What I Found in Freedom – Mike Edwards

This week Mike Edwards joins us from his blog with a post about wins.

Several years ago I learned the phrase “I am free, powerful and at choice” from my friend Christopher Avery. I remember thinking at the time it sounded a little slogan-like but I was curious what was really behind these words. Christopher leads The Leadership Gift™ Program so I remember thinking perhaps it’s just a battle cry or something.

Then I joined The Leadership Gift Program and with a little time I started to live this way myself. I was finding so many ways in my life I was free, I was powerful and increasingly at choice. It felt great and I remember at some point it started feeling increasingly natural to say this for myself. No slogan, no battle cry just truly how I felt I was being.

This week I think I learned something new about being free, powerful and at choice. This phrase seems to be a series of states of being rather than a collection.

Let me explain: For the Co-Active Certification program I must submit recordings of actual coaching sessions for review with a supervisor. The experience is incredible and it allows me to hear and explore me as a coach. This week my supervisor started our session by acknowledging the amount of freedom present in my coaching. She went on to say how this freedom made space for a very powerful coach to show up.

I was Free, Powerful and and at Choice.

In processing this supervision experience, what opened up for me is the realization to be fully at choice I must first be my most powerful self. If I only bring part of my most powerful self the amount of choice I am in will be proportional. Equally to be my most powerful self I must stand in total freedom. Again partial freedom means only part of powerful me. So by standing in total freedom, it allows me to be my most powerful self, which in turned allowed me to be fully at choice.

What is this freedom?

Conjure up an image of leopards on the savanna. At times they are resting peacefully in the shade of a tree. Other times you will find them running at their top speed to catch their prey. They are beautiful, powerful and more than anything free.

Freedom is about letting go and just being me. It’s about not judging myself like I’ve been so good at doing for a very long time. It’s about just going with whatever is present and following my heart. It’s about dancing like no-one is watching.

How did I find this freedom?

Lots of hard work! The past year I’ve been a part of The Leadership Gift™ Program, hired my own coach, been coached by countless colleagues in the Co-Active Coaching program and have an incredible wife who provides just the right coaching when I need it (without any coach training at all). In all of these experiences I’ve continued to expand myself and step away from the things holding me back.

What would freedom do for a leader

Leading, much like coaching, is about creating an environment where people can bring their best selves forward. When you create this type of environment for people you free them to start being at their most powerful. I would even bet they will love working for you.

I’ve started noticing businesses where freedom seems scarce. The employees serving you don’t seem to care about the little details, the smiles on their faces seem shallow, the quality of my experience is merely acceptable.

Right now I’m sitting in a hotel restaurant having breakfast and there’s a buzz happening amongst the staff. They are greeting their guests like friends, they are attentive to the needs of everyone (and my empty coffee cup). It turns an acceptable experience into one I want to continue returning to.

For leaders (and coaches) I believe our success in providing freedom for those around us is proportional to the amount of freedom we are present with.

How do I get some of this?

I can tell you with certainty there is no magic formula to get some of this. It takes hard work and a commitment to yourself. Be patient with yourself and don’t give up if you feel things went the wrong way.

I know there will be times I am not going to feel as free, powerful and at choice. That’s OK as it gives me strength to continue committing to the hard work needed on this journey.

What are you ready to commit to?


Mike - HeadshotMike is a member of The Leadership Gift Program and professional coach working with people and teams as they design an effective work & personal life. In his 27 year career Mike has held many positions in IT & business across numerous industry sectors. He has led many great teams and always tried to inspire them to be their best. Five years ago Mike altered his career path and started to increasingly take a coaching stance to feed a passion to help others increase their effectiveness.

Mike is a founding board member of Leanintuit, a team of Agile Coaches helping to improve our world. Mike is studying to become a Co-Active Coach with CTI Coaching Institute. Mike speaks and teaches many times each year at conferences and other professional events internationally. Mike shares his thoughts regularly through his blog and enjoys hearing of others experiences.


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Posted in Responsibility on 07/01/2015 12:35 pm
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