A Question To Reflect On

March 27, 2017 at 6:28 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The other week I was asked a particular question that’s had me thinking. It’s one of the joys of working with kids, there’s definitely plenty of curiosity bouncing around. I had worked with the whole Year 6 cohort two weeks before. Then on this particular day I was back supporting the Year 6 elected leaders who were preparing to implement a new Ambassador Program within their school community.

“Never lose a holy curiosity.” – Albert Einstein

During one conversation I was asked, why are you so passionate about other people’s learning? The list of things that I’ve been asked over the years is diverse, but this questions directness, and the context of what we were discussing at the time, made me stop. I immediately thanked him for the question. I was then flooded with memories of the gratitude I feel for the way my family, teachers and others have shown up for me within my learning and leadership journey. Then really importantly I was reminded of why.

“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.” – John C. Maxwell

Why our vision, fostering ‘informed, connected and empowered individuals believing deeply in their own and others potential’. Why our mission, ‘provide experiences and ongoing communication that promote exploring the possibilities, discovering potential and acting authentically’. Why influence, not control, as the way we lead and make a difference. And above all else, why I am so privileged to do what I do.

“Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration.” – Robin S. Sharma

The context of what we were discussing was how this boy wanted to make other Year 6 students feel when he shares activities with them as the program is rolled out. He made a connection to how he had felt two weeks before, and then on this day as well. As founder and lead facilitator of Explore Discover Act, I am proud to offer programs and experiences that reflect our deep belief in the potential of each individual. I can’t wait to hear about the ripples created by these courageous leaders thoughts, words and actions as the year goes on.

“Human potential is the only limitless resource we have in this world.” – Carly Fiorina

I Chose This

March 20, 2017 at 6:07 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Recently I was listening to a podcast where the presenter used a very powerful phrase. As he chatted away with the guest about her philosophy for navigating life’s ups and downs, he shared a connection to a mantra he uses as something similar. He reflected on the importance of him remembering, ‘I chose this’. This anchor wakes him back up.

“As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.” – Rumi

As I listened I was reminded of the science coming out of positive psychology. Roughly 50% of happiness is determined by genetics and 10% by life circumstances, but 40% depends on the choices we make (our daily activities). When our attention becomes mired within what we view as lacking, impossible or too challenging (genetics 50% + life’s circumstances 10%), we miss the opportunity to intentionally create where it matters most (the choices we make 40%).

“Ultimately, human intentionality is the most powerful evolutionary force on the planet.” – George B. Leonard

If we want positive change (either individual or collective) then we must embody it (be that change) through our thoughts, words and actions. Complaining, comparing, worrying, making excuses, blaming, ruminating, etc. might fill in time, but they aren’t going to get us where we truly want to go. There are definitely things in our lives that we don’t or wouldn’t want to choose for ourselves or others to navigate. But those things sit outside our spheres of influence. The phrase ‘I chose this’ seemed like a powerful way to bring attention back to intentionality when we feel it slipping away.

“Either you run the day or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn

The Heart of Leadership

March 13, 2017 at 6:30 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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“Compassion is a verb.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

I absolutely loved this video above when I watched it last week. It made me stop. It made me think. It made me feel. And then most importantly it moved me into action. All week since I first watched it I’ve been hyper aware of the role of compassion in leadership. I think it lies right at it’s heart.

“True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain but also being moved to help relieve it.” – Daniel Goleman

We’re all navigating complex and challenging journeys of potential. Some of that complexity and those challenges are visible for all to see. Some of that complexity and those challenges are shared with only those closest. While some of that complexity and those challenges are kept within. No one in our global village gets a free ride. So how we grow our awareness around, foster and practice compassion towards self, and then let it ripple out to those within our spheres of influence is so important.

“The best leaders blend courage with compassion.” – Robin Sharma

Leadership is purposeful. And that purpose comes to life when we use our thoughts, words and actions to make a difference in our own and others lives. It’s vulnerable to put yourself out there like that though. To notice. To care. And then have the courage to act from that heart space. It’s in the ongoing micro moments, day after day, week after week, month after month, that we’re able to embody the quote, ‘leadership is action, not position’. That’s where the magic happens.

“Compassion is the ultimate expression of your highest self.” – Russell Simmons

What connects with your highest self when you watch this short video? How do you want others to feel after you’ve interacted with them? What daily thoughts, words and actions might require courage if we are to lead but create the types of ripples that help ourselves and others to ‘be the change’? What do you believe is at the heart of leadership?

“Compassion doesn’t weaken leadership, it makes it stronger.” – Rudy Giuliani

Purposeful over Positional

March 6, 2017 at 5:08 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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“The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.” – John Wooden

Last Saturday we kicked off our year long ‘Let’s Lead’ program with SCARF Youth here in the Illawarra (Strategic Community Assistance for Refugee Families). We have 16 participants (16 – 28 yrs old) registered, who’ll be coming together on the last Saturday of each month. Between these sessions we’ll then be communicating online as we explore, reflect on and then practice the purposeful skills, attitudes and behaviours of choosing to lead. I think the biggest motivator for us all is to continue growing and developing our ability to be difference makers in our own and others lives. It’s an individual and collective journey of potential that we’re courageously taking together.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb

It is so inspiring to work with a group of participants who are willing to commit their valuable time, energy and contributions within a year long program like this one. I’ve shared the proverb above before (it’s one of my favourites) but it absolutely epitomises what this group is all about. As we pulled apart what leadership is within the first session of the year I was reminded of the importance of experiential learning within our leadership journeys. Using our own experiences and wisdom, along with the working definitions of leadership from others within our global village, we were able to make real the daily thoughts, words and actions that a leader embodies.

“Be purposeful. Be patient, and be active.” – John Assaraf

I can’t even imagine what ripples we will create individually and together as the year goes on. This is a really exciting part of leadership, when individuals and groups choose to navigate purposefully over positionally. We don’t need any special titles or circumstances to make a difference. We just need to keep coming back to an attitude of I Can, a belief in You Can, while inspiring We Can, as we journey together. It is such a privilege to be involved in the development of leadership potential. It’s a process. One that I’m grateful to be purposefully navigating.

“Leadership is influence.” – John C. Maxwell

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