Why Leadership is Dying

Why Leadership is Dying

When I was a little girl I fought tooth and nail for what was right.

I was the kid who spoke up (sometimes even shouted) in the classroom when the teacher didn’t treat all kids with the respect and love they deserved.

I was the kid on the playground who wouldn’t stand for unfair treatment or abandonment of anyone.

I was the child in my family who argued with my well-meaning parents (and other unsuspecting adults) every time they attempted to squelch the self-expression of myself or my siblings.

In Middle School, they called me “nice person” because took a stand for everyone as equals. I was the kid you couldn’t fit into any particular box because I had friends in each one.

In Graduate School, I quickly went from the wunderkind for whom my professors expected fame, to the black sheep that my professors despised for her unwavering ethics.

But then it all changed. In my 13-year career as a social worker and bilingual teacher I found that helping people was less about standing up for people; and more about giving people permission to access their own wisdom to stand powerfully for themselves. And in my last 11 years as an entrepreneur, CEO, and leader of leaders I’ve deepened in humility as I’ve grown to recognize that I and my company are not growing unless all of us get to grow with it. My team, my clients, my partners — if we’re not all becoming more powerful, my company isn’t aligned with the truth of power itself.

It’s simply not enough to stand for the change we can see possible and to try to get people to
“drink the kool-aid” about what we know needs to change. Shaking the world to wake it up doesn’t work if those around us aren’t waking up to their own truth alongside ours.  Overcoming a fear of our power means overcoming a fear of the power of others, as well.
Deep down we’re afraid that power leads to an unlevel playing field. We fear that when people step into their power they won’t need us any longer. We fear abandonment of the support systems we count on.

When we choose to see everyone as powerful, however, our fears are given permission to transform.

Restoring people to their true power creates allies in change.

And restoring people to their innate wisdom — the first outcome of restoring people to their power — takes problems and creates immediate openings for solutions.

Creating change requires stepping back from the need to be seen in our own wisdom, and empowering others into theirs.

Creating change means letting leadership die, and something new take over.

The way I used to fight for others as a kid is no longer necessary, because now others are beginning to understand it’s safe for them to do the same (yes, not all of the world quite yet, but this is the trajectory we’re on and we’re not getting off of it anytime soon).

Leadership is dying because the innate wisdom of one cannot support the needs and fulfillment of many. Our needs and that deeper sense of fulfillment in our goals are only met when we each own the wisdom within ourselves and are given the opportunity to use it.

Leadership is dying because the guru-mentality has been cracked open and we can no longer lead with our fears or need to be seen.

Instead of leading with how much we know, we’re learning to lead with how much we don’t know.  Leadership is dying because our egos can no longer stand at the helm of the ship. Our contributions have gotten bigger. The visibility of the suffering on the planet has become so obvious we can’t ignore it any longer. And scalability now has little to do with our ego’s wants, and a lot more to do with what the planet and its people require of us.

Those who choose not to see this are still welcome to play it safe with the old context of leadership. But for those of us who choose to see where the planet is headed and play a role in it, we cannot cling to the old paradigm of leadership any longer.

To make an impact of this size, we’re now required to learn how to channel the strength of the cosmos in order to scale our companies.

To “lead” today, each of us must hone our unique capacity to connect the dots between the physical and energetic worlds. And because of the uniqueness of the capacity to do this within each and every one of us, there can be many leaders to one process, rendering leadership itself — dead.

Death, however, does not happen to create emptiness or confusion. Death happens so that new life can come through. In the death of leadership,  we are finding something new.

Leadership is dying so that facilitation can take over.

No matter what form our work takes on, we must learn to continually empty ourselves out so that the unique version of wisdom that wants to move through us can lead us.
We learn to co-create with that wisdom that both is, and is not of us, to create pathways that allow us all to be leaders — exponentializing the capacity we and our companies have to create shifts.

We learn to facilitate the process of those who are counting on our unique wisdom, to support them in the catalyzation of theirs.

We learn to proudly cultivate and own up to the truth that if we claimed to have all the answers, we’d be lying. Instead, we agree to cultivate our own power and wisdom so that together we can help those in our field cultivate theirs.

