DID YOU LEAD OR FOLLOW IN 2017?

And A Pledge For 2018

I recently started following Elizabeth Cronise-McLaughlin, a former attorney turned leadership coach who runs daily Facebook Lives on her profile as part of the Resistance movement. Earlier this week she shared a list of her activities in 2017.

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Elizabeth’s accomplishments blew me away.

During 2017, Elizabeth taped roughly 188 #ResistanceLive broadcasts, gained 40,681 friends and followers (up from 1100 or so at the time of the 2016 US election) and had her posts on Facebook liked 2,294,901 times. She trained and coached around 120 high-profile officers at a publicly-traded investment bank, built a community of 48 female activist leaders leadership and certified 25 new coaches in her Gaia Project for Women’s Leadership methodology.

And that’s just for starters!

Elizabeth’s achievements got me thinking. Am I leading or am I following? Am I being the change I want to see in the world?

All year I’ve been reflecting on how I can play an effective role in the change I want to see happen in the world. After the UK voted to leave the EU, the United States elected Trump as its President and evidence emerged of Russian activity to undermine and interfere with elections both at home and abroad, I went into 2017 feeling really dispirited. Frankly the task ahead felt overwhelming.

2017 brought yet more to worry about. I’m not going to depress you with a list of all the problems and potential conflicts. You know the list as well as I do.  But 2017 also brought good news. The defeat of Marine LePen in the French elections. The ousting of Robert Mugabe. And the recent defeat of Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race was a tonic for the spirits.

Like I said, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel paralysed by the enormity of the challenges we face. Yet if we want a better world, we have to be the change we want to see in the world.

Being that change can come in very many forms. For Elizabeth Cronise-Mclaughlin, this meant unleashing her inner activist, and playing a leading role in the Resistance. For somebody who’s been unwell – or recovering from an experience of domestic violence or sexual abuse – a period of radical self-care and recovery may be what’s required. I’m not here to tell you what your journey should be.

Coming back to my questions. Am I leading or am I following? Am I being the change I want to see in the world? My answer would have to be a partial yes. When I sat down and listed my own activities, this is what I came up with:

  • I worked intensively with twelve business owners, several of whom had a business in turnaround. All twelve businesses are in a far better place than they were at the start of 2017, and some have survived despite the odds not looking good.
  • I helped the Religion Media Centre to secure funding for their work to create a cultural and systemic shift in the way religion is reported in the media by educating and engaging key decision makers to report religion in a way that does not perpetuate prejudice, misunderstanding, hate and division.
  • I lobbied MPs about Brexit, and encouraged others to do so.
  • I sponsored a woman from Rwanda through Women For Women International. She’s learnt about nutrition and hygiene, coping with PTSD after years of civil war and her rights so she has greater control over her future.
  • I drafted a course on self-leadership which I will be delivering to staff at the Liberal Democrat Head Office in the New Year. And I put together the outline for a book on the same topic.

Moving into 2018, I intend to follow Elizabeth Cronise-McLaughlin’s example and do far, far better when it comes to being the change I want to see in the world. I hope you will join me in this venture too. And as always, thank you for reading my articles.

Question: Did you lead or follow in 2017? How are you going to be the change you want to see in the world in 2018? I love reading your feedback so please do take a moment to share let me know in the comments box below.

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