To Lead, Live & Look Ahead

Here at LeaderShape, we want to experience a world where everyone leads with integrity and lives in possibility. Where we work in community with one another. Where everyone sees their own gifts and finds ways to use them for the greater good.

We want to intentionally create spaces for others to be included and contribute in this world and then by doing so, lead others to do the same – “to lead, live and look ahead”.

This blog series is a place to hear updates from our Community Engagement team at the beginning of each month. The updates will include #Day7, #LeaderShapeChat, and any other upcoming campaigns and projects you can participate in with us.

Day 7

This month, #Day7 will be focusing on creativity. Many believe that only certain people can be creative, but LeaderShape believes that every individual is capable of being creative in their own ways. We will debunk this “only certain people can be creative” theory and share ways to find and embrace different kinds of creativity. Throughout the entire day (Saturday, October 7th), we will have quizzes, articles, videos, and other fun ways to #FindYourCreativity on our Twitter feed – be sure to follow along.  

#LeaderShapeWeb

Join us for this month’s LeaderShape Webinar Series on Monday, October 16th at 12 p.m. CST. We will be welcoming Tricia Homer and Jackie Pearce Garrett as they present A Space for Reflection: Recharge your Leadership Through Nourishment/Self-Care. To register and attend, visit bigmarker.com/leadershape.
leadershape webinar tricia-jackie-01.jpg

#LeaderShapeChat

Each month, we host a Twitter chat that exemplifies our belief of “to lead, live”. On Wednesday, October 25th, we encourage you to join us on Twitter for our #LeaderShapeChat about activating your strengths. “With the new day comes new strengths and new thoughts” – Eleanor Roosevelt.

Oct. LSC Announcement.png

In September, we talked about how self care plays a critical part in leadership and our lives. Catch up on the recap here.

LeaderShape Graduates

In September, we continued to strengthen our engagement with LeaderShapers through our social media efforts by starting a “Where Are They Now” campaign. We highlight members of our Institute, Catalyst, and Resilience programs by sharing their story, advice, or favorite quote.

Institute Jave'on Thompson.png

If you would like to be involved, send an email to community@leadershape.org and we will find a way to share your story!

#ToLeadRead

It’s National Book Month! To celebrate, we want to send you a LeaderShape gift bag with one of our favorite books! Throughout the years, we have been inspired by many stories, learned some lessons, sparked creative ideas, and even had a few “how fascinating” reflections. All of this happened by simply turning a page. Throughout the rest of the month, we invite you to post on Instagram a picture of you and your favorite book with the hashtag #toleadread.

Friday 5: 5 Ways to Live Compassionately

What does it mean to have compassion?

In very simple terms, it means to seek to compassionblog-post-imageunderstand the life of another person. Whether the person be in your life for years or just a moment, the interaction they have with you is one in which they are valued, heard, and appreciated. Why is compassion important? Because everyone suffers. Everyone. Not everyone’s suffering is the same but regardless of the cause of that suffering, we can all relate to that feeling of pain. When we see that in each other, our hearts are opened to the possibility that we are a lot more alike than we are different.

How then do we live compassionately? Here are a few thoughts…

Withhold judgement. It is easy to see the “perfect” family picture on Instagram and quickly craft a story about that person’s experience, thinking that their life is perfect and they don’t face any trials. It is just as simple to have an interaction with a co-worker who seems agitated and jump to conclusions about them as a person. Don’t craft the story in your head, let the story unfold as the other person wants to share it.
Serve without the expectation of getting anything in return. Let’s be honest, deep down we are all a little selfish and often want to do things because of what we get in return. Put those feelings aside and as you see a need and serve. Don’t boast about it. Don’t expect anything in return. And then when it is over, think about the time you spent serving and what it meant for those you were with.
Be vulnerable. Being with someone as they face a challenge in life is difficult and it can trigger emotions that we would rather not recognize. When a friend gets expelled from school because of academic failure and you are with them when they tell their parents, it requires you to be present and be in the moment with them. Don’t back away from the opportunity to share your emotions, feelings, and experiences. Doing so can create a space for others to do the same. It can show others that no matter what hurt or hang-up they have, they are important to you.
Wish others well. When a car cuts you off in traffic, the first thought in your mind may not be one of good wishes. But what if it was? And not in a sarcastic way – but one of true thoughtfulness. As we go through our days, we interact with many people that we know nothing about. From the cashier at the movie theater to the telemarketer that calls every single week to ask us to change our cable service, they each have a story. What if my reaction was first one of well wishes before one of frustration? It can change the way you see people because your first thought is one of positivity and not frustration.
Practice Self-Compassion. All of the concepts above can be applied to you as well. We are often our own worst critics and, when the world around is also judging us, there can be little escape. So be kind to yourself. See the goodness that you bring to the lives of others. Take time to heal the hurts of your own life.

How will you practice compassion in the coming days? Tell us in the comments!

Kristen Young serves as Senior Vice President at LeaderShape. She is a lifer at LeaderShape! Her first experience with LeaderShape was as a participant and she hasn’t left since!  Outside of work, Kristen is a wife and mother who tries every day to live a life lead by her values and embracing the joy that can come from the ordinary. 

A Few Words from Paul: Renewal

shutterstock_145220275I’m not a big fan of Spring.

For some reason, I always think of this season as muddy, rainy, unsettled, and overall sort of depressing. By far, my least favorite season. Yep, very aware that I am odd at times. This more or less proves it.

What makes it even harder to understand for me is that I love baseball and spring training. Hated rain outs even though I did play in Arizona while in college so it didn’t happen often. Even more odd, right? I can be hard to figure out. Ask the staff (smile).

As I struggle through the season, I’ve been thinking a lot about my outlook toward spring asking what can I appreciate about it. Such a novel approach, I know. So, somewhat reluctantly, I’ve been focusing on this concept of renewal as it relates to spring and to my life. I do think that I have personally gone through a period of renewal. Not sure that I can recall one as vividly as this one.

I’ve been really happy lately. Like nauseatingly happy.

For the past five years, I really felt that my life was going to be LeaderShape and my kids (not necessarily in that order) and that would be it. Pretty much reserved myself to this path. Then it happened. I stopped thinking that. In a moment. I just did.

Finding someone to share your life with is amazing. Not necessary to be happy, but it doesn’t hurt either. Though she had to ask me out over 30 times (I think it was more like 15), I decided to change. Decided to stop beating myself up. I took a chance. To live.

Damn, that was scary.

What if it doesn’t work out? What if my kids hate her? What if her kids hate me? What if I do something wrong? All very inspiring questions. Then it hit me. Those moments we face are exactly what renewal is all about. Having another opportunity. A chance to start again. An opportunity to develop a new perspective. The moment to make a different decision about my life. A time to brush off the cobwebs, the mud, the weather, and begin again. This time with a little more bounce in my step. With a little more wisdom. Another perspective.

We all need renewal. The time and space to reflect, think, apply the lessons we have learned. Come out of the dark places with the intent to try again. Call it resilience, perseverance, determination, etc. It is about knowing that we have another chance. They call it a mulligan in golf or a short memory in baseball. Give it another shot.

That is the essence of renewal. Possibility.

The possibility to be happier than you were yesterday. Over the top happy. Even if you do have a rainout every now and then. Even in Arizona.

Enjoy your season of renewal and don’t forget to bring an umbrella.

Just in case.

Paul

Paul is the President of LeaderShape and pinches himself everyday for that opportunity. He is a father, son, soon-to-be-husband, athlete, avid reader, eternal optimist, and sucker for the underdog.