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The Poetry of Leadership: Leaders Rising

Leaders, the world is in deep need of your talents, energy, and insight.

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Leaders rising from adverse experiences are testament to the beautiful resiliency of the human spirit.

Testament that whatever has happened to you does not need to define you.

Testament that pain and suffering can be transformed into wisdom and strength.

Testament that the more who willingly surrender into this dance, the more evolved our collective leadership becomes.

In my work as an executive coach I’ve come to believe that the journey to effective, wholehearted leadership is a personal journey of healing. Daily, I walk beside leaders navigating the tension between manifesting their dreams while wrestling the old haunts that hold them down.

What I’ve learned is that rising can be a long and winding journey, with forward movement and setbacks. That as one layer is released, deeper layers call for attention. That with sincere intention and courage you can leave behind the shackles of old fears and myths of limitation – those that have been told to you, those that have been imposed on you, and those you tell yourself in your darkest days.

Leaders, what I know is this: the world is in deep need of your talents, energy, and insight.

The ones that were born from adversity.

The ones spilling out of your pores with unbridled passion.

And, the ones still hiding in the shadows, too shy yet to be revealed.

And you – no matter who you are or what’s been done to you – still, like air, you can rise too.

Join me in my new blog series, Leaders Rising, as I highlight leaders who have risen from the ashes. We’ll explore the gifts born from their experiences and the challenges that have held them back. Most importantly we’ll examine the moves they’ve made throughout their leadership journey to transcend adversity and openly face the ragged edges that still remain.

Borrowing a vision from Dr. Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise,” the stories we explore will resonate hope where your leadership may still feel stuck and inspire potential paths forward where you may feel lost.

But still, like air, I’ll rise…

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise…

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise…

Angelou, a descendant of enslaved people, was born into poverty in a culture of heightened racial discrimination and inequality. Her early life was marked by parental divorce, sexual and racial violence, and teenage motherhood. Yet, miraculously, she transcended these personal and intergenerational traumas and setbacks, transforming herself into a beacon of wisdom, truth, and light.

And you – no matter who you are or what’s been done to you – still, like air, you can rise too.

HAVE A STORY TO TELL?

Know someone who’s risen from ashes of adversity to become an amazing leader – learning to leverage their gifts while continuing to soften up the rough edges?

Maybe it’s you?

Message me. I would love to explore highlighting your story in the Leaders Rising blog series.

——-

“Still I Rise”
By Dr. Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Originally published at https://www.trueformleadership.com on March 10, 2020

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