“If serving is below you; leadership is beyond you” – Micheal Hyatt
I find this quote to be hitting right to my core. As someone who is passionate about working with leaders especially women; I find myself pondering the question….how do I continually serve in my space?
Serving is a spiritual act; it’s a higher level of being; it’s a calling and requires the most of you. It requires all of you and it requires a level of dedication that might sometimes feel unfair and dare I say draining.
“Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy in which the goal is to serve. The leader shares power; puts the employees first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible” – Robert K Greenleaf.
There are a few questions that we need to ask ourselves as a leader in service…
Do those served grow as people?
In other words be in touch with the needs and aspirations of those you serve so that you can meaningful contribute to their growth and success in a way that authentically serves them.
Do you help them to become autonomous?
When you are serving you are like a vessel and a channel for greatness. Your job is to spark and nurture the greatness that exists in others by helping them to find their essence and bloom so that they light up the world and in turn serve humanity.
Do you have a serving mindset?
“Mindset is a set of beliefs that shape how you make sense of the world and yourself. It influences how you think; feel and behave in any given situation”- Kendra Chery.
We need to be intentional in our efforts to serve?… We also need to be clear on what success looks like for ourselves.
I am hosting a Mastermind Group for Women in the Public Service. The aim is to; amongst others; navigate these difficult questions and help each participant to find their own style of serving amidst the pressures and difficulties they face today. The group will bring together women who are seeking serving the public to explore the questions as they come into their own and find their essence.
If you are interested and want to be part of this exciting journey please don’t hesitate to drop us an email at email@example.com
The time to serve is now. It is our calling and it is our heritage.
On the 30th of August I had the privilege and honour to host a “Women Leading Conservation” Webinar. It is women’s month and it has become customary to hold these events as a contribution to the broader struggle for women’s emancipation.
I have hosted a number of these before; however this one shook me to the core. Yes I was excited to be in the company of amazing women but there was something extraordinary about this event. Upon reflection I think it was the content of the inputs given by the speakers of the day; especially Ms Saray Khumalo.
When Saray summited Mount Everest I wrote a blog in her honour. I had never met her but somehow her success moved me and I celebrated it as if it was mine. I finally got to host her and listen to her journey as she narrated what it took to get to the top of the world. She narrates the story in the most powerful; riveting and artful form that makes the listener feel that she was there too. She takes you through the ebbs and the flows whilst delivering the most precious leadership gems. I once read that there are 7 gemstones and it is befitting that I extract 7 of these from her address. Please note that these have been paraphrased and simplified into my own words based on how I made sense of what was being said.
Clarity on your why – it is very important to be clear on why you do what you do; write it down somewhere or carry it with you as you will need the reference to motivate you when the chips are down.
Have big; audacious goals – if you goals don’t scare you then they are not worth pursuing….go big or go home!!!
Run your own race – yes you need to surround yourself with support and get resources from others but remember you cannot compare yourself to others and oftentimes you don’t know what drives someone else…so stay in your lane.
When you fall; reflect and rise again – this is otherwise known as resilience and it requires you to trust the process and don’t give up on your goals;
Believe in yourself…. put in the required effort and trust that you too can make it. It’s fine life happens and you need to trust yourself especially when self-doubt creeps as it often does;
Enlist support…enrol the services of those who know or who can lend support to you; carry you and help to navigate the unknown territory. Trust that others can be a useful support structure to you… these include coaches; mentors; sponsors etc.
Take steps towards your Summit….this all requires that you take action towards your goals; embrace the obstacles on the way; celebrate the significant milestones on the way. Do this knowing that the ultimate goal is to summit.
At the end of her address I was left speechless to say the least and at best I was rejuvenated and inspired to wake up and follow my dreams. I had not blogged for a while and I had many plausible reasons (read excuses) on why I should not blog and thanks to Saray and all the other sisters who spoke at the event that I have found my groove and I can once again waltz towards my own summit.
