After years as a successful programmer Leigh was promoted to a managerial position because of her considerable technological accomplishments and her tenure in the company. To prepare for her new role she was sent to leadership trainings in which she read case studies, watched DVDs explaining leadership models, completed personality instruments that assessed her leadership strengths and weaknesses, and she sat through countless power point presentations. She was a sincere student.
Yet her team complained that she isolated herself, was a poor listener, and generated a mood of anxiety. She offered no leadership. Her team simply didn’t trust her. Although Leigh was assigned an executive coach her behavior didn’t change. Leigh could not apply what she was being taught.
Sound familiar? Talented people are taught the principles of exemplary leadership, they can tell you what a leader does, and they post inspirational sayings on their walls, but fall short of being a good leader.
What we haven’t fully come to terms with is that people don’t necessarily change because they’re more knowledgeable; they change because they engage in new practices. It’s the commitment to generative practices that shift our behaviors, presence, and way of Being. This requires embodying our learning and not just accumulating data. Trying to change by collecting new information is like blowing up a blimp with a bicycle pump.
Somatic Coaching provided Leigh with the awareness, openings and practices to embody a Leadership Presence. She has now built a team that is self-generating, self-educating, and self-mobilizing. Leigh is now in line for a promotion.
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Published by North Atlantic Books, distributed by Random House,