How You Can Become a Peak-Performing Person and Leader: Tackling Taboo Realities Like Sexual Violence and Tobacco Use Head-On by Hemda Mizrahi
Leadership and social change experts Peter Prichard and Sarah Beaulieu joined me on âTurn the Pageâ to discuss two taboo topics—tobacco use and sexual violence. In sharing compelling personal stories that galvanized their social change missions, Peter and Sarah demonstrate how truth-telling can empower you to become a peak-performing person and leader who chooses to make a difference
Sarah and Peter extended their information sharing after the show to provide you with additional support and encouragement.
SEXUAL VIOLENCE IS NOT JUST A WOMENâS ISSUE.
Sarah notes, âOne challenge with sexual violence is that many people view it as a âwomenâs issue.â Sexual violence directly impacts about one out of four women AND one out of six men in the United States. You can learn more about the facts surrounding men and sexual violence at: http://theenlivenproject.com/convo-graphic-the-truth-about-men-and-sexual-violence/
OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOU TO CONTRIBUTE TO SOLUTIONS
Sarah is working on a book to help men support survivors of sexual violence in their lives and become stronger champions for sexual violence. If youâd like to contribute your perspective to this book, please complete her menâs survey and invite your colleagues and friends to do the same
She shares a few of the many practical ways that you can support stigmatized issues like sexual violence without re-vamping your companyâs community relations efforts: follow an anti-sexual violence organization on social media; sponsor a table at a fundraising event; or provide skilled volunteer support to group that works directly with survivors.
She also suggests exploring how sexual violence might intersect with issues that you or your employer already support, citing the following examples: âwhile childhood exposure to sexual violence can impact your physical and mental health (http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy), few organizations that focus on heart disease, diabetes, or obesity view sexual violence prevention and response as a part of their own work to eliminate these chronic conditions.
Similarly, sexual abuse or assault at home drives many adolescents into the foster care system, or homelessness, which in turn places them at higher risk. Groups committed to ending homelessness for teens ought to consider sexual violence prevention as a part of their strategy. Finally, sexual violence prevention can help to increase rates of high school graduation. According to Americaâs Promise Alliance (http://www.americaspromise.org), students need safe spaces and social supports to learn and thrive. That includes a home and school life free of sexual violence.â
WANT TO TAKE ON TOUGH CHALLENGES? Peter advises:
CREATE A STATEMENT OF PURPOSE THAT WILL DIRECT YOUR LIFE.
âIn my experience as a leadership development consultant and career coach, individuals who create a specific statement about who they are and what they represent are better positioned to tackle taboo realities or other difficult situations that confront them.â He references Stephen Coveyâs best-selling book, âThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective Peopleâ as a valuable resource for creating a personal mission statement (refer to Coveyâs chapter on Habit 2, âBegin with the end in mind.â). In Coveyâs words, hereâs what this declaration can do for you: âOnce you have that sense of mission, you have the essence of your own proactivity. You have the vision and the values, which direct your life. Â You have the basic direction from which you set your long-and short-term goals.â
BUILD RESILIENCY THAT IS GROUNDED IN SELF-AWARENESS.
Peter recommends Dr. Al Siebertâs book, âThe Resiliency Advantage: Master Change, Thrive Under Pressure, and Bounce Back From Setbacks,â and the confidential, free-of-charge, Resiliency Quiz available through Dr. Siebertâs site, www.resiliencycenter.com. The quiz will help you to identify and enhance the behaviors through which you respond to challenges.
ENSURE THAT YOUR AMBITION SERVES YOUR CAUSE & YOUR TEAM.
Referring to a June 2006 Harvard Business Review article entitled âLeadership Run Amok: The Destructive Potential of Overachievers,â Peter cautions: âMany overachievers act in a way that lessens positive feelings in others.â He points to the research of Jim Collins in his monograph âGood to Great and the Social Sectors,â which describes the most effective Level 5 Leaders as âambitious first and foremost for the cause, the movement, the mission, the work—not themselves.â
WHAT SKILLS DO YOU BRING TO THE REALITIES YOU FACE?
Understanding what you have to offer is foundational to leading yourself and others through difficult change initiatives. Peterâs websites offer tools through which you can inventory the range of competencies that will enable you to contribute to a positive result:
www.makebigtobaccounprofitable.com Â AND Â www.workforthecommongood.com.
CREATE A BRAIN-HEALTHY LIFESTYLE PLAN.
Peter identifies Dr. Paul Bendheimâs, book âThe Brain Training Revolution: A Proven Workout for Healthy Brain Functioning,â as a comprehensive, well-researched, and practical guide for accessing your mental capacity to confront challenges. Regardless of the resources you choose to engage, designing a lifestyle that enhances your physical and mental functioning will equip you to contribute to the common good more effectively and over a longer period of time.â
A MESSAGE FROM SARAH ABOUT WHATâS POSSIBLE FOR YOU TOO
âFacing a traumatic experience like sexual violence has taught me about resilience and strength, and enhanced my ability to support others in their leadership pathways.â
Peterâs own mission statement is reflected in two books that heâs written to bring into focus realities surrounding sexual violence and tobacco use amongst teens, and solutions: âDawn of Hopeâ AND âDawn of the Tobacco Wars: The Sequel to Dawn of Hopeâ.
We all have at least one torch to light! Sarah and Peter have inspired me to light mine! How about you? Listen to our conversation and learn more