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6 Key Recommendations To Address Current Business And Social Challenges

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6 Key Recommendations To Address Current Business And Social Challenges

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The following blog is a republish of an article appearing in Forbes written by Maureen Metcalf. It is a companion to the International Leadership Association Interview Series that is beginning this week with Pat Dambe’s interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, titled Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship.

 

For the last five years, I have attended the International Leadership Association (ILA) annual conference and written about what I’ve learned during this experience. The twenty-first conference was held in Ottawa, Canada. The theme was “Leadership: Courage Required.”

I was named a fellow of the ILA in 2019. This article reflects my experience with the presenters and participants at the conference. I share this experience with you because I value the insights I gain, and I believe that we, as leaders, need to come together in our thinking and actions to influence our organizations. To do this, we need to learn from the best models, frameworks and people who are already making a significant impact. We need to cocreate the future we want to leave for generations that follow.

The conference opened with a reception at the Canadian Museum of History. Considering the entire arc of history, we are walking the planet at a time when our actions have a disproportionate impact on the future. Early people impacted us, and what we do will have a larger legacy. The principle among many indigenous peoples that this consideration should extend to the next seven generations reminds us our actions matter in the long term.

  1. We are continually hearing about polarization, the strengthening of the extremes and subsequent weakening of the “middle” or more balanced ideas. I left the conference reenergized because of the research and the actions I saw to reduce polarization and rebalance our companies, communities and countries. This can be done by bringing constituents from for-profits, governments, co-ops, nonprofits, nongovernment agencies and others together to address our biggest challenges. I recommend continually seeking out people with different points of view when you are making difficult decisions and actively working to understand what smart people who perceive the world differently see that you may have overlooked. Below are lessons from people who are solving these problems in their contexts.  A great example of this model playing out is the partnership between a large jewelry company and the government of an African nation, as discussed by a conference panelist. Diamond mining is funding a major investment in the country’s ability to build infrastructure, educate the population and grow 21st century business ventures. This case study illustrates that the theoretical framework is transforming a country in Africa. If it can work at this scale, it can certainly work on a smaller scale in our communities and companies.
  2. Another example of bridging significant societal differences is the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The commission documented the historic abuse of indigenous children in residential schools and offered 94 Calls to Action for all levels of government to take to repair the harm done to indigenous peoples and create space to move forward with reconciliation. Answering these calls requires a great deal of work to build trust and take the best interests of the overall country into consideration along with the interests of individual constituent groups. While most of us aren’t involved in redress for abuses, I recommend we take to heart the spirit of truth, respect and fairness to all people. Different people with different perspectives create stronger solutions to complex problems.
  3. Innovation happens when we are curious about difference, yet research indicates that about half of those surveyed don’t want to follow a leader who was a different gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. The unwillingness to follow a leader of a different political party goes up to about two-thirds. To me, this data is a call to action — we need to see differences as the opportunity to build a more innovative and holistic future. If we discount people or don’t understand their perspectives, we create less robust solutions. We all lose!
  4. Women in leadership are an integral part of business and society. In addition to numerous panels, presentations and workshops led by women, we heard from the first female prime minister of Canada and several successful female leaders and businesswomen, two of whom received lifetime achievement awards.  These women were the first in their organizations and have worked tirelessly for decades to continue to impact their fields. They serve as advocates, role models and people who break stereotypes. They exemplify what is possible when we stay committed to our purpose and work together to ensure we can create a better world. We have read for years now that the inclusion of women is required to deliver innovative and robust solutions to challenges and bottom-line results. We have many female role models to inspire us with their experiences.
  5. Peace starts from within. It is contagious. We can build peaceful organizations when we start small, with how we manage our own feelings, as well as starting big with significant research about what creates peace in our evolving world. The process of being self-aware, managing our emotions and meeting anger with curiosity is key.
  6. Character can be defined and measured. During a time when many of us are disappointed in the leaders and institutions we have trusted, there are robust frameworks and models that offer organizations a way to talk about leadership character, hire for it, test it and develop it. If the saying “What gets measured gets delivered” is true, it is important to have these measurement tools to provide us a path to elevate the conversation about character.

