Leadership from the Heart

written by Erica Quam


The late Maya Angelou said, "Some of the things I know, I know because older women have told me their secrets.  I am living long so that I can share my secrets with younger women. That's the reason we women go on improving."

I'm in Chicago getting ready to give a TED-style talk to a group of women coaches at an event called, The Huddle on Friday.  This event is the big event of the year for The Alliance of Women Coaches.  I'm very excited to be here!

I changed my original talk because I got some great feedback from a group of coaches who are very dear to me.  They told me I needed to be more authentic and share more about myself and more about a group of coaches who have changed my life.  They were right.  I sometimes have a difficult time talking about myself.  I was trying to tell a story that wasn't my story.  So - I'll be speaking from my heart and sharing my story.

Here are a few of the things I'll be talking about on Friday:

To lead from the heart, begin with awareness.
Awareness is a leadership skill.  It takes awareness to connect to your intuition.  It's important to have awareness so you can make decisions based on how you feel instead of what other people think.

To lead from the heart, find a place to share your story.
We humans spend a lot of time stuffing things down...and not dealing with our emotions...we cope and deal with lots of things...just to get through the day. There comes a time where it's important to let people know how you are really doing.  Find a space where you can share what's actually going on for you. You may learn that you aren't the only one who has "stuff" going on below the surface!

To lead from the heart, work on yourself.
When we judge, criticize, or blame others for things that happen to us...it just isn't helpful.  It's good to be able to vent to someone and blow off steam, AND to create lasting changes in your life, look inwards.  Look at yourself first when you want to improve a situation or a relationship.  Ask yourself, what piece is yours that you can work on to make it better?  The reality is, we can't change anyone but ourselves.  So, the more we work on ourselves, the better we will be able to connect with others.

To lead from the heart, take time for yourself.
I know that it's hard to put yourself first.  I struggle with it myself!  However, I know that those times where I've taken a nap, I've gotten a massage, I've set some limits or simply said no to something - I'm usually a happier person. When we're happier people, we're better people.

I'm looking forward to connecting and collaborating with women who are passionate about coaching along with coaches from all sports, all levels, from all over the country.

I just hope I can remember everything I want to say!

Has this article inspired you?  Please pass it along!  Do you have any insight or ah-ha's that you got from reading it?  Share 'em below!