, and your own health and fitness, as you serve others.“Why did you get out of bed this morning, and why should anyone care?” ~ Simon Sinek

Who were you born to be? What puts fire in your belly? If you’re not certain, it’s time to clarify your purpose in life. As a child, you might have dreamed of being a singer or an astronaut. Purpose driven leadership wasn’t even on your radar. Teachers or parents might have even urged you, “You need to figure out what you’re going to do with your life!”

But before you can “do” anything meaningful, it’s important to learn who you really are, at the core of your being. When you connect who you are with what you do, you’ll be happy, fulfilled, and ultra productive, because you’ll have discovered your purpose. At that point, it will be easier to model purpose driven leadership. As Leonardo da Vinci wisely advised, “Make your work to be in keeping with your purpose.”  

Purpose is the natural flow of your gifts as you serve others. You may at times, ignore or hinder your purpose, but it’s always there, waiting to be expressed. Fully formed purpose driven leadership reaches all aspects of life – marriage, family, friends, business, teams, communities, and your own health and fitness. It’s being committed to use your talents, skills and passions for the greatest benefit. It releases positive energy and frees you and others to explore a world of possibilities. One thing to be mindful of: if you or others feel drained or limited by your leadership, what you may be expressing is obsession, rather than purpose.  

Here are seven ways you can model purpose-driven leadership in your life:

  1. Avoid distractions. As a multi-faceted human, you may be pulled in many different directions because of the diversity of your interests. It’s imperative to pause and reflect whether there is congruency with your core purpose. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with narrowing your focus and truly mastering one of your many talents. In fact, you’ll accomplish much more in the long run. 
  1. Align actions with purpose. It’s easy to be swayed by the opinion of others or the current trend. Personal development programs are helpful guides, if they allow for your unique individuality. It is a disservice to yourself and others, if you force yourself to be like everyone else. Yes, there are cultural and family norms to consider; however do so with the goal of discovering how the real you can support something bigger.
  1. Be flexible. Be mindful that your core purpose emerges over time. At different stages of your life, your purpose will evolve and deepen. Being wedded to an outcome will hinder your ability to course correct when necessary. If you sense there’s a deeper meaning lurking, mindfully slow down and listen.
  1. Connect with others on your core level. We all need to work with others to accomplish more than we can alone. Seek out those who have a similar purpose. Work at formulating a group purpose that connects with your individual purpose. People will respond to you as they see that you genuinely care and want to make a difference. You will inspire trust and confidence, as you lead others mindfully and thoughtfully. A tremendous synergy will be unleashed.
  1. Focus on service. The degree to which you live with purpose is in direct proportion to how much you serve others. Concentrate on providing value for others and you’ll feel more fulfilled.
  1. Strive for congruency. Are you purposeful in business but not at home, or vice versa? Being incongruent like this will drastically reduce your effectiveness. Strive to align all of your life with your higher purpose.
  1. Experience. Learn. Learn. Learn. When something happens that you don’t expect or welcome, focus on what you can learn from it. When you are living life on purpose, every life experience becomes your teacher and helps you discover additional meaning.

After experiencing one of the most horrendous events in human history, Viktor Frankl said, “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”  When we lack purpose, we become consumed with our immediate circumstances, which can overshadow our reason for living. Every time you make an excuse, place blame or get distracted, you make room for apathy and despair.

Purpose is an endless journey of exploration. We invite you to join us at our Women: Bring Forth the Leader Within retreat June 20 to 26th in Grand Canary Island. We’ll help you clearly define your purpose driven leadership path.

18 More Tiny Habits that Transform You into the Person You Want to Be

Here are18 more tiny habits you can use to transform yourself into the person you want to be. “You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” ~ John C. Maxwell

Wouldn’t it be a dream come true to wake up one morning and … POOF! … you’re thinner, smarter, richer, stronger, more successful? It sounds so good to take the easy way out, without having to work for it, without discomfort or struggle.  

