Energy is like a broadcast and those who do not like your energy will quickly change the station. Those who like your energy will be attracted, so you better make sure you are sending out the right signals attracting the opportunities you want to have in your life and in your business.
A value arises from an experience, the feeling the value creates and what story you are telling yourself about that experience. These are truths that you need to be in tune with, finding your own inner compass as a leader. By living your values you are aligned with you core truth. This takes commitment and flexibility. Issues that we will discuss in todays interviews on the subject of "Value Awareness".
You will meet Ricihi Gil and Lisa Huetteman in todays interviews in the ALIVE Leadership Summit.
Todays speakers are really mastering the art of explaining diffiicult issues in an easy and comprehensive way. They will introduce to you, how you can Integrate your thoughts and emotions, find your passion and communicate clearly. Actions that you will need to take in order to be intentional present in life and as a leader.
Listening is sometimes called the forgotten skill. Have you ever heard the comment "I hear what you are saying" with a following not related comment? Listening is not same thing as hearing. It demands more efforts and a skilled listener does not just sit there and allow listening to happen.
In todays interviews we will learn more about the art of listening and you will meet Bento Leal on the topic of "Empathic listening" and Maria Appelqvist on "Conscious listening and leadership"
Today we will talk about authenticity and you will meet Tanya Lynn in an interview on "The Importance of Being Authentic in Leadership" and Mark Susnow in another interview where he is asking the question "Is Authenticity the Missing Link to Becoming a Mindful Leader?”
Let me introduce Tanya Lynn. Tanya is the visionary CEO behind the international organization, Sistership Circle, a worldwide sisterhood movement empowering women to step into their true beauty, brilliance and boldness as feminine leaders. Tanya is the author of "Open your heart: How to be a New Generation Feminine Leader"
She shares with us today what authenticity is, in terms of being real, true and vulnerable. Authenticity is feeling, apart form being numb. She talks about how to lead from example, embodying your leadership instead of just talking about it, makes the big difference.
In our interview Tanya also speaks about circle as a powerful way to communicate authentically, in groups.
Mark Susnow is a life design strategist, cutting-edge leadership consultant, author, inspirational speaker and coach, who inspire others to believe in themselves. Mark is also the author of the much-acclaimed Discover the Leader Within: 10 Keys to Becoming the Leader You Want to Be.
In the interview with Mark we will talk about authenticity as the missing link to becoming a mindful leader. You will learn ten keys that will help you unlock the door to becoming the leader you have always wanted to be. They also unlock the door of your becoming the person you have always wanted to be. These keys can be the basis for the foundation of a powerful leadership development plan that will enable you to expand your ability to create impact in all of the environments that you are part of, no matter what they are.
Lesson 1 – Authenticity
The first lesson my horse Chanova taught me was about trust. In the beginning of our training I did ask for help from experts and I had numerous trainers in riding and horsemanship. Some trainers told me to push and others to pull; all of them favored the use of force. I never even considered if this was the right method training horses, because this was the commonly used training concepts at the time.
Chanova did not like the training and from being a kind and accepting horse, she sometimes refused to be with me on my terms or any other humans. One autumn I had constant problems catching her in the pasture. There where nights when I left her all alone outside, because she refused being lead by me. Other days I temporary fenced the path between the pasture and the stable so she could walk in by herself, to rest calmly in the stable with her fellow horses in the herd.
When one of the experts told me to beat her up showing who was the leader, I decided to let go of all expert advices and to approach Chanova with a different and softer leadership style.
This first lesson was not about the horse it was all about me, not trusting myself. How could Chanova trust me or even like or know me, when I did not show how much I cared about her and what we were accomplishing together? At this point the horse guided me to start my own process to become more authentic, creating trust by being vulnerable and using my intuition like a horse, a prey animal not a predator.
Lesson 2 – Listening skills
The second lesson was about listening. I remember one day, when I came to catch Chanova in the pasture for a jumping training, with my usual tight time schedule. I had no problems getting in contact with her, but she told me nervously pacing around that there was something really frightening going on, and she did not want to leave her herd of horses. I was in a hurry so I told her to forget about it immediately and come along. She followed me restlessly pulling on the rope in all directions.
