Butler County Times Gazette
  • Becky Wolfe: Exercising leadership not always easy

  • Looking within ourselves is a hard step
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  • “If it was easy, everyone would do it.”  
    Exercising leadership is not easy and while all of us would like to say we follow that path constantly, I can honestly say that I wish I did.  Things get in the way, especially my own vulnerabilities and triggers.
    One of the biggest challenges to exercising leadership is how and when to manage ourselves.  To recognize the things that trigger our frustration, anger, resentment and even those triggers that tells us to pull back – to take our toys and go home.  
    Recognizing our triggers, and yes, our vulnerabilities will help us to understand how well we are situated within the groups we are working with.  According to the research and training of the Kansas Leadership Center, we must identify what our capabilities are but we also must look deeper to understand what our triggers and vulnerabilities are that could hinder progress.
    Looking within ourselves is a hard step and one few people care to actively do very often.  In an interview called LEADERSHIP AND THE INNER JOURNEY with Parker Palmer, one of the country’s foremost educators, he tells us “taking the inner journey will lead you into very shadowy places.  You are going to learn things about yourself you’ll wish you didn’t know.”  
    In learning and understanding your triggers and vulnerabilities, it could lead to some exciting and productive work.  Here are some ideas to begin thinking about managing ourselves.
    Identify your capabilities, vulnerabilities and triggers.
    Figure out how others perceive your role in the system (group, work, home).
    Distinguish yourself from your role.
    Identify and choose among your values that could be competing with each other.
    For more information on exercising leadership, contact Leadership Butler at info@leadershipbutlerinc.org
    Resources:  Leadership and the Inner Journey, an interview with Parker Palmer by LJ Rittenhouse.  The Kansas Leadership Center and Leadership Butler Inc.

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