Today is the twelfth day of the new blog series entitled Bring Your Leadership to Life! Join us throughout the month of March and beyond as we feature guest bloggers who share their perspective on how they bring their leadership to life! This blog series highlights the theme of the 2nd Annual Evening for Austin Leading Ladies, an event that SOS Leadership is honored to be hosting in partnership with The Concordia MBA on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at Concordia University Texas. Learn more about this powerful event and register at www.austinleadingladies.com.
Stephanie Bazan is a marketing/communications consultant. She often presents on topics such as social media, service and leadership, and has also served on numerous education and non-profit panels. Stephanie is a graduate of the Leadership Austin Emerge program, president of the St. Edward’s University Alumni Association and a board member of Women.Design.Build. She enjoys travel, dessert and kicking a soccer ball.
I was settling into Warrior pose when my yoga instructor started speaking about our blueprint on life. Later, as I teetered in Half Moon, she mentioned opening our bodies and minds and letting the negative out to make room for the positive. I’ve practiced yoga here and there, but as a newbie much of my energy was being spent on figuring out my next move rather than taking in the wisdom she spouted. As I fought to stay in Bow pose – the one where you start on your belly, and then reach back to grab your feet and try to get as much of your body OFF the ground as possible – I heard her tell us to breathe. I did, and I finally heard what she had been saying.
What is my blueprint on life? Part of my blueprint is leadership and as a leader I’m a powerful connector. What does that mean? It is giving two people who may not have crossed paths an e-introduction. It is answering a former student’s email asking for job advice by setting him up with an interview. Connecting isn’t always as obvious as putting a plug into an outlet. It is being at an event and realizing that two people on opposite ends of the room must meet. It is listening to an executive director’s needs and months later sending a potential board member her way. It is meeting someone on a plane and recognizing he is the perfect fit for a project he didn’t know existed.
Connecting is taking a role as a mentor and teaching your mentee that real “networking” isn’t about how many business cards she can collect, but about building strong authentic relationships. In order for her to do that she needs to stop talking so much and start listening. Connecting people is not something I seek or plan out. It happens because as I meet new people, hear their stories, and learn about their strengths, wants and needs, I notice links and opportunities. Making these matches is not something I see as extraordinary – it is essential. It is part of being a leader and one of the ways I bring my leadership to life.
Leadership is thinking beyond what you need and stepping up to serve others. As leaders we should feel a sense of responsibility to make things better and not expect anything in return.
And as far as making room for the positive…well that’s how I strive to start every day – optimistic and open to possibility. That’s not to say that bad things won’t happen, but when they do we must learn what we can from them and then let them go. Create space for good things and good people to enter.
Yoga is a journey of theory and practice. It guides us to become a better version of ourselves, and it teaches us about the inter-connected relationship of life. I am still trying to figure out how to get my body to twist into a Hummingbird pose, but I have certainly grasped the importance of leadership and weaving it in to my everyday routine.
Stay tuned in the days to come as the Bring Your Leadership to Life Series continues….