Leaders: Understanding Your Unique Genius

Brain Light Bulb

Your conscious reinvention doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s idea of success.

It really needs to be your own.

Exhibit A: Steve Jobs

With Steve Jobs’ passing we’ve heard a lot about his brilliance with forging new technological advancements. He literally changed how we approach communications in the 21st century.  I wasn’t surprised when I came across his quote, which speaks loudly to WHY he was successful.

He embraced his own kind of genius.

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”   - Steve Jobs, US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 – 2011)

Ask yourself this:

“Where would we be today without Steve Jobs?” Where would be be without this crazy guy embracing his own genius?

Then know this:

You have your own kind of genius and we need your voice in the world today. Where will we be without the dreams that are asking to be birthed through you?

Exhibit B: My Dad

My awareness of how quickly life passes comes from being an Intuitive, but also from my father’s passing when I was in my early thirties.

My dad was a humble man who worked hard to provide for his family of 14.

With so many mouths to feed he didn’t have much in the way of material goods or education.  I had always felt badly that he had worked so hard and had what I considered to be so little, until I had a conversation with him several years before he died.

I’ll never forget his reply when I asked him if he had any regrets about his life. He said no.  He was happy with his life, his beautiful wife and his children.  For him, that was enough.

My dad taught me significant life lessons by staying true to himself, being a man of his word and appreciating the little things in life. His words echoed in my mind as we stood by his bedside when he peacefully passed away.

What a beautiful thought…he had no regrets.

At his funeral we found out just how many lives this man of simple means touched.  It was truly inspiring.

Time to Relax

When it comes to trying to figure out what type of genius you are, you can relax. You aren’t called to be Steve Jobs or anyone else for that matter.

You are called to be your best, most authentic self.

Your dreams are on purpose and are to be celebrated.  As a leader your platform may be:

  • Your family
  • A classroom
  • In your city
  • In your organization
  • In a government setting

But make no mistake -no matter where your dream calls you – your voice, influence, and impact is needed.

Get Started Now

Steve Jobs was only 56 but he didn’t die with his music in him. It is never too late to start.  You came to this life to use your unique gifts and talents to make a difference in the world, by doing what matters to you.

It doesn’t matter if what you feel called to is conventional or not.  Your voiceyour perspective – makes all the difference and there are people waiting for the message only you can bring.

For some inspiration, you may enjoy watching this video “Interview with GOD”

Putting It All Together

In 2005 Steve Jobs gave a commencement speech to the Stanford graduating class entitled “You’ve got to find what you love”.  In it he shared a quote that influenced him greatly, “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.”

As a result every day he asked himself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”  If it wasn’t and he found that was his answer several days in a row, he knew change was needed.

Here are his words of wisdom for you to consider: 

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.

Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.

Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.

And, most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

They somehow already know what you truly want to become.

Everything else is secondary.”

With his passing these words are even more significant.  Steve knew that by tapping into your own inner wisdom you could know the truth of why you’re here and what you are being called to do.

Your greatest opportunity is to remember what you already know.  Today ask yourself Steve’s question and see what changes your soul is calling you to make.

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”

  1. What should I stop doing?

  2. What should I keep doing?

  3. What should I start doing?

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–
Anastasia Montejano, ACC, CPIC, PMP, Founder Conscious Reinvention Movement
She’s multinational leadership consultant, bestselling author & “Reinvention Catalyst”
LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Website

Image Sources:  coolhouseonline.com

On Leadership, Gifts, Dreams, and Purpose

Dream Dancer

Where can your dreams take you in 2012 if you allow yourself to take one inspired step at a time? Are you aligned with work that matters to you?

“One you make a decision, the Universe conspires to make it happen.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

On Gifts and Dreams

You have a unique gift or two to share with the world.  The question we often grapple with is “how to get that gift out of our hearts and into the world”?

Though we’re all capable of making the transformation, we can struggle with having the faith in our ability to do so.

Too often, what stops us from pursuing our dreams is not that it’s too difficult, but that we think it’s too difficult – so we don’t even try.

At the end of the day the question is – are you more committed to your dreams or to your doubt, worries and fears?  The evidence is in the action you are or aren’t taking each day.

