Many of you know I started Leader Discovery as a way to infuse small to mid-sized businesses with a leadership culture. I did that through designing and delivering leadership academies and workshops at dozens of workplaces around the country. However, in a recent presentation at a women’s business conference we applied many of the same systematic processes to helping individuals create and start living a life filled with purpose, passion, and meaning. I call that becoming an Emboldened leader, and it is what happens when a leadership mindset is infused into an individual life. Here are the basics of how to do this, which forms the foundation for the approach I take with my leadership and business coaching clients.
- First, it is important for individuals to discover their purpose in life, what they value most (discovering what you value most is they way to find meaning), and what is their vision for their life if they were fulfilling their dreams of living a life filled with purpose, passion and meaning. I’ll save diving into this for a future blog post, but it is similar to helping an organization assess their leadership development needs based on the mission, values or principles, and vision of the organization.
- Next, each person is coached to determining where they are today in each aspect of their lives. This is where the wheel of life concept comes in. Each person is encouraged and supported through assessing what is their current reality in each area of their life. And of course, not only is each area assessed, but the hard part comes then through analyzing or comparing the current reality to the vision of where the person would like to be based on their first step described above. I’ll write a future post on the myth of life balance, but will mention here that not every area on the wheel must have exactly the same priority in a person’s life at any given point in time.
- The next step is to design a plan. It sounds simple, but this requires a great deal of work and can sometimes take a long time. In fact, you could say that this step is never completely finished because life changes continuously, so it is important to always reflect on many options and opportunities that could be employed by a person in order to help them move from where they are today to where they would more closely match their ideal future self. And we all know that the pathway of leadership is all about the journey, for the “destination” of becoming a better leader whether at work, in our personal lives, or in the community, is the journey itself. That’s a great topic for a reflection and meditation post, so I’ll leave it at that for now.
- One aspect of individual growth and development that is somewhat different from leadership development within an organization is the need to have a support system that encourages change and forward movement toward the envisioned life filled with purpose, passion, and meaning. Sadly, there are many people in our lives (ourselves included) who create barriers to learning, growing and becoming a better person. We engage in self-talk or limiting beliefs, our family members and friends sometimes tell us we’re fine the way we are and don’t need to change, and often at work it can seem as if our direct supervisors simply want us to quietly go about our daily tasks and not rock the boat by trying to stretch ourselves in different directions. This is why I highly recommend one or more conscious attempts to build a supportive network of positive encouragement. This could be in the form of friends and family who enthusiastically support the changes a person is striving for; network groups, peer advisory groups, or mastermind groups; and finally professional business, leadership, or life coaching.
- Finally, I am not an advocate of endless planning without action. So, even as the individual development plan is being created, I encourage each person to take the first step. You will be building your plan at the same time that you are living the plan. After all it is your life, and if you want to achieve your vision of the best self you can be, the most important thing you can do is take the first step to move forward. Then, plan and take the next step, and the next. Until you will find upon looking back that you are indeed moving toward that vision of living a more intentional, fulfilled life of purpose, passion, and meaning.
This next series of emails will go into a little more detail about each of these steps. Don’t forget though that an emboldened leader doesn’t wait around planning for the future – she jumps in and starts creating and living the life she wants while planning for measurable results at the same time. Contact me now, to discuss coaching and my emboldened you program.