kristen lessig schenerlein
Leadership Lessons from Wonder Woman
Mindful. Empowered. Growth.
"Because no matter how small an act of kindness or generosity or simple positivity you put out in the world, it will make a difference." ~ Wonder Woman
There has been many points in my career and life where people have made the "wonder woman" reference and though I might have been flattered initially, this came to be an analogy that served to motivate me in a bit of a new direction.
In my early days as an Executive Director I think I was seen as the woman that could do it all. I had a young toddler, was working full time, AND building a nonprofit out of my living room. I remember by daughter's preschool teacher telling me how my then 3 year old was obsessed with play phones and computers and would set up her "office" in the classroom. I have pictures of my daughter out at events and programs for the organization, the cutest little side kick ever. Rushing to and from meetings, juggling so many balls, and having this "frazzled" sense about me did not at all feel heroic.
It is inevitable that we, as powerful mission-driven women, would take on projects and positions that would challenges us, allow us to be a catalyst for change, and create lasting impact in our communities. These roles require commitment, perseverance, resilience, determination and the ability to wear many hats. However, none of this needs to come at the cost of our personal wellbeing. Nor does it require that we give up parts of ourselves to achieve the results we are seeking. We can be all of these things without racing around with our phone in our hand, responding to emails as soon as they hit your inbox, reacting to life versus responding to it.
The Positive Intelligence Mental Fitness Training has been life changing for me personally in becoming laser focused on how I choose to show up each day to take action, with a sense of clarity on the purpose and meaning behind my work. My work is now part of who I am (a very important part), however my commitment and practice each and every day is not to let me work define who I am. I do not want to be seen as Wonder Woman... however, I will embrace a few key leadership lessons from her to guide me as I embrace my own authentic leadership style... one that aligns with my personal values.
Do the Right Thing- this is my idea of courageous leadership. Often doing what is "right" when it is not the easiest path forward. And doing what is "right" when no one is looking...to me, that is integrity.
Always Tell The Truth- showing up authentically in your leadership may require you to be vulnerable with those you lead. Have confidence that in doing so you are building trust and strengthening your team. More importantly however, is being TRUE to ourselves. Know your limits and be honest with yourself in maintaining boundaries, a key element for self respect as a leader.
Be Fearless- We will not always be prepared for everything that comes at us. Have confidence in our abilities to lead. Realize that 80% of what is thrown at us does NOT have to be perfect...good enough is good enough. Choose to activate the power of your Sage to move into fierce action versus letting the negative voices of your Saboteurs sabotage you next move.
Do Not Play It Safe- Growth happens at that point just outside your comfort zone. INNOVATE! Think out of the box to create and embrace opportunities!
Appreciate the Little Things- It is not as much about the outcome as it is about the process...the little steps along the way, the process that IS the journey.
Do Something or Do Nothing- Playing full out...if you want a certain result in life, you must be all in. Sitting on the sidelines in judgement will get you nowhere and worse, it will most certainly leave you feeling unfulfilled and regretful.
LOVE- Choose love not fear. Fear activates the negative part of our brain that limits us. It is what causes us to become out of alignment with our values. Love grounds and centers us and brings a sense of peace to all that we do.
Seek Mentorship- Seek out support from others (like coaching with me!) that have been through similar challenges. They can help us see our blind spots. Let them guide you as you connect to your "warrior" essence, that power that allows you to reach your full potential as a leader and have an impact that far exceeds anything you could have imagined!