This five-part installment of the #leadershipflow blog looks at the origins of the emergence of the #leadershipflow methodology.
“The most difficult person you will ever have to lead is yourself!”
Part 1: Self-Mastery
At the beginning of my journey as a leadership coach, I found myself in many conversations with leaders in an organization that had a very powerful mood of resignation. The leaders saw themselves as a small part of a big machine that was not influenced by their actions. They felt powerless and the common story was that the easiest route to take was to simply go along and even though they were unhappy, the pay was good and there were other benefits to the job. They expressed that if they simply mucked through a 30 year career they would have won. Ah, the power of resignation.
Looking from the outside, their mood and lack of owning their actions didn’t make sense to me. How could they not see that they could make changes, and if they did they could change the course of the organization? Then I started coaching another organization. I was sure that in this organization the leaders would see their power to shape the outcome of their world. Once again I was taken aback at the lack of leaders owning their destiny.
As my career progressed and I coached more and more leaders in more diverse organizations, it became evident to me that this way of thinking was more often the norm than not. Occasionally though, I would come across a leader who was different, one that saw they could control their own destiny. That whatever happened, the only thing that mattered was how they reacted, or chose to react to the event. And through our work together, when they focused on how they were showing up, when they controlled their moods/emotions, their somatic body, and the conversations that they had, they become a more effective leader.
These few leaders greatly influenced me as a coach. I found that in my coaching conversations I was challenging leaders more frequently to focus on what they could control. A cornerstone to my work became this concept – the most difficult person they would ever have to lead was themselves. I found that as I was facing my own challenges I started to repeat that statement. “My challenge is not leading them, my challenge is leading myself.” This led to my deeper exploration of of Self-Mastery. As a leader, leading other people pales in comparison to the challenge of leading oneself. Self-Mastery then became the bedrock of the #LeadershipFlow methodology.