If we want to tackle the issues in front of us and act purposefully so future generations prosper, creative destruction is required. We need to disrupt ourselves, our mindsets, our behaviors, our cultures and our systems if we are to cocreate the future that is possible for all of us. The inspiring news is that we have thought leaders, academics, business leaders, public sector and nonprofit institutions and political leaders aligned with solving issues. Who is serving as a model in your life to move forward?

 

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Maureen Metcalf, CEO of the Innovative Leadership Institute, is a renowned executive advisor, coach, consultant, author and speaker.

Photo by Johan Bos

 

Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future Top 10 Shows of 2019

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To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

 

Thank you to our listeners for making 2019 our best year yet. As we close out the decade and move into 2020, we are very excited for the guests, information and opportunities to come. We’ve had amazing businesspeople, talented authors and visionary executives on the show this year each and every week. We wanted to sum up the year with our 10 most popular shows of 2019. If you missed any of these great shows, click on the link and you will be taken directly to the show.

 

2019 Top Ten Shows List:

  1. Situational Analysis – Increase Presence and Effectiveness with Belinda Gore aired on 01/08/2019

Situational analysis is one of the five key elements of Innovative Leadership. Being effective at situational analysis means you are able to evaluate four key elements of any organizational situation: 1. your personal values and thoughts 2. your behavior 3. the organizational culture 4. the organizational systems and processes. As leaders we are continually responding to changing and competing demands and situations. It is important to have a holistic framework that allows us to evaluate the situation and align each of the key elements. We use situational analysis in a broad range of circumstances ranging from validating key decisions to evaluating opportunities. This tool increases leadership effectiveness and also allows them to act with higher level of authenticity and presence. During the conversation, presence is a major theme. By understanding what is happening and who we are as well as what we value, we are liberated to be who we are authentically.

 

  1. Sustainability: Why Hasn’t It Been Embraced? with Christoph Hinske, Michelle Thatcher and Khoo Hock Aun aired on 06/25/2019

“Business as usual” can no longer be the leader thought pattern in regard to environmental impacts made by businesses. We are at a critical point where sustainability and impacts on the environment by business practices must be considered. What as leaders can we do to make a difference in these highly sensitive decisions? Christoph Hinske, Michelle Thatcher and Khoo Hock Aun discuss the options leaders have to encourage favorable corporate behavior and what leaders can do to make a difference.

 

  1. Difficult Times Can Build Leadership Skills with Aleksandra Scepanovic aired on 10/22/2019

Aleksandra Scepanovic joined the show with her inspiring story. How she first moved to New York City in the early 2000s after starting her career as a journalist covering the Bosnian war, from the war zones of the Balkans. When she came to New York City, she was enamored by the beauty in the architecture in the different neighborhoods, which led her to begin a career in real estate. Aleksandra felt a special connection to the brownstone neighborhoods of Brooklyn, and after spending more time in the borough, she and her partner co-founded Ideal Properties Group there in 2007. Aleksandra shares how the difficulties influenced her leadership skills and what she learned that allowed her to become a better leader.

 

  1. Connect First: Ways to Ignite Success, Meaning and Joy at Work with Melanie Katzman aired on 10/29/2019

In this episode Maureen interviewed Dr. Melanie Katzman, author of the new book, CONNECT FIRST: 52 Simple Ways to Ignite Success, Meaning, and Joy at Work. Melanie gave actionable advice for restoring joy and amplifying success at work through the power of human connection. In her dual roles as a therapist and a consultant to companies on six continents, she found that connecting first as humans—and then as colleagues, coworkers and community members—is the solution to almost any conflict encountered by both her clinical patients and her corporate clients.

 

  1. 6. WE Empower UN Sustainable Development Goals Challenge Winners with Amanda Ellis, Hadeel Anabtawi and Habiba Ali aired on 10/8/2019

There are women leaders making a difference by promoting positive change in their local communities which can have a global impact. “Women hold each other’s hands around the world for innovative positive change, supporting and promoting each other’s work to make the world a better place and co-creating the future we want”. Amanda Ellis, co-chair of the WE Empower United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Challenge, which promotes women business owners globally who are both running successful businesses and supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, joined Maureen along with Hadeel Anabtawi and Habiba Ali, two of the 2018 winners of the challenge. Their inspiring stories show how women leaders can make a difference in the world to promote positive change.

