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Sunday, August 31, 2008

authentic leadership + TS foundation

while writing this season's segment on leadership for tranquil space foundation's (TSF) newsletter, i decided to share a bit about my naropa university program and thought you, too, may enjoy hearing about it (see below) in case you don't subscribe to the TSF newsletter.

please save the date for our 2nd annual TSF gala on thursday, october 16 7-9pm at the josephine butler house on 15th street, nw. if you're willing to donate a product or service to the silent auction, please let moi know. also, if you are a philanthropic photographer willing to donate your time and fabulous photos to this great cause, please contact moi! amanda, the creatress of the creative dc blog, is a long-time member of our steering committe and overseeing this event in the most organized fashion. way to go, amanda!

below is a mini synopsis of authentic leadership. may we all continue to embody this notion of authenticity in all we do!

Authentic leadership embodies people who take fundamental responsibility for themselves and their lives, are completely in the present situation, and are willing to share our aspirations and dreams with others.

The authentic leadership model consists of three components: authentic presence, skillful communication, and effective action. To establish authentic presence we were encouraged to use contemplative practices such as yoga, meditation, and journal writing to develop self-knowledge and to practice being present and authentic. Thank goodness these were already part of my routine (and are part of the TranquilTeens program) as there was so much new material to learn!

Skillful communication began with the assumption that we are fully responsible for all interactions. Self-awareness of emotions is said to create an environment of care and empathy akin to emotional intelligence. Two important ways to communicate that they emphasized throughout the program was inquiry and advocacy. Inquiry is a powerful way to invite others to be collaborators. Advocacy is a way to use “I” statements to convey views to share how she perceives a situation and to share facts.

Effective action is motivated by service and focuses on using compassionate and strategic approaches to change. This final premise of the authentic leadership model is based on servant leadership where the leader seeks to serve first and lead second.

Overall, an authentic leader is motivated to serve, invites feedback and learns from it, promotes open communication, envisions new possibilities, fosters a culture of appreciations, and is committed to self-knowledge. I loved this four-month program – especially with a contemplative slant and hope that we are able to continue effecting authentic leadership through our efforts with Tranquil Space Foundation. We hope that we are helping to shape a new generation of do-gooding, creative, authentic leaders! Namaste.

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