TRAVEL LOG #6: ASSIGNMENT 8.3 – Observations and Reflections

Desperately seeking Susan…

No wait, that’s a different movie! I mean,  Desperately Seeking Meaning, genre dramatic comedy,  staring role: me!?

School assignment for week number 8 was to take a break and reflect upon the distance we’ve made thus far on this journey. While this is just the beginning of my educational journey (literally). I’ve found myself questioning and reflecting on my leadership development and life in general more often than before.

I’ve decided to take a break between crazy busy travel and point of returning home to “normal life”. Instead of 30 minutes my break and attempt at reflection lasted about 60 because at first I couldn’t even calm down. The nature was so alive and noisy I had to observe and take everything around me in. The sculpted frog next to me would spew water, the other female one looked down on me with judgement. The koi fish swam towards my dangling feet because they were used to being fed by tourists. Everyone and everything around me seemed to have an agenda. And all I wanted to do was blend in, well my pants kind of did. Then it started to sprinkle. The cold drops on my face sort of woke me up from this crazy observation frenzy and reminded me that I should stop overthinking and focus on myself.

I closed my eyes and took several deep breaths. The pressure in my chest and in my brain started to release. It felt good to just stop and not think. My body and mind needed some rest. Then I reopened my eyes and peacefully gazed across the green pond. I thought about where I was on this journey. Mid life point, looking at new possibilities, some type of meaningful change or shift towards a more purposeful career as a leader. What does it means to be a leader and impact change though?

The more I thought about things I believe in the more I realized that leadership isn’t about self as much as it is about others. The more I looked back on lessons and readings we covered in this class and another, the more I understood that to lead is actually to give away and not take or contain power for yourself.  It seems easy, but yet it is so hard. How does this discovery make me better? Does anyone even care, except for me?One thing is sure. This is a very personal journey. As hard as it is, this journey is one I have to walk. Leadership is not a straight line. Leadership means being open minded to new discoveries that reveal new insights that may lead to improvements. It also means being open minded to making  improvements along the way, regardless of the stage or phase of development you are in. Basically, to lead it means to follow a nonlinear path and to be comfortable with uncomfortable.