Horses were my hobby at that time but as a management consultant, busy leading complex projects somewhere in the world, I had no boundaries between work and private life. Suddenly everything happened. My cell phone caught my attention and I quickly picked it up, work was calling. A roaring truck pulled up in front of us and I brusquely stopped the horse from taking of, by pulling the rope with force. Chanova felt trapped, reared, kicked me down with her front hoofs and took of in panic.
Fortunately I was not physically injured. It hurt my heart though, realizing what a pushy and not listening leader I was. This was a hard and maybe necessary lesson to make me let go of my resistance to listen. Chanova as a flight animal created an awareness of the importance to listen and to connect with others, the situation and myself not only for survival but also to create new long lasting healthy relations. I did not have to make her run away I only had to listen and react in the moment with empathy.
Lesson 3 – Intentional presence
The third lesson Chanova taught me was about intentional presence. The horse was most successful in competition with my daughter. Although Chanova was not the best show jumper in the world, she gave all of herself if she trusted the rider.
At that point my daughter was accepted for a tryout to an International Equestrian Education Center with Chanova as her partner. My daughter did great, but Chanova refused to cooperate with the other students who wanted to be perceived as good riders on her back, and the horse was disqualified. Intentional presence is to be aligned with your inner purpose. In this case neither the horse, nor my daughter truly wanted to be in that equestrian program anyway.
In my case I wanted to be perceived as a good rider, horseman and leader and I did not reach my goal with ease and grace until I put my heart in it and really showed the horse and the world that I care.
This is my mission to create more authentic leadership in the world together with horses, and other inspirational leaders, and my number one thing is that I think we need to learn how to express and manage our feelings being intentionally present.
Lesson 4 – Value awareness
Chanova was one of my best coaches in our Horse Assisted Leadership and Team training programs. She was brutally honest always giving direct feedback without judgment. The forth lesson Chanova gave me was about values.
I had this team of German consultants participating in leadership training with horses defining and matching corporate and personal values.
Initially defining values was a mind game, there where no real connection between anybody either horses or humans, in the arena. Suddenly one of the participants exclaimed, “I need space to express my self” and started to walk away slowly. Chanova looked up and chose to follow him. At first she was walking behind him and then she followed easily in trot by his side. Together they moved together with joy and flow showing a total alignment.
This film sequence was widely spread on internet, and a couple of years later when this gentleman came to Stockholm he called me, just to ask if he could meet with Chanova one more time and experience the total alignment verifying his new values.
Lesson 5 – Energy management
The last and fifth lesson Chanova taught me is about energy and the signals we send out to either attract or repel individuals and/or situations.
Research has shown that horses are energetically sensitive to fields produced by the human heart and humans are sensitive to fields produced by horse’s heart. This is a measurement of coherence, which is the state when the heart, mind and emotions are in energetic alignment and in cooperation.
Chanova had a big and forgiving heart and embodied the great gentleness most horses have. Like all horses she could feel fear. Most meetings between horse and human in a Horse Assisted leadership training is about encountering your fears such as not being good enough, fear of failure, being alone, losing control, being together, being present, being vulnerable and the fear to follow your heart and intuition.
It is with love I remember all the different meetings Chanova had with participants in our training programs, most of them ending with Chanova coming forward putting her warm nose in your lap or standing just calmly beside you, giving and receiving love.
Chanova´s heart is not beating any longer in this world but what she left is ALIVE for us humans in the five lessons about Authenticity, Listening skills, Intentional Presence, Value awareness and Energy management.
You are welcome to learn more about our ALIVE Circle, Leadership education and Retreats hereà
If you study leadership literature you will find as many leadership definitions as you will find individuals saying, “I did it my way, and it worked with excellent result”. The point is that leadership is personal. There is no use in copying Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi or any other well-known leader.
It all comes down to your willingness to lead and to live. The definition of ALIVE leadership is to take a direction and hold it no matter how it feels in the moment.
