“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” ~ Henry Ford
Think about all of the most successful makeovers you’ve seen in business or in personal lives. The biggest losers exercise their hearts out. Huge corporations go through major shakeups that skyrocket their bottom line. Ordinary people do extraordinary things. In each situation it takes someone stepping up as a transformative leader with a vision for how things can be better.
Transformation happens when intentional and mindful action is taken. It takes committed people rolling up their sleeves and wholeheartedly working toward a clearly defined goal, even if the odds are stacked against them. Waiting for the perfect circumstances has never been a key to success!
Uncertainties will never stop a transformative leader. Of course, they have doubts, fears, and limitations, but they move forward anyway. Transformative leaders may wish their circumstances were more favorable, but what makes them outstanding is that they start from where they are and keep moving forward, no matter what!
We all have the potential for being transformative leaders. As the old adage says, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” The transformative leader keeps looking for that way and doesn’t give up or give in to doubt. She doesn’t make excuses. She gets it done!
Do you wish you were that kind of person, but doubt you ever could be? I know you have it in you!
You can take the first steps toward showing up more fully as a transformative leader by developing or strengthening the following skills…
Keep your vision clear and strong. Never lose sight of your desired results. What you focus on becomes reality, so if you’re focusing on problems, they’re going to grow. Conversely, focusing on your vision keeps you in touch with your “Why”…why this is important to you, your family, your business, the world.
Choose full responsibility. Ultimately, what others do or don’t do should never be used as an excuse for your action or inaction. Of course, we don’t want to go it alone; it’s good to enlist the help of others. But when it comes right down to the nitty gritty, it’s your commitment that will keep the ball moving forward against all odds.
Keep your support system engaged. Everyone has a special gift, so encourage your team to build on your ideas and brainstorm strategies that get you from A to Z. Keep your ego in check. Resist any tendency to feel threatened when someone else shines. After all, it’s your team, it’s your project, it’s your guidance that lets them come up with innovative solutions. By their work, your brilliance is magnified.
Be mindful of your progress. You’ll keep yourself and others motivated by regularly acknowledging how far you’ve come. Transformative leaders recognize that all progress, small and great, is a cause for celebration! And this builds self-confidence. As David Storey said, “Self-confidence is the memory of success.”
Maintain momentum via baby steps. Stopping and starting, over and over again, makes everything harder. It doesn’t take big steps to keep moving forward. Be happy with baby steps.
Have a plan for the bad days. We all experience doubt and disappointment. Transformative leaders always have a backup plan for handling it. Perhaps it’s taking sufficient time off for some self-care to restore your energy. Or maybe it’s working with a coach to get you past a hurdle. Know yourself well enough to know what will get you out of the slump and back in the game.
As you read through this list, do you experience some resistance to any of the suggestions? Maybe you don’t feel like you can share your vision with others, or you don’t think you can afford to hire a coach. You can use that resistance as an indicator that this area deserves more of your attention right now.
When it comes right down to it, being a transformative leader just means you’re fully using your special gifts and owning your self-leadership. I’d love to help turn your dream into a reality. Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I’m confident that you can accomplish extraordinary things!
“When you realize nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~ Lao Tzu
Take a minute to visualize all the people you lead… who do you see? Do you see your child, employees, clients, colleagues? But do you also see yourself? Self leadership is the most important type of leadership there is, yet it’s often ignored.
By leading yourself first, you make intentional choices that help you lead all those other people in your life. If you’re not quite achieving the life you want or if you feel frustrated with the people you are leading, then it’s likely your self leadership could use some attention.
What do I mean that your self leadership skills need work?
Well, if you complain that your husband doesn’t communicate with you, it’s likely your communication skills need work. Or if you feel like your team is always blowing your business budget, perhaps your budgeting skills need work instead. Or if your goals are never completed on schedule, perhaps your time management skills need adjusted.
To fix any issue or problem, you’ll want to first look to see how your own behavior is contributing to it. After all, it’s not fair to ask something from them, if you can’t deliver it yourself. Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to strive for perfection. Rather, take a hint from Jack Kerouac when he said, “Rest and be kind, you don’t have to prove anything.” Make changes to be true to yourself and not to please someone else. When you master self leadership, you model behaviors and traits you want to see in the people around you, and they, in turn, will reflect those behaviors back to you.
