“This I Believe About Leadership…”

Within the last month, everyone in our Homeward Bound cohort completed their Lifestyle Inventory which is “an individual development tool that uses both self-assessment and colleague feedback to identify individual thinking and behavioral styles. By providing insights into strengths and areas for development, it empowers people to embark on their own journeys to being better at, and enjoying more, everything they do.”  In addition to completing the survey ourselves, we each selected up to 8 respondents (direct reports, bosses, peers, etc.) to complete the survey about us. Based on survey responses and geographic location we will be paired with a leadership coach for a minimum of 4 sessions.  Leadership coaching can be very expensive, so this is huge benefit of the program.  The company Human Synergistics donates this service to the program, so a big shout out to them!!

I think most participants have recently received their results and in fact, mine just arrived in the mail today.  However, I wanted to get this update posted before looking at the results, so I haven’t yet peeked inside the envelop.

From what I’m told, and from some less formal experience, leadership coaching or having an honest mentor can also be a little painful.  Apparently, the anonymity of a 360 evaluation gives respondents the license to speak freely.  On one hand that’s exactly what you want, on the other hand, it’s not always what you want to hear.  It’s never easy to look in the mirror expecting to see a beautiful princess and discovering that you’ve got a few warts.

Nonetheless, it’s an opportunity for growth and development.  So, I thought it might be interesting in a somewhat public forum to track my progress over the course of the next year.  A significant number of the questions on the Homeward Bound application focused on our personal experiences and our thoughts on leadership. On specific question was something along the lines of, “Complete the following statement, This I believe about leadership… (100 words or less)”

My response to this question was:

“This I believe about leadership, it is not easy to define in 100 words or less.  Leadership is a challenge, a responsibility, and a privilege.  Leadership changes with the circumstances under which one is called to lead.  I believe it requires a stable vision and moral compass, but the flexibility to adapt to different situations.  Leadership may mean being out in front while at other times it may mean leading from behind. It may require change and compromise, while at other times, maintaining a steady course.  Leadership skills need to be constantly reevaluated and refined to achieve success.”

I’m interested to know how you would have answered this question or if you have any specific comments about my response.  Let me know what you think – a little lively debate will be a good warm-up for what’s to come with my one-on-one coaching!!  A year from now, I will revisit the question to see how much my response has changed.


Antarctica Not-So-Fun Fact:  The rate of Antarctic ice loss has tripled compared to what it was a decade ago.



Okay, so maybe I opened the envelop, but I haven’t looked at the results yet – wish me luck!!


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