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The one word that struck me the most in the last couple of months was LEADERSHIP.
At every conference I attended this year it appeared sooner or later. This awareness may have to do with myself, where I am at right now in my life and what I feel is important for my ongoing journey. Realizing this coincidence, I took it as a starting point to look deeper into what it means for me and my life. And maybe for you as well.
Normally we deal with leadership from the external perspective “me and other people”. For that angle there are thousands of books available. And it’s not a topic that interested me enough to delve into it. What interests me much more is the individual part of it, the personal perspective of “me as the leader of my life”.
This is the part that helps me and others to step into something greater. Something that calls us to move ahead and to become more of who we really are. Only when we gain that personal leadership we can easily and strongly decide if, when and how we are approaching a leadership role that we either really want or that is offered to us.
By looking at the factors that have helped me to move from “no, not me” into personal leadership and clear decisions for my life, I discovered a few more aspects. In particular, those aspects that have helped me again and again to bravely leave situations behind that no longer served me, stepping into the unknown (and that it was most of the time!) and discover new possibilities, happiness and success on my own terms.
What has helped me to lead myself successfully through the turbulences of time and to deal with changes and adjust to new situations?
I found three factors that form the golden thread through my experiences: mentors – support – retreats. As you can see right away: I never was alone.
Let’s have a look at these three factors – including a question you can ask yourself to strengthen that factor in your personal life.
From the beginning of my career about 40 years ago I had the great fortune to have mentors. They believed in me and my abilities. More than I did at that time. They softly pushed me forward into my greater yet-to-be. They opened doors to a new understanding of myself and my role in life. And at one point some 13 years later they unconsciously pushed me out of employment and into a completely different life as a solo-entrepreneur.
These days I am a mentor myself mostly to women in mid-life who are yearning to change their life perspective and move into a new direction.
Even though I no longer have mentors in my life, I still have people I look up to. They are now role models for what I still want to achieve and even become.
Is there anyone you would like to have as mentor in your life?
Start with a list and then approach those people and let them know what you want from them.
After I left my employment 25 years ago to work on my own, I quickly learned how important it is to find support. People who are on a similar journey and understand where you are and what you are dealing with in self-employment. While living in Seattle / USA I discovered success teams as a way of supporting each other on this path of self-discovery and successful leadership as a business owner.
The people of my various success teams both in the US and later in Germany were there for me through the good and the rough times. With them I could share successes and failures as well as doubts and fears.
Ever since that first experience in Seattle, I am looking for and creating opportunities to give and gain inspiration and motivation. And at times an additional kick in the butt to move us in the direction of our dreams.
After my return to Germany in the summer of 1995, I introduced Success Teams to the people around me. Later I taught others to install support teams of any kind into their business offerings. In the following years the idea has spread widely. The term “Erfolgsteam” (success team) became a synonym for strong support on a peer level. At one point I started integrating my knowhow into other forms of mutual support. Over time support teams and coaching groups in general became a strong column of my business.
Go out and talk with people you would like to group around you for mutual motivation, inspiration and butt-kicking.
Lately I discovered how much I gain from being away from my usual surroundings. Retreats are the best place to go to when I feel a bit overwhelmed with all that calls or pulls on me. They are of such great value in order to live a life of my own wanting. There I find a space to step out of my normal ways of acting into another realm of being. I can discover a new or other me and experiment with unusual ways of acting, thinking and finally being.
Those days off from everything that calls, pulls and at times even screams “do me!” are a great way to gain insights that otherwise slip away too quickly. There I reconnect with what I truly want in life and meet people with whom I share similar values. All of this strengthens my spirit and shows me that I am so much more than my daily to-do-list or a marketing plan.
In 2019 I will be presenting a workshop at International Centers for Spiritual Living's 8th Annual Summer Retreat on "Embracing Change: A Pathway to Growth and Transformation". It takes place from August 23 - 25, 2019 at beautiful Chateau de Bossey / Lake Geneva . Find out more and join us for a wonderfull and transformational experience, similar to what I experienced in August 2018 and shared in this short video.
Find a place where you can reconnect with what is important to you. That can either be close to where you live or a regular event that you attend.
PS: Be inspired to spark!