The trouble is that, if that happened, you’d feel more discontent and less self-confidence. You’d have no self-esteem, because there would be no victories and no personal discoveries. There would be no need for creativity or determination. You’d be a very shallow version of yourself. As Ovid said, “Habits change into character.” Life would become meaningless, because it’s the journey, not the destination that’s important. It’s what you learn along the way that matters, not what you produce, when you’re done. Because we are never done, until we’re dead.

Transformation is a process. Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Dramatic breakthroughs won’t change your life. Tiny habits will. To change your life, start now and start small!  

Earlier I shared some microhabits that can make a huge difference. Let’s expand the list. Here are some more tiny habits to practice daily:

1. Tiny intentions. Each morning ask yourself, “How can I make today better?” It’s such a waste to just “get through” a day. Each day is an opportunity to find joy and fulfillment.

2. Tiny acts of friendship toward your future self. Acting on what you want in the moment has led you to where you are now. Who do you want your future self to be? Strong and vibrant at the age of 70? Then commit to making choices for the benefit of that future self.

 3. Tiny blocks of time. Organize and do similar tasks together. Some examples – do all of your errands in one trip; chop up a week’s worth of vegetables and put them in baggies; have a set time for answering emails and returning phone calls. You build accountability and momentum that way.

4. Tiny pauses. Before you react to a strong emotion, enquire into your state, without judgment. What emotion are you feeling and where did it come from? Then determine what response will benefit you the most.

5. Tiny pit stops. Just as a racecar must stop during the race for gas and maintenance, you must make time to refuel with nutritious food and restorative sleep.

6. Tiny health choices. Take the stairs. Walk a little further. Drink one more glass of water. Eat one less unhealthy snack. These choices all add up to better health.

7. Tiny measurements. Track and measure your progress. You want better finances? Record every penny you spend. You want to lose weight? Record your exercise and food intake.

8. Tiny pushes. There will be times you don’t feel like doing something …do it anyway! Go a little bit beyond what’s expected. Dress a little nicer. Try a little harder.

9. Tiny connections. Reach out to one new positive influencer, in-person or online. Great relationships simply begin with “Hello”. Be open and see where it takes you.

10. Tiny deletes. Avoid people who drain you and don’t support you. Clear out the clutter in your home or office, one piece at a time.

 11.Tiny check-ins. Make a practice of mindfully observing your patterns. Why are you procrastinating? What led to that unhealthy behavior? What inspires confidence?

12.Tiny self-assertions. If you have difficulty standing up for yourself, start mindfully saying “no” more often. Preserve your time and energy for the things that really matter.

13. Tiny communication adjustments. Notice when people misunderstand you. Are you speaking consistently and clearly? Are you being silent, when you need to speak up? Notice and make a correction.

14. Tiny doses of inspiration. Instead of mindless screen time, read uplifting books before bedtime. Read about people you admire and what they’ve overcome to get where they are today. You’ll wake up with renewed inspiration.

15. Tiny motivations. There is power in thinking about a motivational quote each day. I share inspiring quotes on Facebook and Instagram, because they put me in a better state of mind.

16. Tiny attitude shifts. Remind yourself, “I am responsible for me and my life. No one makes me feel this way; it’s how I’m choosing to react. Life isn’t fair, but I can make mine better. If I don’t like it, I can change it.”

17. Tiny praises. Be your own cheerleader. Waiting for praise from someone is a recipe for disaster. If they don’t notice, you’ll be crushed. Celebrate each win.

18. Tiny pivots. Sometimes your path isn’t getting you to where you want to be. Be willing to course correct so you stay aligned with your big “Why”.  When you have a powerfully, motivating reason, you can do almost anything.

Are you feeling overwhelmed – not knowing what to do first or what will make the biggest impact? If you’d like our help to define your most meaningful plan of action, join our Women: Bring Forth the Leader Within Retreat June 20 to 26th in Grand Canary Island. It is going to be transformational!

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