Guest Article: Jenean Merkel Perelstein 5 Principles of Leadership – Part 2
Since Ben and I welcomed the birth of our son I’ve been navigating the extra layer of time called “Motherhood”. It’s great and it means I get the opportunity to bring you wonderful weekly content partially from me and partially from guest experts.
Continuing this week for Part 2 is Jenean Merkel Perelstein, a Sociocultural Anthropologist and Business Strategist.
5 Principles of Leadership – Part 2
While Kim is tenderly loving on her little babe, I wanted to give her a break and share with you some leadership principles that will help guide you on your journey toward reaching brand new shores. Whether that’s digging in and finally writing your book, or positioning yourself as a thought leader so that you can share your stories with the world, I know that change is hard, and I’d like to help.
The following are principles of leadership that have helped guide countless pioneers through treacherous adventures; whether through unknown lands or local boardrooms. I’ve taught these principles in many forms throughout the years and they’re worth keeping your eye on as you endeavor to challenge and change our results moving forward.
Lesson 3: Trust the Momentum
It’s important for you to keep traveling in the direction of your dreams every day. I mention it here because this is one of those things that natural leaders just DO. They DO. They work toward it and they know, with all of their being, that doing is coupled with trusting. When you trust that movement is taking place even when you can’t see immediate results, you keep going.
We all know that success builds more success and it sucks when you can’t see that you’re being successful in any way. There may not be any external validation that what you’re working on is having an impact. In fact, much of what we get rewarded for in life is delayed. Sometimes we build foundations for a good, long time before anything resembling the house we intend to build takes form.
Be patient. Be mindful. And keep going. Your ability to trust the momentum in what you work toward could just be the difference between you and the next guy who quits four feet from success.
Have you ever seen the potential in someone else rise almost to the surface? And you know they’re nearly there? And you can smell success for them but they give up before reaching it?
Some people have a knack for this specific brand of self-sabotage. In fact, some people actually specialize in it. They get all fired up with energy and gumption at the beginning of a project but then they lose the faith in the momentum that is happening on their behalf. They forget that they’ve set anything in motion and believe that they are starting anew each and every day.
I like to think of someone pushing a huge boulder down the road. To begin with, things are difficult and any movement at all is painfully slow. You might have to build up your leg muscles and really push your shoulder into it before it will even budge. But eventually it will. It may start to move slowly at first; in a game of inches. But before long you get it rolling. It’s here that you need to be careful not to stop! If you stop, even for a little while, you’ll have to heave your shoulder into the great rock to get it going all over again. But if it gets rolling along, even at a slow pace, you can keep it going without as much effort.
This is the principle I want you to think about as you embark on a journey of change in your life. Trust that the things that you are doing are making a difference, even if you can’t see evidence of them yet. Even if that perfect relationship hasn’t shown up for you. Even if the promotion you want seems three layers of bureaucratic tape deep, trust that momentum is on your side.
Lesson 4: Trust the Magic
When I tell you to trust the magic, I realize that some of you may roll your eyes at the concept. However, I want to implore you to remain open to the magic and serendipity that is more certain to find its way to you on a frequent basis when you begin the work to stand in your strength.
We’re going to be purposefully inviting success to come and grace our lives and with that will come an abundance of magic… if you’re open to it. If not, it won’t.
I have a running joke with my clients. We talk about the “You’re not going to believe what happened…” phenomenon. It usually begins around our third session when they come into my office or pick up the line on their phone all abuzz. Magic has ensued in their lives and they can’t wait to tell me. This is why I love what I do and why I want to share it with you. I want for each and every one of you reading this to write me and tell me about the magic that is unfolding around you. When you get really good at deploying the tools of change you’ll begin to feel as if you possess your own magic wand. It feels as if you can orchestrate the Universe around you as it brings what you’ve asked for. Or sometimes the Universe brings you things beyond your wildest dreams.
