Posted by: healingtheworkplace | November 12, 2010

Personal Leadership and Change

Hi there, today I’m going to continue with the topic of change but I’m going to focus on Personal Leadership. 

Leadership and change are two subjects that have fascinated me for a long time.  Yesterday I participated in a webinar on leadership and change, hosted by the International Leadership Association.

The presenters were Dr. Sheila Ramsey and Dr. Barbara Schaetti who shared their approach to Personal Leadership.  You can read more about this in their book which is called, Personal Leadership: Making a World of Difference. 

But first I’m going to preface my comments with a long quote from a book by Alan Seale entitled, “Soul Mission Life Vision”:

The Law of Change – Change is Constant

 The Law of Change tells us that everything is energy and energy is in a constant state of motion so that everything is constantly changing…this is challenging for the person with limited awareness (more about this in a moment)…change engenders, fear, because it opens the door to the unknown.

For those with highly developed awareness and a broader sense of all that life can offer, riding the waves of change is much less threatening. They are more secure in themselves.”

Now back to the webinar on Personal Leadership.

 Dr. Ramsey and Dr. Schaetti began by sharing their assumptions:

  •  Leadership begins (and remains) from the inside-out
  • Change is constant, and fast
  • Situations of difference exist everywhere (these two are experts in cross-cultural communication)
  • We’re being asked to do more with less.

And I’d like to add some assumptions of my own: 

  • every one of us is in charge of our own lives
  • we all have the potential to be leaders in the broader communities in which we live and work!

 We know that change is constant and fast.  That, of course, is an understatement.  There is a lot being asked of all of us at work and in our personal lives. This can add up to a feeling of being overwhelmed . This can lead to stress.

There is really no way of avoiding the constant change and stress in our lives so we have to learn to live with it if we are going to be effective leaders.

With a little practice, this is something that we can learn how to do and it is the essence of Personal Leadership.

The 1st principle of Personal Leadership is mindfulness. In the moment we have to be able to slow down and tap into what we are thinking and feeling. We have to become aware of our assumptions and judgments.

Leadership competence begins with the ability to recognize our own reactivity and being able to disentangle what we are thinking and feeling in the moment.

When we are able to notice that we’ve been triggered by a person or situation we can begin to engage in critical self-reflection.  Stopping to reflect enables us to live with ambiguity.

Ramsey and Schaetti state, “in order for leaders to feel comfortable with ambiguity and the uncertainty of change they require a high degree of self-awareness.”

Now here’s a quote that I came across earlier today:

 Training and managing your own mind is the most important skill you could ever own, in terms of both happiness and success.  From the book “Secrets of a Millionaire Mind” by T. Harv Eker.

 And speaking of books I was lucky to win one of 4 books that were given away during the webinar yesterday so after I’ve read the book Personal Leadership I may have more to say on the subject.

 Cheers, Lesley

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