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December 2009 : "What message are you projecting as a leader in your organization?"

Is it packed with fear during these economic challenges? Are you coming from scarcity? Is the manner you are projecting based in stress, concern and worry? Is your body or your voice abrupt, tight and abrasive? Are the words out of your mouth thoughtless and based in your emotions? What moods are you projecting? What messages are you putting out there for those who believe in you to read or hear?

Is it time to consider the possibility of "shifting" or transforming the conversations you are projecting as a leader in your company? The above conversations are not from the perspective of a leader grounded in his commitment… unless his commitment is to scarcity.

Your team, your employees, your bosses are working from "what's possible in the company." Are you communicating with them appropriately? Or are you communicating
to them as if they 'need to know' the absolute minute details of the challenges the company is having in this market, as you might with a Board of Directors?

Believe me, they too know that the economy is pinched and do not need to hear how
the company is in 'near dire straits.' They are dealing with it themselves and to hear this information coming from you, their 'trusted leader', just may be undermining their hopes for peace of mind, your leadership and eventually the health of your company.

Let me give you an example of what I mean. As a U.S. Coast Guard licensed Captain, I took participants of my courses off-shore cruising (out of sight of land) on 40-50 foot sailboats for 4-10 day cruises, and during these cruises I learned a valuable perspective I hadn't experienced before.

At times we would be challenged by weather or an engine mishap or once, a backstay snapped off causing the main sail to be supported only by the wind leaving it impossible to drop the sail until we were under an ideal situation. Over time, I found that if I projected fear or upset as their 'leader,' participants were absolutely frightened for their lives. If I was 'down in the dumps' and was unconscious about it, they became upset, angry, and bickered with each other. If I was having problems with the boat, the weather, the situation, etc. and showed it to them via my voice, my mood or my body dispositions, they became almost unreachable and untrustworthy and then my problems increased exponentially.

If you 'come from' scarcity in your moods, your language, or your body dispositions, your company employees will come from scarcity.

What worked was for me to always stand in what was "possible" - not certainty, but the possibility of creating and standing in a life that I had designed by taking on being their leader. Once I had stepped back and observed my way-of-being, my crews naturally became well aware of when I was focused and knew not to interfere with what I was doing on the boat. Their upsets and concerns naturally fell to what their crew assignments were. They trusted that I was doing all I could do to ensure their safety. At times, I didn't know what the heck I was going to do; however, they were focused, excited and content and kept bringing me back to the solutions I always seemed to find out of them being who they were for me.

You are the proclaimed leader of your company (YAY!). My unsolicited advice?

Stand in what's possible - not probable and quit spilling your guts! Ouch. Did I say that? Yes, I did. Begin to observe the messages you are projecting to your company. To your family. To yourself. Is that really the message you are choosing to project and in fact, 'live into' in your life?

As Bucky Fuller said:

"You cannot change people -
But you can change the environment
And people will change."

Change the environment of your company from scarcity to abundance. You are the leader, and it can only come from you. THEY [we] follow YOUR lead.

Sometimes you have to step out and make choices that are not easy; however, 'we' do not need to know the reasons why. Understanding is the booby prize.

My intention is for you to succeed and to continue to draw from who your employees, your team, your boss, are for you. They are your rudders. They are there for you to be brilliant and to continue to move towards your vision. Listen to that intention and live into it.


Stop. Yes, stop. Stop what you are doing. Stop thinking of what you are thinking if it is anything but of you.

Take a breath. Now take another breath; one that is a conscious breath full of the realization that life is full of many aspects that you may have been unconscious about given the drift of the conversations in the world right now.

All is not lost. You are your most important resource in the job "you should / want to / have to / or need to get done." Your job is unique to you because of what you bring to it. The people that work for you are as good as what you project to them. Become curious. Who you are being for yourself? Or for them?

Relax your shoulders. Relax your back, your neck, your body. Take another breath.
Think about the message you wish to project. Ask yourself, how can you practice that message rather than the one you have been practicing?

Please share with me what you are now noticing.


Patricia Hirsch, MBA, Master Certified Coach and Chief Empowerment Officer with Design Your Life Coaching