You’ve heard that saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!”  The same theory applies with your conscious reinvention.  How do you change your life and do work that matters to you? One inspired step at a time.

You are in charge of your life and stepping up to your great work is an internal job.

Attitudes and beliefs are never neutral.  They are either moving you forward or holding you back – but we often forget we can choose what we are going to believe.  Choose to live your dream and do the work you feel called to BECAUSE IT MATTERS TO YOU.

The $1,000,000 Question

So, here’s the million-dollar question:

With everyone trying to “make it”, how can you be sure that YOU will succeed when you take action to align with work that truly matters to you?

The answer lies in 2 simple steps:

1.    Make sure your gift is an honest expression of what’s in your heart.  

In other words, do the thing that speaks to your passion, not the thing you think might be easiest to sell or will be more easily accepted.  The surest way to step fully into true abundance, meaning and joyful work is to honestly share your gift without hidden agendas …even if it seems unconventional to some.

2.    Never pass up an opportunity to share your gift with the world.  

Lead with a servant’s heart.  Mentor others who aren’t as experienced as you are. Be willing to support colleagues or co-workers even when it may not be popular.  Share high value information freely to support growth and awareness across your team or organization.  Prepare your staff for their next position, etc.   Whatever your leadership role, I think you get the picture.  Rather than keep the gift locked up inside you until “someone pays you what you’re worth”, share your gift in service to those around you, and watch and see how much influence you have – whether it’s in an organization or with your clients.

Reality Check

You may not see evidence in your checkbook that the dream calling out to you is a good idea, it rarely works like that.  What usually occurs is synchronicities will show up in your life to point the way forward.  As you take each step forward, the next step is revealed and the resources you need show up.

If you pay attention to what is showing up in your life and flow with it, you will be amazed at what is possible.

Over the past few weeks I’ve seen this happen in a big way:

  • One day over $6,000 came in from an unexpected source. I certainly wasn’t expecting that money, but what a joy it was to get that news. It came right when I needed those funds to close a project.
  • This past week I just got back from a business trip to New York. That wasn’t in my plans, but a generous person approached me and said they felt impressed to pay my way. When this happened I realized that an opportunity was being opened for me that I needed to take.  So planned or not, I accepted and had a very productive trip AND a fabulous time seeing the city.

This same is possible for you.

No matter who you are or where you’re from, you have within you the power to transform your life.

Anything is Possible

When you say “no more” to holding back from the full expression of who you were created to be – anything and everything is possible. The things you are most passionate about point the way to your purpose.

My mission is to help you to break free from a lifestyle that’s holding you down and then find the courage to embrace one that uplifts you.  Have the courage to pursue your dreams and you will find achievement AND fulfillment through your work.  (Do you have a Mission Statement?)

Don’t spare another day holding back from the dream and work that is calling out to you.  Defy average and be the extraordinary leader you were born to be.  Today is the perfect day to start.  I promise you, your life and leadership will come alive when you align with work that matters to you.

Get Your Purpose

Ready to go deeper?   The Conscious Reinvention in Minutes process is designed to get you into action quickly.

Conscious (mindful, intentional, on purpose) + Reinvention (to bring into use again) = Conscious Reinvention

  1. What do you need to say “no more” to?   What have you been avoiding or ignoring that needs to be addressed so you can do meaningful work that matters to you?
  2. Why? What is the cost?   The more you can get in touch with the pain the more energy it creates for you, and the more motivation you have to get a breakthrough.
  3. Now, what is possible?   Picture your life without that thing in your life. Let the visionary dreamer in you that knows your dream matters speak to you. Imagine your life without the painful thing out of your life. What would you do if you were no longer stopped by that limiting belief?  What would your day look like?
  4. What action step are you going to take in the next 24 hours to show your commitment to the possibility waiting to be explored?

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Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–
Anastasia Montejano, ACC, PMPFounder of Management Leadership Coaching
She uses her unique branded system to transform potential into effective leadership
LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Website

Image Sources:  dancenet.s3.amazonaws.com

The Authentic Leader

Authentic

Authenticity is one of the greatest gifts you can bring as a conscious leader.

