Today is the fourteenth day of the new blog series entitled Bring Your Leadership to Life! Join us throughout the month of March and beyond as we feature guest bloggers who share their perspective on how they bring their leadership to life! This blog series highlights the theme of the 2nd Annual Evening for Austin Leading Ladies, an event that SOS Leadership is honored to be hosting in partnership with The Concordia MBA on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at Concordia University Texas. Learn more about this powerful event and register at www.austinleadingladies.com.
Katie Vitale graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in Government. She has worked for over three years as Giving Manager and Webmaster for an Austin original, People’s Community Clinic. Prior to nonprofit development, Katie worked as a political fundraising operative and consultant bringing her expertise to races for Austin City Council, Texas legislature, Texas State Board of Education, Travis County Commissioner’s Court, Travis County Sheriff, Texas statewide office, Travis County courts-at-law, district courts and U.S. Congress.
Katie produces Issues for Your Tissues, the nation’s only radio show and podcast dedicated to reproductive justice and sexual well-being at KOOP 91.7fm Austin. In her free time, she volunteers with Leadership Austin, Circle of Health International, and other organizations. In her spare time, Katie teaches yoga, gardens, plays Texas Hold’em, and watches Netflix with her pug, Billy.
I bring my leadership to life by keeping my overarching goal in sight and approaching each decision point as a chance to reaffirm my goal.
While that may sound easy, there are some prerequisites to unpack from that statement. First and foremost is having a goal. Even if you can’t point to something in your life and say, “This is my passion,” you can reflect on how you invest your time and money to understand your priorities. After my Leadership Austin Emerge class, I was able to definitively identify my passion and develop from that an overarching goal, a personal mission statement if you will. If you don’t have a destination in mind, your journey will be muddled, perhaps even frustrating.
The next piece to unpack is an awareness of decision points as decision points. Each day we make so many choices that we forget they are choices. For example, I get up every morning and make coffee, but I don’t always get up and actively consider the merits of making coffee, whether I should make less coffee, whether I should make it stronger. It’s the same pot each morning. In streamlining the process, I have cut out decision points, yet each action that leads to the coffee is actually the result of a decision.
I have to be aware enough to admit to myself that I am choosing to make coffee every morning. Theoretically, I could choose to put that time to another project, and not make coffee. Be more aware of your decisions as you make them.
The last piece I need to unpack from that statement is to understand my motivation in every decision. This requires the aforementioned awareness of decision points. If I am aware that I am deciding to make coffee, I can question why I am making it. Is the routine comforting? Is the caffeine necessary? Is my sleep too short? Is this an attempt to stall going into the office? If I can honestly answer all of my questions, I can reverse engineer my motivations. Knowing my motivations, I can better fine tune my goal. Knowing my goal lets me plan my path. Planning my path highlights major decision points. And awareness of major decision points can provide insight to my motivations.
For me, living my leadership requires continually learning about myself though my journey in support of my goal. I’m bringing my leadership to life every day I can identify and cultivate an awareness of how my actions and thoughts are leading closer to that goal. Every day I am aware that I am deciding how to bring my leadership to life. Every day we have another chance to adjust, refine, experiment with the tactics, and forge forward on our paths. We are only stuck if we say we are.
Stay tuned in the days to come as the Bring Your Leadership to Life Series continues….