January | Connecting the Dots

“Collecting the dots. Then connecting them. And then sharing the connections with those around you. This is how a creative human works. Collecting, connecting, sharing.” ~Amanda Palmer

Change is happening by the minute as I feel the movements of this baby forming inside of me — and how it has impacted my direction and decisiveness. (We’re about 21 weeks in! It’s the size of a banana).

I’ve always been direct and intentional, but whenever I took on a new role or challenge, doubts about who I was and thoughts of what I lacked popped up instead of leaning into all that I brought to the table. This has surfaced with my newish role at L@S. I, unlike my fellow colleagues, do not have formal training and coaching in my credentials. This first led me into the observer role, which I learned is critical in the world of leadership and coaching experiences. In the coaching world of ‘active’ communication, it did feel awkward (at first) to be the silent operator inside the room, but the balance of having the observer in the room is equally important.

This unsteadiness I experienced may be a feeling you have had when you applied for a particular role or were exposed to a new culture within an organization, or heck, even in a personal relationship. I also see it coming up as I go through my journey as a first-time mother. There aren’t any certification programs for parenthood. The real action doesn’t kick in until that baby is actually here. Let’s take a specific example, like changing a diaper. In theory, I can learn the steps on how to put one on, how it should fit, etc., but in reality, changing a diaper at first will involve observing the baby’s facial reactions, comfort levels, and movements. Too bad I can’t stand or sit in the back of the room for this one!

As I embark on this growing dot, I’m finding that motherhood and leadership share more than a few similarities. Both involve dealing with the unknown, reflecting on life experiences and using your tools to navigate through challenges. I was recently scheduled for a prenatal massage and my response to the masseuse when she had asked if I felt ok was, “This is a new body….so I’m not sure.” It was later up to her to navigate and see what worked for me. I found that to be similar to my role in operations at L@S as I sift through the details and vulnerability of the ins and outs that clients share to co-create the toolbox for their leaders!

I recognize it didn’t always feel that easy to navigate the sifting; in my early days, I felt like an outsider looking in, and this is where my sincerest kudos and appreciation goes to my team. Thank you Mic, thank you Alvin, thank you Cat, thank you Miranda, and thank you Tara for acknowledging my strengths in the operations role and sharing the importance of being a leader in the back of the room. The conversations around leadership began and continued with my client check-ins; I was able to connect the dots to identify the win-wins where the clients get what they need and our coaches feel fulfilled with their delivery.

As I’m filled with gratitude for this role, I realize that all the other doubt-filled roles were challenging me to lean into my values and truth. I finally feel aligned with the mission and visions of this team, my work, and my role. It has also impacted my motherhood journey as I’m discovering the building blocks to be the leader (mother) for my baby (banana).

I’m also connecting the dots between the leaders I engage with who are trying to absorb what’s going on in their organizations and how they can show up and provide the best for their teams. The way each of them engages in sessions, and calls, and leans more and more into who they want to become and the skills they want to strengthen to be the best version of themselves — not only for their own good but for the others that they work with and empower — is inspiring. nnIt’s never been more clear that the steps and choices I’ve made have led me to the place I’ve landed. Like this role at L@S, it wasn’t accidental. All my previous roles have best prepared me to show up with more of my operational and relationship-building strengths. The past and these strengthened skills are also very much relevant in preparation for becoming a mother. As new as these feelings may be, they are deeply rooted in embracing the change, which ultimately comes from connecting all the (life) dots.

Journal Prompt

  • The world has a need for your brilliant skills and your unique lived experience. How can you connect the dots between what you can do and what is needed to create a positive influence?

What’s on Repeat

Today’s edition of the L@S Newsletter was composed by Ren Kamalanathan, ex-toy maker and sales and business operations leader who is heart-driven for impact!

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