By nature I tend to be the person who would rather listen and observe everything around me than be the center of attention.  Work is play for me.  My mind sees so many possibilities, that it’s hard to turn it off.  It’s hard for me NOT to talk about work related topics and I’m not great at small talk.

I’d prefer to use the discussion to create or discover something new.

Busy Minds

Because my mind is constantly thinking of ways to accomplish my goals (like an ongoing chess game) I relish time alone because it allows me to process all that’s going on inside and determine what’s necessary to act on and what can wait.

As a result, others may find me quiet, always talking business or perceived as aloof.  Sigh. Not exactly the way I’d like to describe myself to others.

So here I was at this event with three special people who are all very gifted.

At some point I saw their greatness and started to diminish mine.

I started to question my unique value and contributions.  After I got home I came across this anonymous quote, which helped me see the opportunity I was being given to live more authentically:

“Everything you’re ashamed of, all the parts of yourself that you keep secret, everything you want to change about yourself:  it’s – who – you – are.  It’s your power.  Deny it and you’re nothing; you’ll never be the leader you want to be.  But you could be.  You’ve got to start breaking down those walls and accept your circumstances, strengths and weaknesses.  Just tell the truth and be who you are without apologies or explanations.  Doing this yourself will allow others to do the same.”  ~Anonymous

Clarity & Perspective

This put it all in perspective for me.  As a conscious business leader, my business success depends on being real.  My strengths and idiosyncrasies are mine and mine alone.  If I can be accepting of myself it allows others around me to do the same.  I’ve chosen to embrace who I am at a level I hadn’t imagined before.  I realized all those traits that make me – me – are the very characteristics that make me a highly effective coach.  It feels right.

You will never be successful trying to be someone else.

As a conscious leader or business owner here’s a question that needs to be asked: “Is my leadership style comfortable and does it reflect who I truly am?” What is my passion?

  • What are my strengths?
  • What is my leadership purpose?
  • Who am I being today as a leader?

Those who succeed develop leadership styles that align with their own beliefs and personality and find a role where those talents are used.

To succeed you must know yourself, which takes time.  You’ll have more success the better you know yourself and the more true you are to your authentic self.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu

Leadership can be a work of art, if aligned with your vision, passion and purpose.  You don’t have to stay within the accepted lines or do what everyone thinks you should. Start with who you’re being as a leader, what you’re being called to and where you’re being called.  That is the way your life and leadership can become the masterpiece it’s meant to be.

——————–
Anastasia Montejano, ACC, PMP, Founder of Management Leadership Coaching
She uses her unique branded system to transform potential into effective leadership
LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogWebsite

Image Sources: menkind.co.uk

Leadership Pressure Points

Airport Delays

Have you ever gotten to the point of frustration that you just wanted to explode?

If you lead people, then I think that you can probably relate. This is where you find yourself in a situation of mounting anger and annoyance that it makes you just want to throw in the towel? This is where your buttons have been pushed and you are ready to either burst or to be taken away to a place with rubber walls.

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Painting a Picture

Let me set the scene:

A few months ago I was at the airport, waiting for a flight that had been delayed.  If you travel often, you already know how it is in a US airport on a Sunday at 4p.

If you don’t, it is crowded with people going on vacations and business people flying in or out for the week ahead.

Delayed FlightSo there I was, standing in line based on my seating number, waiting to board the plane.  Then came the news the flight would be delayed. Not exactly what you want to hear when you’re flying from one coast to the other, and you hope to get home sometime before midnight.

As I was waiting to board, a phone call came in that I had to take.

As I finished my call, an older couple in their early 60’s took their place in line beside me – the wife managing to knock over my laptop bag and a folder of papers that was on top of it.

The folder had just been laid then for a minute when the oblivious woman knocked it over. There were many business cards and loose papers in it which were now all over the floor.

I was left to scramble madly to pick up the items by myself in order to board the plane on time.

Then the wife, using a sarcastic tone said to her husband, “Well excuse me!”

She didn’t bother to apologize or acknowledge her mistake.  I was so ticked off that I made sure the couple saw my displeasure – but kept my mouth shut.

