Combining an Integrated Style of Leadership Starts From the Inside-Out
Thanks for indulging me a moment of your time. (time to read: 90 seconds)
Feeling the chaos? There’s actually an acronym used to describe the Volatility, Uncertainty, Change and Ambiguity we are experiencing in our business and economic climate, VUCA.
It’s time to Grow, Change, or get out of the way!
As a Leader, your role is balancing being a visionary, trustworthy, confident and courageous, while leading your team or organization To, Through or For change and growth. Authenticity is key to all of the leadership traits and actually pushes competencies to the next level. Yet, a lack of Authenticity? Drains the energy from all you are trying to do. It’s that important!
Yet most leadership development and culture assessments measure and point to Outer Game plans (structure, trainings, talent management systems) to create change for a leader or organization. The work that is needed is the Inner Game. The underlying tendencies or issues that have created the current reality of leadership style, both individually and collectively, are what holds back an estimated 80% of individuals and companies who are implementing change management. Do you really want to stay where you are? I doubt it.
Please allow me to (re-)introduce myself.
I’m Deborah LeeAnn: Speaker, Trainer and Paradigm-Shifter.
And whether we’ve met recently at a conference or a networking event, or we go back decades in our history of working together, here’s an update on where my journey has taken me and the launch of a new business – training, speaking and mentoring Authentic Leadership.
After many years of consulting, mostly in the area of organizational development, training and human resources, I found myself at a crossroads. How to be Authentic, truly revealing my full array of strengths, passions, and brilliance. Openly sharing from a genuine, honest, open and loving space.
It was not easy.
I worried (still do, to be honest) what people would think of me.
Yet, I was not able to continue acting like I was a certain way and hiding my spiritual or emotional sides. Integrating them all seemed like the easiest route (much to the dismay of some well-meaning business coaches and mentors) yet ended up being the most arduous journey I’ve ever been on.
We see those who radiate their brilliance on stage or in a meeting and we wonder, is it easy for her to be so true and real? She seems so courageous! And confident! How did she get to be so comfortable in her skin? I want what she has!
Authenticity actually not only shines from the individual, it gives us permission to be our most authentic, real selves too!
And, our discernment with all the media sources bombarding us is to search out what sounds true? What messages feel good? Which ones create a visceral sense in our gut? What images or people touch our heart?
Those are the stirrings of our Authentic Self. When we feel, hear, taste, sense and sigh with the essence of something that hits home.
Why is it important in leadership? Because those we are leading can sense when we are on mission, passionate and committed, or off our game, in our own doubt, self-critical and fearful.
We need to play full out. Authentically. And it’s easier said than done.
So, after much dancing between what I wanted to be and how I wanted to show up with how I actually was showing up, my journey with Authentic Leadership was begun. Now came the gathering of feedback, lots of coaching and deep inner work, to get to the place of congruity. Alignment. And Authenticity. It’s not an end-game. It’s a journey.
Hence why we need outside support to facilitate and guide the process.
Authentic Leadership is the outcome of my own personal and professional journey, with the addition of years of coaching, trainings, experience and mentoring.
Authentic Leadership will have 2 arms;
Authentic Leadership Consulting with organizations ready to really step up their game in conscious, forward-thinking, change leadership, while developing an inclusive culture and creating a wider social impact through collective leadership and collaboration.
Authentic Leadership Academy is training, developing and masterminding with individual women leaders. (It’s open to all, while being designed for women) This 6 month program will take leadership development up several notches by focusing beyond outer competencies and game plan to expand each participant’s reach to expand her influence and impact while deepening into the inner game of leadership. Self-Awareness of where each of us gets stuck and holds us back from living, leading and loving from our most authentic, brilliant Selves.
We are in the midst of unprecedented change requiring us to lead from a newly found groundedness and more integrated center. When we show up as self-aware and courageous authentic leaders clear in our visions, we create the community… the connections … and the trust we need and desire to get our big work done in the world.
Lastly, I’d love to know where YOU are. What’s on your plate for 2017? 2018? Beyond? Is your vision maxed out or in need of refreshing? Are you ready to grow your business or initiative to the next level and in need of support to get there? How is your collective leadership? Are you ready to lead to, through, and for change? Where are you stuck? Have you had a 360 in a while? Time for a culture 360?