Taking a direction is easy; the emotional part is more difficult. Leading in prosperity, brings out all the positive feelings, and you may feel flow. Using the metaphor of sailing in downwind, you just have to follow the wind and do not have to put in so many efforts to keep the direction. When the wind changes and it starts to blow harder and even storm, it is harder to lead. You lose your direction and when people and things don’t´ show up and develop the way you anticipated, you may feel stress, frustration, fear and isolation. You may get overwhelmed and even blocked.
Being an ALIVE leader you are in contact with yourself and your emotions with authenticity, listening skills, clear intentions, by living your values and managing your energy. With these skills you can easily manage negative feelings and even turn theme around by commit to work your absolute best to change things and leave not only yourself but also people you meet better then when you found them.
With the ALIVE methodology we play down all myths about charismatic leadership, showing that leadership and transformation is about dramatically ordinary aspects of leadership. It is about creating relations and working with the core of individuals and organizations instead of against it.
5 productive positive results you need to create as a Leader and How you can learn the ALIVE leadership skills
Have you ever prepared yourself, or you’re team for the ultimate success having the perfect strategy, project plans, crew and circumstances, and then at a critical moment you meet a total rejection, no support and no funding? Or even worse a Yes, but No setting back your dreams, your vision and all you have been working for, for a long time.
Some years ago, in sales school, I learned that a NO, or a rejection was one NO closer to a YES. At that point of rejection getting a NO made me devastated. In my mind I could understand the many No´s to the Yes story, but emotionally it was hard to take in.
As a result of a rejection, I used to go back and thoroughly investigate all potential mistakes, blaming not only my team and circumstances but also myself. Saying, “we should have done this or that, and if the stakeholders, where smarter, they would have understood how great this idea is”, and so on.
From my perspective I was doing my best, working hard, there was no more I could do, and still I was not able to reach the results I set to up achieve at that point. As a result of this struggle I was feeling powerless. I was a victim. Trying to push an outcome, controlling, pretending, perfecting, and numbing what was already moving in the right direction. But I did not see it that way, at the time.
Pushing into the resistance, using adrenalin was my prime driver and became my normal way of leading, my teams, my horses and myself. One day I was overpowered, by my own horse and made aware of my unintentional use of force and how unproductive that is. Humbly I learned from a horse, being 10 times, bigger, faster and energetically sensitive than me, to understand that I have to focus on the only thing that I really can control and influence – my own behaviour and ability to respond as a leader. The horse’s taught me that I always have a choice to respond in the face of a challenge.
That was the start of my journey, creating productive positive results being an ALIVE, Authentic, Listening, Intentional, Value driven and Energetic leader.
The 5 Productive Positive Results you need to create as a leader are:
Result 5 - Attract the right opportunities
You have probably experienced both a flow of energy when everything feels easy and blocked energy when things are heavy, and the impact it can have on your body, thoughts and believes.
We all know what dissonance feels like. It is the opposite of resonance. It is kind of a stuck energy, and for some of us it is just the way we are. We have got used to the feeling and we think it is normal. Life is hard. Things work out for other people, but not for me. Some of us get sick and life is painful and hard work. But this is not normal. Everyone have the capacity to feel flow, which is when your energy come into alignment. This is everybody’s natural energetic state and we can all go back there and develop our own energetic consciousness.
To manage energy is a natural skill, that we all have and can develop and it leads us into resonance with others and our selves. Like any other skill it takes practice. Do you feel energetically open or closed? It is all about being conscious about how you are showing up right now. Emotions are energy in motions. It is your energy supporting and attracting or blocking and repelling the right opportunities in to you life.
Introducing the ALIVE Blog and Kerstin Weibull Lundberg
During my first year as a Horse Assisted Coach back in 2007, I had a team of C-suit managers coming in from different places in Europe to our venue outside Stockholm for their yearly strategic kick-off. On the agenda for that team was one-day leadership training with horses. The managers had received limited information about the training, and some of them did express themselves very skeptical to the horse part. Horses could be potential dangerous and stupid, so what could they learn from a horse? In the beginning of the training we were observing a team of managers, that where very skeptical cynical and apprehensive. They showed up with stiff body postures and movements and their facial expressions were kind of tight. They spoke with strained voices and they were all, controlled and in their minds. By the end of the day the same group of mangers had changed. They were playful and at the same time they shared deep authentic insights. They listened to each other and they could not believe, THEY CONNECTED WITH A HORSE.