While I was fuming at the rudeness of it all, I noticed something I had missed initially – the wife was in obvious physical pain.

Because I was so tired after a 3-day conference, I had no patience at that point. However, seeing the wife in pain made me realize that her pain was talking; not her voice or perceived attitude.  I am guessing, but she probably would have acted differently if she were feeling better.  To be honest, (and this is hard for me to admit,) at that point I was more concerned about me than anyone else around me.   Not one of my proudest moments…

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Recalibrating Your Leadership

Letting Off SteamIt was then that I realized that I had performed poorly under pressure. I blew it because I didn’t manage the unexpected well. I allowed mounting pressure to sidetrack my game plan and let circumstances control me rather that continuing to recalibrate my thoughts, feelings, actions, and behaviors.

When it comes to leading oneself, handing pressure can be difficult to manage. When it comes to leading others, the equation gets multiplied.

This means that people who lead others need to get a firm grip on how they handle themselves under any type of circumstance. Leaders need to mentally prepare for situations that will inevitably arise, including unexpected airport situations. This will help them envision trouble when it comes from a team member.

As a conscious business leader, how do you behave under pressure?

A leader’s actions are closely observed, especially during times of stress or major change.

Good Behavior

Good BehaviorEmotions tend to run high at organizations when pressure comes. And when it comes, you’re probably working hard to manage it in a manner that  insures a good outcome.

And while you are doing this, all eyes are usually on you because your team is looking to you for a model of acceptable behavior.

How you respond has a profound impact on the culture in the organization and the employees’ behavior. You are setting the tone.

Employees will replicate your behavior like a ripple in a pond, following what you do, not what you say. Successful leaders are aware of their stress triggers and consciously adjust their actions to ensure they are acting in ways consistent with their beliefs and core values, and the core values of the organization.

There’s a lot of change going on in most organizations today.  The next time you’re in a stressful situation consider whether the behavior you’re modeling is one you want replicated by others.

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The Ending…

Ironically, after I changed planes on my transcontinental flight, my new seat mate gave me back a bit of the attitude I dished out to the couple.  Karma, baby.

So how are you doing at understanding your pressure points? How much do you role play in your head different scenarios and learn to predetermine outcomes? How well do you set up “pressure-relief” valves so that you can release steam rather than blow your top off? I would love to hear your stories!

——————–
Anastasia Montejano, ACC, PMP, Founder of Management Leadership Coaching
She uses her unique branded system to transform potential into effective leadership
LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogWebsite

Image Sources: info.livelogic.net, fileserver.tinker.com, img4.cookinglight.com, co-teaching.net

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How Do You Transform A Life?

Stepping Stones

How do you transform a life?  You make one empowered step at a time.

During this year I’ve been given ample opportunities to get out of my own way.  As a conscious business leader, my desire is to fulfill the highest calling for my life – to step into my potential more fully and to make a positive impact in the world.

To do that I’ve had to acknowledge that I’ve been sitting in the shadows; playing small.  I’ve been in hiding. I question: “Who am I to consider doing something on a grand scale?  I’m not good enough!”

And yet the whispers from my spirit keep urging me not to settle because there is something I’ve been called to do.

Making New Choices

Once that realization surfaced I had a conscious choice to make – step forward into greater awareness or step back into the shadows.  I chose to step forward, not because I had the answers but because I trusted that what I was feeling was pulling me towards a transformed life.  I have not been disappointed.  This year has been transformational for me and exhilarating.  I’ve had the opportunity to do things that I could have only dreamed of before saying “yes” to my life.

In these times people are shaken. Yet today is a day of unprecedented opportunity.

Each of us come into this life full of gifts and talents we are meant to use for the benefit of others.

Seeking Clarity

Circumstances arise to either nudge you back on your path or prepare you to fulfill your purpose. Right in your midst are opportunities that are disguised as problems.  They have the ability to transform your life and your business.  But do you have the eyes to see it? Look around.  It’s probably right in front of you.

Be a leader of purpose and trust your inner wisdom. You have unlimited potential and wisdom.  Don’t run away from your greatness.  Run toward it; embrace it and step forward. 

There are those who are waiting for what only you can bring forth.

