After my third Leadership Retreat of a four-retreat program with The Coaches Training Institute (CTI), my understanding of Leadership has drastically changed. In this series, I will share some of these inner shifts.

I attended the program in the first place because I wanted the transformation that I knew the Co-Active Leader Program could provide through their powerful experiential learning and teaching models.

I left a permanent corporate position with the intention of growing my own coaching business, and I wanted everything on my side. I wanted to get out of my own way and believed that this program would do the trick. And it is.

To begin with, here is something new: We are all leaders.

You may not believe that you are a leader. You may not want the responsibility that you imagine goes with leading. You may be thinking of Martin Luther King, Gandhi or Mandela – shoes so big to fill.

Stop then. Look at this. In your life, whether you believe you are leading or not, you are. You are the leader of your life, for better or worse. How you live your life, where you take yourself, those are all moments of leading.

Whether you take charge or not, you are taking charge. All of your actions have impact on you, your world, and others.

To step into your leader self means to find the one who is already there, not the one who wants to look like someone else.

To step into your leader self means to take note of the unique energy of who you are and what you bring and to stand in that fully.

When I try to be the formal, serious, business-like person that I think is expected “out there”, I suck.  There is nothing natural or compelling about me when I think I have to deliver how I saw others be in the business world. How painful that was. I had trained my real self into a box.

Now, as I un-learn to let go of constant seriousness into a more playful and easy way of interacting with others – in any situation – the leader in me can be more effective and comfortable.

We are here to shine our unique gifts and our particular way of seeing the world as we lean into our own authority to draw from, as a contribution to our immediate and larger world.

What parts of your private self want to be alive and shine in the public arena? How would the presence of those parts make you happier?

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