Jan Byars is the founder and president of LeadSync, LLC. After years of study and research, she believes an organization leader’s internal state is critical to leadership ability and ultimately affects the organization’s success. The philosophy that Leadership is Being and then Doing drives LeadSync’s unique approach to leadership development which can be applied across all levels, organizations and industries.
Learn more here.
Can it be that simple?
I spent the day yesterday, learning how to use a new game which helps people expand their understanding of ethics, and gives insight into each person’s perspective, then shows how they all fit within an organization.
The idea that my ethics are right and anyone different is wrong is often the basis of most ethical conflicts. Having the understanding of all the perspective and the strength of each one really changes our ability to look at ethical issues in a practical way. It allows us to understand and see the other perspectives and see why they too are important to an organization.
It takes away all the endless loop discussions about which philosophy of ethics is correct and instead looks at how each represent an important aspect of ommunity ethics. So no one has to be wrong . . . . and then it gives us the tools to see where we can each slide into unethical behavior;
Oh the responsibility of clear ethical thinking.
When an organization has a clear values statement, and then lines up behavior to these, the power of the group is so much greater.
Acknowledging all the different viewpoints allows for ethical diversity in a respectful way.
It seems to me, in business and even non-profits it is the alignment and the momentum that can be so hard to generate. To be able to do this, in line with the values is a great opportunity.
We launch this new opportunity on May 10th in Indianapolis, IN. I will let you know how it goes.
You only hear the past . . . we only hear what we expect, based on our past experiences. We all listen for the data that matches our reality. Watch for that today, it will happen. We filling details without hearing and then make an assumption which is not true. Listening is hearing the essence. Not just the words. Be open to the fact that everyone can teach you something.
Leadership requires us to open past that viewpoint. Values Based Leadership requires each of us to listen to all voices. But how?
It’s simple really, easy, no so much.
- Begin to identify your filter
- Let it go, over and over again
- Clear your mind
- Focus on the person
- Open to the data – all the data
- Be present
Listening is a core strength to trust. Without trust there is no leadership.
Good listening requires self-awareness; Awareness of the person and the situation. It’s not about you. We all have a filter through which we see the world.
It helps us move faster, but it has limitations. Real listening does not allow for multitasking. It applies whether you are In-person or on the phone.
So what do you do with this? As always, it is about the daily choices.
- Commit to the process.
- Pick a practice, like the ones listed above.
- And then just do it. Everyday, as often as possible, and don’t judge yourself.
- Just show up and do it.
What is a practice?
It is a commitment you make to your own development. This concept is talked about often in martial arts, yoga, even in prayer. It is a choice you make every single day, with the focus on being present and executing to the best of your ability.
It is a humbling act, as you will soon see how much difference is in each day’s performance. The trick is to not to judge yourself, simply to perform each day what
you have committed to do. It’s a great way to start a year and the best way to create lasting change, personally or within an organization.
It is the opposite of pushing through or multitasking, so it is not very popular in traditional business. But it is huge as a way to lead and integrate change.
What practice would you pick?
I don’t have to worry whether it is politically correct to wish someone Happy Thanksgiving. I can just enjoy and focus on gratitude. I have had two really great opportunities recently that have really helped me to remember – to experience a deep sense of gratitude.
First was a 5 day spiritual retreat. It was very rustic, all of our normal comforts where taken away, bunk beds, community bathrooms, chores. But during the whole time we stopped every 15 minutes and remembered, breathed in and out and stated our phrase for the day. It was amazingly calming, even as I was irritated that there was no iced tea, or how badly my bed smelled. It was not restful; we were up at 6 and active until 10. But we spent each day centered in our heart, mind and body.
The second was the International Leadership Association’s conference in Denver. I was lucky to arrive a bit calmer and therefore more present as I met old friends and listened to new engaging ideas. It was amazing how different it was being more aware and present.
These events helped me break out of my old patterns of rushing through. In this presence, I found gratitude, a deep sense of connection to so many people, a deep sense of contribution, an optimism lost and forgotten in all the stress.
Having felt gratitude, really felt it, over a period of days, I was transformed. Gratitude actually changes physiology, It allowed me to see clearer, to think bigger, and to step out of all my old patterns and habits. Being in a deep sense of gratitude put me back in to center. Most of us don’t even remember what that
is. Some of you may question whether it exists.
It is that place where multi-tasking and pushing through does not even make sense. If you can resist the urge to run forward, there is a place of deep peace, and that place is filled with gratitude. It is a place where you can see the patterns that lie beneath the whole, the connections and the way through an ‘insurmountable’ problem. It is from this place that we can lead our world to a different outcome, both economically and ecologically.
So if you have lost that sense of center, if you don’t remember what real gratitude feels like anymore, take these next 4-5 days and stop. I mean really stop, interrupt the thoughts that tell you, you have to keep running faster. Stopping will take practice. You will need a plan to stop the head trash and remember. Every 15 min or so, stop for 90 seconds and breathe. Pick a short simple phase that has meaning to you and breathe it in. Or just breathe
in something you are deeply grateful for.