With facilitation, we learn that the wisdom of one person does not discount the wisdom of another, but build each other up.

With facilitation, we learn to open to the process itself and allow it to show us what we wouldn’t be able to see on our own.

A leader can command people to see them. But a facilitator can command people to see themselves.

And to cultivate the shift of an entire paradigm, it has to be about them, not about us.

A love letter from the soul of MDS to you

A love letter from the soul of MDS to you

As we were putting the finishing touches on “From Soul to Business: Love Letters & Lessons from Experts with Successful Businesses & Fulfilling Lives,” we felt something was off, that a piece of magic was missing. We soon discovered that the soul of Modern Day Sorcerer had something to say and was eager to speak directly to its participants.

The message below was channeled from MDS and it’s the first love letter included in From Soul to Business. We decided to share it with all of you, as well, because the energy felt powerful and pure and important for you to receive, regardless of whether or not you even have a business!

More than anything, this letter is an opportunity to anchor into the energy of what opportunities are unfolding in your life right now and an invitation to start dancing with your life in a new way.

We’re choosing to keep the language intact, so if you don’t have a business, we invite you to replace that language with whatever vocation, passion, opportunity, or purposeful work you’re called to do.

Here’s your special message from the soul of MDS:

Imagine walking up to someone on the street who appears to need your help, and jumping right in to help without asking any questions about what they actually need. That wouldn’t be true service – you’d just be imposing your intentions on them.

The same thing happens when we impose our intentions on the souls of our businesses: we stop being in true service to ourselves and our vision.

Business is an amazing dance. When we stop listening to the music, or when we keep trying to dance after the music stops or the rhythm changes, the dance ceases to be fun.

And business was never meant to be stripped of fun. It’s not intended to be a dry space where we force ourselves into exertion simply to make money or to be of service; it’s a party where you and your business and the people you serve get to dance til the sun comes up!

For most people, not learning to dance with the soul of the business itself is the missing key to what feels “off” in their business.

The soul of our business is intertwined with our own soul – it’s an intrinsic connection that exists regardless of what drove us to business in the first place.

Because these souls are intertwined, they lead each other and are equally invested in each other’s growth. It’s a reciprocal relationship, one that takes the visionary and the vision to the greatest depths and highest heights.

And while we are powerful creators and are meant to act as such, the souls of our businesses know who we are in ways that run far deeper. There is no need, then, to direct our business – there’s no need to push it forward or guide it blindly. When we learn to listen to it and dance with it, we get to become way more powerful than we ever conceived.

This dance is a choice.

We can choose to step into full alignment with our greatest potential – both the infinite version of ourselves that our businesses want us to become, and the fullness of our vision eager to come through in its highest form.

Or we can choose to continue with business as usual. There is nothing wrong with this – doing so will not necessarily stop us from making money or even from helping people. But it will put on hold the greater purpose brewing inside of us and that BIGNESS we’ve felt from a young age, the bigness we sometimes resist being open about because we’re afraid of sounding delusional. It leaves us with an emptiness inside that could be easily filled if only we would listen to, and learn to dance with, the soul of our business.

The soul of your business knows how to lift away the heaviness of the work you’re here to do for the planet. It knows how to guide you to the heights that look dizzying and the dreams that seems ridiculous but are actually more than possible when we’re truly aligned with our work.

This is why we at Team MDS listen when MDS itself speaks – this is how From Soul to Business came to exist in the first place.

There’s so much wisdom within the love letters (and videos and interviews and advice) included in this offering. That wisdom is inside of you and the soul of your business too, it’s simply choosing to come through in the words of other powerful beings and successful business owners who have been where you’re at and are eager to make your path easier.

Tomorrow, you’ll receive access to ALL of this content, and you’ll have a full week to play with it and incorporate it into your business and life. (Of course, if you’d love lifetime access to it, there’ll be an opportunity to get that before the week ends!)

There is one simple thing you can do to truly make the most of the magic available to you here. Tonight or tomorrow, before you dive into this juicy content, start to dance with the soul of your business in a new way. Turn on your favorite music and allow the soul of your business to speak to you through the words of the song or the beat of the music or a snippet of conversation outside your window or a voice you hear in your heart.

