There is an intriguing phrase in personal leadership development, “…calling yourself forth.” It refers to the all-too-rare times in our lives when we stretch ourselves beyond what is known and comfortable, willingly going toward the goals or roles that we previously believed were out of our reach.
Professional coach and author Robert A. Hargrove uses the phrase in his books, most notably E-Leader: Reinventing Leadership in a Connected Economy, although its origin may well be from a religious/spiritual tradition. How ever the phrase has evolved, it strikes a provocative call to action and inspired reflection on whether we have allowed ourselves to be complacent.
We have often written in Rich TIPS about the value of operating ‘on the edge’ and taking more risk for the reward of being a stronger and more effective leader. Clearly learning to “call yourself forth” is a natural fit with the goal of nurturing more courage in your role as a bold leader in your nonprofit organization.
Here are some questions, inspired by Hargrove and based on our own work, to help you appreciate how to “call yourself forth”:
- Where have you really stretched over the past 12 months as a leader? What did you learn about your values, your motivations, what you’re passionate about, or what untapped potential you possess?
- In what ways do you struggle with, or find difficult, the things that stretch you?
- Is there a part of your own voice that you are not letting be heard?
- Where do you think you lack confidence–or allow in fear–that prevents you from moving ahead?
- Are there things in your life and/or work you are really passionate about that you can’t seem to find the time or energy to address?
- Where do you feel you are not being truly authentic, or truly being yourself, in your dealings with others?
- In what ways do you waste time on activities, tasks, or commitments that aren’t in service to the most important goals you have?
- From a team or organizational perspective rather than your individual perspective, what resources or potential needs to be “called forth”?
- Are you holding back in drawing out the potential in others around you?
- What is required most of leaders in these challenging times of great change and opportunity, and how do you define and measure growth in yourself and others?