 

  1. The Biography of a Finally Successful Startup with Charles Morgan aired on 8/27/19

For those wrestling with questions about business leadership, avoiding bad decisions, investing in a start-up, and turning a passion into a profitable venture, Charles Morgan shares his story of how he retired and then found himself back in the role of CEO for a struggling data and analytics startup company. His story is textbook entrepreneurialism, at least as ‘textbook’ as an entrepreneurial narrative could ever be. He talked about the intersection of entrepreneurism and data.

 

  1. Influence PEOPLE: Powerful Everyday Opportunities to Persuade with Brian Ahearn aired on 9/3/19

Understanding the principles of influence allows you to leverage human psychology and increase your opportunity to hear that magic word everyone wants to hear when they make a request – Yes! By discussing Brian’s book, Influence PEOPLE: Powerful Everyday Opportunities to Persuade that are Lasting and Ethical, we want to help individuals and organizations take the complex scientific research on the influence process and put it into practical application. The result of this practical application is more success at the office and peace and happiness at home.

 

  1. Lasting Solutions for Distribution Center Labor Shortages with Will O-Brien and Dave DuBose aired on 9/10/19

The labor shortage is not going away, workers are becoming more transient and Amazon is continuing to drive up competition for distribution center (DC) employees. So, most DC operators resort to wage increases and retention bonuses as the quick solution to this really challenging people problem. Will O’Brien and Dave DuBose joined the show to share the better answer, which is a set of more robust solutions that better serve the operators’ longer-term needs and mitigate their dependence on short-lived “quick fix” wage and bonus answers that everyone else is chasing.

 

  1. Business Disruptions: Are You Disrupting or Being Disrupted? with Mark Kvamme on 8/6/2019

Business disruptions are occurring every day for entire business segments. Effective organizations are looking ahead to lead the disruptive efforts to set the new market. If you are not disrupting – you will get disrupted. Mark Kvamme joins Maureen to discuss how he works with organizations to identify opportunities and be the disruptor rather than being disrupted.

 

  1. Why Digital Transformations Fail with Tony Saldanha on 8/20/2019

Digital transformations can be made routinely successful and is more important than ever now that we’re in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The lines between the physical, digital, and biological worlds are becoming more blurred. This however does not eliminate the fact that 70% of digital transformations fail. That failure is not due to technology or innovation itself but in fact comes down to the details. The lack of clear goals and having a disciplined process for achieving them is what leads to failure of digital transformations. Tony Saldanha will joined the show to discuss his new book, Why Digital Transformations Fail.

We look forward to 2020 and all that the future holds for us as a people, as a community and as a world. May peace and joy surround you all during the start what is bound to be a new and wonderous decade.

 

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

 

About the Author

Susan Harper is the Business Manager at Innovative Leadership Institute and sometimes a travel blogger.

Photo by Andrew-Art

 

Using Language to Create a Generative Culture In a Dynamic Business Environment – Huntington and Sophisticated Systems

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Using Language to Create a Generative Culture In a Dynamic Business Environment – Huntington and Sophisticated Systems

To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

This is a companion blog to the interview Words Drive Actions -Changing Culture With Value Based Words with Dwight Smith and Stephen D. Steinour that aired on December 17, 2019.

 

Words can be powerful. For anyone who has spoken a harsh word to a child, a loved one, or even a colleague, we can often feel the impact in our gut when we see their faces look back at us filled with hurt or sadness. We, as busy leaders, employees, and family members, often allow our stress to seep through in our language. “My Special Word,” corporate purpose statements and guiding principles can serve as an aspirational reminder setting the tone for the environment we are committed to creating.

Does this type of statement help? Is it just window dressing that sounds good in our recruiting videos?