Find out where your business is ready to go and get ready to move in that direction with us as your guide. Share with us in our Soulful Brilliance Facebook group any questions or insights that come up for you after doing this. We’re so happy to support you!

You’re on a beautiful journey, and we honor you for showing up!

Life in Uncertainty and What It Taught Me

Life in Uncertainty and What It Taught Me

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from three+ years of full-time travel is that I can’t know anything until I’m actually there. Planning too far ahead is futile and only leads to a lot of unused plane tickets and cancelled reservations.

I arrived in Morocco on guidance from that greater something. “Go to Morocco,” repeated enough times that I finally listened.

I wasn’t clear why I was supposed to spend time in this country, but I was looking forward to the adventure I had planned — a road trip with a new friend, two weeks taking a kite-surfing course, and a month or two at a co-working space by the beach, focusing on my business and reveling in the beauty of the Moroccan coast.

The moment I landed, I felt a sense of uncertainty I hadn’t felt so strongly ever before. It’s nearly impossible to live your life and run your business from a place that’s aligned with Source and not feel safe in the uncertainty of life — but this was different. It was as if nothing would be allowed to be known; as if any detail of life I may have felt the need to have in place (for very good reasons sometimes) would be pulled out from under me.

As I embarked on the road trip with my friend and two other women we’d just met, the subtle feeling of uncertainty creeping in became the primary energy I was living in.

For a weekend, I embraced the uncertainty. But when Monday approached, it grew.

Was it simply because I needed to get back to wifi for my business and was getting mixed signals as to when we’d make it back? As I continued to surrender into the uncertainty and release the clinging of wanting to know, it became clear that this would be a theme for my time in Morocco.

I found this curious, as I had already learned to find trust in the unknown, to feel safe in not knowing, to enjoy the ride rather than expect anything past the present moment. But, as uncertainty goes, we can’t always know that there’s more to learn or grow until the moment for learning and growing arises.

As the feeling was sinking in, I received a message from someone asking me to come up to Casablanca for a business opportunity. There was nothing firm about this offer — everything about it projected uncertainty and a nebulous state of floaty-ness that I would normally say no to. My ability to serve is protected by my boundaries… and yet, the pull to go was strong.

When I dropped in and asked Source, the guidance was overwhelming — a tremendous sense of power that rose up from within me and screamed “go.”

The uncertainty increased as I found myself cancelling all of my upcoming plans and simply saying yes to going to Casablanca that evening, not knowing what was ahead of me.

The months that progressed became my bootcamp in uncertainty.

With each bit of work I did in Casablanca, I was clear I needed to be there, clear that I had been sent there because the community there was ready and waiting for my work. And yet, nothing else remained certain.

Opportunities would arise and remain in a nebulous state, often not landing in anything tangible until the very last minute. The rest of my life and the busy nature of my business was thrown up in the dust of the uncertainty — the mama bear in me that always needed to know that the people I serve were well taken care of, received a lesson in surrender, having to trust so deeply in Source’s guidance and allowing everything else to fall into place without any control over how.

And here are a few unexpected lessons I learned in the 3.5 months of pure uncertainty in my experience there:

  1. No one else’s control issues can ever thwart your plans.  
    When we’re relating to others in this world of interwoven relationships and individual needs, it can be hard to strike a balance between surrendering to the needs of others and making sure your own needs are met. Sometimes, as much as we communicate our needs and as clear as we are, there can appear to be a gap between what we are clear on needing and what someone else needs in the moment. When this creates uncertainty in our world, there is always a greater plan. We must speak our needs and Source our own power as creators — and when uncertainty takes over, in the surrender that goes beyond our own power, there is a sweetness of our needs being able to fall into alignment without efforting, but with a peace in our circumstances magically unfolding.
  2. The business world is not as masculine as we often think it is.
    Much of the uncertainty I found in doing business in Morocco was based in a feminine energy that, at first, confused the heck out of me. There was a shortness in communication that felt masculine, and yet, the inability to pin things down, and the floaty nature of how many of the highest level business people do business that has yet to cease. There is a fine line as an entrepreneur between ceasing opportunities and making the most of them, and setting boundaries that are clean and clear and allow us to be our best in business. The feminine nature of the business world in Morocco rocked me to the core, but it forced me to set boundaries while also retaining a flexibility that would best serve. Finding balance between flexibility and clean boundaries is a journey for all of us individually, but it’s one that, when danced both intuitively and in conjunction with our own truest expression, opens us up to more of what’s available in this world.
  3. Boundaries are not, and will never be, an end-all-be-all static thing.
    Many years ago, I learned that setting clear boundaries with people didn’t need to feel like a wall of strength. Instead, a soft cushiony place held for what is true to us also holds a soft cushiony place for others to land in a way that supports them in honoring our needs and requests, while allowing them to feel met, welcomed, and understood in the process.