These experiences from the transformation of people from different organizations to become alive leaders, happened over and over again. That is the reson we named the methodology ALIVE leadership and team education. Now we are allowing the letters in ALIVE to express the 5 important leadership skills, we are practicing as leaders.
I just turned 60 years old, so in reality I am closer to being a “dead leader” than “being alive”. However, I feel more alive than ever, passionately educating more and more ALIVE leaders. If the opposite of being an “alive leader” is being a “dead leader”, that” is where I found myself years ago.
After earning my Masters degree in Engineering, spiced with a Master in Business Administration my career road took me to many different industries in different leadership positions. I didn´t fail on the hard parts of leadership, like visioning the big picture, leading myself, communicating well and perform with extraordinary results.
I failed my team and myself when I was not being intentional and focused in the right way. This drained us on energy. I did not thoroughly understand the concept of “service above self”. I did not always engender the trust and loyalty of those I lead. I loved my work, but love was not always present and practiced in my team. I failed on the soft parts, and that is when I was a “dead leader”.
The biggest failure was my lack of awareness of how I was perceived as a leader until my own horse told me. What really happened is a story I will tell you another time.
It took me a long time to understand how great horses are as teachers. Even though I have had my own horses for 30 years, and lived with them on a farm together with my three children and my husband for the last 20 years.
As a prey animal the horse depend on the herd, and on the leader for survival. This is instincts horses cultivated over thousands of years, and that also helped them to better adapt to changes in the environment. What is interesting with horses is that they communicate not only within their own species, but over the boarders to other species as well. This is the reason the horse is one of eight animal species that the human have succeeded to domesticate.
When you separate a horse from the herd, the horse will ask you, ”Were is my herd? “Who is leading?”. Right in that moment the horse does not ask you how much you know, but how much you care. If you are not connected to your inner self, it really does not matter how smart and intelligent you are, unless you want to dominate, be a “pushy leader” or use violence. Pretending that you are strong or not afraid, when you really are, will send out scary signals to a horse (to sensitive humans well as). The horse requests that you are authentic, true to your self in all situations in order to be accepted as the leader.
With the wakeup call my horse gave me, I received awareness of what a “pushy leader” I was, and how rarely I was present and connected to others, the situation and myself. I was not at all authentic. The best part was that I realized, that I DID NOT FAIL, I WAS LEARNING.
I started my own journey of being an ALIVE leader 2005, and I realized that I had to look inside of myself for the right answers. With a new authentic attitude I developed new behaviors, ways of doing and creating new and greater results. I joined organizations in the US and Germany that offered educations and certifications in Coaching and Horse Assisted Education
I transformed myself from being a Management Consultant, always having the answers, to being an Executive Coach, assisting people in finding the answers. This transformation was really awarding. In this period of time I developed “The path of being more authentic”, a concept for personal leadership development and culture change navigation that has been successfully implemented in organizations.
The way ahead with ALIVE leadership education is disruptive in the sense that we are now taking the next step from Real Time Leadership education with horses to online leadership education with web seminars and circles. The strength with the horses is, that you can practice over and over again until you get was is missing. The horse is your mirror and gives you direct feedback, without judgment. The horse connects with you on an emotional level. In the online ALIVE leadership education you will practice in your real life, which is not quite as effective. The coach and other participants are your mirror and we use a virtual circle without feedback to connect on an emotional level. This creates another safe environment for experiential learning.
Do you know how to find out if you succeed in transforming to an ALIVE leader? Look in to your eyes and your facial features. If your eye are shining and your face has an soft expression, you know your are an ALIVE Leader. TO CONNECT WITH AHORSE IS A PROOF OF YOUR AUTHENTICITY. I have learned in my work as an Executive coach that connecting as a result of authenticity is speed of learning, change and development. I strongly believe that the world needs more ALIVE Leaders and I really hope to find you being one of them. Welcome to join us in the Alive Leadership and Team Education
In this blog I will share my knowledge of ALIVE leadership. During the next 12 weeks I will give away bonuses supporting you in a quick start of your leadership development.