I believe having an aspirational statement about who we want to be as individuals and organizations AND creating an environment of accountability to encourage us to act in alignment with our aspirations creates the conditions where we are more likely to act according to our aspirations. This doesn’t mean we hit the mark every day in every action. Aspirational means that is the standard we set, we measure ourselves against it, and we measure our colleagues and organization against it. Another key is we put structures in place to help one another hit that aspirational goal. We discuss our success stories and our challenges. This aspirational culture is created by both giving deep thought to the qualities we care about and creating systems and processes that underpin the culture.

In our leadership development programs at the Innovative Leadership Institute, we take participants through a process where they explore their purpose and values. For many busy leaders, while they are highly principled, they have not taken time to write down their deepest held values and evaluate their behavior against those values. The process can be instructive and an invitation to remember the values they were raised with or aspire to in their quiet moments. One of the challenges is how do we create the conditions to “operationalize” these deeper values in business?

In a conversation with Steve Steinour, Huntington Bank CEO and Dwight Smith, Founder, My Special Word, and CEO/Founder Sophisticated Systems, they explore approaches they have used to be explicit with their values personally and organizationally. This transparency is particularly important during a time when we, as citizens, are continually disappointed by the behaviors we see from those we were raised to trust. This behavior could emanate from our business leaders, civic leaders, and, occasionally, our religious leaders. In my view, we as leaders can’t completely stop the negative behavior, but we can be visible as the positive leaders that fill our communities. There are a few bad apples that get lots of press, and there are thousands or hundreds of thousands of good people who want to be great parents, employees, leaders, and family members. Steve and Dwight are highly visible and successful men in their community who are modeling their values through their words and their actions!

In this blog and the interview series, we have been talking about the trend that successful companies are focused on both profit AND being companies that serve the broader community. Huntington’s Purpose statement and Values model that trend. Huntington’s purpose is “to look out for people,” their Purpose statement is: “We make people’s lives better, help businesses thrive, and strengthen the communities we serve.” Huntington is committed to doing the right thing for its customers, colleagues, shareholders, and communities by seeking to “Do the right thing” with the following three Values…

  • Can-Do Attitude
    “Enthusiastically work and succeed together.”
  • Service Heart
    “Inclusive spirit to put yourself in each other’s shoes—then help.”
  • Forward Thinking
    “Always look ahead for ways to be the very best.”

These values help guide Huntington in all the company does in running an effective and successful enterprise where people are treated well, and where they treat their clients and communities well. Treating people well includes civility, which means looking out for people. One way Huntington looks out for colleagues it through its business resource groups. These groups come together with common interest to share their views, which then help guide and inform others around the company. These groups drive actions in the company such as the military Business Resource Group driving benefit change for Military employees and clients. To me, a major point is Huntington sets an aspirational vision and behaviors, then it acts and measures how effectively they meet that aspiration.

Dwight talks about kindness, respect, and the ability to listen to others. These words become the foundation of a culture where values show up on how people talk and interact with others. People’s diverse values are respected. People are encouraged to share their values and aspirations – creating a safe place to succeed and also a safe place to experiment and learn and make mistakes.

Moving culture from unconscious action to deliberate choice is a complicated process and unique to every organization. Here are a few steps to consider as you look at your own culture and words to see if you are saying and acting the way that aligns with your aspirations.

  • Define/refine/revisit your purpose
  • Clarify the words that most resonate with and enable your purpose
  • Identify the processes and people (like business resource groups) that turn aspiration into action
  • Measure and refine

In an environment that is changing quickly, leaders must create positive cultures that reinforce the aspirations we have as people and as organizations. This positive culture includes qualities such as respect, civility, and supporting others in accomplishing their goals and dreams.

What are your organization’s aspirational words?

 

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

This online course contains the companion tools and assessments for people getting to develop become Innovative Leaders. The course is based on a proven six-step process in an interactive format that includes audio interviews with top leaders and thought leaders, videos, worksheets, articles, and reflection questions designed to support you in enhancing your practical effectiveness as an Innovative Leader.

It contains links to the online measurement platform and leadership assessments you and your coach will use.

Follow the process, and you will become more effective as a leader!

