Advancing with Effervescence

Effervescence is our true nature. It’s in every cell of our being. Whenever we find ourselves heavy or stuck, it’s so vital to return to the effervescent, vivacious, enthusiastic energy that is at our core.

What does it mean to lead with authentic effervescence? First of all, it can’t be faked. We all feel suspicious of the faux version; that icky over-exuberant forced peppy variety. “Fake it until you make it” does not apply. What I’m talking about, is going deep within your being and accessing the energy that is bubbling there and then leading with easy vitality and freshness…ALIVENESS!!!!

This week, ask yourself, What evokes my full hearted sparkle?
Here’s my list.

• Being true to myself, engaging in what makes me come alive.
• Daily spiritual practice: meditation, yoga, walks in nature.
• Taking care of my well-being in every way.
• Honoring my unique values.
• Focus
• Courage
• Living my purpose.
• A really good night sleep.
• A grande soy latte as I walk along the Seattle waterfront to my office.
• Sunshine on the water.
• Kevin
• India
• Generosity

What’s on your list?
Photo courtesy of Byrne and Flickr

Advancing Powerfully with Whole Hearted Vulnerability

I love this talk by Brene Brown.  Whole hearted people live from a deep sense of worthiness.  We have courage, compassion and thrive on authentic connection.  We believe that our vulnerabilty indeed makes us beautiful and yes, powerful beyond measure..  Spend 20 minutes listening to her and I guarantee you will be deeply transformed.   Thank you Brene!

Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability

Advancing by Acknowledging our Differences

Everyone so unique

Wow, everyone is so different!  Try this viewpoint when you are tempted to judge or when you are rocked by unexpected reactions to your leadership.  This perspective generates curiosity and openness, which are guaranteed to get you a better outcome than defensiveness or intense convincing that your thinking is the BEST.   Even if you are convinced you have the best solution, chances of it being accepted (and implemented) are WAY better if you at least acknowledge the other’s perspective first, right?

I’ve been revisiting the 5 Top Strengthfinder Strengths  with my private executive coaching clients.  Not one person has the same Strengths.  If we celebrate our unique strengths and co-create our contributions from there, we’ve got a huge probability of success.

Wow, Everyone is so different!   Remember this, especially with those close to you.  Our differences are indeed what create the spark of attraction between us.

Everyone the same, BORING…and who wants that?

Retreating into Becoming Un-Stuck

Many different courses are possible!

I feel stuck.   Stuck is really hard for me.  One of my highest values is freedom.  I feel stuck because I am holding on to strategies, which need to change.  I am holding on when what is really needed is to let go so something new can emerge.  As I tighten my grip, the intensity (and drama) escalates as I try to ward off the winds of change, which are in fact here to ultimately release the stuck place.  Crazy right?

A friend of mine reminded me of this fantastic sailing tip that is of great support in getting through intense situations.  It is simply this:  When a big gust hits and you are getting blown over, the last thing you want to do is pull the sails in tighter.  You need to remember to let everything go… and, here’s the cool part, simply allow the boat to right itself and choose a new direction.  If you have ever done this little maneuver in a strong wind you know it is a loud, sheet snapping affair that can seem pretty chaotic and it DOES WORK!!!!

So much of our lives are subject to unpredictable change. (Obvious newsflash, I know.)  It is no longer the kind of world where you can be successful just by focusing on strategy, hard work and having great people around you.  All this helps, for certain AND you can still get in big trouble if you hold on too tightly.  When the huge billowing gusts of change blow through providing what is intended to be welcome relief and fresh inspiration, you gotta be able to let go and allow your boat to right itself.

Once your boat is upright, choose a new course. There you have it…you are now un-stuck!

Wow…wouldn’t that be a courageous approach?

Advancing with No-Nonsense Compassion

Crossing a rocky stream in one movement

First of all, I acknowledge that I dropped the “regular blog posting” ball for the whole month of August.  Yipes!   I was completely immersed in my work with my private coaching clients, my mid-year private mini retreats and yes, the lovely days of summer.  When the sun did peak out, I was oh so ready to spend time on the beach, which I did, without apology… until this moment of truth.

One of the themes of the last month has been personifying and empowering the voice of the True leader within and surrounding that voice with a wise integrated support team of clearly identified inner allies. In this way, we can more easily recognize their wise voices and our True Leader can confidently move forward with resonant choices.  All this is for the sake of minimizing frustrating time spent stuck in fear and indecision. This transformative work has led me back to my favorite poet, David Whyte, who styles for us a valuable inner ally.

