Have you ever… – Mike Edwards

This week Mike Edwards joins us from his blog.


Have you ever awakened at 3am and been unable to fall back asleep? This morning that happened for me and I started thinking about stuff. Most notably I’ve been thinking about this journey I’m on. You might be thinking I’m talking about the work I’ve been doing in this past year which was certainly an important part of the thought process. However, there’s something bigger at play this morning.

Recently I have been trying to make some decisions around continuing on with more training next year (I’m not sure training is the right word but I’ll use it anyway). In particular going beyond the coach training which has been incredibly transformative and doing another course called Leadership. It’s no small investment of time and money but I keep hearing incredible things about the experience.

What is blowing my mind is a couple years ago I would have laughed at the thought of taking this journey at the age of 50. I’ve long been the type of person who thought I’m going to have a regular career, do all the right things, rise up the corporate ladder and then retire when the time is right. What I know for sure is I will still retire when the time is right, but I’m just not sure what that means right now … and that’s OK. There’s time to figure it out.

There’s something calling me forward on this journey. I haven’t been able to put my finger on it yet but what I know for sure is it’s powerful. I keep getting signs that I’m on the right the track so there’s no question in my mind. What I do know is this calling is centred on my inner passion for this work I’m doing. My passion for this work comes from knowing this is what I’m meant to be doing.

Start living your life

Do you have an area of your life that feels flat? Do you feel stuck in some part of your life and you’re unsure why? Do you just accept things as just the way it must be? Do you leave your passionate self at the door when you go into your job each day?

In my work I run into countless people who just accept things as ‘the way it is’. Well I have news for you: It doesn’t have to be this way!

Living your life is about being the person you truly are. It’s not about living with judgement, fear or someone else’s expectations. Living your life is understanding yourself and being at choice in how you live it. Living is about stretching the boundaries you set for yourself which hold you back from a bigger more powerful self.

In Leadership

I’ve come to know the importance of knowing myself and what it means to lead others. Leading others is about providing others the environment and support to be their best selves. When leaders allow their people to live their values, and be the person they were meant to be they unlock untold potential. The potential for both the success of the company and more importantly the people who work for them.

I’ve worked with leaders of all types. I’ve even met a few who sadden me as they were only one call to HR away from a big problem in their career. When I dig deeper into what is happening with these leaders I find the real problems do not start with the people they claim to have such problems with. When I work with leaders I start by having them discover what is really happening for them. In the most extreme examples they’re not living their life and something is out of alignment. This then reflects in their actions towards themselves and those around them.

Fortunately, I have not run into too many extreme cases of truly bad leaders. Most times I encounter good people trying to lead within a bad system. In particular old and established corporate cultures with cubicles, suits & ties, and sterile environments. It’s these outdated systems which have the leaders trying to be something they’re not.

In today’s world companies everywhere are trying to transform as they struggle to compete in this economy. The need to change is not a one time event, rather it’s about a journey to always be moving forward. It’s been my observation for real change to take hold it starts with the leadership of an organization. You cannot keep following your outdated practices for leading and expect real change to take hold.

Tools, methodologies, processes, etc are all important in changing how your organization delivers value. However, without good leadership it’s been my experience the changes you enact will fizzle and you’ll go back to the way it’s always been.

Please be patient … I’m a work in process

One of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned in the past few years is there is nothing in me to fix. I’m not broken. I’m human. Which also means it’s not possible to be perfect (whatever that means). The good news is; it is possible to build the muscles to catch yourself out of alignment quicker and return to your most powerful self.

Christopher Avery teaches a game called “catch sooner” which is all about noticing what mental state you find yourself in. I know when I am not acting from a mental state of responsibility I am also at choice. So the faster I notice, the faster I can return to being more fully present with me.

So regardless of the journey you find yourself on please be patient and kind with yourself. As I’ve been asked by Christopher on more than one occasion “how long do you deserve to beat yourself up over this?”.

Live your life … it’s an incredible gift!

Mike Edwards

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 08/10/2015 01:47 am
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