As I set up my calendar for the month, I select a quote I’ve found that speaks to me. I write it in my planner and leave space below it to capture phrases I hear or read that speak to me and relate to the quote. I found this practice centers me for the month, and helps me be more present in my conversations, meetings, and readings. For June 2022 the quote was, “No one is you, and that is your power.”
What made this quote extra appealing is that it’s attributed to musician and author Dave Grohl, founder and leader singer of my favorite band, the Foo Fighters. High school dropout, Grammy winner, girl dad, and global rocker. He took his talents, goals, and goofiness – his innate power – and has lived a life true to himself. And even more impressive, is the space his mother gave him to do it. Having someone see and believe in your authentic power, and then help reinforce it, is a tremendous gift.
With a quote about the magic that is you, here are quotes that caught my attention in June:
- Lost in the between space
- Start where you are
- There is what they said – there is what you heard – and, actually how it is
- I see you
- This risk to say yes
- The purpose of life is to live it
- Cultural humility
- It’s futile to ask why… ask “what did I learn from this?”
- We don’t have to believe our thoughts, instead of following them down some track, we can let them go
- Remember the love
- What is the life you want, and what are you willing to do for it?
- Less pressure; more presence
- Kindness Garden
- May you live long enough to know why you were born
- Always move to the sound of the boom… what scares you is where you have something to learn
- Call people in
- We can always find time for what we have the gumption to do
- Live in skin that’s new
- Modernization is between fun and stability
- A still small voice
- Jump, and you will learn how to unfold your wings as you fall
- Think good thoughts
- The cure was courage
- A space is only as safe as I am open
- You have to open your mouth and own your story
A few months ago, I reached out to a few women and shared my personal goal to earn the International Coaching Federation’s Associate Certified Coach credential, which requires 60 hours of training and 100 hours of coaching. I invited them to attend an eight-session leadership development masterclass I created. They get content and community, and I get coaching hours and feedback on my new masterclass. Nine women accepted and committed to the program.
Each class began with a mindful moment, provided educational content with a worksheet, and included reflective discussions. In the first session, we agreed to “No Miss America answers” – to be fully open about who we are, our struggles, our fears, our strengths, and our areas for growth. Together we covered leadership intention, introductions, values, communications, distractions, and outcomes.
While I designed this masterclass for women who are early in their professional career, I found my preparation, personal reflection, and the discussions supported me too. Why leadership matters to me. Who modeled it to me. How I want to be as a leader. How I’ve grown as one, and where I continue to struggle. It gave me a reset.
Our conversations validated that while there appears to be a standard style or expectation for who is or what makes a leader… our success as one, is anchored in a personalized approach. One that fits our own personal superpowers. As one participant shared at the end of class – much like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz – “I learned that I can trust myself to be a good leader. I already have to tools.”
Also like Dorothy, we cannot (and should not) do it alone. Every participant shared how valuable time connecting with other leaders was to her growth – myself included. Every conversation included the phrases “me too” or “I thought I was the only one.” Each time someone shared a concern or asked a question, someone’s superpower came to the rescue with an idea or suggestion. I shared that I have standing meetings with a handful of leaders. The calls cover life, venting, laughter, brain storming, and moral support. It seems that just when I need it, access to the right leader’s superpower shows up on my calendar at the right time. And that included this masterclass of women.
What’s your leadership superpower?