Archives for March 2013
There is an aspect of organizational change most leaders don’t know about or understand. It goes like this:
If you want an organizational transformation you must first undergo an individual transformation first.
Yes, we can all recite the words “all meaningful change starts with the leader.” But recitation of these words does not produce meaningful change. What produces meaningful change is a leader who is unabashedly living their life in ways that is congruent with that which is most important, uplifting and compelling for the leader.
Now, the good news is that most leaders don’t need to transform who they are at their core. What they need to transform is how they show up – or put another way, they need to transform how they lead themselves as well as others.
How do you do that? The starting point is as simple as grabbing a pen, a journal, and answering a few questions. This writing exercise will help you get clear about what’s important to you and for your leadership. In short, this exercise allows you to identify the most important aspects of your leadership and what your next steps are.
Step 1. Find a journal or some other place to write (not type) and record your thinking. While you may feel that writing is too “old-school,” there is a reason why writing in a journal makes a difference. We write differently long-handed because it is kinetic and forces us out of our normal pattern of thinking and processing while on a keyboard. Indulge me.
Step 2: Use the following questions to prompt your writing and thinking. The best method is just to write, without stopping, editing or censoring. If you struggle with writing, or this whole idea sounds torturous, make it as easy as you can on yourself. Use a digital kitchen timer and set it for 25 minutes and write until the buzzer goes off. You can do anything for 25 minutes. If you get stuck, just write “I can’t think of anything” until you get unstuck.
The five congruence questions:
1. What do you want? What comes to mind when you envision the best version of yourself as a leader? Where would you work? With whom? In what industry or circumstances? Or perhaps less general, what do you want in a particular situation or scenario? In your current role?
2. Why do you do what you do? What is your personal mission or purpose? What gets you excited and completely enthusiastic? Where is your passion? Where do you feel whole-hearted?
3. What experiences have shaped you? What are some of the best lessons you’ve learned? How do you know? What would you do again no matter what?
4. How do you make things better? What is your ultimate value and contribution? How are people better of for having worked with you?
5. What’s next? Where do you go from here? What’s your next step, decisive action or grand adventure?
Step 3: Put your writing/thinking away for at least a day. Give yourself some distance from the idea generating and brainstorming.
Step 4: Set aside an hour or 90 minutes to review and reflect on what you’ve written. Ask yourself the following:
1. What themes do I see that are important?
2. What is surprising or intriguing about what I wrote? Was anything missing that I thought would show up, but didn’t?
Step 5: Complete the following:
After my review, I have identified the following three intentions for my own development as a leader:
If you need a second set of eyes on your answers and or want help getting clear as to your leadership transformation, there are four slots open in my coaching and mentoring programs. I’m happy to discuss these with you.