I hope we cross paths soon. If you’d like to schedule some time for a call or cup of coffee to continue the conversation, here’s a link to my calendar.
Comments? Questions? Please share!
Or, feel free to email me at Deborah@DeborahLeeAnn.com or give me a call at 314.800.7694.
We had this winter storm last week. Ice, rain, drizzling and misting of freezing rain, sleet, and more rain. The predictions were scary and dire. Warnings to stay off the roads, and schools/businesses/events cancelled regionally.
We all stayed home (after running wildly to the store for last minute “necessities”) and watched as it rained, sleeted, and rained. And, were a bit miffed it wasn’t as bad as they predicted!
Yet, it was obvious, how one little degree could make such a difference.
The rain, had it been much colder, would have shown up as snow. Or, more icey. Yet, since it was hovering around the freezing point, it stayed mostly liquid…which isn’t inherently dangerous. With just enough of the solid to make it potentially very dangerous.
And, this brings us to the question, where are you one degree of NOT taking action? Making a more solid form of your dream or legacy vision?
This is the time of year when we are making goals, vision boards, writing new plans and resolutions into our new calendars and datebooks. And, where are you playing it safe? Writing down what feels do-able? What’s easier to reach, simpler to create? What’s stopping you from showing up one percent more?
That area of both/and, where liquid AND ice was forming last weekend, and where a dream or vision becomes form by writing out one action step, then taking that step…that’s where it begins.
No action = no risk of creating something new = no movement. No growth. No gain. No change. Do you want another year like that?
Let’s step beyond our comfort zone…up the ante one more degree. Create the change we want to see. Not by watching on the sidelines. But by showing up. Sharing from the heart. Creating that new thing. Opening up to what else is possible. Then moving forward into what was previously impossible, into making it possible.
It’s the Wednesday before New Year’s. This is Deborah LeeAnn and since I’m traveling abroad and not able to login to my typical site, I am doing this on my phone. We’ll see how good the quality is on the balcony here if it gets loud. But I wanted to just say happy New Year, and I also wanted to share a ritual with you that i have done for, I don’t know, 15 years maybe. I know it’s a combination of a couple different things that I’ve put together throughout the years, and it’s something that feels very soothing to my soul as I release this current year and move into the next. It’s even more powerful if you can start the process as soon as possible because we have a new moon coming tomorrow as well. What it takes is it takes some preparation. I used the first several years, I went out and found votive candles in the colors of the chakras, and by that I mean red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and white. You also need to have a black candle, and if you want to just choose to have 8 candles, 1 being black, dark, or colored, versus all of the others being white, that is fine too. The main thing is to have them when you can have also at least an hour or two of uninterrupted time. I’ve done this in a bathtub. I’ve done this sitting out in nature. I’ve also done it in parts where I didn’t have two or three hours to do the full ritual and I did it in stages.
I would invite you to ground and do your nice, deep breathing and connect back to yourself, literally reach your arms out around you and pull your energy back into yourself. Making sure that you’re not collecting anybody else’s energy at this time. We want to just be as whole and full as possible, because that paradoxically is when we are our most expansive and most tapped in and tuned in so that we can hear our wisest and highest self.
So I am going to practice this right now with my own grounding, feeling my feet on the ground and allowing them to sink very deeply into the ground, almost as if they are being tugged down by mother earth. Letting the gravity really pull me, and in doing so, connecting with our most primal mother relationship, that with the planet. From this place we can feel her holding us. We can feel her supporting us, and we know that we’re literally plugged into that primal energy, that physical energy. And then allowing that energy to come up and wind its ways around our feet, ankles, and calves, across our knees and up into our thighs and into our buddocks and then to gather into a beautiful pool of silver energy in our pelvic bowl. Then just allowing our hips to wiggle a little bit back and forth in our chair, doing some pelvic tilts if you are standing forward and back is always nice for me. Tapping into the pleasure of our sexuality and our sensuality. More and more I am realizing how powerful it is for us to appreciate our own bodies in this way, because it is a God-given sensation, and it is something that we would not have if it was not there for us to be fully embracing and utilizing and tapping into. So just by maybe even doing some kegels and noticing the sensation of our womb space and imagining that power being turned on and turned up almost as if the dimmer switch needs to be cranked up to its highest.