“The only difference between where you are and where you want to be is the steps you haven’t taken” – Rigel Dawson
I came across this quote and it gave me the chills, because it cuts through the chase and helped me face my demons. I don’t know about you; but I have big dreams and ambitions about many aspects of my life especially the future I want to create. Somehow I often find ways to trip myself and not take the next steps necessary.
I have come to the realization that fear is at the heart of inaction and this coupled with self doubt and lack of self belief is quite debilitating and I think that if one has to take the next chapter it is necessary to stop and ask the fundamental questions.
Ask yourself the following questions – What am I fearing? Am a fearing failure; am I fearing success or what exactly is the shape and form of that fear? What is its genesis and what support do I need to let it go or at least manage it. Remember fear is “False Evidence Appearing Real”
Self belief and doubt
I have known for a very long time that I am the author of the next chapter of my life but I somehow doubt my ability to execute and birth my wildest dreams. If you are a fellow traveller ask yourself the following questions:
⁃ What is the belief?
⁃ Where/what is the genesis of this belief?
⁃ How is it serving me at the moment?
⁃ What could I believe instead?
I am a firm believer that miracles happen when we believe however that starts with putting out an intention and tapping into your inner wisdom; call on your support network to assist you to take that first step. It does not have to be big steps but they need to be taken, as clarity often happens in action. In other words take a leap of faith and do it.
Finally call on your higher power and surrender the outcome and know that you have an amazing ability to marshal all of the support you need and more importantly you have what it takes to shape the direction of your life.
We are all in unfamiliar territory. Living with the pandemic has made us unsure of what we can do or who we can be. I don’t even want to mention the pain; loss and anxiety that we have to contend with.
Some people find ways to numb it all and the more we try and do that the more we exacerbate the feeling of helplessness and despair. Will it ever end? When can we go back to our normal lives? When are they going to roll out the vaccine? When can we be back on the aeroplane and travel to our favourite destinations….when; when and why?
I don’t think anyone has all the answers but there are certain things that I have come to accept as just the way it is. This might sound a little reckless but is it? If I were to say embrace what is and just learn “to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change those things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference”
Easier said than done hey? Maybe…. let’s face it….what can we do? There are responsible actions that we can take I.e wash our hands; practice physical distancing and wear a mask”. These are necessary and must be done by all.
Over and above these let me offer a few things that you do/be:
Embrace the power of Now…. when we live in the now we are much more in touch with our feelings and are better able to exercise self compassion and self love.
Sit with the pain and discomfort- it is easier to pretend that this is not happening and wish that it could just all go away. Sometimes aircrafts have to fly through the storm in order to reach their destination. This is the time that our faith is tested to the limit and we start to question the fundamentals of our own being.
Choose to tune in and hear what your body is saying….the quicker you do that the sooner you can address the underlying cause and messages of an imbalance. Remember your physiology is also linked to your psychology.
Dig deep and access that part of us that is resilient – resilience is like a muscle; there more you exercise it the stronger it becomes.
We cannot do all of these things if we don’t give ourselves permission to embrace what is and know that “joy comes in the morning.
P.S I missed writing these blogs and now I am back; do expect them every 2 weeks.
Everywhere I go and everyone I meet have expressed a common desire…”can 2020 come to an end please”. I buy into this and I get it because this year has been difficult and taxing on many levels. People have had so many misfortunes this year; they have lost their loved ones and in some cases their jobs.
I have also noticed how everyone; notwithstanding the way things were in 2020; are still doing a lot to get to tick a few boxes before 2020 ends. Everyone whilst saying one thing; isn’t it amazing that we also seem to be acting differently? We are winding down 2020 and yet we are gearing up to start 2021 with a bang. Incredible stuff!!!!!
I guess athletes understand this apparent contradiction as often times many athletes often accelerate towards the end. I sometimes wonder why is that the case. I am not an athlete but I guess how you finish a race matters. The start is good to set the pace; in the middle of the race we probably run outof steam and keep at it when the temptation to quit is so compelling and if we do that suddenly towards the end we suddenly get a second wave of energy and race to the finish line as if our life depended on it.
