Embracing the Wilderness (#1 in Influential Leaders Series)

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I was looking for inspiration to write about a new program we’re offering at Core Impact Coaching called “Become an Influential Leader”. I found more than I was bargaining for when I came across Brené Brown’s new book Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone.

Whenever Brené writes a book, I’m intrigued and terrified. Intrigued because she is a thorough researcher who writes in an articulate, funny and wisdom-filled manner about topics people don’t even want to think about, let alone discuss. Terrified because I know she will hold me to a standard I might not be able to achieve. She’s done it again.

She defines “true belonging” as “the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.”

It struck me as I was reading the book that it is all about being influential. It’s having the courage to speak up with confidence and share our passion with others when we may get criticized or even harassed. It’s listening with an open mind to gain the trust of those with whom we disagree and empowering them to do the same. Its making a commitment to hold ourselves and others accountable to respond when an injustice has been done.

Recent research by Keller et al suggests that these internal “traits” – confidence, commitment, courage, passion, empowering, trustworthiness (and one more called “likeability”) are essential to be influential. It’s not what you do to persuade others. It is who you are that attracts them and opens their minds and hearts to you. Our program is based on this wisdom and the research that underpins it. In the next seven articles, we will dive deeper into these traits to give you a clear understanding of why they are so vital to your ability to influence others and make your highest and best contribution to the world.

Until next time, embrace the wilderness. Be who you are, unafraid to be part of something or stand alone in a world that needs you to bring your most authentic, influential self every day.

About Jeannie Phillips

Jeannie Phillips, PhD, ACC, is a Senior Affiliate Coach for Core Impact Coaching specializing in leadership development with over twenty years of corporate experience leading projects, people and the development and execution of strategy. She is also owner of J. R. Phillips Leadership Coaching focusing on transforming technical experts into influential leaders.

She’s also a coach for Women for Change Coaching Community (W4C3), a nonprofit organization with a mission to make coaching accessible to all women.

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On September 29, 2017
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