This KEY goes to the heart of leadership.
We explore what makes leaders, and why courage is the most essential of all qualities. There is a fundamental decision we each must make. Your choice in this existential challenge determines your experience.
The default option is – “you are a subject to reality, a victim of the circumstance you find yourself in.” Another option is – “you are an observing student of life and the way things work.” The third option is – “you move to lead, influence and change the course of events.”
The KEY opens the door to this third transformational option. As always, your comments are welcome. Please feel free to give us a call us to find out about breakthrough coaching for you and your team. Yes, one more thing. Please forward this to someone that will appreciate and benefit from this KEY.
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To Lead Is To Transform
When Nelson Mandela walked into the presidential palace for his first meeting with F.W. de Clerk he was still officially a prisoner. In fact he had been a prisoner for 26 years at that point. In his mind though, Mandela was freer than the person he was negotiating with. He was a free man because he had made a decision to transform his past animosities into a readiness to engage in an open dialogue. His own transformation became a tool to enable the transformation of his people.
Great leaders help us transform our energy. They let us into their transformation and thereby invite us into our own. They do this by leading on the inside while being engaged with the act of leadership.
Great leaders have the capacity to transform anger into a remedial action, to neutralize and unpack impossible obstacles and turn them into stepping stones. They help us find confidence and hope inside great despair. They help us transform our struggle into meaningful growth, and see renewal and new birth amid destruction and hopelessness.
Transform & Lead
You do not need a title to be a leader. Leadership is not a role or a function. You lead by helping to transform the situation you are in. You lead by transforming energy.
It begins on the inside. You lead by transforming the energy inside you. You then lead others by helping them transform their own energy. To lead your organization, you help to transform and mobilize the energy of the organization.
You lead by transforming the energy of conflict into understanding,
by reframing complaints into requests and their resolution.
You lead by helping to transform the energy of fear into a forward movement,
by turning an uncertainty into a positive course of action.
You lead by transforming the energy of resentment into forgiveness,
and by helping to replace distrust and build confidence.
You lead by transforming confusion into clarity,
reaction into thoughtful consideration,
and challenge into opportunity.
Change The Conversation
You lead by changing the conversation, by disarming tension and helping to clean up toxicity and animosity with humor, with compassion, and with a new perspective. You lead by helping us change and create a new story that transforms the meaning of our experience. You lead by helping us transform and redirect our energies.
The first step is always on the inside, in daring to look at the circumstance you are in for what it is. Internal transformation requires courage because it involves letting go of old securities, of the need “to be right”, and stepping into a new and unknown beginnings.
The second step of transforming energy is daring to change the conversation. Here are five ways to begin transforming the energy of a conversation:
- Daring to say “I am sorry. I made a mistake. How can I make amends?”
- Daring to ask, “why?”; “why do you think so?”; “why is this important?”; “why do you feel this way?”
- Daring to say “I need your help” and daring to say “please help me understand.”
- Daring to say “no”; “no, you can do better than that”; “no, I understand that this is how you feel but I am unable to support this.”
- Finding the internal resources to be fully present and say, “I am here for you. How may I help?”
Leading transformation always begins here and now, at this moment, in this place. It is in the decision to not be a victim. To take responsibility. To engage. To make things better. To turn the seemingly impossible to possible.
Now it’s your turn. Turn the Key. Transform and lead.
© Aviv Shahar
Are You Coachable?
Are you coachable? Are you coachable with the most important people in your life?
I prefer picking up the phone when I am in my best energy zone. I want to give the people in my life the best I can offer. Last week I called Edan, our son, as I walked into the house from six hours on the road. I was tired and not at my top game. When he picked up the phone I heard myself say: “Did I wake you up?” As the words came out, I knew it was a stupid question to ask your 21 year old son at 5:30 p.m. EST (when it’s 2:30 p.m. for him in Seattle).
He was busy and said he would call back in 10 minutes. When he called back the conversation went like this:
Edan: You taught me that the people closest to you can be the biggest stoppers of your growth and development if in their minds they are holding a picture of you from the past and are not ready to update their view of you.
Me: That is correct.
Edan: Well, so what kind of way is it to start a conversation with me by saying: “did I wake you up?” Do you expect that I would be sleeping at 2:30pm? It is Saturday, and it is true that a few years ago I used to sleep in on Saturday; but I have been up this morning working away on my projects. If you do not update your view of me – if you hold in your mind how I was four years ago, you are constricting my growth and development opportunity today.
This is the coachable moment, in the choice I make in the response.
Me: You are absolutely right. Point taken. How would you want me to address you when we begin a call?
Edan: You can start by asking: “How are you changing the world today?”
“How are you changing the world” is how we begin our calls ever since.
What’s the point? Tiredness, hours on the road and many other things can be good excuses to be at less than your best. But something great happens when we let go of excuses and step into the moment. Being coachable -being openly engaged with the people in your life-is a gift. They help you become the greater person they know you can be. The feedback I got snapped me back to attention. Truth is a great coach. Getting the truth back from someone close to you is a coaching moment. Acknowledging truth is the first step of being coachable. Making a full response. Walking through the door that was opened is how you turn the coaching invitation into a transformational moment.
I choose to be coachable. It makes for a thrilling life. What about you, are you coachable?
© Aviv Shahar