Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Lighthouse Leadership ~ Guiding with Inner Light

We are pleased to share an article entitled “Lighthouse Leadership ~ Guiding with Inner Lightwritten by Jennifer Zach.

In the grand scheme of life, timing plays a pivotal role. There’s a saying that what you seek is also seeking you. It’s the cosmic equivalent of stars aligning, making things clearer.

That’s precisely what happened in early 2018 for both my client, Michelle, and me. At that time, we each found ourselves standing at career crossroads, pondering our professional destinies.

For me, the crossroads presented a daunting decision: should I persist with my coaching practice or return to the world of technology? Meanwhile, Michelle was grappling with her own set of opportunities and challenges, wondering about the next step in her professional journey.

The convergence of our paths can be attributed to a series of conversations and connections. I became Michelle’s trusted thought partner, and in the process, she unwittingly became my inspiration to stay the course in the coaching world.

At that juncture, my coaching practice had been struggling to gain traction, and the clock was ticking to make a defining decision. Together, we embarked on a transformative journey, navigating the ever-changing tides of life, from the pre-COVID era to the tumultuous COVID times and beyond.

Michelle, a senior healthcare executive, was navigating particularly turbulent waters in her role. What struck me most about Michelle was her unwavering dedication to her team and her profound commitment to her cause. Her approach to leadership was characterized by thoughtfulness, a willingness to embrace new practices like meditation, and the somatic awareness principles I introduced to her. These were all focused on serving her team and the patients and communities they were dedicated to.

This journey was not easy. It demanded dedication, curiosity, and a steadfast commitment to consistent practice in order to unlock the full potential of these tools.

As I watched Michelle’s progress through her career, her selfless service and her growing capacity to remain curious and composed even in the most challenging circumstances, it became increasingly evident that she embodied a unique brand of leadership. However, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until one day when the words just slipped out of my mouth: “lighthouse leader.”

Michelle was, in essence, a lighthouse leader – not guiding ships through treacherous waters, but rather guiding her team by casting a beacon of light along their path. This light helped them navigate the complexities and uncertainties of modern healthcare.

Much like a physical lighthouse, the source of this guiding light came from within Michelle. For a lighthouse leader, the key factor in determining the brightness of this inner light is self-regulation – the ability to manage one’s emotions, thoughts and behaviors in the face of perceived threats. It’s about making thoughtful and rational choices that foster a culture of psychological safety and connection.

For Michelle, this meant that instead of struggling to manage her own emotions, she could be more fully present, self aware and curious. This allowed her to possess the capacity to help her leaders and team members be their best selves as they cared for the patients and communities they served.

When leaders like Michelle cast a light of psychological safety and connection, they play a vital role in calming the internal storms that often rattle those they lead, pointing the way to better results, creating an environment where individuals can thrive and perform at their best.

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