With purpose and focus you can accomplish more in six months than someone can in two years.

Have you ever seen a tombstone?

In the US and many other places, when someone dies, a tombstone or plaque is placed where the person’s name and dates of their birth and death are listed like this:

My Headstone
Your Life Is A Dash

Your life is the dash between the two dates.  Here are a few questions to help make the most of the dash …

  • At the end of your life what would have been important for you to fulfill, to complete – to BE?
  • Are you on purpose with those intentions now?
  • Do you trust that we live in a generous universe, meaning you don’t have to compete against anyone because there is more than enough for everyone?
  • Do you take the opportunity to step back and listen to what is right for you (and consequently align yourself with a path to succeed in a way you never would have dreamed possible)?

Become greater than your doubt.  Don’t wait another day; you still have time. Feed the spark within you that feels called to create, contribute and cause positive change in the world.  The world needs what you have to offer.

Reach for a higher purpose.
Go for something beyond what you thought you could do.
Live with intensity. Let others lead small lives, but not you.

Deal in things that matter – the larger challenges, the larger opportunities.
If you will use, develop and work on your gifts they will make an extraordinary place for you.

Why not you?
Be the leader of your own life.
Lead with vision, passion and purpose.
Because I guarantee you, the world is waiting for what only you can bring.
(Jim Rohn)

——————–
Anastasia Montejano, ACC, PMP, Founder of Management Leadership Coaching
She uses her unique branded system to transform potential into effective leadership
LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Website

Image Sources: beautiful-northumberland.co.uk, tombstonebuilder.com

How to Clear Your Leadership Fog

Leading in the Fog

Imagine this: You are driving down the road of life on Career Highway in your well-oiled professional machine on your way to a better place. When all of the sudden you find yourself trying to navigate your team through treachery and confusion in the midst of the biggest leadership fog you have ever seen.

So what do you do when you find yourself behind the wheel with very little vision and where your road map is useless?

The Undeveloped Stretch of Opportunity

Very early this morning I took my husband to the airport. About halfway there we hit an open stretch of undeveloped land where a heavy fog had set in. At times it was so thick we could barely see beyond a few feet in front of us.

With limited vision we had to slow down and became very sensitive to what was around us. Turning back wasn’t an option and we couldn’t just stop on the road – we had to keep going.

So we slowed down to get our bearings, looked for signposts to tell us me how far we’d come, and kept talking to help navigate the road. Before you knew it we were past the fog and back on track. We got to the airport with time to spare.

In hindsight it was only a small stretch of fog, but at the time we weren’t sure if it would be bad enough for the flight to be grounded. While we were in the fog everything seemed uncertain.

It reminded me of the journey we take daily as leaders.

Getting Through It

We are often called to implement significant changes to support the dynamic business environment and growth of our business. We’ve got our map – the strategic plan – and we’re implementing the tactical changes. Then typically, just when we’re reaching the change midpoint – the undeveloped stretch of opportunity. 

The fog had settled in thickest where it was undeveloped.

This often happens during a change effort, which can leave us questioning the changes we’re making and our leadership.

It’s usually at the midpoint when you and your team realize how much effort has been expended to get to this point and how much there is still left to do. You start to wonder just how bad the “fog” really is. I’d like you to consider what I was reminded of this morning:

  • Slow down to get your bearings. If things are not clear to you, it’s likely the same for your team or joint partners.
  • Look for signposts along the way. Confirm your position. Are you where you wanted to be?
  • What course corrections are needed? Who needs to be part of the decision making process? Now is a great opportunity to verify you are where you expected to be and what may have changed. Especially in long change initiatives, the players can change. Is there anyone that needs to be added as a decision maker?
  • Check-in to help others navigate the opportunity. Get feedback from those that are on this journey with you. Their feedback can make all the difference and encourage you during the last leg.  Then take the time to reach out to your teams with the same encouragement. Your acknowledgment of their effort will reassure them you know how difficult the terrain can be and how far they’ve come.

——————–
Anastasia Montejano,
ACC, PMP, Founder of Management Leadership Coaching

She uses her unique branded system to transform potential into effective leadership
LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Website

Image Sources: assets.pakwheels.com

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