One of the first memories of doing my Masters in Coaching was hearing our senior lecturer saying ” By the time you finish this course you will be able to create your own model.” I finished in 2013 and I’ve only recently created one of the few model I use in my leadership training work. It took a while but, do you know what, I got there… eventually. Now I want to share the model I have called GRACE in Leadership, a title dreamed up for me by Sarah Arrow of Sark eMedia :
Greatness: We all have it in us and we are all born with it, but with some of us, particularly us women, if greatness is continually encouraged in children they can thrive and become successful as adults. Vanessa Mae (violinist) and Lewis Hamilton (Formula 1 winner) are fine examples of people who were encouraged at a young age to follow their dreams to achieve greatness. But what happens when you lose that encouragement of being great, or never had it in the first place? The answer is very simple… remember that you were born great. Have it in your mind that everything you touch turns to gold. You have the ability to make great things happen and that it all starts with one thought. When you get that thought of doing something great trust yourself and go with it. Many fantastic inventions started with just one great idea.
Resilience: This is where I would say children have brilliance. We all have challenges in our lives but how we deal with them is the trick. Like all of the other components of this model we are born with it. You can drop a kid in a situation they haven’t been in before and although they won’t like it at first they learn to adapt and very quickly. I know, because at one time, I was that kid, especially when moving house as many times as we did. One of the things I do in my training is give a scenario where participants have to experience what it is like to be both a pessimist (P) and an optimist (O) and record what they’d do when things turn upside down with disastrous consequences. It is amazing what happens when they swap from being a P to an O and vice versa, when I give them a different scenario. People, when given the opportunity, are incredibly creative with what they can do to bounce back from a disaster. We all can be.
Ambitions: Do you remember when you were a child and you told an adult what you wanted to do when you were a grown up? How many of you managed to realise your ambition? I recall, at the age of 7, telling my mum that I wanted to be a check-out girl. My mum didn’t hesitate in showing me her disappointment. Well, I defied my mum and realised my ambition and took my first paid job in a shop local to me. It didn’t last but that’s not the point. The point is, I did what I wanted to do and have been doing so ever since. Many of us have ambitions but are put off because of things our parents or our peers say or because they don’t give us their support. This has become an issue for may women, particularly when it comes to leadership. If you have an ambition and want to make it real, go for it. If you are easily swayed by negative influences, don’t mention it to anyone who may have the potential of swaying you. Only tell the people who you know are going to support you. Those who support you may even be able to help you to get closer to your ambition. When you think about your ambition think about your why. Why do I want to do this? Why is it important that I do this? When we want to realise our leadership ambitions it is very easy to be put off going any further, especially if you see poor examples of leadership. Let poor examples of leadership serve as a good lesson to you. Let it show you that there are more effective ways to lead so that you can have positive relationships with people and are good with your own stress management.
Creative: See this one as you wish. It could be as an artist, a designer in the creative industry or you could see it as someone who does things differently to someone else. Either way I use creativity in this model as a tool for people to use their own imagination to do things effectively or to do it well. In my workshops I encourage the women I work with to have a go at using the models I teach them and to adapt it so that it works for them. There are many teachers and trainers in the world who teach people to follow their model for success then follow-up by telling them that if they don’t follow the model to a tee they will fail. I am here to tell you that it is not the case at all because one size does not fit all. We can all take principles and adapt them to suit to our own paths to success and longevity. Remember that when you do things your way, and for the good, you are more likely to do things well and have influence.
Excellence: We all have the innate ability to be extremely good at something. It could be playing an instrument, gardening or something else that is creative. When it comes to leadership, excellence comes in many forms. It could be getting the job done, leading a high-flying team or winning awards for producing excellent work. I help women to find their excellence by getting them to look at their strengths and their areas for development. When people work on ways to develop, it enables them to become stronger at what they do well, whether that is having good relationships with their peers or direct reports or solving to reduce stress.
If you would like to know more about the GRACE in Leadership model or any of the training programmes I do for emerging female leaders, please visit the Impact Coaching & Consultancy website.