Then we are going to just do a little bit more breathing in to receive our divine energy, calling back again all the places where our heart and soul may have been splintered and allowing them all to come back easily and gracefully to settle and roost within us. After that centering, just allowing that to continue happening, even saying, “I call back my heart. I call back my soul. I call back my power. I call back my life.” And then allowing the gold energy of our divine connection to get wide and deep and truly plugged in to us. It’s always there, but by just acknowledging it, realizing it, appreciating it, and sensing it coming in through the crown of our head and cleansing us with that beautiful golden light through our third eye. Through our ears so that we may hear our inspired wisdom. Through our throat so we may express ourselves fully. Into our heart, letting it be open and wide and expansive and shining brightly out the front of our bodies and out the back. Allowing that gold to spiral down, calming any of the unknowns of what might be coming in the coming year or what might be coming in the next 5 minutes. Calming all of that little girl energy that’s excited and nervous. Calming and relaxing into knowing that we are full and whole and holy, and this is our power and our co-creative energy at play right here. Letting that gold continue down through our womb space where it mixes and ignites with the silver and that is our alchemy of our true, unique, brilliant self, where our genuine spirit and physical bodies meet. From this place, we want to tap in, even if you have to hold one hand on your low, low belly, or even on the crotch, the space between the legs, holding yourself and holding your heart and listen as we go through this exercise together. At times you pay need to pause, and I strongly suggest you do that, or you can just write out the questions and then return to this later to do the closing ceremony.
So, what we are going to do is to start off by writing out all of the amazing lessons, celebrations, fabulous lessons, gifts and miracles that came our way in 2016. I am going to ask for you to strive to reach 100. That may sound like a lot, but think of everything, like the times that you were able to drive safely somewhere and arrive and your car was intact. The times when someone gifted you with a special visit. The times when you felt really good about yourself. So stretch deeply and find 100 of these celebrations, which is such an important part of setting the stage for us to call in more and more of these good, joyous, and amazing opportunities, relationships, prosperity of all kinds, vibrant health, love – both the romantic, friendly, social, & familiar kind of love. All of those. Think through all of the months. If you have to go January, February, that may help to spur some ideas. It may help to pull out journals and look at your gratitude for the year. But don’t stop until you reach 100, and this might take some time. Sometimes I just take the paper out and add to it throughout a day.
The next part of this is to take a piece of paper that is not in a journal, necessarily, and if it is you’re going to want to rip it out at some point to destroy it, but what we’re going to do is we are going to write out at least 100 of the things that we really want to release. Things that happened that we don’t want to carry forward into next year. Times when you were feeling low and feeling like it was never going to get better. Times when you may have been sick. Old storylines of, “I am not good enough, I can’t do that. That’s not possible.” Any of the places that we have kept ourselves small. Where we sabotage ourselves. Where we created injury. Those are especially poignant because the injuries that we have created in our physical bodies tend to leave not just a scar on the outside, but they hold us back sometimes emotionally. We carry a cringe. I still have one. I must have been really young and fallen down the steps because several times I will be walking down steps and I will feel like I am going to fall, and it’s an old memory and it’s still with me. There’s lots of places where we have created fears, where we have created a story around something that I can’t do that because of this, or because of my age, or because of my health. So let’s try to release as much of this as possible. It could be fights with people. It could be really bad things that happened. It could be people dying and that whole grieving process which was really important, but you’re ready to let that go to bed now. Anything that we want to let go. This might be easier to get to 100 than the celebrations, but try to list as many things, and don’t think. Stay grounded. Stay in your heart, stay wide open and deeply breathe. If you get stuck, look out at the sky, a tree, or a bird and just allow the stuff to flow through you. This is a process of almost like taking a shower after a long, long hike and there’s so much dirt, dust and old stuff that needs to just be washed away. That’s what we want to do.
The third step is to look forward into what 2017 means for you. What do you want to create? At some point you may have already done a vision board, or you may be planning to do something, or you might just have looked at what you want to do with your business, but this is going to be a big, open, wide, clean slate. There’s something so exciting about; I remember even buying the new calendars and new planners, how fabulous it is to have this brand new, open, clean slate to write in, create in, draw in. From this place of open, positive possibilities, let’s look at what the various parts of your life are. I try to break it down based on the chakras.
