Life and Leadership Coach Raven Bonniwell first shared her own story before leading the group through a series of exercises to offer perspectives on goal setting and career transitions.
Raven shared that she was pursuing an acting career when she found that her life had been overtaken by her numerous odd jobs, not leaving enough time for acting auditions let alone acting jobs. She decided to seek out a coach from whom she learned the power of designing life on her own terms. This led Raven to start her own theatre company as well as embark on a one-year coach training program herself. She now helps others to design their own life including in group sessions like this.
First, Raven asked us to begin thinking about leadership by writing down three leaders we admire. Next, we considered what specific characteristics of these leaders inspired this respect and admiration. Sharing answers led to a group discussion about our perception of what leaders are and what they are not. Some characteristics that we ascribed to leaders included power and responsibility, and interestingly, the words isolating and judgment also emerged. Raven had us consider reclaiming the word leader to include leading from love and compassion.
Next, we each wrote down what qualities we bring as leaders. Then, we focused on confidence. Raven had us consider confidence as a feeling, not a quality. While it is common to fall into the thinking that confidence is something everyone else has, we considered that everyone acts differently when they are confident or not confident. Therefore, when you see confidence, you actually are seeing other qualities like presence, calmness, compassion, joy, or drive. So in truth, a leader is just someone who leads, and a leader may bring different qualities. Therefore, the qualities and strengths in each of us may be nurtured to become the qualities of a confident leader.
Finally, we each envisioned where we want to be in one year, and we were challenged to design our life based on this vision. We were encouraged that achieving these goals and this mindset must come from a place of leadership and that we can be leaders of our own lives.