Saying Thanks

July 25, 2016 at 1:21 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” – G.B. Stern

There was a knock on the door last week. As I opened it I saw the postman. My mind started racing, ‘what book have I ordered that hasn’t come yet?’ The shape of the parcel was leading me to that thought. Then I turned the package over and read the sender information. A good friend’s name (to be honest, it was her nickname) appeared.

“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.” – Ralph Marston

On opening the package I was filled with gratitude. The card inside explained how my friend had seen this book and journal, thought of me, then decided that sending them through would be a good way to express her gratitude. Reading her words, as well as looking through the book and journal, reminded me of the ripples we create through our daily thoughts, words and actions, and the power of connection in our lives. It’s not how we communicate our appreciation and gratitude to each other that’s important. The important thing is that we find meaningful and authentic ways to do it!

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” – Oscar Wilde

Receiving this package then lead into me being down in Melbourne over the weekend for the wedding of some good friends. I was privileged to be able to act as MC during their reception as well. As I interacted, noticed, listened, shared and laughed, I was deeply moved by the variety of ways that those in attendance found themselves communicating their appreciation and gratitude of those around them. I am definitely feeling like my ‘bucket is full’ and completely inspired as I begin this new week.

“Appreciation can make a day – even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.” – Margaret Cousins

I’ve written before that I thoroughly believe that connection is the glue that holds our humanness together. Well, expressing our appreciation and gratitude for the incredible contribution that individuals and groups in our lives facilitate for us seems like the only logical thing to do! Thank you! Sincerely, thank you! What opportunities will present themselves this week to make someone’s moment, hour, day, week and/or year through your thoughtful expressions of appreciation and/or gratitude?

“By the way, I’m wearing the smile that you gave me.” – Unknown

Surely?

July 18, 2016 at 3:18 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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“Leadership is action, not position.” – Donald H. McGannon

Recently I was having a conversation with a few people about leadership and the ‘surely’ question came up. There’s always more than one way to understand anything; that’s the fun of engaging with, listening and being open to the thoughts of others, and of course having the courage to share your own ideas within the variety of interactions that we all have each day. The way that I have come to understand leadership though, along with the way that I strive to embody it and purposefully foster it within our L.E.A.D. with Courage™ Program, is linked heavily to the quote I’ve used above. Leadership comes to life in the verb, not in the noun.

“Remember the difference between a boss and a leader; a boss says ‘Go!’ – a leader says ‘Let’s go!'” – EM Kelly

As I was explaining our understanding of leadership and how this understanding is weaved through our programs and ongoing communication with our clients, it was met with, ‘Surely not everyone can be a leader?’ It wasn’t delivered aggressively, or meant to devalue what was being said, rather it was coming from a place of genuine curiosity. Over time ‘we’ have believed that leadership is something outside of ourselves; a person who’s in charge, giving directions for others to follow. Maybe that person is a ‘good’ leader. Maybe that person is a ‘bad’ leader. Maybe that person deserves their title or position. Maybe that person doesn’t deserve their title or position. Maybe one day I might be that person. Maybe one day I might not be that person.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

I love this quote above. It’s one I revisit often. It acts as a rudder within my daily thoughts, words and actions. It doesn’t mean that every thought, word and action creates ripples like these ones, we are all too very human for that, but it reminds me of the purposeful way that we can choose to navigate our individual and shared journeys of potential. How would you describe leadership to someone else? How does your understanding of leadership influence your daily thoughts, words and actions? What is the most challenging aspects of choosing to lead? What opportunities are open to us as individuals and groups if we embrace, practice and celebrate leadership in the verb, instead of the noun?

“You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together we can do great things.” – Mother Teresa

Follow Intention Through Question

July 11, 2016 at 6:57 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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“Leadership is intentional influence.” – Michael McKinney

Why is intention important in our learning and leadership journeys? For us, we see it all the time within our L.E.A.D. with Courage™: Stage 3 Leaders Program. Each of us are so very human. Underneath all the vulnerability, noise, fear and challenge is a voice that can be sometimes hidden, whispering, speaking or screaming (any combination of these at different times or circumstances) to remind us that we want to make a difference. How we do this might seem, sound or look different but it is through leading (using our thoughts, words and actions to make a difference in our own and others lives) that we get a chance to embody what’s stirring within. But this deep sense of purpose can be drowned out within any moment or over a period of time. So how we practice tuning into this voice, listening and ultimately responding throughout our journeys impacts the influence we have on the individuals and groups who we share space, time and connection with.

“The wise man doesn’t give the right answers, he poses the right questions.” – Claude Levi-Strauss

How do we most effectively navigate complex interactions with self, others and the world around us, whilst staying as close as possible to our individual and/or shared intention? Intentionality breeds directionality. So if we agree that as leaders our intention is to make a difference, what types of thoughts, words and actions flow from this place? As humans, we can become fixated on needing all the ‘answers’ first, forgetting that pathways to change, growth, new ways of being and opportunities are often not available to us in moments of right/wrong ways of thinking. The title of this post, follow intention through question, offers us pivot points whenever we’re feeling disengaged, combative, closed minded, unsure, lost, reluctant or wavering.

“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on it, I would use the first 55 minutes determining the proper questions to ask.” – Albert Einstein

What do we celebrate most within our families, schools, workplaces and communities, questions or answers? Who’s able to make a difference within our families, schools, workplaces and communities? When and where do you find your ‘I can make a difference’ voice within is hidden, whispering, speaking or screaming in your journey of potential? What question could you ask yourself, others or the world around you next time you begin drifting away and want to get back to following intention?

“Great Leaders don’t set out to be a leader… they set out to make a difference. It’s never about the role, always about the goal.” – Lisa Haisha

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