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Maureen Metcalf – Founder, CEO, and Board Chair of the Innovative Leadership Institute  is a highly sought-after expert in anticipating and leveraging future business trends to transform organizations.

Photo by Skitterphoto

The WE Empower United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Challenge

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The WE Empower United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Challenge

To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

This blog is a follow-up of the interview WE Empower UN Sustainable Development Goals Challenge Winners with Amanda Ellis, Hadeel Anabtawi and Habiba Ali that aired on October 8, 2019.

Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future was honored to interview Amanda Ellis, a co-chair of the WE Empower United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Challenge. Amanda shared the vision of the challenge, which is to recognize women business owners throughout the world who are contributing to their communities by running successful businesses and advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. With her were Hadeel Anabtawi and Habiba Ali, who were 2018 Challenge Winners. Their stories of challenges and triumphs are shared in the episode that aired October 8, 2019.

 

What is the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge?

It is a global business challenge for women entrepreneurs based on the United Nations 17 SDGs meant to recognize and honor those women who are inspiring those around them to promote positive change in the world.

The history of the sustainable goals and the list of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be found here. Goal 5 of these is Gender Equality and empowerment of women and girls and is the focus of this challenge.

 

What are the objectives of the Challenge?

There are three objectives of this challenge, to seek women leaders through the world and to:

  1. honor their achievements
  2. invest in their ability to create positive change
  3. ignite and excite others

 

How many finalists and awardees are there?

The challenge has 5 regions:

  1. Africa
  2. Asia-Pacific
  3. Eastern Europe
  4. Latin America and the Caribbean
  5. Western Europe & Other

Every year, in each of these regions 5 finalists are selected for a total of 25 finalists. From there, one awardee is selected from the 5 finalists in each region.

 

What’s new?

Since the recording of the show, the 2019 Challenge Winners have been announced and we wanted to briefly share about the next class of women changing our world.

 

2019 Challenge Winners by region:

 

Africa:

From the region of Africa, the awardee was Christelle Kwizera from Rwanda. Kwizera founded Water Access Rwanda, a company that works to provide safe water access to rural and semi-urban communities.

 

Asia-Pacific:

The awardee in the Asia-Pacific region was Lina Khalifeh from the country of Jordan. Khalifeh founded SheFighter, a self-defense studio for Middle Eastern women. SheFighter has grown globally to provide training and seminars on self-defense for women.

 

Eastern Europe:

In the Eastern Europe region, innovation is key to the awardee, Zoya Lytvyn from Ukraine. Lytvyn co-founded a K12 school that implements innovative education ideas, including a free online teaching program and trainings to make a quality education accessible to all in Ukraine.

 

Latin America and the Caribbean:

In Guatemala, Karla Ruiz Cofiño founded a Digital Awareness program, which is used for conferences and workshops to provide people with digital skills and knowledge and how to use it for positive influence.

 

Western Europe and Other:

Co-founding the organization 412 Food Rescue in the United States, Leah Lizarondo was recognized as the Western Europe and Other awardee. Her organization seeks to bridge the gap between possible food waste and those in need of food. Food Rescue Hero, a mobile food app, helps direct volunteers to transport extra food to nonprofits in need.

 

These women exemplify leaders who are seeking to be an innovative leader and change the world! Congratulations to all the finalists and the awardees!

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Susan Harper is the Business Manager at Innovative Leadership Institute and sometimes a travel blogger.

Photo by Christina Morillo

Trending: Thought Leadership Matters

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Cheryl Esposito welcomes Denise Brosseau, author of Ready to Be a Thought Leader?  She is CEO of Thought Leadership Lab, and co-founder of Springboard, the startup launch pad that has facilitated over $6 billion in funding for women entrepreneurs.

Her clients include leaders from Apple, Genentech, and Morgan Stanley, as well as startup CEOs, partners in professional service firms, and nonprofit executives. Fifteen years ago Denise realized she was a thought leader when the media kept calling…and they still do.

Influence, Success, Impact, and Legacy. Thought leaders have it all. Have you ever wondered how they became the go-to person in their field? Denise Brosseau says it’s not about creating flashy PR campaigns. Thought leadership is not about being known, it is about being known for making a difference.

