The Powerful Being

I think most of us have heard the statement “Our Thoughts are Energy” before. For me, this rings more true now than ever before. Several years ago, it occurred to me that if this was in fact the case, we could manifest anything we wanted by changing our thoughts. This was the beginning of my journey to developing our New World Leadership: Spiritually Aligned Leadership programming.

What I discovered is that just thinking positive about something does not change the situation. Change happens at the feeling stage. There must be an internal shift in order for there to be a shift in reality. The value in changing what we think about is that over time, we can actually change how we feel. Neuroscience provides us with the understanding that we are the only species on the planet that can create an emotion or feeling inside of us without actually experiencing it. Here is an example: I want to feel the joy and bliss of when I am on my favourite beach in Mexico soaking up the sun – that feeling of balance and alignment within myself, a life of zero stress. With focus and attention, each of us can create the emotions that align with this reality, even though we are not on the beach in Mexico. Here is the exciting part! Once we create the associated feelings and emotions, our brain sends messages to our autonomic nervous system to create hormones, the positive hormones associated with these very positive emotions. The Emotional or Limbic brain kicks into action and we have a chemical reaction in our body that heightens these emotions and we feel even better. A cycle of feeling great begins. Our body can easily become accustomed to feeling great through our ability to manufacture the corresponding hormones. Our bodies are a chemistry lab with the power to change how we feel!

We can now apply this information and process to our leadership approach, creating feelings of gratitude, abundance and opportunity. These thoughts create emotions and the resulting positive hormone exchange. Creating a repeatable process of feeling great, which will result in more clarity and coherence (which has been scientifically proven) will help in making great decisions that are aligned with values, purpose and internal/external client needs. We know that how we feel and the emotions created are directly linked to the outcomes and results we get. It is time we celebrated the power of being human and shifted from our victim mentality, where life happens to us, to an empowered life where we create our own reality. This doesn’t have to be spiritual and doesn’t involve believing in all that woohoo stuff (although that can be fun too) but we have to accept that we are complex and powerful beings who are able to change our reality.

One of the reasons many are unwilling to accept this proven science is because once we have this awareness, we have to take responsibility for how we feel and the results we get. It is now 2016, time to stop being a victim and start taking our power back. Imagine the possibilities! The New World Leadership Series is designed to teach valuable tools and processes to assist leaders in creating this profound positive energy that results in positive outcomes every time. Join us!

Left Brain, Right Brain, Heart Centre

During the industrial revolution 120 years ago, we asked people to come to work and to not talk during business hours – to show up and simply do what they were told. We told people to leave all of their personal feelings and issues at home as there was no place for this in the workplace. Essentially bring your left brain to work and leave everything else at home, unless we need your back, then you were allowed to bring that as well.

Eighty years later, writers like Daniel Pink wrote about how the right brain was going to take over the world and how we needed to heed the importance of innovation and creativity in the workplace. In fact, entire careers in consulting bloomed from this concept, teaching leaders how to access the right side of the brain and how to link it with the left side.

Today we teach leaders how to access their heart centre, how to tap into how they feel about a situation, person or issue. We practice accessing our intuition and monitoring intention and energy in everything we do. The expanded leader is one who accesses their intellect (LB), creativity (RB) and feelings (HC) at every opportunity. It is intentional and deliberate and is viewed as a necessary attribute of great leadership.

What a novel idea – allowing the leader to access all of the gifts and attributes they have as a human being. Encouraging the whole person to come to work is at the centre of great workplaces today. Working with leaders to tap into the incredible hidden capability of the Heart Centre is a joy and a passion and it changes the game for everyone involved. It creates a true space for authentic service.

Being versus Doing

Being is a critical part of leadership today. We have spent the last 100 years doing; now it is time to be. Organizations today are redefining what it is to succeed in business by answering the important questions about why we do what we do. How do we serve the greater community? In short, organizations are becoming Purpose Driven beyond anything we have ever seen in the past.

Being is not about never taking action. Being refers to becoming a conscious and deliberate leader who shows up intentionally. It is about slowing down and reflecting; it is about purposeful action that brings meaning and is in alignment with the overall Purpose of the organization.

Organizations of today that wish to exist 100 years from now are changing fast and recognizing that Being is essential to long-term sustainable expansion. What a great time in history to be a leader! Take the challenge and be! Change happens one leader at a time, one day at a time and one step at a time. Modeling the way to intentional leadership that is life changing for the leader, their contributors, team and organization overall.

Monitoring Intention

I had an interesting conversation with a leader a few days ago. The focus of the conversation was reflecting on “Intention”. I find the topic of intention one of the more difficult leadership topics. This is because a leader needs to be brutally honest with themselves and their organization about their true intention, which is never easy. If we each took a few moments to reflect on our “intention” prior to doing anything, we can ask ourselves some simple questions that can provide clarity. The questions might be: do I truly understand my intention, does my true intent align with who I am as a leader, does my intent serve a higher purpose, is it in the best interest of all parties, does my intention come from a good and meaningful place?