    The nebulous nature of business in Morocco threw my boundary setting for a loop. I found myself feeling no choice but to say yes to things that would normally fall outside of my boundaries. Sometimes this worked magically, other times I wound up feeling pushed, used, and under-acknowledged because I was skipping over my truth.

    Eventually I learned that there was a way to honor the truth behind my boundaries while also honoring the truth of the situation that sometimes warrants a different perspective, action, or agreement.

    I learned how to honor myself more deeply, while honoring the other person’s needs with full acceptance of both angles. I learned how to find my place in the infinite loop that’s available when we surrender into the flow of the uncertainty of life, while still remaining true to our ability to powerfully create our realities, and coming back around to full surrender.

Now it’s your turn. When you consider the uncertainty of life, what comes up for you? We would love to hear in the comments below!

And if you’re interested in support with getting beyond the fear of uncertainty and into powerful creation in the unknown, I would love to support you! Because this topic is so dear to my heart, I’m waiving the usual application fee to get on the phone with me, and offering a coupon for a FREE consultation (usually a non-refundable fee of $75). To apply for free, click here and enter the coupon code IAMSPECIAL.

Will Giving Up Lead to Your Next Breakthrough?

Will Giving Up Lead to Your Next Breakthrough?

I think we, as a species, tend to complicate our lives because we don’t know what we want. Overthinking and overanalyzing become the norm, causing so much stress and anxiety in our daily lives.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The Universe truly does speak to us in extraordinary and unexpected ways. We just have to listen… Listen with the heart instead of the mind. How? By paying attention to how something makes us feel rather than jumping to examine it cognitively.

It’s hard for me to believe that just a short time ago, I was still flustered and confused about what to focus on and which direction to go in.

I had heard my calling over a year ago but insisted on getting my brain too involved and that led me down the rabbit hole.

My ideas became stagnant, and nothing was in flow anymore. I was totally ready to give up, thinking that maybe I was delusional in thinking I was destined for great things or even worthy of it.

But as soon as I let go, ready to give up, things started to clear up again.

That’s because I had stopped ‘thinking’ about it. Once my mind was silenced, my heart was able to hear again, my eyes able to see.

I may not know my exact path, but that’s ok… I am clear on my next step and that’s all I need right now. I will know more when I’m ready to know more.

If you’ve been feeling lost or uncertain in your journey, I invite you to quiet the mind and let your heart lead the way. Ask your heart what truly feels best, and see if your body offers up any clues as well – do you get chills, for instance?

By setting aside the mind for just a bit, you open up space to create more magic – precisely the type of magic that your mind will work with you to build upon when the time is right. That’s a promise!

Finding Safety to Be Yourself in the Corporate World

Finding Safety to Be Yourself in the Corporate World

A few weeks ago I was on a train in Morocco. My close friend and colleague turned to me and said, “Hey I think we should be careful about what we show to the corporate community here, even on social media…”

I believe in listening fully to the person I’m talking to — in surrendering my thoughts, philosophies, and even what may seem like wisdom, to the other person’s thoughts, philosophies, and potential wisdom. We all have wisdom inside of us.

As much as I wanted to scream and immediately tell him he was wrong, I allowed myself to listen.

