Dancing With What Is

Conscious leadership is defined as being in constant “creative” response to what is occurring–accepting reality vs. railing against it.

I’ve been feeling a little tested lately in my business and personal life. You’re only going to get my business challenges here so that I stick to my normal word count. Smile.

Back in November, I started recruiting leaders for the next cohort of our Conscious Leader Forum (which starts March 12th).  Recruitment has felt like a tango: two steps forward and one step back. One leader who was a yes changed to a no when his own boss took an unexpected leave of absence. Another got sick and needs to push things to the fall.  Still others are taking time to figure out if they are ready etc.

As the tango unfolds, my inner voice is sometimes loud:

What if not enough leaders commit? What does that say about the Forum? What does this say about me? This “should be” easier etc.

Those of you who are familiar with our “above the line/below the line” framework will spot that I have been decidedly below the line at times (See this 3 min video if you are curious). I have been coming from a subtle state of fear and scarcity, worried that I wouldn’t be able to create a strong cohort on time.  This has me sometimes draining myself versus feeling inspired, which is the opposite of what I want.

Happily, when I have noticed I am coming from fear/scarcity/defensiveness, I have been able to pause and zoom out. I am proud of our big vision for the Forum. The Forum is a very new offering in PEI and we are doing really well.

I am able to coach myself using the very tools we learn and practice in our Forums.

I am able to accept myself for feeling worried and frustrated as many would given the same situation. From that acceptance, I appreciate how much I am doing to help the Forum succeed. I really believe its potential to create very strong leaders. From this place of acceptance, appreciation and inspiration, I am often able to shift into positive recruitment actions.

So despite my sometimes “below the line-ness”, I have many good things to report:

  • It’s mid-February and we have a fantastic cohort of leaders forming. We’ll definitely be proceeding. And some of the leaders who won’t join in March, want to join in the fall cohort. This means recruitment for the fall will already be easier.
  • Leaders in our two current Forums are rating their experience at 90% satisfaction. They feel highly supported and challenged by their Forum peers in a highly confidential, safe space; they are becoming stronger, more courageous leaders; and they are learning and practicing coaching skills (listening, powerful questions) to add to their leader toolkit.
  • A national executive forum company reached out asking me to consider being a chair for them. A year ago, we would not have been on their radar. This little test, while flattering, helped me see my steadfast commitment to conscious leadership through our Forums.
  • In the many conversations I have been having with Forum participants and prospects, I am learning how to more clearly describe what our Forum is and how it helps leaders become much more effective.

I might go so far as to say that this round of recruitment needed to be tough for me to learn what I need to be learning.

Perhaps you can draw parallels between your tangos and mine? 

Maybe you are tired of trying to dance alone?

If you are, I know of a leadership Forum that starts in March.  Depending on the decisions of our current short list, we may accept 1-2 more qualified leaders.  

Of course, you’d need to act now if you want to join in our dance. Contact Lisa at lisa@chandlercoaches.com to discuss.


  1. Carol B O'Hanley on February 19, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    I have so much respect for what you are doing and how present you are while doing it. Showing your vulnerability as you lead is inspiring to watch. I have learned so much from you already and look forward to learning more as we progress. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to experience your guidance! I would suggest your leadership forum to anyone who wants to enhance their leadership skills!

    • Lisa on February 20, 2020 at 4:29 pm

      Dear Carol
      What a generous reply. I feel inspired to be surrounded by leaders like you who are willing to look deeply to learn and grow. Your presence in our Conscious Leader Forum and your willingness to also be vulnerable is what makes growth possible for you, me and our Forum colleagues. Thank you, Carol.

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