Stop, Breathe, And Remember.
It will be a challenge, but as you keep persisting, you will move into greater balance and the world will begin to look different as you broaden your vision. Let’s do this together and see what happens!
I was a guest speaker at a graduate course in neurophysiology (brain physiology) and leadership last night at University of
Indianapolis. I think it is so cool that they now have classes like this in leadership programs. The research is so
clear; you really can’t afford to ignore the physical aspect of leadership anymore.
The problem is that a class on neurophysiology perpetuates the focus on the brain as all important.
We have so many habitual patterns, blind spots and thinking errors enmeshed into our thinking (yes, all of us) that if we don’t open up to a wider view we stay in the same spin. This is where the feeling we are beating our head against the wall comes from.
For me it is really about heart focus. By this I don’t mean some woo, woo, soft, happy place. I am actually referring to a field called neurocardiology, where the functioning of the heart is as important to performance as the brain. The heart creates more body chemistry, more brain chemistry than the brain does. Shifting our focus to include the heart, offers us a great way to reset our physiological state so we can see the bigger picture. I look forward to the day when we have entire graduate courses on the heart and leadership. And yes, I would also recommend some of that woo, woo, emotional stuff in there too.
If you are interested in cool heart research go to HeartMath.org.
We live in a world that constantly arouses our lizard.
We each have our own version of a lizard brain, it’s called the amygdala. We are in our lizard brain when we are stressed, angry, or when our thoughts are spinning around in our head. All of these mental hijinks take us away from our creative problem solving. We spend a great deal of time being a lizard, darting around but not being very effective.
Leadership definitely includes creative problem solving; it requires listening and being present. Paying attention to what the environment is showing us and what our people are communicating. We can’t be a lizard and a leader at the same time. Really, if our amygdala is activated by fear (stress) our bodies automatically shut down the higher brain. It does this so we don’t stand in a burning building and create a list of pros and cons on if we should get out.
The problem is that the intensity of our lives often feels like a burning building to our lizard brain. The constant push and pull makes our brain think we are in danger. We have to choose to be calm and clear, much like our first responders and service men and women are trained to do. We need to train ourselves not respond to every stressor. We have to learn to be steady so we stay connected to our higher brain, our clearest, most creative thinking. It is from this state we can listen and collaborate.
What state are you in right now? Do you know how to tell?
Paula is change professional with thirty years in human resource management. With real world experience in the public and private sectors, she has led large and small teams to outstanding results. Frequently in her career she has been tapped to create new organizations and lead them in unchartered waters. Often decorated for her contributions, Paula has proven that values based leadership is a path to achievement and authenticity.
Her hands on public and private sector experience includes: Indiana State Affirmation Action Coordinator; Human Resources Director, Indiana Department of Revenue and Managing Director, Human Resources, FedEx Express, retired, At FedEx she rose from individual contributor to Managing Director in less than 10 years, proving herself to be a dynamic achiever and gifted leader.
Today she assists her clients to be better leaders by learning to gain more control and influence over their lives and providing them with the tools to become stronger and more resilient. Her expert guidance has helped clients gain relief from fears and limitations which impact performance and to achieve in the ever-changing business climate.
Paula is active in her community and is past member of the
A gifted presenter, Paula Presnoples welcomes the opportunity to educate groups, organizations and businesses about how change affects behavior. She can speak about a variety of change related topics.
Paula gradated with a BA in Psychology and a MPA in Public Affairs both from
Recently I gave a presentation and discussed with the participants the difference between staying true to your values and imposing your values on others. It was a great discussion and afterwards, the participants told me it really struck a chord.
Holding true to your values means that you act in line with what is most important to you.
It doesn’t mean you’re an evangelist. Stay true to your values, act, and get results. The power of your values is seen through your actions. When you act in
line with your values and get results, people notice. When people notice, they engage and this opens the door for discussion.
Imposing your values on others is often disastrous, even if your intentions are good. Force, by definition creates an equal and opposite reaction.
Instead, to paraphrase Gandhi, be the change you want to see in the world rather than tell (or even force) others to change.
When you know something is right, you can feel it all the way through. You know the feeling. Entrepreneurial intuition is the 25 cent word for this.
Whatever you call it, that’s how I feel right now about Power For Performance. I know this will propel leaders forward here in Indianapolis and I’m excited to be able to bring it to you.
Beginning with a series of events open to all called Leadership Talks! monthly at the Skyline Club, I will be introducing key concepts and insights into Values Based Leadership.
Attendees will come away being inspired and have increased awareness of tools available to help transform their organizations.
Once you’ve dipped your toes and you’re ready for more in-depth leadership development, it will be a seamless transition into a Power For Performance group.
The group will come together and create a community that will support and challenge each other to rise above their unique obstacles and barriers. Through a structured transformational process, each individual member will be provided the space to integrate new ideas and practical skills – immediately – at the gathering and then continuing into the days that follow.
Power for Performance will encompass the whole person – all aspects of the self – mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. Who you are and how you show up is your capacity to lead. This is the place to develop your Power for Performance.
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