Monitoring intention is so powerful. Why? As organizational leaders our true intention and the energy it produces is never hidden. We take our energy with us everywhere we go and our energy is informed by our intention. What does all this mean? Have you ever walked into a room and sensed the energy and you knew right away what kind of a meeting it would be? We know that everything is energy and this includes our thoughts and feelings as leaders. So when the thought is, “I really need my employee to perform better, work harder and be more focused,” the energy this creates aligns with these thoughts. Regardless of our planning and preparation before a meeting with this employee, the energy we take with us will be informed by our intention. In this example, what is the true intention of the leader? We could presume that the intention is to improve the performance of the employee but let’s dig a little deeper on this topic. Is it possible that part of the intention is that life would be easier for the leader if the employee would perform better? The leader’s boss would be happier and things would simply improve in the department. We might simply say, “If this employee did a better job, my life would be easier.” I recognize that most leaders don’t articulate their thoughts this way but if we dig deep we often discover that underneath it all, this is the true intention. As a leader in business we have all felt this at some time or another.

Why is all this important? It is important because when we reflect on how the employee will receive our communication, we might be surprised to learn that we can create a disengaged employee when we haven’t monitored our intention. If we believe we are hiding from the employee our true intention, think again. Our employees are very sensitive to our energy; they can feel the energy being emitted and it impacts how they receive the information.

Here are some simple suggestions on how to monitor intention. You are about to have a difficult conversation with an employee. STOP… ask yourself, what is my intent? What is the story (internal conversation) I have about this employee and the situation? How is this story creating my judgments? Do I have all the information? Am I curious and want to explore and seek to understand their perspective or do I simply want to tell? Do I intend to school or do I want to guide and facilitate growth? Do I truly care about the employee’s success? When we ask these questions before we engage in the difficult conversations, we check in; we monitor our intent.

This gives us an opportunity to adjust, to reflect and to ensure that our intention comes from the right place and can help create positive results.

You can say almost anything to another person if you have monitored your intention and ensured that intention comes from a good place. If you have the conversation when you are mad and need to get something off your chest, need to make a point, need to fix the other person and make them see it your way, your intention comes from your Ego. All of the above are about you, not the other person.

If you truly care about the other person and really want the other person to be successful and your comments, views and approach come from a caring perspective, you cannot go wrong. You will always choose the right words, right timing and right body language. Your energy will reflect your intention and will yield a much better result. Remember, your job as a leader is not to fix broken employees, it is to recognize that if you are not getting the needed results it is you who must change your approach.

It is important to consider intent with all of your activities and actions. Leadership today is not about using power and control to accomplish results. Our true innate sense of being includes caring, compassion and finding opportunities to serve others. To be effective, leaders today need to do their own hard work, ask themselves the hard questions and not be afraid to challenge their old energy and old ways of thinking. This will help to create a workplace where everyone can perform at their best.

Gratitude and Leadership

I believe that gratitude is the single most powerful emotion. When working with leaders we often highlight the critical importance of how they feel as a key indicator of the results they will get. For so many years we told people not to bring their feelings to work, “work is work and everything else needs to be left at the door.” Today we know that this mentality is exactly why we have issues at work; why so many people feel unhappy and even stuck. You must first work on changing how you feel about a situation to change the results. Gratitude is a great way to start.

Gratitude means that you feel there is enough resources, enough goodwill. You are appreciative for everything you have and know that in Canada, one of the greatest places in the world, we are extremely lucky and there is so much abundance. I believe that gratitude is the single most important emotion a person (leader) can have. It changes your outlook on everything. Instead of wishing about what you would like, what you want to get, how you want to change your situation, you begin to look at all the fabulous things you have. You identify the things in your life that are going well and you recognize that everything is just as it should be.

Leaders who use gratitude as a key component of their leadership style are more likely to see the opportunities, see the competitive advantage, and identify where resources might be hidden. Leaders who use gratitude recognize the contribution of team members earlier, more frequently and consistently and are not afraid to spread the gratitude around.

Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions we have access to. Try it out and see (feel) the results. It is an amazing experience to intentionally stop each day for a moment and feel gratitude for everything in your life.

Here is a link (http://gratituderevealed.com/gallery-gratitude/) to help you experience more gratitude in your life. Take 10 minutes each day as we approach the holiday season and watch one of these amazing stories of gratitude unfold before your eyes. This is LEADERSHIP.
#LifeChangingLeadership #LeadSelfandtheRestWillFollow

Key to Successful Leadership Development

True leadership development takes courage, tenacity and a willingness to step into our goo-I know this is not a very technical term but it’s one that for me truly describes the work that is required to become a successful, balanced and highly impactful leader. Shift takes time, personal commitment and true honesty.

