Sparking the Change

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 6.58.45 PM.pngWe loved using May to spark change in our life, our community, and the world. We are 100% sure that working on the little things in life can move us closer to the big and bold change we want to create – and we hope you embrace this idea as well!

One of the ways we sparked change this month was by focusing on something we learned or something we are learning. Every day we have new opportunities to learn and grow but often pass them by without even noticing. By committing to learning something new we are continuously expanding our knowledge which helps us ignite the change.

“Change is the end result of all true learning.”
– Leo Buscaglia 

When bringing about change, it’s important to understand how it can include and impact those around us. With this in mind, we took the chance to start a conversation with someone we don’t typically talk with. By opening ourselves up to someone new, we are building new someone new we are developing new relationships with people who think differently than we do. A meaningful talk with someone who thinks differently than we do brings to light lived experiences and points of view we may not have considered before.

We focused this month on all the little things we can do to make change, but what are the things that hold us back from reaching our goals? Our paths to reaching our goals are all very different from one another, but one thing we may have in common is that we sometimes we spend too much time thinking about the roadblocks that stand in our way. When we are hyper-focused on what stands in our way of reaching our goals, our story becomes externally directed. We want to shift this and craft our own story by centering what makes us effective leaders and change-makers. Crafting our own story will help us to attain our goals. Instead of thinking of all the things that MIGHT hold us back we focused on some of the characteristics of our story that make us good leaders and will help us attain our goals.

“We all have challenges. We have to face them, embrace them, defy them, and conquer them.”
–  Victoria Arlen

One of the final ways we started to spark the change this month was to expand on something we wish we knew more about, knew a little about, or didn’t have a clue about the topic at all. By taking 15 minutes every once in a while to do research on a topic that fascinates you, you are making it easier to step out of your comfort zone and really make change!

By continuing to put these habits – personal growth, conversations that matter, crafting our own leadership story, and exploring ideas that fascinate us – into practice, we are better able to create big change in your life and in the lives of those around you.


What we are all working toward

Positive Change. It is what we are all working toward.

Every day we get up and try to make a difference hoping that we are able to use our talents, skills, and abilities to their best. We work for change that benefits us all – our communities, our country, our world. It is easy to lose sight of this goal. Easy to lose sight of our vision.

In the past few years, we’ve seen society’s prominent leaders disregard human decency, refuse to participate in constructive discussion, promote divisiveness, and engage in soundbite insults. This is why we need LeaderShape. The impact of LeaderShape has probably never been as important as it is now because people have lost trust in what it means to be a leader.

I want to highlight four important concepts that we teach.

LeaderShape teaches us how to hear each other without the fear of each other. LeaderShape instills confidence by showing people how to face and own their individual experiences. Then we discuss the commonalities of our experiences, clearing the path for cooperation, wisdom, and the courage to bring about change.

LeaderShape teaches us how to be okay with who we are and what we stand for. LeaderShape helps us understand ourselves and realize that each person around us struggles with the same thing.

LeaderShape teaches us to learn to listen. LeaderShape provides the community where understanding each other cuts down on the sting and vitriol of conflict. We are present with our disagreements and don’t retreat to our corners. We stay in the mess.

Finally, the LeaderShape experience gives us the tools to discover that we’re not so afraid. And that gives all of us the freedom to stand up and bring about the change we want to see. We gain the courage to bring about change and that’s what endures in the long run.

Now is not the time to lose hope in what we can accomplish. Now is the time to be in community. True community where we wrestle with life’s questions and together try to find answers that work for all of us, not just a few. Let’s forget for a minute about being leaders and focus on being better humans. When we get that straight, leadership will happen. Behaviors will change. Habits will form. Change will happen.

In the meantime, I want you to know that LeaderShape will stay true to our core values of integrity, equity, possibility, vision, community, and relationships. We will take no shortcuts in terms of the quality of experiences that we provide. We will partner with those individuals and institutions that want to be a part of bringing about that positive change because together there is strength. We can drown out the chaos of today and keep our eye on the horizon – on our vision of a more just, caring, equitable, and thriving world.

And we will remember that with your help we provide experiences that transform lives.

I invite you to commit or recommit to creating positive change in the world. LeaderShape sees that future and looks forward to adjusting our practices to meet whatever it takes to be a part of that future. We will fail more. We will join with others committed to learning. We will stay humble and work hard.

We are needed now more than ever.

LeaderShape accepts that challenge and hopes you do too.


Building Resilient Leaders

April Day 7 Save the Date TW

A big thank you to everyone who participated in our resilience activities this month as we learned how to build resilient leaders! We took the time this month to focus on our strengths, take time to enjoy things we love, and learn how to bounce back.

One of the biggest takeaways to becoming a resilient leader is to focus on our strengths. Some of the strengths resilient leaders have, and demonstrate every day are:  Confidence, Purpose, Support, and Adaptability.

When we focus on our strengths, whether they include those listed above or are completely different, it helps us to have more self-assurance. And that self-assurance helps us to learn from our mistakes, rather than letting them derail us. Put this into practice by taking a few minutes today and reflect on some of your setbacks and the lessons you have learned through them.

“There’s no one to stop you but yourself.”
– David Thomas  

Another way to build yourself up to become a resilient leader is to take time to do the things you LOVE!. We often get lost in the day-to-day to-do lists and don’t make time to enjoy the little things. Stay connected to those things that bring joy to your life and hold them tight.

“It’s not every day you get to do what you love and
have a major story behind it.”

Resilient leaders also understand the skills to bounce back from setbacks. Not only that, but they use these moments as opportunities to learn and grow. Resilient leaders 1) understand their failures 2) use the resilient skills that they have learned 3) take what they have learned and call on that skill for the future. Here are some of the skills the Community Engagement team has gained through our failures: Kristen learned to be more open to others’ apologies after she made the mistake of sending the wrong email to someone. Colby learned how to focus on what he can control after an interview that didn’t go the way he planned. And Ashley is taking control of her schedule after saying “I can do that” to too many opportunities.

We hope you took as much away from this month as we have. Becoming a resilient leader takes time, effort, and an open mind but you can do it! And remember – we are here to help you become the best leader you can be. See you all next month as we Spark the Change!