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Body, Mind & Soul

Posted 03-02-2015 at 11:16 PM by Epiphany

I recently had the honor of working with an executive that, unfortunately, was terminated from a company where he had served in various capacities over a fourteen year career. A true loyalist. One who drank the Kool-Aid and took his leadership responsibilities seriously. A man who committed himself to achieving the objectives set out before him with the intent of serving his company, employees and clients to the best of his ability. But certainly not a man without flaws or “opportunities for improvement” as we call it in coaching circles. Ultimately, he allowed his fears, you know the ones, those that say “you’re not good enough” or “what if I fail” to dictate his behavior resulting in a team that felt overly managed and under trusted and subsequently in mutiny.

But this really isn’t about the set of events that lead to his undoing at the executive level; this is about the events that more truly defined him as a leader. Following his demotion, this leader continued to serve his company and its employees in a manner that garnered respect. Rather than excuses, he searched for opportunities to become better. In spite of the pain and difficulty in the continued relationships, he remained committed to service and excellence. At home, he struggled with the difficult process of explaining to spouse and children the changes taking place while remaining “there” for them. Many opportunities to spin, shape and deflect in an effort to manage the world’s view of himself and his worth. Yet, this man didn’t choose spin, he made different choices through his process of reconciliation. He chose to recognize that his worth and his value remained, in spite of this change in his life. He accepted that while difficult this was, there was something in it that would strengthen him and his family. He chose to own his situation and his culpability in it. This acceptance allowed him to live courageously. To be there for his family to help them get through it, to model leadership and courage to his children and to allow others to embrace him by owning the situation and not defining himself by it. In today’s leadership vocabulary, this alignment of heart, mind and body would be called authenticity where an alignment of beliefs and values allows one to become better reconciled with who they are rather than who they want someone to believe they are. It’s an acceptance, an acceptance that in spite of our flaws, mistakes and shortcomings that we remain relevant, significant and loved. The result is an authenticity that empowers and attracts others. That’s leadership!

Many thanks for the opportunity to serve this leader and to share his story. For additional information on authentic leadership or the process of reconciliation, I recommend two books:
1. Change the World by Robert Quinn
2. Soul Keeping by John Ortberg
Or visit our site at www.developinsights.com for additional information and resources.
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