Our ability to challenge our views and perceptions of our organization, team contributors and, most importantly, ourselves is so critical. Our present perception is our present reality; this is where it all begins. We must start by challenging our thinking on how we view our working world, our impacts and contributions to it. Some of our perceptions serve us well and some do not.

Once we are able to do this courageous work, then it is time to consider and reflect on what is working well and what is not. Understanding what your impact is as a leader is so critical. So many leadership guru’s will say that Self Awareness is the most critical leadership skill but we believe it is what you do with this knowledge that actually matters.

Next, it is time to take action and try new things. This is when it gets really prickly-I know another very technical word but it does describe how many leaders feel when they begin to challenge their thinking and their actions. One of our favorite statements is, “it is easier to practice a new skill than it is to let go of an old one.” This is so true. As leaders, we tend to fall back into old habits even when we know that working on new skills is so important. Leadership is a daily practice. The only way to truly let go of an old behaviour is to diligently practice the new desired behaviour.

Shift begins by making a decision to change our outer behaviour. As we practice, practice, practice we begin to change our inner self. This is where transformation truly takes place.

Challenge our perceptions
Evaluate what serves us and our team/organization
Make a clear commitment to practice new skills
Be kind to yourself; true shift and change takes time.

Life Changing Leadership is about making an intentional and deliberate commitment to Lead Self each and every day. Organic influence can only happen when we lead from the inside out, making us the true priority. Lead Self and the Rest Will Follow!

A Time for More Gratitude

It has been an amazing summer for me and I hope that each of you has also had an inspiring and heartfelt few months. If you believe the Universe is your teacher, like I do, then listening to what it has to say is so important; there are signs all around us.

As many of you know, I am an avid reader – devouring book after book. I let the books call to me when I head off to the store. Yes, I am old fashioned and still love to hold a book in my hands. I just finished reading “The Surrender Experiment” by Michael A. Singer. WOW is all I can say. “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” I have always understood the practice of allowing. For those of you that have not heard about this, it is simply letting go and allowing the universe to bring you exactly what you need at the time. There is a belief that the Universe is perfect just as it is and that each of us receives what we need, when we need it. I know this is a really tough concept, especially when we feel things are not going our way.

After reading “The Surrender Experiment”, I was truly reminded of this concept and its importance in our everyday life.

I am a living example of this experiment and what not to do; even those who teach this stuff fall back to old habits. I failed to surrender this summer and decided to push some boulders. My boulder pushing got tiresome and then a friend recommended reading “The Surrender Experiment”. It simply reminded me to allow, surrender to the perfection of the Universe and all will be well. So about 2 weeks ago, I began to once again surrender “allow” and “let go”. Not surprisingly, all of the right things began to happen again. So after months of trying and months of action and months of boulder pushing, I simply let go and here is what has happened.

Give Yourself Permission Magazine will be doing a review of my most recent book. Someone from Alberta who read the book wrote a review and it was accepted to the magazine. I have seen the review and it brought tears to my eyes. Amazing.

I have an article coming out in another magazine next month. My book proposal is finished and will be in the hands of several agents by next week and my next book is flowing as if sent to me from above. Our leadership programming is growing beautifully and the fall is looking so wonderful; another great year of doing what I love and contributing to organizational life through authentic, life-changing leadership programming.

Thanks Michael A. Singer for gently reminding me to surrender to life instead of trying to make things happen. There is truly a difference between a simple “leaning in” and “boulder pushing”. One happens with effort, fatigue and emotional drain while the other comes with effortless ease, joy and alignment. If you are looking for a fabulous read to end off this amazing summer, pick up a copy of “The Surrender Experiment”, by Michael A. Singer.

Fear and Love

There are only two real emotions that exist in this world: Fear and Love. Every other emotion comes from or is connected to one of these two. Even emotions like anger, when explored further, have a connection to fear.

We need to monitor how we feel all of the time and tap into our inner voice, intuition, spiritual alignment, gut feel; whatever you want to call it so that we can understand where these emotions come from. How do we tap into how we feel? We become the observer of ourselves. We make a choice that how we feel matters! It becomes part of who you are.

As you practice tapping into how you feel, you will ask yourself: Why do I feel like this? What is this about? What have I been thinking about that would make me feel like this and do I know for sure that it is true? Asking these questions and then being truly honest with yourself will go a long way to understanding what is going on for you.

Once you can do this you begin to make different choices. You ask yourself, do I want to feel like this? What would be an alternative that would make me feel better. If I change what I am thinking about will I feel better, will I get relief? Fear is one of the most damaging emotions and it cuts us off from our true nature. Guilt is another damaging emotion. Guilt is directly connected to fear; fear of not being liked… fear of people thinking less of you. So you carry on even when it does not feel right. Spiritual Alignment is about connecting to your true nature.