For me a few things need to be in place to run a good race:
Clarity….this is “understanding your why” and knowing why you joined the race in the first place. Beingclear on why the run or why you do what you do helps to propel you forward when you are faced with a possible defeat and therefore a possibility to throw in the towel.
Resilience….. This is the ability to continue and just put one foot in front of the other. This is the stuff that distinguishes champions and successful people from the average because they possess the grit; resolve and attitude to rise again and keep pushing notwithstanding the odds. They possess a “Can do attitude”
Preparation and planning….this includes the time spent in training for the race; practicing your drills and getting ready for the big day. Have you ever listened to athletes victory speech? ….They always refer to the hard work they put in before the race; the time they put beforehand. Mental and physical preparation is the key ingredient to success….because on the day of the race a few factors count however if you know that you have run the distance a number of times and consistently finished it within your set time….then you know you can do it on the day.
Support….again all athletes on the podium always thank the coach; the support team and their families for supporting them through the journey and helping them overcome the personal obstacles that they faced in the lead up to the race. Let’s be realistic this is life and stuff happens. I hold the view that everyone needs a support team that encourages them when they have lost self belief; hold them accountable to their goals and join them in celebrating their victory as if it’s their own.
At the upcoming Visioning Workshops I explore these concepts and bring my tools and experience of over 10 years to help set the foundation for a successful 2021 and beyond. These are online workshops that I am hosting on the 5th and 12th December 2020. If you are interested contact us at 012 998 7337 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ascendency of women to the highest office is not a regular occurrence. What we saw in the last few days is a rare occurrence and we need pause for a moment and allow it to sink in. The struggle for women’s emancipation is a long one and has many twists and turns.
We have made some gains in a few countries and women have done a sterling job on many fronts. There is still much more to be done and in Kamala Harris’s words…”I may be the first but I certainly am not the last.” These words encourage us to do more and ensure that the door is left wide open for many deserving sisters to ascend to positions of authority and embrace others as they occupy these positions. The notion of ‘Lift as you rise” is important now more than ever.
Women continue to show their mettle and play their part in moving society forward. Jacinda Ardern (New Zealand) showed the world that as Prime Minister she could lead the charge in fighting the CoVid-19 pandemic and let’s face it she did a sterling job whilst leading from the front. We also need to acknowledge the role of women leaders in the African continent like Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Sahle-Work Zewde who continue to pioneer change in often difficult circumstances.
These women’s journey’s are incredible and all started with a young girl’s dream. To have a dream is important; staying the course for its attainment requires grit and resilience. In addition you need to be clear on what you want and more importantly what will you do to realise it. It requires putting one foot in front of the other whilst being clear of your destination.
How does one obtain clarity? How do you stay the course? I have decided to host the Visioning Workshops online on the 5th and the 12th of December( choose one). At these workshops I share my over than 10 years executive experience and apply a 5 step Visioning process. Book yourself a front row seat so that you journey with others and use Pamthecoach’s experience to shake off 2020 ; reenergize; restore and recalibrate towards a more productive 2021.
Yes I said it…a productive 2021 as it can be it can be gloomy if you have no plan. I am a strong believer that we live in a world that darkness does not last forever and that there has to be light. I believe there is a day and a night and troubles don’t last forever. The question arises are you ready? Do you know how to set the reset button? More importantly do you know how you are going to shake off this year and begin the New Year with clarity? Remember there is clarity in action and you do not want to be caught unaware or napping.
“Create the highest; grandest vision possible for your life; because you become what you believe” – Oprah
The one thing everyone shares at dinner tables ( within the restrictions of an pandemic) is an emphatic chorus “2020 must come to an end now”. It’s been a hard year as the world has been ravaged by a deadly virus. The pandemic has affected economies; work productivity; relationships; fitness and health levels and sadly many have lost their loved ones.
