I trained to be a Co-Active coach four and a half years ago. Before that I worked with women who had survived domestic abuse. I worked in that capacity for four years, hearing stories, supporting and advocating as best I could. Until I burnt out and stopped being able to do my job. Luckily, as the universe would have it, I got made redundant at the same time as I realized my health was on the decline. The stress of the job was manifesting as lower back pain - no emotion leading into intense emotion with no obvious source. My lack of passion about the world manifested as feelings of depression and lethargy.
When was the last time you led through laughter? Whether your intent is to shift the tone in an intimate conversation with your partner or reignite an organizational vision in the boardroom, laughter can be a powerful tool for leadership.
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of spending several days with an extraordinarily wise teacher named Koan. This sage reminded me of lessons in leadership that I had forgotten. What’s unusual about this particular spiritual guide: he’s a 17-month-old toddler to whom I am known as Auntie Karen.
Karen and Henry Kimsey-House start their new book, Co-Active Leadership, with a chapter on "the leader within," in my opinion, the most important and possibly uncomfortable element of their leadership model. It’s a refreshing text because we’re finally freed from the common belief that leaders need to be certain people with particular traits and qualities. What a relief to know that there is a leader in all of us and this does not have to be manifested on a podium or pedestal.