What do you want to be known for? Are you Ready to Be A Thought Leader? Join Cheryl Esposito and Denise Brosseau to begin the journey!

Tune in to Leading Conversations Friday 10/23 at 10am PST

Breaking the Cycle

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Breaking the Cycle

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Abuse impacts all of us. Mostly we know about physical and sexual abuse. Although emotional abuse has reached epidemic proportions, most of us have no idea what it is or how to Abuse impacts all of us. Mostly we know about physical and sexual abuse. Although emotional abuse has reached epidemic proportions, most of us have no idea what it is or how to identify it. It’s what I call the Silent Killer. All of the various forms of abuse destroy a person’s self-esteem and health. We all know someone who is in an abusive relationship and that person may even be you. Learn what it is and what you can do to prevent it and to heal from it.

Ways to Clear Fear

Begin by using the following 3 techniques to help clear yourself and the earth of fear and other painful emotions, like anger and sadness. Please do them with me. The first one is an affirmation. “I am love as I am loved; you are love as you are loved; all is love as all is loved.” The second one is a visualization. If you have trouble visualizing, then just think the words in your mind: close your eyes and think or see a beautiful pink heart full of love shining pink light down on you. See and feel the pink light going through your body, down to your feet and into the ground where the pink light is filling and healing all of the fault lines in the earth, the oceans and the atmosphere. The last technique is a chant: om a ha a om am am. Know that as you do these three techniques, you are helping to fill yourself and the earth with pink healing love energy which is balancing all energies and helping to create calm and peace within yourself and the earth.

People who have been abused collect more than the normal number of fears and their response to fear is more intense and pervasive. Many develop strategies to manage their fears and/or to avoid feeling. These strategies can look like mental illness or disorders, but they are really coping devices. I’ve noticed that as my clients remove abuse and abusers from their life, the symptoms diminish until they disappear. These coping mechanisms often develop as a means of avoiding feeling or avoiding facing the reality of their situation. They can include hypochondria, OCD behaviors, paranoia and depression to name a few. I find that my clients don’t need medication. They just need help in understanding what is happening in their lives and then in changing it.

Feeling is Essential

Often a client is concerned that they will be overwhelmed with emotion to the point of not being able to handle it. When we have bottled up our emotions for long periods of time, it is difficult to begin to allow ourselves to feel without getting overtaken with sadness, anger or grief. As Mark Twain said, “The only way around it, is through it.” The pain is eating away below the surface at our physical and mental health. It is hurting us and will continue to do so until we let it surface so we can feel it and let it go. The pain and damage is prolonged when we don’t let it go. The key is to stop hanging on to the harmful emotions. Using color and tone can provide a gentler way of releasing the fear, anger and pain.

The fact is that if we don’t allow ourselves to feel the pain, anger and sadness, it’s going to come out in inappropriate ways. Often the person will have reached their limit and suddenly they explode in anger. Most often the anger is not directed at the person they’re really angry with but rather at someone in the service industry or a child or an employee. We feel frustrated and justified, but really we’re targeting someone who can’t fight back. It’s healthier and wiser to face our feelings and cry when we feel sad or turn our anger into righteous indignation and take action to change our life, the life of others and the world.

Refill with Peace and Love

And as we empty the sadness, anger and pain, are we refilling with gratitude and happiness and peace? I’ve noticed lately that people are often surprised when I thank them for providing help or exceptional service. Even if you’re paying someone or it’s their job to provide a particular service, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t say thank you. Showing gratitude and appreciation for service gives people more personal gratification than money. As long as we have enough money to pay for food, shelter and clothing, our emotional satisfaction comes from our personal relationships. Saying thank you provides a good feeling for everyone involved.

