Who is a leader? Someone whose “actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more.” On Saturday 20 June 2020, our ADAPTAA team embarked on a journey of co-creating a community of 222 A-mazing leaders by 2022. A movement to grow together with an A-mazing group of human beings with open minds, big hearts and an infinite mindset.
And on Saturday 22 August 2020, our founding group of A-mazing leaders completed their first journey of co-creation, sharing, giving and inspiring each other during a 10 week journey and beyond. A journey of playing with the letter A! And which has inspired me to write my book about the journey of transformation from Type A leaders (ambitious, aggressive achievers) to AAA leaders (audacious, adaptable, authentic).
And here is what each of our AAA leaders had to say. I am using their future self names for fun and a weak attempt at confidentiality! They all discovered their future selves in Tatiana’s session called Aspiration, which has won the Award for most impactful and most memorable of all our 9 x A sessions!
Johnnie – “The question is how do we get the world we all work in, into a better place. We obviously have to start with ourselves. And even during those sessions when I was late or half asleep, the insights were bloody A-mazing!! My dream is to take this programme all over the world, to people who need it most. Life is tough, but so are we!”
Bundle of Energy – “There is no “one size fits all” definition of what a leader or leadership is. You just have to define it yourself and believe in it. And as a leader you need to have the capacity to self-assess and have a self-imposed system of red and yellow cards by looking in the mirror! We constantly evolve and change throughout the years of our career and our lives. Find your joy! If you are willing to achieve your potential, it would take your own breath away!”
Fighter – “If you have a feeling of not belonging, or that you won't fit for one reason or another, it's probably best just to take the plunge and do it anyway. To grow, you need to do things that feel uncomfortable. As a result, your comfort zone gets wider and wider and you start getting comfortable again, which is when is time to get uncomfortable to keep expanding and growing. Change your thoughts and change your world.“
Let it be – “I let curiosity led me. I had this gut feeling that I was going to miss out on something bigger and better, which meant that I just felt compelled to give this a go, even though I felt very uncomfortable about it initially. My advice? Do it and don’t quit! This programme has surpassed any of the corporate leadership programmes I’ve ever been on in terms of depth of knowledge and openness of discussion.”
Go for it – “It’s not easy to deal with the discomfort of trying to detach from a lot of security combined with unfulfillment. The metaphor I had was jumping out of a plane for the first time with a parachute and having the feeling of reaching behind my back to check that my parachute was still there. And that anxiety when pulling to find that nothing was there. Maybe I'll just fall to the ground. But when I fell, I realised the journey was not quite as bad as it seemed. Especially when you are the exception! I certainly have a more heightened sense of fulfilment having embarked upon the journey.”
Queen – “I joined the programme to align my mind with my soul. I discovered that I was looking for, was already in me. Accepting that I am enough, even with my limits. And accepting others with their limits, without trying to change them. Knowing that any change is not without struggle and that my biggest power is my ability to shape things and make things happen, even when they are uncomfortable. I just need to stop saying I wish and start saying I will!”
Powerful Smile - “This is something that we constantly need to work on – deciding on our next stages of life and career. And constantly reviewing what we want to detach from. It’s not something that we do once and we are done! And here lies the challenge of constantly stretching outside of our comfort zone to grow! Have big dreams, you’ll grow into them!”
Sage – “This was a really difficult concept for me to grasp - where does my self-worth come from? I learned that our self-worth is inherent. We are all inherently worthy and we are all inherently lovable. We are all inherently precious and we are already full. Be the voice, not the echo!”
Mage – “I learned to balance the three-legged chair that represent the Drive, Soothing and Threat self-compassion systems. To look for harmony and not just for high adrenaline action. To look out of the window and see that there will always be some sun, clouds or rain. And that the openness of the windows will not be affected by what goes by. It remains completely untouched. Like the soul and the spirit. That’s the part of us that is always happy. Life is not a race, it’s a gift. Enjoy it, don’t rush through!”
Approachable – “As I step out into the unknown, I see a better side of myself that I hope I can put to use in my forward-looking organisation. I want to make a difference to people around me. And enjoy learning from people that I will be meeting in the next phase of my journey. Don’t look back, you’re not going that way!”
Living in the Present – “Before I joined this programme, I have to confess that although authenticity was an important value for me, I had many doubts it was really appreciated by others. Especially when you are surrounded by inauthentic people who perceive you as naïve. However, having now completed this programme, I am even more convinced that authenticity is a great quality that aligns us with our mind and heart and so I will now continue to value and show up authentically even more. Fear is just a feeling and you can get over it!”
Yoga Lady – “I'm just constantly amazed at where I was and where I arrived. The difference that it made, and the words that I've learned, such as authenticity and vulnerability. They were not words in my vocabulary and I certainly didn't recognise them as valuable terms. They have now become integral to my life. I have never focused on creating the impossible and now I feel it’s within my reach and almost quite tangible. I’ll just have to remember to celebrate the little things!”
Master Curator – “The ultimate thing that makes me the happiest is the freedom to be able to do what I want. Enjoying the flexibility and the beauty in the journey, learning and being inspired by A-mazing people. My wildest dream is to have my business listed on the Stock Exchange. And even if I have to change along the way, I've learned a lot and I continue to grow. No regrets, I know I’m capable of A-mazing things!”
Brave Kora – “My biggest insight has been the power of practicing true listening. Giving someone the attention and the time they truly deserve. And seeing relationships and partnerships flourish as a result. It has been empowering to believe in ourselves and grow in confidence. My biggest dream is to share what I’ve learnt with others who could benefit immensely from it. I am here to inspire!”
Revolutionary Lucy – “It's easier to detach when you're younger. It gets harder when you get older, because you just accumulate more things - more relationships, more feelings, more experiences, more desires……. An institutional entity is a group of individuals, who collectively have to come together to find solutions and make corporate life sustainable, at a time when it’s becoming unsustainable. When we all need to unplug!”
And our Kind Mind has simply left us with the deepest message – “In the midst of chaos and uncertainty, calm is a superpower”.
Our Wise Healer Carmen stated audaciously – ““Our manifesto is to create a new work-life corporate lifestyle balance and make it more enjoyable and sustainable. It's going to be our 222 Leadership Movement. There's plenty of knowledge, smarts and hearts in this room to come up with an A-mazing and sustainable solution. And remembering that our tribe attracts our vibe!”
And our own Wisdom Queen Tatiana concluded – “Leaders stand into their edges audaciously, creating the present from their future selves. The commonality of our experience is what actually connects us. Start to show up as your future self. Act as if you have already achieved your wildest dream. And remember that mistakes are proof that you are trying!”
And the message that I got in a bottle from this A-mazing community? “Your wings already exist. All you have to do is fly!”
We are standing for co-creating a future that does not yet exist. A future we may not yet be prepared for, but for which we are ready! And today we have completed our first small journey on a long path of co-creating an A-mazing community of A leaders, with audacity, excitement and joy!
You can read books or watch videos about leadership, but you'll only truly learn to be a leader from doing it —and more importantly, from sharing your mistakes and celebrations along the way.
And if you read so far, you are A-mazing!
If you would like to find out more about our next A-list programme and our A-mazing leaders community, you are welcome to reach us on: firstname.lastname@example.org