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Leadership: Paying Attention To Your Own Leadership

Years ago I used to butt heads, create and collaborate with the grandfather of coaching, Thomas Leonard. To say he was a leader in our field is an understatement and even though he died way too young, his legacy will remain for many years to come. Those who worked with him mourned his passing and felt the hole he left in our profession. He was a creative genius, not only in his conceptual thinking but how he engaged and inspired everyone around him to do their best and think well beyond any box that was ever drawn or defined.

Years ago I used to butt heads, create and collaborate with the grandfather of coaching, Thomas Leonard. To say he was a leader in our field is an understatement and even though he died way too young, his legacy will remain for many years to come. Those who worked with him mourned his passing and felt the hole he left in our profession. He was a creative genius, not only in his conceptual thinking but how he engaged and inspired everyone around him to do their best and think well beyond any box that was ever drawn or defined.

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Sometimes in our lives we are lucky enough to work with someone who is on the cutting edge of a field of expertise, an industry or profession. These leaders have loyal disciples who are more than side kicks; these people are creative and innovative professionals in their own right. Lets face it…the Thomas’s of this world wouldn’t work with those who wouldn’t pull their weight. And now, years later, I’m watching the divide. One group still mourns him and are in the exact same places as they were when he was around. Others have decided that maybe it was time they made their own mark and didn’t keep trying to hold onto someone else’s coat tails. These are the emerging leaders in our field. It’s not that they weren’t great Coaches before; it’s that they were so hell bent on being a part of Thomas’ genius, they lost their identities in a way. Now that they’ve let go of the need to be a part of someone else’s success, their true selves and leadership style is coming to the fore. And they’re starting to pay attention

When we’re fortunate to work with a pioneer we also have to remember we have a great deal to give the world in our own rights. My question to you is, what are you doing that others think amazing, no matter how blatant or subtle, that you’re not paying attention to? And if you started taking notice, how much of an impact could you make on others and the world in your own way? I believe we all have strong leadership within us in some way shape or form. It’s a matter of acknowledging it and giving ourselves credit where credit is due.

My intention for this year is to learn something new from everyone I meet, as through their eyes I see the world anew. I want to always be a student even though I might be considered an expert in my field.

For the new year I will leave you with one of my quotes which I think is very relevant to this…”How we dream is what gives our lives value. How we choose to live is what determines whether or dreams have value. I believe we each carry a dream of a life we were born to realize which shows up through desire. And I believe that we all have the ability to realize our personal and professional dreams and potential if we commit ourselves to not settling for anything less than what we really want. It is when we move toward our passions that we experience our own greatness and it is then an incredible contribution to ourselves and to the world is made by being who we truly are.”

May 2008 be the beginning of the realization of your greatest dreams.

Donna Karlin • Executive and Political Shadow Coach™ • Ottawa, Canada • •www.abetterperspective.com

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About the author

Donna Karlin CEC, Diplomate IABMCP and founder and principal of A Better Perspective® & The School of Shadow Coaching, has pioneered the specialized practice of Shadow Coaching® with global political, government, business and senior organizational leaders in the public and private sectors. Donna capitalizes on almost 30 years of experience in coaching, consulting and training to help clients and their organizations evolve into their level of excellence.

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