So the first one, the red chakra, the first root chakra has to do with your family, has to do with your culture. For us it might be our country, our nationality. What is it that you want to create from this area? What does that look like for you? It could be around anything from the root chakra governs which is your feet, maybe there is a health thing that you want to manage with your legs, your feet, all the way up to the base of your spine. What do you want to create that is governed by this first chakra. It has to do with security too. As you do that, light the first candle. I like to take the slips of paper and put it underneath the red candle. These are my wishes.
The second one is your orange candle, if you have one. Or you could write it on orange paper or use an orange crayon. What is it that you want to create that has to do with your relationships, your creative energy, your creative source, your expression of who you are, how you relate to life, sexuality, love, romance, to friends & family? Your relationship center is your second chakra. How do you relate to money? This area is beautifully wide open, and you can create whatever you want here. For me it’s going to be about creating a business that is more uniquely and authentically aligned with me, all of me. As you write those out, light your orange candle and put them underneath that.
The yellow candle has to do with your relationship with yourself. It’s where we hold all of our fears. Is there something that you want to change this year, that you would like to move beyond? Fear of intimacy, fear of can I really be enough, fear of creating some brilliant videos to teach what you are uniquely here to teach. What is that is something that could be holding you back, that’s being held in this area? Where do you hide your brilliance? Where do you overly comply? Those are all areas that are important to think about as you are wanting to create something different in 2017. As you write those out either with a yellow crayon or on yellow paper, put them underneath the yellow candle and light it and let those be.
We will move to the next which is the green candle, the green color that is aligned with the heart chakra. This is the big, expansive love chakra. This is the heart. This is the area that we open wide to the front and greet and receive. This is also how we relate and is also the beginning of us relating on a more spiritual, deeper level that just the physical. The physical is governed by the first 3 chakras, but the 4th you’re beginning to transition to your more spiritual self. What do you want to create with your heart this year? What does your heart want you to know? How is 2017 going to be different for you and how you open your heart even more, expand your heart? And as you write this out and light your green candle, allow the receiving of all of that and what it would feel like in your body to be so. Imagine each of those things coming to be as you light the candle. Hold that feeling, letting your heart be so full that it may bring tears to your eyes. Allow yourself that pleasure and joy of experiencing what it would be like to have those things in your life right now. Breathing that in.
Then we will move to the throat chakra, which is the area that is the top of our shoulders, our trapezius, up our neck to the base of our skull. It also governs our sinuses. It governs our expression, our truth, our value in the world. It shows up how we express ourselves. Do we perform? Do we teach? How do we show up? Do we write amazing blogs so people can learn more about themselves by reading our words?
How is it do we show up and express ourselves and our value in the world? How do you want that to look different in 2017? What would it feel like if you were so fully expressed that everyone got you? They understood, they felt that you were authentically showing up. Thank you to the loud cockatoos and parrots who are deciding to be noisy here. If you can hear that between the waves and surf across the street and the cockatoos, it’s pretty noisy here. Down below there is a pool, so I hope I am not being too noisy with the street noise here. As you light the green candle and allow those things to feel already a part of your life right now, breathe them in and try to hold that feeling of having those things right now. Try to hold that sensation in your body. Allow your chest to be wide and open, and your back to be whole and strong. Your shoulders being held down away from your ears elongating your neck. Allow that to flow deeply through our bodies. The feeling of what it feels like to have these things come true for us and hold them in our body does an imprint. It’s like it sets the stage for those things to come. So let’s allow that to be.
And then after the blue candle is lit and the items that you want to create are placed under the blue candle, we can go on to the purple. The purple candle has everything to do with our intuition, our insight, our third eye, and our highest wisdom. We really, really want to be able to tap into what insight. How do we want to have a relationship with this part of ourselves and do we want this to guide us everyday in mediation? Do we want to tap into our highest self and wisdom as we deliver the work that we are here to do? What do we want this to look like and how do we want to co-create with this highest wisdom that we already have? What do we want to do with that? What do we want 2017 to look like? You can pull in any other areas that you would like to around your highest self, your wisdom, your intuition. And then imagine already having these in place, now, because we do. What would our life look like, feel like? What would it taste like? What would it smell like? What would it feel like on our skin if we had these totally in place already right now? We breathe that in.