Remember, you take your energy with you everywhere you go so:

-Monitor how you feel; especially emotions that are based in Fear
-Never discount your spidey sense, intuition, inner voice, gut feel- it is there to serve you and to help find your true alignment
-Ask yourself, why and what have I been thinking about
-Choose a better feeling thought (get relief- because it is about YOU and you deserve to feel great)

Spiritual Alignment and Becoming SELF Centered is critical to well-being, health and the ability to serve.

Alignment-Seeking our Truth

I wanted a true Mexican experience- ask and receive!

As I lay on the floor of the Adobe Brick Temazcel, (similar to a Sweat Lodge whose translation is Rebirth) Le Pita, our spiritual guide for the day, shared a story and reflection that I would like to share here. It speaks to alignment, truth and finding ourselves.

A pregnant lioness was very sick and about to die. She stumbled down a hill and died at the bottom but not before giving birth to 4 female cubs. Shortly after, a male and female antelope came by and saw the frightened cubs alone. The antelopes took the cubs into their family and raised them as their own. The lions grew strong and adapted beautifully to their antelope family; eating only grass and plants and learning to leap and jump as only antelope can.

As the lioness’ became adults, one of them began to feel uneasy, not herself and in fact, started to ask “Who Am I?” This is not unlike what often happens to us as we move through different stages in our lives. Unrest continued to grow within this lion and one day she decided to venture out on her own. She went exploring and as she walked, she became thirsty. She stopped by a large lake to get a drink but as she dropped her head, she saw her reflection and noted her long hair, large whiskers and large fangs. She suddenly became aware that she was different from everyone in her antelope herd; she realized she was a lion. She pondered this for some time. After wandering for several more days, the lion came across her antelope herd. As she watched the herd from a distance, she began to drool.

Le Pita’s question to each of us was (translated from Spanish to English by her daughter), what did the lion do next? Which weighs heavier: culture or biology? Reflect on your initial instinct and then consider the importance of balance between culture and biology. Both are important and balance between the two is the key.

Many people are asking the same questions of themselves this year: Who Am I? What I do I Truly Want? Remember to seek your truth. Go inside, be honest with yourself and then simply lean in the direction you want to go and you will be amazed at what transpires.

The incredible community I have felt since arriving in Zihuantanejo, only a week ago, is amazing. I am truly grateful to have this opportunity.

Do something you have never done before… stretch yourself… and remember to
#LeadSelfAndTheRestWillFollow

Living in the Moment

I write a lot about alignment and the importance of feeling good. How we feel is a key indicator of how we are doing on the inside and out. It provides an insight into whether we are heading in the right direction or the wrong direction. When something feels good, we know it is the right choice for us. This is what alignment is; it is our truth, our internal guidance system.

As I continue to experience this small community in Mexico, I reflect on the interactions of the local people. Many do not have a lot and yet they are so happy, so kind and so genuine. For example, as I go to the Mercado (big market) where you can find everything from shoes made by the person selling them to whole chicken, I experience a genuine caring and kindness. Big smiles, warm “holas” and a sense that all is good in the world.

One of the remarkable things I have also noticed is the children and their go with the flow attitude. In the 2 weeks we have been here, we have witnessed that the interaction between parent and child just seems so different. I can’t put my finger on it. No matter where I go, if a child is tired, they simply curl up under mommy’s chair or on mommy’s lap and go to sleep. At the organic market last week (which is a long day for some vendors), there were 2 or 3 children curled up under mommy’s display table. Simply no big deal!

My curiosity has led me to ask lots of questions. What makes a community so loving, so kind and so genuine? There is patience, and warmth that fills your heart. Here are some of the answers I get.

These are a people who live for today. They live in the present moment, not worrying about tomorrow as tomorrow will come and go just like today did. They want to appreciate everything they have and know that things are as they should be. They are grateful for every sale, every friendly encounter and every positive event. They do not take anything for granted, but at the same time, they do not worry about what will happen tomorrow. Family is incredibly important and they stick together, including the extended family. They work very hard each day (six days a week) and when the day is complete, they make large family meals, stay up late and connect with each other. You will sometimes see them close down the family restaurant that sits on the side of the road, only to prepare a large meal for extended family to gather and visit.

It is possible I have taken a very simple view of this and maybe I am only seeing the positive. I have been accused of doing this on occasion as I am known for living what I believe, which is “you create the world you choose to see and feel; the world mirrors back at you”. We spread kindness by being kind, we spread love by being loving, we create an environment of collaboration by being collaborative and we can create a compassionate world by being compassionate.

Maybe this is Alignment?