Do the Work
Lead Coach and Facilitator at Choose Leadership | Working with Purpose Driven Leaders and Organisations
four pictures of Connor McDnough with different hairstyles and facial hair

“I’m an ENFP!” I was ecstatic. I’d found my Rosetta Stone. I was 15.

Funnily enough, I needed more. This was just the beginning of my journey to better understanding who I was in the world, and more importantly, who I wanted to be, and also who I was supposed to be..

Early on, that journey brought me to Stephen Covey and the idea of finding your true north. What was my north star? No idea, but I figured if I looked hard and long enough, I’d find it somewhere, out there, right?

Many moons later, life eventually brought me to the Co-active Training Institute’s coach training. What a revelation! I discovered the values which had been guiding my life and I became aware of how I was already stepping into my purpose (i.e. my north star) unbeknownst to myself.

More life happened and I discovered the Co-active Leadership model which deeply resonated, particularly the idea that my inner leader is the fulcrum on which my entire leadership turns. I finally got that leadership is an inside-out process.

Part of my discovery through the CTI Leadership programme coincided with my certification in The Leadership Circle Profile and my ongoing therapy process. It concerned the questions of how and why I kept getting in my own way. This is where the deep work began. Carl Jung summed it up best when he said:

‘Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.’

Getting conscious of what I had made up about myself, and the world around me, and noticing how those beliefs and assumptions run my life, is an ongoing journey. Doing my work around that is a constant labour of love. Yes, a labour of love.

I have come to believe that this work is not a question of fixing anything, but rather an ongoing process of discovery and healing (adult development anyone?). Who am I underneath the facade I have created for the world. What do I look like when I am not carefully curated? When I am not in the hands of a professional photographer and her magic bullet, photoshop?

What I need is not to be made wrong or fixed. I am not akin to an engine with a dodgy timing belt or worn spark plugs. I am a complex system of Parts and Self which deserve compassion and attention. That work is not done with a wrench. Or a scalpel.

It requires compassion and patience.

And this work matters.

If we DO and BE as we always have DONE and BEEN, we will get what we have always gotten. The senseless slaughter in Gaza and Ukraine and the sexism, homophobia and racism we see and hear on our screens and in our organisations will only continue, if we don’t evolve our doing and being.

Amy Elizabeth Fox, of Mobius Executive Leadership, concluded in a recent Linkedin post:

“These quests that we are on as organizations, as leaders, and as a society, call for deep inner work if we have any hope of achieving the amount of collaboration, innovation, change agility, diversity and inclusion, mental health, emotional well-being, and trauma-sensitivity that we so urgently need.”

If we really want to get to where we claim we want to be, we need to do the work. If you want to be a leader in practice and not just in name or on Linkedin, you gotta do the work.

If you are ready to choose to be a leader and to do the work, reach out for a conversation. I want to help you make your difference in the world.

For leadership coaching and developement, get in touch

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