Tomorrow I start a new job and potentially a new direction to my career. I’ve participated in non-profit and human services leadership for 14 years, both as the primary support to leaders and as a leader. I’ve served many communities, as there are a multitude of causes that call to my heart. But the one thread that ties everything I’ve done together is leadership. I’ve learned so much about the power of leadership.
It’s leadership that decides whether an organization succeeds or fails. It’s leadership that creates the culture in which everyone operates in an organization, which is important because it’s where staff are spending 1/3 of their waking life (or volunteers are choosing to spend significant time). How we feel when we are at work is vital to our quality of life. How we feel when we are volunteering defines where we are willing to give our time. Creating positive, empowering, supportive cultures in our organizations allows for the collective to thrive because all of the individuals within it thrive.
Yet most organizations don’t really think about conscious leadership on a daily basis. It’s considered a time sink that no one can afford to invest in. Most of the people in shame based cultures (see Brene Brené Brown) and power-over cultures are miserable. They complain. They don’t give their best. They have difficulties at home because going to work is painful. They are bullied, insulted, neglected, or feel as though they are a cog in a machine. Work = misery.
Our organizations don’t honor the fullness of our humanity. We are expected to leave our personal lives and our emotions at the door. It’s institutionalized repression and it runs deep in our culture. It’s a big part of why so many people are turning to entrepreneurship. They refuse to be repressed and don’t see any other options.
I’ve chosen to stay in the organizational work world because I desire to change it from within. I desire to bring healthy leadership and acknowledgement of the wholeness of humans, both employees and consumers, to the work world. I desire to help leadership honor the emotional domain and learn how to thrive by doing so.
This job, should I do well during my two week working interview, could lead me to leadership coaching for organizations and executives. One of my “benefits” is free access to all of their courses, and I assume mentoring by the other coaches. I could take everything I’ve learned in my “leadership boot camp” (as I affectionately refer to it) and use it to support others in creating positive cultures and organizations with healthy leadership. There is also the potential for personal coaching, supporting individuals in become the best of themselves. I couldn’t imagine any greater honor.
This has actually been a calling of my heart for years, but I couldn’t see how a single mom on limited income in a rural county could get from where I was to where I wanted to be. Fortunately I didn’t have to. I just followed my heart and the Universe took care of it for me. I in awe and ever so grateful. This is a gift and I intend to make the very best of it.