Second to last, we have our white candle. This is our connection to the divine, all things spiritual. All of our guides, our ancestors, our angels, the highest divine in universal source and love, God, whatever you want to use as your special name for this holiness that we tap into that is part of our crown chakra. This is our rightful place as divine beings while in this life and physical body. If you had your most divine, amazing life, what would your spiritual life look like in 2017? What guidance are you so tapped into that you know you can trust it at any moment? What additional miracles and things are you looking to co-create with source next year? What does 2017 look like if you are your most tapped in, tuned in, turned on spiritual self? Let’s write out a couple things to remember what that looks like. Lighting that white candle, let’s breathe those in, hold them to our heart, breathe all of these things in, knowing that they are true, possible, and real just by imagining them and imaging what that life would look like right now. Those miracles on tap, those unwavering truth and trust.
Then, to set the final stage to allow all of these things to move forward, it’s time to burn and release 2016 thanking all of those blessings, celebrations, and the sadnesses, illnesses, lessons learned, tragedies, and grief. It’s been a huge year of ups and downs. What i tend to do is, and I do this a couple different ways, I wrote one time on paper that disintegrated in water, and that was cool. The other thing I’ve done is I’ve just burned them. I’ve done this in a safe place – in a fireplace, over firepit. I would highly recommend if you are going to light them on fire that you do so over a sink, over a metal pail, not outside if it’s windy. Please take caution and make sure to try to burn every single bit. What I did is I tore my pages up into small bits and put them in a little pile, and placed that onto some wood and lit the fire and watched it all burn. It’s funny how I felt like there were different pieces of the paper that would fly out of the fire pit and I’d have to go get them and put them back on top into the fire. It’s like bits that really don’t want to let go. You know? Whatever happens, and however long this takes you to do, and however you do it to make it your own, please customize it to fit you. This is just a combinations of rituals that i have pulled together throughout the years that have really served me well. The key is to let the candles burn until they are all gone. This isn’t always easy. You may not have a lantern to put them in, or a fireplace. I’ve actually been known, one year when we were staying in the flat here in Australia I’d put them in a bathtub to let them burn all night. A friend of mine was traveling. He put them into a big roasting pan on foil and then put them in a box and put them in the back of his car because he had to travel. Whatever works for you, but let them burn until they are all gone, until they just burn out on their own. Typically I light the candles on New Year’s Eve and let them burn until they are gone and the pages are all written on underneath. You can choose to save each of the things that you wrote out for 2017 so you can look at them when you do this ritual again maybe if you do in a year, or you can choose to burn them as well, and release them knowing that all is well. However you want to move forward. I would be so curious how this works for you. What you noticed, what you felt, what opened up for you. Feel free to let me know by reaching out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leaving a comment on Facebook. Thank you so much. Happy New Moon. Happy New Year, and I will speak with you more once 2017 arrives. Take excellent care of yourself. We need you. This is the year where we are all being called to do what we are here to do, and we really need to step it up. There’s no more holding back any more. Are you with me? I hope so. Take care. Bye.
It is never too late for Bravery says Margaret Wheatley.
To stand, To speak up, To not let the overwhelm take hold.
I’ve been laying low, cancelling events, filling my days with lots of introspection AND lots of diversions and distractions. There’s something being called forward within me, within the collective, and I’ve been pretending not to hear it. It’s about depression. It’s about feeling everything. It’s about slowing down to actually DEAL with it all.
This year is an exceptional one as well. It’s had it’s ups and downs, (RIGHT?) and also I’ve been blessed with the time and resources to lay low, riding the waves, reading the tea leaves, and watching lots of Netflix.
That time is coming to an end, in a fantastic and glorious way, as I prepare for my trip on the shortest day here in North America to the longest day in South America. Flying on the Solstice, my 60th birthday.
So, what is in store? A lot and maybe not so much. I’m being open to the fullness of this gift of a time away from my home, the winter temps and my push to find clarity on that is coming in 2017. And, my next steps in crossing that threshold.
And – honoring this time of pulling back, sleeping in once or twice this week, going to bed early, eating popcorn for dinner and listening to the sounds of silence. Preparing for putting on my mantle, pulling on my boots and walking forward…into The Great Adventure of the Unknown. 2017.
This will be my last live broadcast of the year, but I will be uploading some thoughts and musings from my delicious time on Manly Beach north of Sydney. Stay tuned on FB or find me on SoundCloud to catch the recordings.
See you on the other side!