He told me a story of a friend who was immediately ostracized from a recent event he attended. My friend was speaking and facilitating, and this other man, who I had heard very good things about, came with him in support — and had helped to plan the entire event behind the scenes. But, because he had a more “rugged” look, the big names at the event began to talk behind his back. There were concerns of losing sponsorships and supporters, just because this man — a man who is apparently full of wisdom and insight that could have supported attendees — was present.

The saddest part of this moment on the train for me was noticing who was telling me this story. This very friend who was holding onto such fear that he would be ostracized in the corporate world, is someone who also preaches vulnerability in leadership. In order to have vulnerability, we must begin with authenticity. Even though this work comes from a place of deep knowing, if we don’t know how to do the deep work, it can take us decades to find our way out of the trap that is our fear.

I get the fear. Because I used to be that person — all the time, in fact.

In my early twenties, I remember being pulled aside by my boss. I had already proven myself in the non-profit world and was baffled to discover that administration had decided I couldn’t wear a certain type of clothing — a type of pants that, though in style at the time, I had only pulled reluctantly out of my closet, because they felt too conservative for me to feel authentic in. Ten minutes after I walked out of my boss’ office, I spotted a colleague wearing the exact same pants… which she continued to wear frequently.

But since that incident at 23, I’ve had 15 years to study the phenomena of not being able to be oneself in the workplace more closely. And what I’ve discovered has turned the common perception upside down.

About two years after the pants incident, I was teaching high school (yes, I had a talent for changing careers quickly before I became an entrepreneur — even when the new career involved getting yet another degree). I had a rowdy classroom in my 3rd period class. Though I’d never taken to the typical “classroom management” protocol most teachers religiously followed (I didn’t have to because I treated my students like human beings), I thought I would try it with this group — starting with how I presented myself. I walked into the classroom wearing a conservative outfit from the back of my closet, one I never wore because it was too stuffy for my taste. I turned around to write something on the board and heard a shout, “Miss! Who do you think you are?!” Baffled, I turned around, and all 40 kids proceeded to explain how what I was wearing was not “me” and they couldn’t pay attention if they knew I wasn’t being myself.

Out of the mouths of babes… or, 15-year-olds, at least.

From that moment on, I made a vow to be myself, and only myself, in the workplace. And here’s what I discovered.

  1. We only ever get fired if we’re supposed to.

We’re already clear that fear is the thing that holds us back from being ourselves, yes? Well, what are we fearing? Though, ultimately, we fear not being loved more than we do not having a roof over our head, the fear of getting fired (or losing business) and, therefore, not having said roof over our heads, usually sits in the forefront of our minds when we think about being ourselves in the workplace.

What I’ve found, however, through working with hundreds of clients who have stood in their path to authenticity, is that when we’re doing work we truly love — work we’re intended to do — we will always grow in our career when we grow within ourselves. If ever being ourselves causes us to lose our jobs or that client we had our eyes set on, it’s because that job or client wasn’t right for us. And when this happens on our journey to true authenticity, the doors are instantly opened to something that is far more aligned for us. Being authentic can only ever cause you to lose the job that you thought was keeping you safe but was actually keeping you small and hidden from the opportunity that will truly have you feeling far safer (because now you can be yourself and make money).

  1. Authenticity closes far more business deals than it loses.

Ever since I started honoring and trusting myself and my preferred way of being in the business world, there has been a shift. In my eleven years as an entrepreneur, countless clients, even mentors, have approached me stating that they chose me because of my ability to be myself.

I have a client who is a badass at closing large amounts of money for non-profits. For years, she thought it was in spite of her purple hair and deeply authentic way of being that she could close millions upon millions upon millions. Now, she truly gets that it’s an asset, and the more she owns this, the more powerful she’s becoming. (OMG I love my work!)

  1. We humans are really good at making our fears come true.

All of the stuff we fear happening in the workplace will only happen when we cling to our own fear and believe it. Our psyches are constantly looking for ways to prove to us that the world is a certain way. Our fears only come true because of this phenomena.

But it’s a phenomena that we have absolute power to shift.

By doing the deep work, we find our way through our fears and out to the other side where they don’t control us. In that world, the things we’ve feared stop coming true. And that’s where the world we always dreamt of as little kids starts becoming real.