No matter what your area of interest is, there are 7 self leadership principles you can apply to obtain greater success…
Embody your purpose. Instead of waiting for “some day”, take steps to start living your dreams today. If you haven’t created a roadmap, vision board, or outline of how you want your life and business to be like, it’s time to do so now. Identify what you want, why you want it, and when you want it. Give yourself as many specific details and time limits as you can. And start taking baby steps toward your dreams.
Practice mindfulness. Self-awareness is essential for identifying your behaviors, beliefs, strengths, and weaknesses. Only then can you make changes that support, not sabotage, the kind of life you wish to live.
Choose personal responsible. Take ownership of your decisions, actions and outcomes. Shifting the blame to someone else isn’t productive. It’s your choice in how you want to be in any given circumstance.
Deepen your emotional intelligence. By managing your emotions, you increase your self-confidence and learn to influence others positively.
Master self-discipline. All aspects of life require self-discipline, if you want to fully live. Getting out of bed, eating healthfully, exercising regularly, being financially responsible, maintaining a productive schedule, to name just a few, take getting tough with yourself, instead of pampering yourself.
Develop systems for life. To move forward, it’s vital to plan the route you wish to travel. This includes goals, life systems and micro-habits that support you in your quest for fulfillment.
“Adjust your dials.” Improve the quality of your life by heightening your mindful awareness of actions, thoughts, speech and emotions and how they are, or are not, serving you. When you make small, incremental changes to each area (family, career, physical well-being, spirituality, recreation, etc) or “dial in” your life, you’ll think in terms of creating life-transforming microhabits instead of vague, undefined goals that are unsupportable, like “going on a diet” for example.
Self leadership is all about the actions you take, the beliefs you cultivate, and the attitude you live by. I believe you can nurture and grow the leader within. To do so, I invite you to sign up for my newsletter, so you receive monthly doses of self leadership training. As you implement each suggestion, you’ll start to see tremendous personal and professional growth.
“You cannot buy the right atmosphere or a sense of togetherness. You cannot hygge if you are in a hurry or stressed out, and the art of creating intimacy cannot be bought by anything but time, interest and engagement in the people around you.”
~ Meik Wiking
Every summer I long for quiet moments where I can be alone with my thoughts and a good book (and usually a cat or two). If you’re planning on recharging your batteries, at the beach or on your patio, a great book can help you reinforce your commitment to living more fully. On my website, I have a Resource Page that lists many of the books that have meaningfully impacted my life in one way or another. Any one of them would be great to add to your summer reading list.
Ten of my all-time favorite books are:
If you want a short read that makes you feel really good, I suggest you start with “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson, M.D. and “The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living” by Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. Hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga) is the Danish concept that encompasses a feeling of cozy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life. That’s a concept we all can benefit from embracing!
Isn’t it sad that in today’s fast paced, entrepreneurial world, people do feel guilty about slowing down and “smelling the roses”?! We’re told to always HUSTLE if you want to succeed. I believe there’s a time and place for hustling, but there’s also an equally important time for embracing hygge.
“Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things”, Wiking explains. “It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down.”
When was the last time you felt comfy, cozy and safe? Was it just this morning, last night, a week ago, or so long ago you can’t remember? What I love about the Danish concept is that it’s their way of life. They build their lives around good relationships that create these warm, intimate feelings. They don’t just try to squeeze them in at the end of the day or on the weekend.
How can you introduce hygge to your home and life?
Soften your lighting. According the Wiking, candles are a must. Think about how much more intimate and enjoyable your dinners will be when you turn off the overhead lighting and use candles. Your family will sit down and take notice that this is a special occasion. What a nice way to spark conversations. And, at the end of the day, make time to soak in the tub by candlelight. Pure heaven!
Create a cozy reading space. Reading is so good for you. Studies show that it reduces stress, promotes comprehension and imagination, alleviates depression, helps you sleep and may contribute to preventing Alzheimer’s. So, making a place that draws you into a daily practice is reading is a win-win!
Spend relaxed time with loved ones. Picnics in the park, backyard barbeques, bonfires on the beach, and outdoor movie nights are all fun summertime activities that promote a feeling of hygge. And instead of hibernating during the winter, invite friends over to play board games and music in front of the fireplace.
To me, hygge means appreciating simple things with the people you love. I’ve found that a practice of mindfulness really fosters this intimacy within yourself, between friends and with your surroundings.
While I take some time off to enjoy my summer, I hope you, also, are making time to enjoy your summer and your life! And if you’d like to, please come over to my Facebook page and share what books are on your summer reading list. I’d love to hear about your recommendations!
“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).
“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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.