Your Leader Journey – Making a Difference

Leadership La Plata, March 2015

Leader Involvement & Engagement

We are engaged.   We are involved.  We are being leaders, not just doing leadership.   So how do we determine our personal involvement and full engagement as a leader? As a leader, where do you want to be involved; considering your energy, talent, support and commitment?  How do you decide where to interact, given your unique ability and skills to be involved and engaged as a leader?   How do you handle conflict and unmet expectations (from others and from yourself)?   How will you handle your exit?  What is your role in the completion of your work and as a leader?

Today, we’ll explore the process of your leader involvement and engagement.  As leaders, we need to have a conversation with others and ourselves around the timing, breadth and dimensions of our personal leadership journey. Leadership La Plata is a good place for that to start to take place.  When do you start your leader involvement (in a specific task, organization or project)?  What criteria do you use to accept an invitation or pursue your passion to make a difference?  How do we keep engaged as leaders (our role, purpose & interaction)?  How do we handle conflict and challenges when engaged in active leadership roles?  How do we exit and “finish well” in our various leader roles?

Each of us fulfills leadership roles in our community, profession, family and circle of friends of which we are personally engaged.  How do we stay involved or know it is time to move on?  How will we handle the inevitable conflicts that arise for you as a leader?  How “stuck” are we in a particular role (family & relatives come to mind!)?  What will be your level(s) of involvement and how will you be actually engaged (what role, responsibility and duration) as a leader?   In what ways can you be involved that utilize your skills and talents as a leader?  What would be the likely keys to leadership success and impact, as you live out your leader journey?

If we fail to fully consider our involvement and engagement as a leader, we may end up in a series of mismatches and missed opportunities.  Poor timing, in terms of our involvement and engagement may limit or constrain our full impact as a leader.   Starting too soon or too late?    Not leaving when it is past our leadership time (for that specific project, role or organization)?   Ending up “trapped in a role” that precludes other opportunities?

Let’s look back on our personal journey as a leader that we have been experiencing since this past September, starting with the LLP Retreat.   With our peers, we began the LLP journey together.   With various coaches and trainers help, we were introduced as LLP class members to your leader journey as it unfolds into your leadership legacy.   In each LLP session, we explored the leadership journey and related topics to develop our leader capacity.   By the way, this is a process, as described in the book, Your Leadership Legacy, (Gilford & Maruca).  Every leader needs to take the time to fully consider their (present and emerging) leadership legacy.   It is personal.  It is your essence.  And your leader involvement and engagement will define your contribution to your community, your profession, your family and friends.

In chapter 3 of Your Leadership Legacy, the concept of leader roles is presented: Ambassador, Advocate, People Mover, Truth Seeker, Creative Builder, Experienced Guide, etc.     What roles are you stepping into or have you been involved in as a leader?     An understanding of your contribution and engagement will help determine your entrance, engagement and release from each specific leadership experience, role and involvement.

Over the course your LLP experience, your self-awareness as a leader has increased and the long-term view of your impact as a leader is unfolding.   Each of us have embarked on a unique path, with a varied journey, as leaders in our community.   Going forward, our leadership experience and impact will be shaped and molded by relationships, involvement and engagement.  Today, we’ll continue to explore this dimension of the leadership experience and your personal journey of leader involvement and engagement.

Since leadership is so personal and uniquely shaped, each of us will be involved and engaged in a variety of ways, roles, and timelines.    As with actors in the theatre, we’ll make an entrance (start doing), perform on stage (being a leader) and make the exit (finishing well).  Let’s have a dialog about our leader involvement and engagement:

1) What is my leader legacy and thought process for getting involved?   How am I looking at each leadership opportunity?   Or how are others looking at me as a leader?   What does it take to get started right?   How will I show up?

2) As I’m fully engaged and involved, how do I find and maintain my leadership role(s)?   How do I maintain integrity up as a leader?   What does my contribution as a leader look like?  How will I handle conflict and “personality challenges, both from myself and others? How do I receive feedback?   And really listen to others?   Am I making a difference in the lives of those around me?   Being a leader is all about full engagement and involvement!

 3) As my leader role is nearing completion (for a specific project, organization or mission), how do I know that I’m done?    How do I finish well?   How is my role as leader changed as I’m released (by my choice or by others?)?

 

So what is getting in our way?    What is limiting our full engagement and involvement as a leader?   Being too busy, or uninvolved or not being responsive may be symptomatic of other issues the leader is dealing with.   In Fierce Leadership, Susan Scott lays out the case for effective, authentic, engaged and passionate leadership.     But on the personal level, why did we get involved in something in the first place?   How long do we contribute as a leader in that context?   When do we know we are done?  How do we “finish well”, when our leader role is wrapping up?  Finally, the leader has many roles. How do you know what role(s) to play?   And how to develop teams? And to really have an impact as a leader…. building relationships…being authentic…getting things done and missions accomplished.

 

Whether it is intentional or not, you are creating a legacy, based on your leadership actions and passion as a leader.  As you begin a new leader role, as you are being a leader, and as your complete your leader involvement your leader legacy is being lived out.   Your life story, your leadership opportunities, and your journey is a process that has included your personal involvement in Leadership LaPlata.  This is an ongoing leader journey that is an integral part of your life story and development of your mission as a leader.    What do you intend to accomplish and how do you hope to impact others as a leader?   What will you be remembered for?   What will you impart to others?    What will be your Leadership Legacy?   

 

 

Reflection, Discussion, Peer Feedback and Our Next Steps:

Since leadership is so personal and uniquely shaped, each of us will be involved and engaged in a variety of ways, roles, and timelines.    As with actors in the theatre, we’ll make an entrance (start doing), perform on stage (being a leader) and make the exit (finishing well).  Let’s have a conversation about your leader involvement and engagement:

1) What is my leader and thought process for getting involved?   How am I looking at leadership opportunities?   Or how are others looking at me as a leader?  How will my involvement build or distract from my leader legacy?

2) As I’m fully engaged and involved, how do I find and maintain my leadership role(s)?   How do I show up as a leader?   What does my contribution as a leader look like?  How will I handle conflict?  How is best handle the obstacles to my leadership vision? How to I receive feedback?   And really listen?   Did I make a difference in the lives of others?   Being a leader is all about full engagement and involvement.

      3) As my leader role is nearing completion (for a specific project, organization or mission), how do I know that I’m done?    How do I finish well?   How is my role as leader changed as I’m released (by my choice or by others)?

Leader Involvement Resources: Fierce Leadership (Susan Scott), Personal Exit Strategies (Jasper can assist with this process), When Teams Work Best (LaFasto & Larson), Chapter 3 in Your Leadership Legacy, specifically your leader roles.

 

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