Lawyers, accountants, and doctors are all are required to pursue some sort of continuing education in order to keep their license. Who is the licensing authority for you as a leader in your organization? It is those with whom you work. They are the ones who “vote” everyday on whether or not you are leading effectively.
For the better part of 20 years, I have had the honor of helping people earn and retain their license to lead. I have helped driven executives working in pressured environments lead with greater calm and clarity. I have counseled the shy and quiet leader who mistakenly sees this as a deficit. I have helped overly coached executive women return to a style of leadership that is authentic and true. I have coached gifted leaders who struggle with a deficit that has the potential to be a fatal flaw. I have helped to reenergize burned-out leaders who have lost their inspiration for their work. My passion in life is helping leaders get better.
Why contemplative leadership? Most leaders are working at an extraordinary pace, often struggling to balance their lives. Turning your attention inward – the underpinning of any contemplative act – balances your nervous system, strengthens your relationship to the present, deepens self knowledge, and shifts your relationship to the world around you. You may not be able to slow down your work environment, but it is possible to remain calm and relaxed even when under pressure.
There is also an external impact of contemplative work. All of your leadership skills rest on a capacity to accurately perceive the demands of any given moment and to then respond in that moment with clarity, objectivity, compassion, and insight. Based on an accurate perception of the present moment you are discerning what style of leadership is called for, reading your audience, managing your relationships, navigating the politics, ascertaining what data is relevant to your decisions, and clarifying your objectives.
Leading with this kind of clarity requires that you cultivate an inner state that is both relaxed and alert. It requires that you have access to all forms of intelligence – intellectual, emotional and intuitive. It requires that you know your blind spots and that you develop mechanisms to work around them. Working in partnership with you, we will seek to identify your deepest sources of inspiration so that your work remains vital and creative. We will seek, as well, to find the root of your specific challenges so that changes are permanent. We ground our work in the everyday challenges that you are facing using your day-to-day experience as the grit of our work together.
I hope you will enjoy perusing this site and learning something about us. You may particularly appreciate the resource section that provides articles and writings that have been inspiring to me, and many of my clients.
I welcome you to contact me directly if you would like to speak further about the nature of our work and your particular leadership needs.
Jan Birchfield, Ph.D.
Founder of CLD