leadership

You’d be surprised how much you can learn from a young woman guzzling beer from a muddy cleat. . . .

 

From the start, the post-game rugby social was remarkable. Co-eds filtered into a downtown bar carrying homemade dishes of pasta, beans, pulled pork and macaroni salad, creating a buffet that covered two pool tables. Hungry athletes and guests casually formed a line and chatted as they patiently waited for food.

 

The scene didn’t contradict the hard-playing, hard-partying image of rugby. Rather, it rendered the stereotype disingenuous. What I saw was a powerful set of shared values that can benefit us all:

 

Humor

Inextricably linked to energy, humor yields results—stuff gets done and people feel good. From songs, to games, to group announcements, humor kept everyone entertained and engaged.

 

Respect

Even in a crowded bar steaming with adrenaline and alcohol, respect prevailed. Requesting attention by raising party cup to forehead, or singing “me, me, me, meeeee” (to which others replied, “you, you, you, youuuuuu”), anyone who wanted the group’s attention could get it.

 

Equality

With women and men equally represented as both athletes and guests, gender (and other differentiators) seemed invisible. A rugby-guys-versus-rugby-gals game of “flip cup” quickly integrated because it was easier and didn’t seem to matter anyway.

 

Cooperation

All teammates contributed time and/or treasure to create an environment with enough food and drink for all. When the beer ran out, someone stepped forward to initiate a collection effort that quickly yielded enough contributions to tap another keg. When someone started a silly song, members took turns improvising verses. And when ideas ran out, a new tune was introduced.

 

I’m a latecomer to rugby, too breakable now to subject myself to the sport. But I may just pursue groupie status. Because this is the kind of team I want to be part of.

Thank you to Jill Bates and Robin Flannigan for simultaneously inviting me to participate in this blog hop about “why I write”. Part of my eager acceptance to join was the personal appeal of this topic.

 

Throughout my life, writing has served many purposes: creative outlet in my first grade construction paper projects, essential refuge from the insecurity of high school, professional growth as a young magazine editor, a sounding page for major milestones like marriage, parenthood and divorce.  Now, as a coach who works with women to help them realize—and thrive in—their potential, writing has become exponentially valuable. I use writing not just to express or develop myself, I use it as a tool to help others do the same.

 

In my blog at http://thrivepotential.com/blog/ I strive to share ideas that will inspire others. As @ThrivePotential I share succinct points and ideas about women, positive thinking and leadership. As an introvert (albeit, a slight one), I appreciate the opportunity to process my thoughts on screen or paper, so I incorporate writing into my workshops as a technique for self-reflection and empowerment.

 

Recently my own coach encouraged me to write more. My thoughts were getting muddy and clogged in mind. She knew that once the words started flowing, they would become clearer. And she was right.

 

A daily practice of writing requires more discipline than I have been willing to commit lately. I am busy building my business, parenting, enjoying life. But, like exercise, when I find the time to write, I feel more energized, focused and fulfilled. This written reflection has been a serendipitous reinforcement of my recent reminder about the healthiness of writing. (Does that mean I can skip the gym today?)

 

Be sure to check out next week’s bloggers:

 

Laura Erdman-Luntz  (http://www.LauraErdmanLuntz.com)

Experienced Yoga Educator, Author, inspiring Life Coach and Business Entrepreneur, Laura Erdman-Luntz has over 20 years experience in the fitness and wellness industries.  She uniquely blends her Life Coaching knowledge and vast experience with Yoga to create programs, classes and workshops that truly do bring mind and body together for positive change, inspiring people to live their most authentic life.  She incorporates New Thought ideas into classes and programs on positive living, manifesting and changing subconscious beliefs.

 

Vicki M. James (http://www.stand-out-results.com/blog)

Small Business Marketing Strategist and Branding Expert of Stand Out Results, Vicki M. James is an expert in internal and external branding, marketing and culture, working with local and national companies from family owned to corporations for over 20 years.  As the founder of Stand Out Results, her mission is to share her knowledge and help entrepreneurs become successful by exceeding their expectations by becoming the go to resource for marketing strategy, branding and customer experience.

Instead of pooling our potential and leveraging the strengths of others, we sometimes compete for supremacy—perhaps not overall domination, but at least some agreement of where each has the ultimate say. Successful leaders recognize and yield to the power of others. And from that, they become more powerful.