When I talk about leadership, people often think I only mean leadership at work. That is not the case; when I say “leadership” I mean personal leadership; how you show up in all areas of your life, whether that is at work, at home or alone on your couch.
My Find Your Flavour – Circling Leadership Training is all about claiming your personal leadership. We work with the areas that have you hold back, the places where you do not show up fully in your life. So that slowly but steadily you can step further into the arena, show more of yourself and get more comfortable with a wide array of situations. In short: we create more bandwidth, more capacity, so that you can be present more, and switch back easier to an adult mind set when you get triggered. I have seen participants get bolder, let go of what does not serve them and create the lives they want to create.
That is leadership in my world.
So how so you claim it? There are many ways to do it, and for this newsletter I wanted to highlight three that stand out to me.
1. Naming ‘the thing’
Many of us are afraid of being transparent, because we all carry stuff that has us believe it is not safe to reveal ourselves. Yet, I have found, in my personal life and in working with clients, that naming whatever is going on for you internally, is a powerful way to (re)claim your leadership.
For instance; in my life right now there are areas where I do not feel in control. I do not know what is going to happen and I feel anxious about it quite a lot. This not one of my favourite states and it can be a struggle to access trust or surrender to what is. See? I just named a thing. I named my inner state and a preference for control. By sharing that, I am owning (read: taking responsibility for) what is happening inside me, and addressing what is true in this moment. From there I can start thinking about what I would like to do next. Perhaps I need more information. Perhaps I want to practise letting go a bit.
Whatever it is, if I do not name what is happening in me, in real time, I start playing games and being reactive. I am led by my stories, I think I have to keep a facade (“I have got this”) which disconnects me from reality. That is a painful place, where I also do not have access to support or other resources. But as soon as I name what is true for me, I can start reclaiming my leadership, access my adult self and start navigating the situation based on what is actually going on.
To be able to name what is going on equals being in the lead. Whether you want to do that in a group, with your partner, or with yourself (it works as an internal dialogue as well), that does not matter. You step into a place where you lead instead of being led by (often unconscious) programming.
2. Rumble with vulnerability
This is a phrase I got from Brené Brown. I am reading her new book Dare to Lead(which I highly recommend) and she speaks a lot about how it is impossible to lead in your life and not encounter vulnerability. Stepping into a place of leadership equals being vulnerable. You show yourself, and with that insecurities, shame, stories of unworthiness etcetera will surface.
There is nothing wrong with that. I repeat: there is nothing wrong with that. We all have this.
So to be able to lead, you have to be able to, as Brené says, “rumble with vulnerability”. Look your tender parts in the eye, be kind to them, and yourself. Get support, share, yet stay in that arena. Because the alternative is not showing up, hiding yourself away, just a little more and more as time passes and that is just painful. And sad.
Leadership is not about knowing it all. It is about not knowing a lot of the time, and doing it anyway.
If you can build your capacity to be with vulnerability, both in yourself and in others, you will massively increase your capacity to lead.
3. Learn to mistrust your immediate responses
This is an important one. In a world where things happen fast and we are expected to respond immediately to impulses, speed is often celebrated. In some cases that can be good, but from a leadership perspective reactivity can be a real danger. As soon as you respond without taking the time to connect to what is actually happening, you are almost always playing out a pattern, or you skip dropping in to what the situation truly needs.
A trigger happens many times faster than the mind can think. Meaning: you are triggered quicker than you know you are triggered (and we get triggered a lot during a day). We can also be so on the ‘fast train’ (“I have to get shit done”) that we forget to drop in to what is truly needed.
So learn to mistrust immediate responses. Take a breath. Center yourself and proceed from there. Create space between whatever is coming your way and your reaction to it. Go from reacting to responding. And lead from there. That is a powerful place.
There. Three fast-tracks to claim or re-claim your leadership. In any case, in any situation. And of course, all this is a practice. It is normal to stumble and try again.
Find your unique flavour in leadership
If you are ready to explore these skills on a much deeper level, and really (re)claim your leadership – Find Your Flavour – Circling Leadership Training starts on October 12th. In this six month journey we really explore your blind spots ánd your sweet spots in leadership, through the practice of leading Circling. One participant called it a ‘laboratory’, and that is exactly what it is. A leadership laboratory.
If you feel the call, I’d be excited to connect with you. Simply reach out and we will set up a no strings attached conversation to see if this is a match for you.