Authentic Purpose

While speaking to a few clients recently, we discussed what “lights them up” or makes their “heart sing.”

In each case, it has to do with doing work they love: work that has meaning for them, uses their strengths and talents, and that that brings them joy.

It’s 3 pronged.

Being “on purpose.” Being “in joy.” All while using our unique gifts and competencies.

The beauty is …when we are creating a life that is full of meaning, deeply aligned with who we are and what we do well and best AND that is pleasurable to us, we SHINE.

Often, we hear “Wow, you look so happy!” Or, “What are you doing differently” or “Are you in Love?” when we are in the flow of creating and living a life we love.

So, are you?

Creating and living a life you LOVE?

One that is on your terms? Built on what feels true and authentic to you?

My garden is currently displaying these “wildflowers” from a packet of seeds spread last year. There are beautiful old-fashioned phlox that just bloom in all their beauty no matter the heat or rain. They just keep standing tall and doing their thing. Living their purpose. Not worried about drought or humidity or what the news is blaring.

This has become my new mantra. To tune in and remember the fullness, beauty, and sovereignty of Who. I. Am.

The wholeness/holiness and inner connection (or intersection) of all of me. The embodiment of my Soul. The beaming of my heart. The brilliance of ME that cannot be denied.

So where does that light go when we are confronted with Showing Up? Sharing who we are with the world? Expressing our Self amidst colleagues and other SHINING souls? Or those we believe are less SHINE-y than ourSelves?

Where do you dim to fit in? Or quasi-SHINE with an inauthentic “trying to be better than”? Or, be honest, hold back our SHINE in fear of being judged as “too bright” or “too much”?

Listen in. Let’s see what unfolds.

We’re all in this together. And the more each of us SHINEs the more we create a brighter world. There’s plenty of room for all of us to SHINE!

I welcome your feedback! For more information on the SHINE workshop series or to make a comment or ask a question, please connect with me at

Why Authenticity?

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 Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 12.47.00 PMAuthentic 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;

al_academy_Vector_logoAuthentic 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.al_academy_RGB_logo

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 or give me a call at 314.800.7694.

Time for Bravery

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!

Opening and Deepening Authenticity

Where are you hiding?


People-pleasing, telling half-truths to yourself and others. OR…Overly complying???

We have been trained and molded into being such “Good Girls.” And, isn’t it interesting that the girls who are making waves in our community, nation and world, are anything but Good?

They are not afraid to speak up. Speak out. Wear different clothes, or different hairstyles. They SHOW UP, in a way that can not be denied. And, sometimes we are in awe. Or envious. But we can’t ignore them they are creating wakes wherever they go.

And, a part of us yearns for a wider reach, or bigger scope of influence. Yet, are we prepared to move outside of the Comfort Zone? To create a bigger version of ourselves by sharing a bigger vision, a controversial view, or an unconventional solution to an issue?

I’ve been responding to everyone else’s requests of me for a long time. Now that Motherhood, Partnership and Corporate employment are not defining me, who am I? The more I deepen in, listening and allowing my truth to come forward, the more I am falling deeper into Love, Self-Acceptance and an IMPLICIT Trust of who I am and what my purpose is. It’s like a gut-rehab of an old house…and seeing the beautiful results that are emerging is So. Very. Exciting.

Let’s dive in, deepen in, open up and discover with some practices you can use too, to get more clear on who you are in these ever-increasing times of Volatility, Uncertainty, Chaos and Ambiguity.

There’s Beauty, Authenticity and Grace on the other side. All components that feed our Authentic Life and Authentic Leadership.

Can I be Authentic and Amazing?

Being Authentic doesn’t have to look and feel messy, raw and scary, does it?

For me, it took years (decades) of learning Who I Really Am through falling into emotional depths and feeling my way to my Truth.

How about being Authentic and True AND being at our most Radiant, Brilliant and Creative? Our AMAZING Self?

A challenge I was handed recently while attending Authentic Speakers Academy (sound familiar?) was to “Show Everyone How AMAZING I am.”


The other challenges I agreed to were not easy, but seemed do-able, for me. This one? Not. So. Much.

Especially as my topic was Authenticity.

I’ll share this story and let’s play with this topic more. AND, add it to our #ArtOfReceivingChallenge.

Are you in????


Authenticity in Asking for What We Want, then RECEIVING it!

It’s the buzz now…all the rage. Authentic This, Authentic That.

I get it. And, maybe because we’re tired of the IN-Authenticity of our culture. Our politics. Our own life, perhaps?

When looking at how to announce the new program/offering #AuthenticLeadershipAcademy, I had problems finding the new URL I wanted. There’s even a new coaching program for Authentic Leadership being offered somewhere.

The constant course correction to stay in Authenticity is based in Awareness. Intention. And Asking. Tuning into our Authentic Desire (see last week’s podcast) and then, Authentically Asking for What We Want.

And, the more I dive into being Authentic, the more I realize it’s a CONSTANT Authenticity Authenticity isn’t something we “Do”…It’s about diving in and Being Who We Really Are. And, knowing that we aren’t here to do it all ourselves, we ask for what we want, need and desire. This is not easy for many of us powerful and independent women.

Today at a workshop with some amazing NonProfit Leaders and ChangeMakers, we talked about Vision, Voice and Value. And how we are truly tied to what we are here to do. It shows up in how we lead our lives, our organizations, our families, our communities. And, it all come from Being Authentic. Fully in our Power. And, Fully OPEN to Receive.

Authenticity isn’t something we “Do”…It’s about diving in and Being Who We Really Are. Then asking. For what we want.

Authenticity leads to Asking for What We Want. And, then Authentically RECEIVING.

Join the Authentic Receiving Challenge with us on Facebook!