The AdultLeader Blog

What does it feel like to be the AdultLeader and does it matter?

Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 in AdultLeader, Executive Coaching | 230 comments

It feels good to be the AdultLeader when we make choices in life and work that support our identity and values. It feels good to be the person we want to be for ourselves, our families and our organizations. As an executive coach, I see clients who struggle with the stress and pressure of their “always on” lives and the effect that has on their ability to integrate their life and work in a way that allows them • to feel more confident about the job they are doing and the leader they are being • to be more present and engaged when they are home with their families • to reduce stress and worry, sleep better, and exercise more There is always a better feeling associated with those outcomes. It may be relief, inner peace, satisfaction, excitement, passion and joy. We all want to be happy. That is almost always the reason behind anything we want. By paying attention to what we are feeling we can be alerted to what is working and what needs to change. Our feelings are feedback from our real self or AdultLeader. 1. It feels good to be the AdultLeader when we choose to respond in a way that supports our identity and values, or that define who we want to be and what is most important to us. As a result, we are authentically and effectively bringing our real self into the world, and are most likely getting a result we want. 2. It feels bad when we react in a way that ignores our identity and values. In this case, our idealized self or system is making choices for us while we sit uncomfortably in the back seat. We need to get into the driver’s seat and change direction if we are going to get where we want. So, if you are willing slow down a little and pay more attention to what you are feeling, you can use this as an indicator that will let you know – 1. That you are heading in the right direction because you feel good 2. Or that a different choice is beckoning to you because you feel bad. Here are some questions for you: 1. What is something you are struggling with right now? 2. If you were to imagine yourself feeling good about it, what would you be doing differently? 3. What is really important to you about this? 4. What will your AdultLeader do and by when? Thanks for reading. Please feel free to share your comments or...

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Creating a Context is a Simple and Powerful Leadership Practice.

Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 in AdultLeader, AdultLeader Practices, Executive Coaching | 267 comments

Engaging the AdultLeader is our route to leadership when we choose to apply our unique strengths, skills, and experiences with self-knowledge, purpose and commitment. It can help for us to have some specific practices, habits, and/or rituals that we regularly apply to consciously interrupt our thoughtless (without thought) habits and reactions. One such practice is creating a leadership context. A simple definition of context is defining the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea in terms that can be fully understood and assessed. We can do this by asking ourselves a few simple questions before we begin a conversation, meeting, presentation, email, or any other activity or form of communication that matters. With a defined context, it becomes clear how to proceed with purpose, commitment, focus and clarity. PRACTICE: Before I begin my conversation, meeting, presentation, email…..I regularly ask myself the following questions: 1. Why does this matter to me? Why is this important to me? This question connects me to my purpose and values. The answer will generate energy, passion and commitment to move forward. 2. What do I want to accomplish? This question helps me to clarify the goals or outcome I want. The answer will provide me with focus and direction. 3. Who do I want to be? This question invites my AdultLeader to consider how I want to show up as a leader. The answer will remind me that how I show up as a leader is a choice. The answers to these 3 questions become the foundation to answer the next question. 4. How will I do this? This question will help me to define my strategy and tactics. The answer will move me into action that is aligned with my AdultLeader, the self that chooses to authentically and effectively bring my real self into the world. This practice reminds you to interrupt what you are busy doing and give yourself some time for focus and reflection. It will usually take only a few moments, and may take a little while longer for a more difficult or important situation. With a defined leadership context, it becomes clear how to proceed in a manner that makes it more likely you will achieve your desired outcome. Defining a leadership context is a practice that can become a habit or ritual. Try it out: 1. What is a conversation, meeting, presentation, or email that is coming up that matters to you and that you would like to approach differently? 2. Take a few moments to ask yourself the 4 leadership context questions above. 3. Go try it out. 4. What did you do differently as a result of having asked yourself these questions? 5. How did it work out? Hope it worked out well for you. Please feel free to send your comments and...

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What Does the AdultLeader℠ Mean and Do We Really Need Another Leadership Term?

Posted by on May 16, 2012 in AdultLeader | 1,684 comments

The term AdultLeader℠provides a useful context to talk about my approach to leadership in my work as an executive coach.  It has proven to be helpful to my clients as they learn to focus their attention more closely on the inner source of their actions as leaders and the choices they have to make. That inner source can be the AdultLeader℠ we choose to be when we consciously interrupt a thoughtless reaction for a positive purpose.  I think we have all had the experience of feeling really good when we chose to handle a situation like the adult we know we are capable and proud of being, even if it doesn’t turn out exactly as wanted.  And more often than not, it turns out better than expected. That inner source can also be the child within us who reacts based on an unconscious interpretation of the current situation.  I have found myself reacting in a familiar, emotional, childish, and unproductive manner more often than I would like to admit.   Maybe you can relate? The psychologist Carl Rogers talks about the idealized self and the real self. The idealized self is an image of what we think we should be, must be, or ought to be, in order to be accepted.  It is created out of what we learned from our parents and society as we navigated our childhoods.   This may not always work to get us the results we want or to be the leader or person we want to be. The real self is who we actually are.  It is the amalgamation of the unique strengths, talents and potential we were born with. The biggest challenge in becoming the AdultLeader℠ lies in our willingness to examine and change how we have learned to think about ourselves, others and the world.  We become the AdultLeader℠ when we choose to act on our changed thinking for a purpose that is more important than our being right or comfortable. The AdultLeader℠ is the self that chooses. Leadership is your AdultLeader℠ choosing to apply your unique strengths, skills, and experiences with self-knowledge, purpose and commitment.  It is authentically and effectively bringing your real self into the world.  Leadership then becomes a new set of priorities and authentic behaviors that will lead you to new levels of presence, capability, fulfillment and results. I am not defining leadership as a position or as a select group of individuals.  Leadership is inherent in all of us.  It is the AdultLeader℠ choosing how we will show up in the world.  We have the opportunity to apply leadership in any situation or role we find ourselves. I will be exploring leadership and the AdultLeader℠in future posts as I continue to challenge myself to bring my real self to you as I share my thoughts about what I have observed and learned as a human being, business leader and executive coach.  This is more important to me than being right or comfortable. What is the choice your AdultLeader ℠is asking you to make? – behaving in a new way, sharing an idea, creating something? What is your idealized self telling you that might be causing you to hesitate?  (Mine is always pushing for perfection and avoiding being judged.) Now imagine for a minute what the outcome might look...

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