Monthly Archives: February 2012

How To Influence Inspired Action

Leadership is much more about the capacity to influence indirectly the people in your organization in a way that results in them taking inspired action.

So how does the metaphor of a lighthouse relate to influence and inspired action? Lighthouses were created to warn mariners of object hazards and to provide a reference point for safe passage. Lighthouses are there through all types of weather.

In this leadership presentation image it means being a trusted presence to offer guidance when it’s needed. Not stepping in and rescuing people or situations. Being a leader of influence requires that you hold a strong faith in your capacity to let people make their way through difficult situations.

  • Leadership can sometimes require that we follow.
  • Leadership is about listening intently and being dedicated to the success of each person and thus the whole of the organization.
  • Leadership is about balancing ones dedication to mission/vision with the human capability of your organization.
  • Leadership is about strong conviction grounded in authenticity, humility and self respect.

At Colibri Facilitation we’ve learned that inspired action comes from a workplace where people give themselves permission to head out into uncharted water’s knowing they will encounter rough seas. People reassured by the strength of their craft and knowing that in the distance they have the support to regain their bearings and find safe harbor. An inspired leader see’s all of this and more.

How are you influencing inspired action?



Water As A Leadership Metaphor

Water is a common metaphor when looking at leadership

Water as a Leadership Metaphor

Over the last twelve years I’ve had the opportunity to visually record leadership synthesis sessions of more than 300 executives. Each presenter was asked to provide a leadership metaphor that described his or her leadership journey. The graphic facilitation example is of one of these many leadership presentations.

The most common metaphor in all the presentations is the presence of water in it’s many forms. Rivers and oceans, swift moving water and the calm of water in a pond or backyard garden. The image of water and leadership together makes me think of a person who provides steady leadership in a rapidly changing if not volatile business climate. A few phrases come to mind, the calm before the storm or the eye of the storm. Or in the image I included, preparing for a raft trip.

In this presentation leadership is about everyone being in the same boat going in the same direction. Our work is a journey of continuous learning. As a leader being reflective of how his or her actions influence others. Jeff reminds us that in every journey we “paint the path” as we go. We have to learn to live with a degree of uncertainty and trust that the journey will unfold.

If we have a strong team and a clear destination point the journey should be fun, a bit scary at times, but in the end a team affirming experience. One we remember and discuss around a warm campfire at the end of the day.

How do you influence the people around you? Comment below; I’d like to know.


How To Increase Your Power of Commitment

How Can You Increase The Power of Commitment

The Power of Commitment

Conscious commitment to a bigger vision and goal creates results that really matter and make a bigger difference.  Today, in my own weekly best practices mastermind  I was reminded of the power of commitment, values alignment, and the  increased results and success it brings to both individuals and groups.

When one isn’t committed you find they are what I call slippery.  Slippery people, clients and organizations often have great conversations but do little to nothing with the lofty content and the outcome generates relatively low value, meek personal satisfaction and modest measurable results.

The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating — in work, in play, in love.  – Anne Morriss

This inspirational quote on the power of commitment perfectly states what in addition to results is gained – liberation. We often don’t think of commitment and liberation as being a powerful force.

How can you increase your power of commitment?

If we took time up front to become clear and aligned with the bigger picture vision we would be able to be more decisive and ultimately committed to the goals and tactics that are necessary to undertake and reach your larger vision, plans and goals.  It would help you create a more sustainable path and results.

When one actually has a vision / bigger plan you have a more powerful commitment and sustainable results because you are invested.  Unfortunately, many individuals don’t take the time to understand how your vision on many occasions isn’t supported and aligned with your individual core values.

I’ve found time and again, if you are not in alignment with your own core values there is greater  unconscious conflict and you more easily allow obstacles to stop your progress – as well as you are less invested in your organization and become what I call slippery.

When you’re slippery you are in essence telling yourself one thing, such as “this is very important” but you don’t believe it – often because it’s not in alignment with your core values and what you really believe.  And because you are not willing to face this reality you act “as if” this is a perfectly acceptable vision, plan and goal, but don’t have the personal drive and belief to make it happen no matter what stands in the way.

Clients and organizations that don’t understand the correlation between personal values alignment and personal level of commitment to a larger organizational vision often wonder why “the best laid plans” don’t come to fruition.  Once they begin on some level to take this into account they will soon notice an increased level of commitment and personal motivation that increase the bottom line results and overall satisfaction levels that make a stronger organization.

How often do you notice you or others on your team are being “slippery” and what do you do to create a stronger sense of commitment?