This morning we hosted our first in a series of events to celebrate #IWD2021. I was joined by 4 of my fellow consultant coaches form the Resilient Leaders Elements community for our empowerment event – Audrey, Isa, Skye and Yamina. Each speaker unpacked one of the elements that forms the foundations of our RLE coaching framework. This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge and each speaker shared what they had chosen to challenge and the impact this had had on them, both personally and professionally.

First up was Audrey, who explored the element of Clarity of Direction, which is underpinned by the facets of Strategic Intent, Unifying Purpose and Determination. Audrey shared the journey she has been on in reidentifying her professional goals and reframing her personal identity since leaving headship. She was courageous in her open and honest narrative about being in the fog, and she shared the steps that she took to move forwards and identify a new goal. Her Strategic Intent emerged as she focused on her strengths and the value she could add, her Unifying Purpose manifested as she sought feedback from others about where they saw her going, and her determination empowered her to navigate this period of uncertainty and to come out the other side stronger and clearer on who she is, and what she does.

Next up was Isa, who unpacked the element of Awareness, which is underpinned by the facets of Self, Others and Awareness. Isa deconstructed a global large scale project she had led in a formal role and modelled how she raised awareness across an organisation and with collaborative partners to empower 80,000 employees to volunteer in their local communities to pay it forward. Her awareness of Self was in how she had held a mirror up to the leaders who were driving this project forwards with their teams to understand how they showed up, her focus on Others was on engaging the leaders in deploying their teams and the Environment was significant in the social responsibility aspect of this work.

Skye shared her story for Leadership Presence next, and this was special as it was the first time she had articulated her journey over the last few years. This element is underpinned by the facets of Authenticity, Serving and Intentional. She reflected on her journey as an officer serving in the British Army and her experiences as a medic being deployed to war zones. She moved on to share her intentional bridging career as a physiotherapist serving the soldiers who have been traumatised by war and later a rugby team. Throughout her story she surfaced her exploration of her authenticity as a woman in leadership, in male heavy domains and how this led to her identity crisis as a mother looking for a different lifestyle in fulfilling her purpose and career goals.

Lastly, we heard from Yamina who led us through a discovery about Resilient Decision Making and the underpinning facets of Creative, Robust and Versatile. Her story was raw as it is current and she is still processing it. She openly shared how she has grappled with the decision to make a big career decision. She reflected on how she was weighed up the pros and cons to make a robust decision. This resonated with many of the audience who are at crossroads in their journeys. Yamina shared how she tackled this situation and the reflective process through which she had deliberated to create the best outcome for herself, her family and her future. Her objective approach to this dilemma showed how we can approach problems and resolve them to find the solution that will enable us to be the best version of us.

Following the storytelling from each speaker who brought an element to life, we had breakout rooms to reflect on the shared learnings and we gathered the collective wisdom in the room. As we approached the end of our morning together we held a panel where the audience could follow up with questions to the speakers to help each other apply the RLE framework to their own personal and professional journeys. We finished with an individual commitment as we all made a #ChooseToChallenge pledge for 2021.

Thank you to our speakers for your radical candour. Thank you to our audience for your engagement. I left feeling inspired and empowered by you all!

Published by Ethical Leader

Leadership Development Consultant, Facilitator, Coach, Speaker and Writer. Experience of teaching schools, initial teacher education, mentoring & coaching, diversity and equality. Passionate about integrity, ethics and values.

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