  1. The only reason the corporate world persists this way is because we all allow it.

For most of us, the little kid inside of us that knew fervently that it didn’t have to be this way gave up long ago. Most adults now don’t see that this world they have given in to “just being this way” was also created by them.

Because when we don’t stand up for what we know is right, we continue to create what we know isn’t.

Standing up for what’s right doesn’t have to mean making a scene or protesting. It means allowing the veil of perception to lift and broaden. The only reason that things are a certain way is because we have given into perceiving them to be that way. When we allow ourselves to re-open our perception to things being a different way, they become that way instead.

  1. Loneliness and isolation are self-created.

When no one gets on the dance floor, we can’t see that almost everyone loves to dance (and even those who don’t, still enjoy watching). For each person who feels alone in the corporate world because they can’t be themselves, there are others in their workplace who are just like them — each individual just waiting for someone else to step up and be authentic enough to free them, too. And for each of us that steps up as a leader in our authenticity, we portray something that shows others they are just like us, or, at bare minimum, shows them they are not alone in wanting to be themselves, too.

Are you ready to get on the dance floor with us? Comment below. And if you’re ready to do the deep work to get there, click here to schedule a free consult (yes, they’re usually not free, but if you do it now, we’ll get you set up with a slot in Jordanna’s calendar for free!).

A Tender Heart + Lots of Kindness Inside

A Tender Heart + Lots of Kindness Inside

Even the nicest people can struggle with kindness sometimes, especially if they’re having a bad day.

Especially those moments when someone doesn’t seem ‘worthy’ of kindness…

Sound familiar? When it’s been a rough couple of days or even just a tough few hours, in the heat of the moment it’s easy to be horrible to ‘horrible’ people.

(Notice, horrible is in quotes!)

In the past, when I lived behind my ‘walls’, I usually came across as cold:
• If a stranger said hello, I would ignore them. I wasn’t meaning to be off-putting or make them feel ignored; it was a defense mechanism.
• If someone was rude to me, I would react immediately and almost viciously. It made me feel safe.

I’ve since learned a lot about myself, and about others.

When someone is treating others cruelly, it’s usually because they don’t feel good about themselves and/or they are having a bad day.

And when I reacted in a spiteful way when someone was rude to me, it was not out of pride… It was because I didn’t like myself.

I was subconsciously creating a cycle of negativity by reflecting someone else’s poor behavior back at them.

Now that I am aware of my own behavior and WHY I behaved that way, I find being kind on a regular basis not just easier than always being in ‘fight mode,’ but also healthier, less stressful. Plus, it makes me feel good.

Allowing myself to be present in the moment allows me to respond rather than react.

I recently had an experience at the pharmacy where there was a computer error regarding my prescriptions.

Before figuring out what the problem was, the pharmacist was quick to blame me, going so far as to raise her voice at me. Instead of reacting defensively, I was able to stay present and could see her frustration. I realized I had never seen her behave this way before and that maybe she was having a bad day.

Now, I’m not saying that makes it okay to treat someone badly BUT was she really aware of how she was treating me?

I stayed calm, and it all got figured out. I even wished her a good day with a smile when the transaction was complete.

Before leaving the store, she found me to apologize and to express her appreciation for my patience.

I still have days when I’m triggered.

We all will.

We’re beautifully human.

The next time you’re feeling defensive, ask yourself: what am I afraid of?

Remember that, just like you, everyone has their own story, their own pain, and their own fears.

When we act out of kindness, even when it doesn’t seem earned or deserved, everybody wins.

Feeling ready to dive into your own dose of vulnerability with a deeper sense of wonder and joy? Join us (& Tara) for our LIVE Embrace Your Darkness Challenge, starting February 13, 2017!

Here are just a few things Embracing Your Darkness can do for you:
• Improve relationships and communication
• Strengthen your leadership skills
• Overcome self-sabotage
• Increase authenticity to impact everything from your career to your love life
• Bring together your overly-brilliant mind and your deep feels so they can finally chill out and become one
Join our Embrace Your Darkness Challenge >>