If you begin this work lacking a sense of wonder or magic it certainly won’t come for you. I play in the science behind much of this work as it is substantiated in my own field of anthropology, and also in psychology, the neurosciences, and even quantum physics. But there will always be some things that I simply cannot explain. I’ll try to be frank when those instances arise. And they will. There will be times when I don’t know why it happens but I know through experience with working with countless others that it does.
Have you ever wanted something and felt certain that you knew exactly how it will show up for you, only to be completely surprised at its arrival in a whole different way? Have you ever experienced a “miracle”? This is the kind of magic that I’m speaking about.
I like to remind myself that there are many things in my life that I don’t fully understand but that I trust to work just the same. When I pick up my cell phone to call a client on the other side of the country, I trust that I’ll be connected even though I have no idea why or how that happens. I’m quite okay with my ignorance of such technology. But I know that it still works without me being filled in on the secret.
That may happen for you here and I’m asking you to fully embrace it. In fact, trust that it will happen and look for it to happen. Magic happens for all of us when we believe it’s ours for the receiving and we delight in its gift.
Lesson 5: Trust the Systems
Trusting the systems has been the hardest won of all the leadership lessons for me. If there is an area of self-sabotage that I excel in, it’s right here. I’ll let you in on a little secret.
You see, I suck at being an employee and I’ve known for a long time now that I had to make it as an entrepreneur, no matter what. The main reason for this is that I really don’t like to be told what to do. I LOVE my freedom. And I believed that as a business owner who valued freedom above most everything else, I had to protect it from the kinds of systems and structure that companies and bureaucracies held.
You see, what I didn’t know at the beginning, and what I want you to learn without the heartache that I experienced, was that in fact, structure sets you free. And herein lies the source of my problem.
You have to put in place and embrace systems and structures so that you can experience freedom without being reactionary to life.
It’s not a punishment, as I wholeheartedly believed when I began this work, it’s a benefit. When you put systems and structure in place you don’t have to think about every move you make. You have more time, and you have more energy and brainspace for the things you value most.
I held too tightly to the idea that I could go day-drinking with my girlfriends on a Tuesday at the drop of a hat if I wanted to, but then I had to be completely reactionary to everything that came my way on every other day. Once I embraced the idea that I could put systems into place that would enable my business to run and gain momentum without my eyes on it, I gained freedom without feeling guilty. I knew that I had earned it and that things wouldn’t fall apart in my absence. I realized that putting my shoulder to that rock anew, following each time I wanted to take a day to myself, was too exhausting.
So, I began to learn from the experts. I got coached and mentored and I learned systems that I could trust with my best work. Oh, the irony. I had developed my own system and expected my clients to follow along while I was bucking the system, so to speak, at every turn. It didn’t work.
Not only did I fail to get enough done before I lost momentum again and again, but I was sending messages loud and clear to the universe that systems weren’t to be trusted. I created obstacles for myself from my own imagination and mindset. It wasn’t until I put my trust in a coach’s expertise, who could guide me through the steps toward efficiency, that I began to see the light.
Please believe me. Following a plan does not take away your freedom, it gives you more of it.
I am excited for you and for what outcomes you’ll achieve as you invite success and welcome abundance into your life. It could just mean the difference between accepting your current level of success and reaching a whole new and improved version of yourself.
As a Sociocultural Anthropologist and Business Strategist, Jenean Merkel Perelstein has studied behavior change across cultures. From the markets and prisons of India to the boardrooms of the United States, Jenean has created and implemented change strategies that have saved lives and made fortunes.
Jenean worked as a medical anthropologist under programs sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the Center for Disease Control and the McArthur Foundation. Today, as a Business Strategist, she mentors and empowers professionals and organizations to grow and realize an expanded version of themselves.
Jenean thrives when she is helping people stand in their strength so that they can be the powerful, recognized leaders they’re meant to be. As creator of Internal Alchemie: The Welcoming Abundance Blueprint, and author of Finding Your Lighthouse: A Leadership Guide to Navigating Change, she guides her clients to create lasting change in their lives, and welcome the success they deserve through proven leadership strategies.
Learn more about Jenean here.
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