Silver Linings

Yesterday, I was making a deposit at an ATM machine when it malfunctioned, kept my checks and provided no receipt or record of the transaction. The bank was closed so no help was available. This was so important that I didn’t want to wait until the morning to take care of it. Since I have a credit card through the bank, I decided to call the credit card phone number and try to get help through them. I was directed to the wrong number and then disconnected twice and, of course, was on hold for long periods of time. Thirty minutes later, when I got someone for the third time, I began by saying how frustrated I was and that I needed her to get me to someone who could help me. And unlike the previous two people, she actually did find the correct phone number for me. When I got through to that person, she was extremely helpful, sincerely concerned about the malfunctioning machine and my troubling experience. With the check numbers that I provided and detailed information about the deposit, she credited my account and assured me that the machine would be fixed. I felt taken care of and grateful and we ended with kind words to each other.

There were many silver linings for me in this experience. Most importantly, I didn’t get angry with anyone. I kept myself calm by reassuring myself that the bank had to have a way of correcting the problem and by saying a prayer asking for help in getting the matter resolved. I took appropriate action in a pretty calm manner, stated my frustration instead of being angry at someone who did not cause the problem. This allowed her to stay calm and find the right phone number for me. When I did get through to the person who could solve the problem, I realized how much I’ve grown in my ability to handle my financial record keeping. I had check numbers, names and amounts, which made the process go smoothly. I was proud of my own growth and healing and truly grateful for the competent people who helped me. This experience would have been fraught with stress, anger and unpleasant interactions a number of months ago. Having allowed myself to let go of the fears, anger and sadness from the past allowed me to be fully present in the moment. The people helping me were just that, people. They weren’t objects standing between me and what I wanted.

Break the Cycle

The concept of empathy has been a recurring theme in our programs. Without it, people are not able to experience the full range of feelings and don’t care if they cause harm to others. An abuser wouldn’t care if he yelled at or was rude to the service people. All that would matter would be venting anger and getting what he needed. Because I do have empathy, had I been rude to the service people, I would have added guilt, shame and more pain to my already overloaded emotions. Breaking the cycle and releasing myself of the past pain has changed my life. If I can do it, so can you.identify it. It’s what I call the Silent Killer. All of the various forms of abuse destroy a person’s self-esteem and health. We all know someone who is in an abusive relationship and that person may even be you. Learn what it is and what you can do to prevent it and to heal from it.

 

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Creating a Culture of Integrity By Marcia Zidle

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Creating a Culture of Integrity By Marcia Zidle

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Recently I asked a leader on The Business Edge what are some of the lessons learned from your years of experience. He answered this:

The Lesson:
You need a high level of personal integrity. As you move higher up in the organization, your actions gain more meaning and impact, so you need to be true to your core, which is shaped by your values, upbringing and business experiences. You’ve got to stick to that core and when you don’t, you can get negative or undesirable outcomes.

My whole philosophy centers on the impact I have on others. I believe it’s important to be honest and to establish trust between management and employees. People follow leaders and if you violate their trust, people won’t follow you anymore.

 How I Learned It:
I once asked a respected leader what advice he’d give to young executives. He said, “Always do what’s right for the company first, what’s right for the work group second and what’s right for you third.” If you practice this, people will never challenge your motives. It all comes back to staying true to your core and having a high level of personal credibility.

How I Pass It On:
Role models need to walk the talk. Many of our jobs have stressful moments where you have to make decisions and sometimes the right decision is more challenging. People are expecting you to do the right thing; you absolutely have to, even if it’s difficult.

Leaders must be accountable and take responsibility for their actions. There might be cases where I am at fault, and at these times more than ever, I have to be transparent and truthful. This neutralizes the situation so that we can focus on finding solutions to the problem.

Smart Moves Tip:
Actions of the leadership will have more effect on how employees behave than any vision statement or corporate policy which tells them how they are ‘supposed’ to behave. Chances are they already know how they are ‘supposed’ to behave. Create a culture of integrity by way of your own actions will have more effect on your people to behave in the way you want them to.

Marcia Zidle, the smart moves executive coach and speaker, is host of The Business Edge  on the Voice America Business Network. The show features the Smart Growth System providing small to medium sized businesses the proper foundation for expansion: a Growth Agenda that becomes their roadmap, a Growth Engine that attracts and engages the best talent and Growth Leaders that make it happen. Marcia, the CEO of Leaders At All Levels, brings street smarts to help businesses get on the right track and not get sidetracked on their path to higher performance and profitability.


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