2020 has forced many of us to come out of our shell; pivot our businesses; host virtual parties; worship virtually; read online Sunday papers etc. It has forced us to dig deep; appreciate life and friendships; rediscover ourselves and find creative ways of being.
I want to pause on two words i.e pivot and creative. The dictionary meaning of “pivot” is – “the central point; pin; or shaft on which a mechanism turns or oscillates” Whilst “creative” means – “relating to or involving the use of imagination or original ideas to create something”
In essence these two words are about finding new ways of being and going beyond our comfort zones. For many of us this is hard as we are used to justify standing still and not moving forward. It is often easy to play the blame and/or victim game. Let’s face it who does not need to host a ‘pity party?’ After all things have happened to us and therefore, we are justified to feel a little fragile.
I would like to put out a challenge to my readers as we approach the final stretch of 2020… Can we not use this time to find our essence? Change our mojo and use our imagination to propel us forward. We need to use what is left of 2020 to unlock ourselves and make sure that we become a better version of ourselves.
I am happy to work with you in an exciting set of Visioning workshops to be held virtually on the 5th of December and the 12 of December. These are half day virtual workshops that I will be hosting to help my clients to release 2020 whilst setting up a new plan for 2021. If interested please contact email@example.com and book your slot.
I must say, in designing the workshops I have had to give everything I have whilst being generous and kind. I have had to twist my Financial Manager’s arm to offer these workshops at 2015 prices whilst enriching the offering itself.
A combination of three keys on a PC keyboard, usually labeled Ctrl-Alt-Del, held down simultaneously in order to close an application that is not responding; rebooting the computer; log in etc” – (Dictionary.com).
2020 was one of those years that anything that could go wrong, DID go wrong. I don’t know how many people I have spoken to who want it to end because of too many plans were not realized and many dreams shattered. To be frank; it was a pretty dumb year and most people can’t wait to see the back of it.
Wanting 2020 to end is one thing; knowing how to move forward and restart is another. The question arises – ”how many of us know what to do and how to press the reset button and start all over again?” I am a firm believer in the human ability to bounce back. I believe that we all have an intrinsic ability to not only start afresh but comeback much stronger than we were before the computer froze. My humble submission is that there is no better time to reboot and reclaim our brilliance. You might ask how? Let me share 3 ideas for now.
Just do it
I am not talking about the Nike tag line here; although there might merit in exploring that. I am talking about you putting on your dancing shoes and hitting the dance floor. Of course you might miss the beat; but who is watching? Release yourself from the perfectionistic tendencies and embrace the imperfection and before you know you would have danced to the whole song.
2. Clarity is in the action
”I am not sure how and where to start”… ”I don’t have all my ducks in a row”… ”What if?”… ”What could happen?”… ”what should?”… etc. Sound familiar? Well, sometimes you have to perfect the car when it is already on the road. You have to give yourself permission to go ahead and recalibrate whilst on the highway. I am often fascinated by the GPS when we have missed the turn and you hear a message that says “recalculating”. If you have a little patience then the GPS finds the road again and soon we are back on our journey.
3. Get help
Sometimes we just need someone to say….”hang in there, it will be alright”. Sometimes we need a physiotherapist to show us how to walk again and remind our muscles and joints that we were once able to walk. We can get different kinds of help. A professional e.g… a coach: who can help with tools and tips to unlock your best self. You can read other people’s stories, especially those who have overcome adversaries to help you rise again. You can solicit the advice of a friend. There is a myriad of opportunities for you to explore and all you need is to accept that asking for help is a sign of strength.
Let me leave at that for now and please keep in touch by following me on social media; visit our website http://www.zenandeleadership.com to find out more what’s on offer… If you sign up for our newsletter you will certainly get more of these small nuggets to help you to press the reset button.
My last blog was about welcoming Spring and I urged you to find ways to spring into action.
How did that go? Did you find that useful?
