After coaching executives for the past 15 years to amazing achievement, my clients and I realized there is another level beyond success. We call it “Emergence.” Emergence is not only success on the goal line of life, but success on the soul-line too. Whereas outer achievements (the goal-line of life) can be motivating for a while, they don’t seem to be sustainable. Emergence also includes progress on the soul-line: making a significant purposeful contribution using your specific skills, gifts and talents. The Corona virus has been a powerful pause in how we lead our lives and a powerful time for Emergence—as you’ll see in the stories below.
What do these people have in common? They were willing to cooperate. Emergence isn’t something that you have to digitally order online. It doesn’t require a Ph.D. It’s always unfolding. My own Emergence involved working with others and being escorted (sometimes kicking and sometimes singing), so that the invisible became visible. My clients and I discovered the essential elements of emergence: vulnerability, visibility, voice, and value.
Vulnerability: a willingness and receptivity to actually feel our feelings and needs. So many of us have been focused on extrinsic rewards, that we have lost touch with our own human needs.
Kelli: After 5 years as a senior marketing executive at the world’s most admired tech brand, this client began her new job last month working for an human rights non-profit in Washington D.C., aligned with her values AND gets to work remotely.
Visibility: To really get in touch with what is important, slowing down is required. Presence is required for clarity and choice. And visibility happens when we spend time still.
I learned about slowing down the hard way. I had co-founded a start-up delivering mind/body practices online, to the detriment of my own health and well-being. In my case, the slowing down was mandated by an initial diagnose of Multiple Sclerosis, which was later over-turned. But the message came through loudly: I needed to slow down and improve my self-care. During that time I reduced my career hours, studied modalities of creative expression, completed my Master’s degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Consciousness, Health and Healing.
My business now is tremendously satisfying. I coach clients in Silicon Valley, London, and Dubai on their next level of Emergence. Most recently, I co-created and coached high potential executives in a Fortune 5 Global Women’s Leadership Program integrating energy, mind, feelings, speech and actions to support their Emergence.
I have worked with many executives who literally stop accruing vacation, because they have too much amassed. A female senior executive client from one of the most profitable companies in the world has been a brilliant “over-achiever” her whole life. As we worked together, one of her goals was to be “a vacation over-achiever.” She is proudly now taking three weeks of vacation a year and beginning to make a dent in her accrued vacation. With more time to restore, she has been promoted and she has created a new women’s leadership collective in her organization.
Voice – take back the mic. Somewhere along the line, we turned the mic over to the podcasts we’re listening to, the mission of the company we work for, or the loudest most extroverted point of view in the room. In order to emerge, you’ve got to listen to yourself. This happens through journaling, essential conversations, and deep listening. Listening to what is actually behind the words, emails, and shoulds. Some of us haven’t tested our own voice in a while. Testing 1,2,3.
Amy, a Human Resource Business Partner, worked for a global technology company in Boston. Ready to amp up her visibility and voice, she landed a job at the Head of Human Resources for an International Travel company that had just expanded to the US. While we were working together, she also completed her third level of Reiki Mastery (energy healing), and deepened her own spiritual practices.
And finally Value. This is two-fold. Owning your values, and honoring what you value. Many of us use our jobs, stock options, and 401K as a means to an end. The problem is the end never really seems to arrive, and we usually find ourselves deeper in the beginning and further away of what we want. When we tune in to what we really value, and live our life according to that tremendous alignment happen. With that alignment come velocity and victory.
Ana had worked as an engineer for another Fortune 50 company in Silicon Valley for 15 years. Originally from Romania, she had grown up in the countryside and loved road trips and adventures. Rather than put her dream on hold any further, she created an adventure business to the wine country south of her home. The enterprise includes yoga, creative expression, along with meeting the growers and winemakers. Seven years later she was asked back to the same Fortune 50 company, where she now guides new-hire engineers through their orientation, and leads her travel business. She now has what we now call a “portfolio career.”
If you’re ready for your own Emergence, ask yourself these questions:
- Where can you be willing to be more vulnerable – open to your feelings and needs?
- Where can you slow down on a daily basis to see what is arising?
- What conversations and practices help you listen better to your own voice?
- What have you come to value in your life and how are you valuing yourself?
Let me know what’s emerging for you.