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Leading Well Demands Sovereignty

Read Best Selling Author Janet M. Harvey's weekly blog editions that pair with her weekly live webinars. Like and Follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook to get notified when we go live every Wednesday at 11 AM PT. Go deeper with the Invite Change book:

To invite change is a way of living. Not necessarily an easy one, yet a choice that pays dividends in a reciprocal fashion. Imagine a person you identify as an effective leader you enjoy being around; this could be you or someone else. What do you perceive in this person’s behavior and actions as the evidence of being effective? One possible answer is that leaders who act with purpose, authenticity and care create a climate that is fun, enlivening, respectful and decent. I appreciate being with people who are curious, genuine, generous with their time and attention, and follow through to do what they say they will, even when it’s hard and uncomfortable.

To say that I am personally sovereign in my life means that I embody the quality or authority of being independent and in charge of my choice of relationship with the conditions of my life. When I take my life fully into my own hands, I also take upon myself to act with integrity. I accept my responsibility to choose and act with integrity and that produces an experience of response-agility. The times when I don’t accept and fulfill this responsibility are when I suffer the consequences of turning my personal power over to something or someone outside of me. Now, allow this idea to ripple out and the consequences compound if I fail to consider my influence and impact beyond myself toward my family, my community, my fellow human beings, and the planet as a whole. Authenticity is a mindset and a precondition to choosing to accept responsibility to author my life. Being the author of my life means noticing the relationship I prefer to experience with the people, places, conditions, and environment that is my life. You too have this opportunity and therefore responsibility to choose to live sovereign.

To experience yourself as authentic begins with your mindset. What do you believe is possible, in your grasp, influence, and control in your daily life? What matters enough that you feel and respond to a demand to be alert, conscious of what’s occurring in each moment, and then deliberate with your choices for both mindset and actions? Your actions, choices, behaviors, habits, and preferences are reflected in what you have said “yes” and “no” to in your life. Pause for a moment and consider the myriad of choices you made today before reading this short blog, or perhaps in the past week. What you said, “yes” to demanded your participation and by definition limited your freedom for something else which as a result becomes a “no” to that other opportunity. What do you know about how you make choices and the consequences that ripple out from you to everyone who you know you touch, then those you don’t know yet your decisions affect. No one person is an island and in fact, it’s in our DNA as social animals to seek out connection and belonging. That means you and I suffer when either you or I, or anyone else for that matter, do not choose by being alert and considerate of our impact.

Each day I endeavor to fulfill my purpose, even on the days when I can’t seem to remember or it gets blurry in the speed and complexity of my life and the choices I made. On the days when I am deliberate, awake, gentle, and considerate, I feel the joy and freedom from living sovereign. When I act from habit and preference and forget to consider who is not in my conversation or what unintended consequence may occur from my choices, then I and others suffer. Leading well demands that I pay better attention, every day and each moment. I choose to remember my purpose in those moments that I suffer because suffering is a choice even if I don’t want to think I do it on purpose. Who would? Did you get up this morning to oppress, discriminate, dominate, shame, or bully another human being? It happens, even when we do not intend it, that’s a defensive response by the way. When I accept my responsibility for a failure to live sovereign, I am free to choose again, this time more loving. My purpose is to awaken, catalyze and energize love. What’s your purpose and how do you stay awake to choose it over and over in your life? Leading well demands that you live sovereign.

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Janet M. Harvey, MCC

Experienced with individuals at the Board of Directors, “C” Chair, Executive and Senior Management levels, Janet assists executives in adopting effective habits of perception and behavior to lead and accelerate corporate strategies. Typical engagements address executive development in the following areas: articulate and inspire through clarity of vision, enable respectful challenge, debate and catalyze synergy for strategic business choices, risk/reward critical thinking about investments and shareholder value, plan leader succession and architect sustainable cultural/strategic change.
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