The good thing for me with the blogs is that I get to do the work as well. What really got me going was the reference to “a way of being that accepts our true essence”
Since the 1st of September I have been grappling with this question – What is my true essence” How do I take back by personal power such that I am fine with who I am? How do I acknowledge my personal growth and distinguish between intentional living and accepting fate?
I do not know about you but for me these are hard questions that often times I avoid and continue to live a life that is not congruent with who I am?
I am bringing this topic for discussion just to share my thoughts and my own internal debates and it would be real nice if you were to leave me some comments on your perspective or views.
To be able to answer these sometimes difficult questions it helps to Tap in the power Within” It is my firm belief that when you have tapped into your power you are better able to make the impact you want and not permanently feel in a state of despair.
A few tips on how do to this:
Find time to be with self – this means no distractions and really use the time to be with self and engage in serious conversations. Be comfortable with your own company as in many cases we are in the company of others and social beings we seek to please others as a way of seeking belonging;
Sit with your own discomfort – as we go through life people and certain environments trigger us and it is important that you work out “Why am I feeling this way? What is it that was being said that is making me feel this way?
Embrace Change – change is the only constant and every day if we are open to learning and discovery, we should be finding situations that challenge our perspective in life and the paradigms that have served us to date;
Be prepared to Act – some of us suffer from analysis-paralysis and never find actually do something about anything. I am firm believer that sometimes we learn to swim by being plunged into the deep end and also clarity is sometimes attained in action. So start and do something. With time you can correct or put differently take a calculate risk but do take the risk.
As I conclude I would like you invite you to join me as I explore these and many other issues in two current programs. The first one is a 7 – day free Spring Awakening Series which is currently running. The second one is a paid programme where we go much deeper into these issues and more. Interested? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Today is the 1st of September yippee! … It is the beginning of spring. This is normally the day we put on our bright colored clothing and go out to have fun as we welcome the day and the season. In the township where I grew up, this would be the day when we take hosepipes to spray each other with water and celebrate the new season.
Given how difficult 2020 has been, this day is super special and we all need to make the best of it. I know what I am saying might be a little reckless because we are still under lockdown and are still dealing with a pandemic.
What if we can usher in the new season in a different way i.e awakenourinnergoddess and find new ways of being? Our inner Goddess is about our femininity or that nurturing and caring side of us that we are born with and yet we are not in touch with because we are trying to prove our worth. We spend our lives trying to look the part and fit the script because we think that is what it takes.
What if there is another way of being? A way of being that accepts our true essence and starts to value what we bring to the table. Sheryl Sandberg asks the question of us…”What would you do if you were not afraid”. I take this question further and ask “what would happen if you showed up as you?”
We have gone through difficulty in 2020; some people lost their loved ones and others their jobs etc. We are not out of the woods yet, however we can bring some positive energy to our lives. We can sit and host the biggest pity parties or we can choose the high road. This means recognizing that being feminine is not being weak but being courageous whilst caring. It means not allowing dis-empowering behaviors to define us but adopt those behaviors that are in sync with our highest values and contribute to our divine and feminine excellence.
Bringing positive energy means different things to different people. For me it is about finding ways to rekindle my passion; connect with self and chart a new path in a way that primarily serves me. It further means making choices that serve me; not because I am an island or selfish but recognizing that I matter and I deserve better.
I know there are many sisters out there who have written 2020 off and are now living in hope that 2021 will be better. Well; 2021 might be a better year for all we know; however I am not leaving things to chance. I am taking today as the day that marks my reawakening… My life mission and dreams beckon. Today is the day I draw the line in the sand, celebrate and invest in me.
As I embark on this journey I feel generous and would like invite some sisterstojoinmeona7 Day SpringAwakeningSeries. Beginning on the 14th of September 2020… I invite you to join me for an hour of each day between 6:30 and 7:30 pm where I share my best tools and tips of awakening your inner goddess. This means setting aside just one hour of your day in service of YOU. If you need further details please follow our page of Face Book “Zenande Leadership Consulting” or send an email at email@example.com and you will be sent information on how to register.