By Dawn Gelderloos MS, CPCC, PCC and Kathy Quinn MFA, PCC, NLP
2013 ICAN Women’s Leadership Conference Breakout Speakers
Renewing energy has become a vital leadership practice for igniting peak performance. Why? Today’s leaders are moving at a pace faster than ever before and charting more unknown territory every day. In an expanding world, complex challenges demand more of our time, resources and energy. As leaders we are paid to think, yet it can be challenging to remain energized and resilient as we navigate new challenges, uncertainty and the pressures of our day-to-day lives. It is no surprise that stress and feeling overwhelmed have risen to an all-time high. Stress drains vital resources that not only inhibit our executivefunction but our overall quality of life.
What Ignites Your Inner Leader?
Having a clear sense of purpose – our “why” for being here – can ignite the leader within. Discovering a greater calling and vision can enhance our decisions and guide our behaviors on a daily basis. Knowing who we are “being” ignites “leading energy” – both personally and professionally. Being clear on what you are most passionate about and committing to a purpose shapes leadership verve and style.
David Rock, author of Your Brain at Work, points out that it’s difficult for our brains to picture the future. Why? Well, most of us have never seen the future so how can we picture it? Attempting to have vision in uncertain times moves us way out of our comfort zones, yet as leaders, isn’t that what we are being asked to do much of the time?
Our reptilian or primitive brain, now millions of years old, craves familiarity and certainty because at one time it was designed to alarm us of predators and life/death situations. Uncertainty sounds a warning in the brain, which turns on a signal to stay within our comfort zones.
Today, most of us no longer face life/death situations in our daily lives, however these outmoded habits of behavior generate blind spots and we can often feel triggered or anxious when we are surfing new waters.
Having a clear purpose provides direction and enables us to recognize and let go of old programs and patterns. Purpose becomes our guide for decision making and taking new steps. Purpose becomes our compass; the rudder that steers the ship through unfamiliar waters.
Christine Day, the former CEO of Starbucks and currently CEO of Lululemon, is very clear on her “why”. She says, “All of us want a sense of belonging and to know we’re getting up and making a difference and bringing all of ourselves to work.” Christine’s legacy is to “move people from mediocrity to greatness” and this guides all of her business decisions.
Being purpose-led rallies creative and intuitive thinking. Surfing new territory requires right/left brain holistic thinking – purpose with strategic implementation. Einstein knew this when he said, “Let rational mind be the faithful servant of intuitive thought.”
Each incremental purposeful step moves the needle just a little bit closer to our legacy. Take a moment and celebrate your incremental steps, connect your dots and revisit your inner purpose. Your inner leader will thank you!