Click here for a 3 minute audio I recorded of his poem, which I have recited to many beautiful people in many beautiful places over the past month.  Sit back and enjoy…and then ask yourself:

  • What bridge have you come upon, that has you paralyzed by fear and indecision?
  • How might you follow your Old Interior Angel across it in one movement?
  • What is her old secret?

Retreating into Deep Wisdom

Secret Society 2011 Coaching Circle Accessing Deep Wisdom during their July retreat.

Everywhere I look, there is major construction.  Not just resurfacing or refinement, but major blasting apart and hauling away of the pieces.  I’m witnessing the kind of construction that feels like it takes a good deal of time because what is being created is such a significant improvement.  It has me realize that to evolve into what’s next we have to be willing to have things be really messy for a bit.  We need to know what the vision is. We don’t have to do everything  perfectly of course, but we do need a plan that can be adjusted as needed.

The kind of re-construction that I am championing takes maintaining access to deep wisdom on a sustained and on-going basis.  It takes support, it takes refinement and, oh yes, it takes some mighty courage.

In our leadership and life, periods of re-construction are essential to our growth and professional development.   How to do this when we have to keep all our balls in the air?   Well, the only path I know is through curious inquiry, wise reflection with another and deep listening to the clues that are all around.  Rule number one is…you can’t get there running around in your own head entertaining the voices who’s sole purpose are to keep you stuck.

All right.   There are just a few days left to register for Private Renew, Refocus and Re-engage Sessions.  Guided re-construction plans like this one, only happen mid-summer.  What say you?

Advancing with Contentment

Contented sunflowers

Some friends, who I haven’t seen for a while, dropped by for an unexpected visit on Saturday.  It was a bit of a rescue mission, I think, as I had expressed frustration that things were not exactly as I had hoped they would be earlier in the week.  What a wake up call to realize I had been complaining amidst the bounty of miraculous things that are indeed precious to me and um…pretty much on track.

Today, I heard this great phrase from my coach Laura West.  She said, “When you feel frustrated you are resisting who you are becoming.”

This got me pondering. The key to connecting back to the goodness of who we are actually becoming is noticing and yes, celebrating who we are being.   To get there we must be very kind to ourselves and yes, hit the inner “reset button” when we veer off track into frustration.   Especially if we find ourselves complaining about something that is indeed, pretty amazing, but simply isn’t happening fast enough, BIG enough or unfolding in a way that matches our specific expectations.

This week, notice when you are resisting, feeling stuck or complaining and turn toward celebration of what IS working.  Turn toward self-acknowledgement for all the ways you are showing up for you, even though the conditions may not be ideal or fit the specific picture you had envisioned.  (A picture that may simply need to be shifted, by the way.)

Hit your inner “reset button” and savor deep contentment for what is.

Special Invitation:  I have a few private midsummer sessions left for those of you who are craving an inner makeover that will support you in recognizing (and then celebrating) all that you are creating, letting go of what is no longer serving AND unleashing unstoppable momentum in a resonant direction in the months ahead.  To say yes, click here for details and registration.

P.S.  These sessions only happen once per year and once they are filled…well, that’s it.

Advancing with Gentleness

Ferns gently flourishing

I’ve been easing into greater tenderness and compassion within myself.  In order for this to unfold the texture of my striving has become much softer.

These days I am unwilling to muster the driving, relentless internal energy that was often my style in my corporate business career.  Although there was success in that approach, it definitely was not sustainable for my team, the organization or myself.

What I am focusing on now with my executive coaching clients and myself is disciplined, gentle, self-effort.  In order for gentleness to take hold, we must have faith that there is a benevolent energy greater than our minds that is unfolding our destiny.  We must cultivate faith in our ability to align with that energy.  This energy operates silently and powerfully in the projects that we lead if we simply notice it and flow with where it wants to go.  This energy speaks, with creative spark through our heart and not our heads.  In order to recognize its voice we must become soft and flexible.   Silence helps too.

Great faith provides the foundation for striving with gentleness. The greatest leaders have strength yes…and they have absolute confidence that all will indeed turn out in the end.  They have faith in themselves and faith and in the goodness of others.  This faith allows them easy access to the discernment that comes from aligning with the still, voice within.  This voice gets clearer when one’s heart is soft.

May you have faith and the wisdom to balance strength and gentleness in all your striving.