Staying In Action: Part 1

We have had over 60 sessions and 2,500 participants and facilitators experience the Institute in 2019 so far! Add these folks to the over 70,000 who have also participated in the Institute over the past 32 years – and that is a lot of people carrying the lessons of the Institute with them. Some of us are deep into the work of activating what we learned at the Institute, while some of us are figuring out what it means to stay in action.

Whether you participated in the Institute a few weeks, a few months, or a few years ago, staying in action is the next step and an important part of being part of the LeaderShape community. As a LeaderShaper, we acknowledge the responsibility and privilege we have to create positive change in the world.

Over the next couple of days, we are going to share some ways in which you can stay in action and create change.

Keep Learning With Us
There isn’t an end to what we can learn. Learning is a life-long process. It’s exhilarating to know that there will always be new ideas to uncover. And there are ways that we can continue this learning together.

Download the LeaderShape App
Our new app is like having LeaderShape in your pocket and at your fingertips. It’s a daily opportunity to keep learning and keep teaching, in community with one another.AppPhonePhoto

  • Have a problem you to solve? Ask for advice.
  • Looking for information? Crowdsource that in the app.
  • Have a story or resource to share? Pass it on.
  • Get involved with what we’re sharing. Each month we’ll have a theme that is meant to keep us all engaged with growing as leaders and change-makers.

Download the LeaderShape app for iOS
Download the LeaderShape app for Android

Join us for Day 7 on the 7th of each Month
We use this day to explore a topic related to staying in action across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You’ll find encouragement as well as ideas and practices to incorporate into your day-to-day life.

Get Support, Give Support
We recognize and celebrate the community you have in your life beyond LeaderShape – those people who offer you guidance and support as well as the folks that you lift up through the encouragement you have to offer. Tending to these relationships is part of leadership and connection.

Maintain relationships from the Institute
It can be challenging to help people who weren’t part of the experience understand what happened and why it was so impactful. But the folks who were at the session with you do have that insight and can offer a special kind of support and understanding. Whether it is face-to-face or through technology, prioritize the connections you made during the program.

Find a mentor or coach
There are a lot of talented people in the world with experience we can learn from. Find someone who will share their time in a way that helps you grow and reach your goals.

Support Others
Did you know that you also have experiences and perspectives that will help others to reach their goals? Have you considered that your words of encouragement, appreciation, and feedback can elevate others and help them feel seen? If you didn’t, we hope you do now. Supporting others on their journey is an invaluable act.

Which of these ideas are you ready to try? Think on it and come back tomorrow for more thoughts to help you to stay in action.

#toleadread Book Club

To know LeaderShape is to know that we are committed to being life-long#ToLeadRead learners, that we believe in the power of story-telling, and that we know we can learn great things when we are in community with one another. Given all of this, we want to try something new and you’re invited!

We want to take a shot at a book club of sorts, taking #toleadread to another level. Here is what we’re thinking…

We Choose a Book
And by “we”, we mean you and us together! We’ll be starting with four titles and narrowing it down to the final selection by voting in a 3-round bracket. Head over to our Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter account starting on Monday, October 22 and vote for the book you’d like to read along with us.

We Read it Together
Once the votes are in, the book choice will be announced on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and right back here on our blog. We’ll have about a month to read the book, and some of us on staff will be sharing our progress as we go. You can do the same using #toleadread.

We Have an Awesome Conversation
Meet us on BigMarker (link coming soon!) on Wednesday, November 28 at 1:00pm CST to explore the book with other LeaderShapers. Some of the LeaderShape staff will be there to lead us through questions and discussion points.

We hope you’ll join us for this experiment! Until then, drop us any questions you have down below.

#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.