LEADING WITH IDENTITY IN MIND

This past week, my newsfeed was filled with video and commentary of an incident that occurred at Colorado State University. Two prospective students had come to CSU for an admission tour. They had traveled quite far to get there (driving over 7 hours), and arrived shortly after the tour had started. They joined the tour. 

I can only imagine this scenario -- two young people who are excited to begin their college search journey. Driving with excitement to get there. Probably now a bit worried that they are late. And, just wanting to blend in and not make a scene.

Except, that was what triggered a parent on the tour to call the police because these teenagers (who were coming to their dream college tour) had made her nervous because they were so quiet.

I'm not going to write about my reaction to that, though. That's my other blog...

I want to focus on the way in which leadership matters. 

Now, I don't know the President of CSU. But, I know all about communications and the need to put out an email or notification about an incident. I know what happens in that back room -- efforts to take just enough responsibility, but not too much. Efforts to be firm, but not so firm that it is meaningful. And, language that is progressive, but not so progressive as to spark conservative voices. I've been there. 

So, it's refreshing to read a note from a university President that takes the time to take a stand. 

This is precisely why I focus on identity-conscious leadership and coaching.

Though I don't know him, the words of this president seem genuine. He seems genuinely concerned by what happened to these two young men. And, he offers opportunities to make things right for the moment. 

THEN, he acknowledges and validates that nothing about this should be normal or acceptable. He doesn't just stop with "let's offer them a paid trip back." He takes a stand to say that this is part of a larger system of injustice. 

As I read his words, I am compelled to think, "He knows who he is." 

That's what I mean by identity-conscious leadership.

Too often, leaders have risen to a level of stature because of their achievements or accolades. But, none of that matters if the leader does not know themselves. And, particularly in a climate where issues of race and identity (among others) are so salient, leaders must understand their own identities in the context of these issues. 

I have spent too many years with too many leaders who have been successful at making big decisions, but who have failed to think through how those changes impact different identities and experiences. 

Check out the letter here

And, remember, Leadership Matters. How will you make sure that yours does, too? 

Coaching is a process that can certainly help you begin to uncover your blocks related to action and activism. We can go deep to figure out how your own identity informs your leadership, and what possibly keeps you from engaging. Let's give it a try. 

Sign up for a 20-minute introductory call to see if you are ready to engage in identity-conscious leadership!

Peace and gratitude, 

Liza

NOW ACCEPTING SCHOOL/ORGANIZATIONAL CLIENTS

Hello friends! 

Just taking this opportunity to announce that I have opened up my calendar for organizational clients, particularly focusing on schools and school leadership. I have had the privilege of seeing the power of coaching in transforming the lives of teachers and administrators. Faculty often come to coaching because they love their work but are feeling disengaged or feeling discouraged by the amount of work; the rapid rate of change in schools; or the growing expectations of families and administrators. I have worked with teachers to help them return to a values based lens -- one that drew them to the service of teaching! Faculty share that they feel heard, seen, and encouraged to approach their work in a way that honors their personal lives and their professional passions. 

For administrators, it is vital that we understand how to be culturally responsive and inclusive in our management. However, our formal training has not always prepared us for the role of engagement. Coaching helps administrators better understand how individuals work, act, and respond. And we, in turn, can engage with more positive energy, direction, and vision. 

Check out the coaching packages I will be offering as of July 1st. But, don't wait to sign up! Given that these processes intentionally dive deep into the culture of the school, I am limiting the number of organizations that will have access to this level of coaching. So, reserve your school's spot soon!

Screen Shot 2018-03-22 at 12.16.12 AM.png

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out so that we can engage in a collaborative dialogue about the coaching process, the impact on our communities, and the investment that we make in the health of our schools. 

 

With peace, 

Liza

FRIENDS WHO CELEBRATE YOU

Last night was Oscar's night. And, while I usually don't watch it, I was traveling and this seemed to be the best thing on television as I settled in after a long day. I was so happy to see such representation at the Oscars but thrilled to hear people use the platform to advocate for social issues and inclusion. 

Shortly after Jordan Peele won for "Get Out", this photo was circulated of his writing partner, Keegan Michael Key, celebrating Peele's win. 

download.jpeg

Right? Like all the feels! I thought, "Everyone should have a friend like Keegan Michael Key who is unabashedly proud, excited and celebratory of your success!" Do we all have this in our lives? Is there someone in your life who you know would jump off the couch, raise their hands high, and yell with excitement over your success? 

I hope so. 

Over the years, I have spent more time finding people to celebrate than to compete with in my life. While competition can be motivating, celebration can be transformative. What does it mean to be among people with the same level of energy -- the energy for life, the energy for opportunity, and the energy for passionate living? How does our energy attract that same/like energy?

As a woman, I have found these spaces to be few and far between. As a woman, I have been in more spaces in which women have competed for the few coveted "top" positions -- as if there was only room for one of us. 

But, over the years, I have found my group, my crew, and my people. I began to intentionally position myself among women who were unafraid of celebrating the success of other women. I found this in my doctoral student cohort (a place notorious for competition); in an incredible program called "Ladies Rock, Boston"; and in my coaching circles. And, as we begin to lift each other up, something incredible happens: we all rise. 

I absolutely attribute my experiences with coaching and through coaching for this outlook. I believe that "we can all win" if we are mindful and intentional about opportunities. 

How do you experience support? What limiting beliefs have kept you from feeling deeply connected to your own success and celebrating the success of others? 

Let's celebrate you!

Stepping into brilliance,

Liza