by Loretta Booker, IWL Coach
The return of lengthening days has long been a time of happiness and celebration for many people, both ancient and contemporary. The winter solstice occurred last month and the time of expanding daylight has now arrived in the northern hemisphere, at least. Many people find that this transitional period is often one of cleansing the self, and perhaps, the home and workspace, to prepare for the new beginnings of the New Year. In the realm of contextual leadership, it is a time to let go of old contexts and old practices that no longer serve you; to create new contexts and practices that inspire and free you.
Regardless of your religious orientation or geographical location on
the earth, I’d like to offer the recent solstice as an opportunity
for reflection. Personally, I find that as one year ends and
another begins, and the days, once again, begin to lengthen, my
mind and heart start pondering such questions as:
All of these questions are variations of that query many of us have heard spoken around the Institute, ‘For the sake of what…?' ‘For the sake of what’ do you get up every morning, engage in dialog during the day, attend the myriad of meetings on your calendar, produce and read documents that explain and justify, return phone calls, read email, devote time to your own well-being (you ARE remembering to do that last one, aren’t you?)? If we don’t keep that big question, ‘for the sake of what…?’ out in front of us, most of those other activities will seem meaningless.
As you recall, you have chosen to enlist in the ‘Leadership Army’ and as a leader, your picture of where you are and your vision of where you are going needs to be crystal clear. Without this clarity, people around you may be left with the question: ‘why bother?’ when it comes to listening to and following you. Your ability to engage others will be impacted not only by your clarity of speech, but also by your willingness to discover and evoke ‘for the sake of what? in their world.
Let’s review a few contextual leadership tools as you reflect on the questions above.
Expanding the Playing Field
Registering the Value
Three Dimensions of any System
Your reflection on the ideas offered here will allow a revelation or resurfacing of what’s important to you. The metaphorical slaying of the old year and rebirth of the new year on the Georgian calendar is a great time to reveal and shift context in your own life. May the sun serve as a beacon of light to guide you as you ponder, ‘Indeed, for the sake of what am I here?’
A seasoned corporate executive, Loretta Booker has over 25 years of experience working in human resources, information systems, commercial lending and market research.
Now an HR consultant and executive and IWL coach, she draws on this range of experience to help clients clarify values, focus on what is truly important, ignite passion, achieve lofty goals—and simultaneously celebrate life.
At the Institute for Women in Leadership, Loretta’s commitment
is to help all individuals and organizations express their highest destiny
and fulfill their visions by 2030. She keeps her sanity by meditating