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Leadership Starts Within

Updated: Jun 21

When you think about great leadership, who do you look up to? Today, most of us would say Volodymry Zelensky because he is a hero in his country. Isn’t it sad we don’t have many heroes in our own country, who we can say we look up to. So where must we begin, if good leadership is what is required in this ever changing world?


Leadership starts within. Each of us must do our own self-assessment of the personal and leadership values which influence our behaviours and thinking. How would you describe your values? What influences you the most in your way of thinking? Do you have fears of not having enough, not being loved enough, or not being good enough?


I once gave a talk to a group of global leaders, and one CEO came up to me after the talk. He thanked me greatly for making him more conscious and aware of his own limitation concerning financial security. As he was growing up, he never had enough to eat. Now, he says, “he has millions in the bank”, but he realized he was still making decisions based on not having enough financial security. With this new realization he said he planned on loosening the purse strings to allow his managers more autonomy in making financial decisions that were good for the growth of the company.


Another limitation which might be a impacting our decision making in not feeling loved enough. With this limitation, our focus is on building relationships as a way to find physical, mental and emotional security. This might limit what we do and say, for fear of losing a friendship. However, sometimes our friends and colleagues need to hear the truth, but it won’t be from us because we will not want to say or do something which might cause us to harm the relationship.


Another big limitation is not feeling good enough. How many of us have two or more degrees, and accreditations to our name? Why wasn’t one good enough? Another way to think about this is what number of accreditations do you think you will need to build sufficient self-confidence to go after that job you always wanted.


Letting go of these three major limiting fears can be the journey of a life time. The first step is becoming consciously aware of how you might be overdoing your strengths, causing them to become weaknesses or limitations. For example, if I’m too flexible, I may be seen as wishy-washy. Or if I’m too confident, I may be perceived as arrogant.


“All power and effectiveness comes from knowing how things happen and acting accordingly”.

- The Tao of Leadership


Showing up and living into our values I believe is our main purpose in life. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to be our best selves all the time. Would you believe, on average most us only make the right choice about 60% of the time, even though we know what the right choice is. Imagine what an impact this has in a workplace setting, where employees are watching what you do every minute of the day.


Remember, as the leader, you set the example. So if you are only making the right choices 60% of the time, that is probably what your staff will be doing as well. But don’t we expect our employees to make the right choices 100% of the time? Ha! This is the irony of life. They are human just like us!


And that’s what I love about life. With more awareness, we can make conscious choices, and become a better person every day. This is one of the reasons why I founded the Collaboration Connections workshop with horses. To help leaders become more conscious and self-aware of themselves and the impact they have on others.


Horses offer experiences that are MAGIC:


M - Memorable

A - Applicable

G - Generous

I – Inspiring

C – Creative


I invite you to come and visit Willaway Farm, our facilitators, and the herd. One step on that elusive 18” journey from head to heart.


With love from Ottawa, Canada.


Joanna


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