Unhurried Change is here to help to help you find your voice as a leader and empower you to make a difference.
There’s nothing like making a start so here are some bullet points to get you thinking about what your strengths are. We are not talking about skills and knowledge that you’ve learned or studied to acquire but things that come naturally to you.
Every good leader knows that it helps to play to your strengths. But how do we know what they are?
Look for what fires you up and gets you excited, what do you love to do?
ü Something that makes you feel full of beans, enthusiastic and bouncy when you are doing it
ü When you talk about it you use upbeat, confident words and phrases. Do you find yourself saying ‘I love it’ or ‘It’s great when ’?
ü When you talk about something your voice changes, so the tone of your voice, as well as the words that you use are strong, confident and encouraging.
ü Can you remember doing this thing and loving it from an early age? Strengths often start early in our lives.
ü When you do this thing, it just feels right. You take pride in it, it comes easily to you, you feel that this is the real you.
ü Would you volunteer to do this thing even if it meant you weren’t being paid? You may put off doing other things, but this is something that you look forward to.
ü What comes easy to you? In fact it’s so easy you may not even have thought about it, you assume everyone can do it.
ü When do you stop daydreaming? What could you read about or take part in for hours on end and lose track of the time? What can you concentrate on and not get bored?
ü Is there something that you were able to learn really quickly?
ü What do you do just for the love of it?
Sit down with a cup of tea, a notebook and pencil and write down ideas as they occur to you.
When you have completed this exercise put the notes away and come back to them after a few hours or the next day.
It is also helpful to talk through your ideas with someone you trust who knows you well. Sometimes things are obvious to other people.
At this point it would be good to talk about Mind Mapping a really good technique that helps you get your ideas down on paper and develop them.
What makes you angry what injustice fires you up?
ü What fires you up, makes your blood boil or just really upsets you?
ü If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing in the world what would it be?
If you are now thinking, “that’s too big, I can’t end world poverty. I’m only one person”, think again if you don’t think one person can make a difference.
Meet Martha Payne an 11 year old Scottish schoolgirl who started a blog because she didn’t like her school dinners. Every day she took a photograph of her school meal and blogged about it. This blog went viral!
In October 2013 Martha won the Pride of Britain award after raising £130,000 for children in Malawi through her school meals blog.
This is the power of one Scottish schoolgirl who was fed up with the school meals she was being given at school. What can you do?
Write down in your notebook what gets under your skin.
Take the things you want to change and your list of strengths and start to connect them
ü Take your desires and anger at the injustice and your list of personal strengths and link the two together.
ü How can you make a difference with your strengths and abilities? Start to write down ideas as they come to you.
Don’t judge them, just put them in your notebook.
As you do this don’t forget that this thing you will be spending your time on has to be the best for you too. Think, is this the best for my wellbeing and health? It has to be the best for you as well as your tribe.
Educate yourself about the things you are interested in and think about them critically.
ü Read around the subject, search out TV programmes about it, talk to people and find out what they think.
ü Do they feel like you? If not, why not?
ü Speak to people who disagree with you, that will make you think hard about why you feel like you do.
Keep taking notes, keep mind mapping. Refine your ideas. Go over it all and keep talking to your friends. Worry at your ideas like a dog with a bone. What exactly is the problem, what can I do to help?
Think of the big picture but then find a specific part of it that you can do something about
You may be really bothered by the fact that people are going to sleep hungry all over the world. At this moment in time you can’t send a truck load of food to the latest hot spot, but, using your skill as a cook you could bake some cakes. If you sold them in a coffee morning you could raise money and give to a charity that helps.
The ingredients for cupcakes can work out expensive, so if you don’t have the money, don’t worry. Can you volunteer to cook at your local homeless shelter? Can you give cookery lessons? Can you start a blog showing people how to make nutritious meals out of tiny amounts of money? That’s what Jack did. Have a look at the blog of A Girl Called Jack
Where are you now and where do you want to be? Use the POP model to work out how to get there.
Make a start
When you’ve worked out what you want to do in what area, look around for people of a like mind.
This is the interesting part, this is when you start to talk to other people about your ideas and ask them to join your tribe.
Put your ideas out there in the open, use social media, write a letter to the editor of your local paper, chat to mums at the school gate, talk to co-workers in line at the works canteen, go to the sort of places and join the sort of clubs that the people you are looking for are likely to frequent.
The likelihood is that a club for your subject doesn’t exist, that’s why you want to start something up. You may need to be a bit sneaky, think laterally and outside the box, but gradually, you will meet and make links with individuals and organisations who are willing to back you up.
Start to network
Once you’ve met several people who are interested in what you are have a get together over a coffee or a beer and start to talk. Don’t be precious about your idea, let it grow, let it take on a life of its own.
Let the other people in your tribe contribute, they will know people you don’t, they will belong to organisations you don’t. At this point your idea and your influence can swell and grow. Remember though, you can’t do it all yourself, you need others to help.
Empower other people,
This is when empowering other people comes into its own. If you are the only one doing anything, you hardly have a movement. To be a leader you need followers and the best way to keep people interested is to give them something to do. If your idea is worth its salt it will take on a life of its own at some point, then you will have to let it go and other people will have an input.
Keep a positive attitude, don’t tell lies and be generous – with your time, your knowledge, your talent.
Share and people will give back.