Jessica Soroky continues her series Leadership is a Choice.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/12596073934194553/Sitting nice and straight at the desk I ran my fingers over the keys and pushed down on a few just to hear the sound it made. I turned the knob on the side just like my grandma had shown me and grabbed a piece of paper. I sat in awe, for just a second, taking in how clean the paper was; it held endless possibilities. With the paper secure in the typewriter I put my hands back on the keys and let my imagination take over as I began to type.

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This week Mike Edwards joins us from his blog with a post about wins.

Over the past couple weeks I have found myself to be in a rut. Almost a bad mood of sorts. Given all the work I’ve done in the past year to improve myself this was getting under my skin. How could this be happening again?!

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Jessica Soroky continues her series Leadership is a Choice.

Click, click, click.

Head tilted back, staring up at the sky as it seems to grow closer and closer with every click of the metal chain below.

The anticipation grows almost unbearable. When will the clicks stop? I have to be at the top of this extremely high hill by now. All I can do is grip the harness as tight as possible convincing myself that if something goes wrong it will be my grip on this strap that will save me.

For what seems like an eternity I sit teetering at the top waiting for the weight of the rest of the car to pull me forward crashing toward the ground. It’s at the top, for that split second, that the world looks the most clear. It looks different, things that used to be large seem small, and the things that used to seem massive now seem within reach. If I reach my hand out I could feel a cloud on my fingers.

Whhhooooooooosssshhhhhhh.

My stomach gets left behind at the top of the hill as the rest of my body speeds down the track, narrowly avoiding collision with the pavement.

For someone who is terrified of roller coasters and hates the feeling of losing my stomach, this is horrible, almost unbearable. I only make it through because just ahead the vision of another hill to climb leads to relief that for even a split second I will be at the top of the hill again, completely free.

The roller coaster of personal responsibility is even more thrilling than the best and tallest ride in any of the world’s amusement parks.

The best part is that there is no waiting in line. When you are ready to get on the ride all you have to do is choose and just like magic a seat becomes available.

The first hill is definitely the scariest. Climbing that hill for me took a long time. With each click of the track I learned more about The Leadership Gift Program™, more about myself and, to my surprise, more about the programming I had been completely unaware of.

There were plenty of moments of excitement and many, many moments of fear and struggle to get to the top of my first hill. Only a few weeks ago I wrote about the freedom I have found, and how good it feels to allow myself to be proud of the human I am. I am perfect.

It was here, at this place of complete acceptance of who I am, that I felt and saw my entire world shift. It didn’t feel like I could touch a cloud with my fingers, it felt as if I was walking on one. The most powerful, absolutely amazing part of this freedom was the realization that I created it. I chose it, and I could continue to choose it.

I chose it for weeks; I would even argue that those weeks were the most successful weeks I’ve ever had.

Even though I was aware that I chose and created that momentum, the roller coaster took over and in one day I felt as if I was crashing to the ground. I lost my stomach and fell well below the line. Ok, so if I’m being honest with myself there isn’t really a roller coaster. Just as I had chosen freedom and power I was now choosing to be in a mindset of blame, shame, and quit.

Just like a real roller coaster, there was a single moment of time where I could see that I was about to rush to the ground. I became aware of what I was doing to myself. I paused and claimed the win of awareness.

Instead of dwelling on where I was I made the choice to not respond, not until I reached the top of the next hill (responsibility).

Sitting back, aware of what mental state I was in, I got distracted by the beautiful spring sky outside, full of puffy white clouds. Instantly I remembered the freedom I had experienced riding a roller coaster and sitting at the top imagining I could run my hands through a cloud.

Well, s**t!

I don’t have to be in a mindset below the line. On this roller coaster ride I am the passenger, the track, and the operator controlling the speed. I don’t have to wait to climb the next hill; I can simply choose to be at the top again.

Choice and the power of the mind is what makes this personal responsibility ride all the more thrilling.

Jessica Soroky, CSM

IMG_3285Jessica is a Certified Scrum Master with over three years of practice in agile delivery and seven years of team leadership. She is also the youngest participant in The Leadership Gift™ Program and its growing worldwide community of leaders and coaches. After five years of non-profit development through Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids, Jessica continues her leadership journey in state government, not-for-profit, and private sector leadership studies.

 

For Businesses Partnerwerks provides a unique, proven model that ignites cultures of self-direction and ownership.

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hungrianAs part of our ongoing initiative to translate The Responsibility Process™ into every language of the world, we are pleased to announce another PDF poster ready for you to download.

I am pleased to add the Hungarian translation to the growing list of full-color The Responsibility Process poster PDFs that you can download, print, and post or distribute. Thanks to Hajni Altamirano for the Hungarian translation.

These posters are increasingly being seen in offices, conference rooms, kitchens, and schools all over the world. Find all the translations here.

Where will you post The Responsibility Process poster?

 

For Businesses Partnerwerks provides a unique, proven model that ignites cultures of self-direction and ownership.

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Jessica Soroky continues her series Leadership is a Choice.

As a child the world seems likes a magical wonderland. Being a princess, professional hockey player, or world famous journalist all seem like realistic possibilities. But, year by year the dreams start to slip further and further away, impeded by our own fears, received societal beliefs, and a mountain of hard work. Money becomes king and passion takes a back seat.

During high school I found ways to balance the two, working as many hours as the local movie theatre would give me to make the king happy while starting to dabble in a local non-profit to keep my brain stimulated and excited.

College was a full blown obligation experience. I couldn’t find value in the classes I was told I had to take while simultaneously watching my bank account drain. For the first year and a half I justified it all with visions of working in New York City as a reporter for the New York Times. That worked until a journalism professor gave everyone a “reality check” on the extreme difficulties of breaking into the field. It felt like someone had burst my final bubble. I was completely deflated and couldn’t find enough reason to keep paying all that money for something that seemed so far out of reach.

After changing my major to Human Resources and switching to community college I often shamed myself about giving up on journalism. I would wonder why I was too lazy to put in the effort. Looking back now it is clear why I chose to alter my path. It wasn’t what I was meant for. The first time I wrote that sentence I must admit I struggled not hearing it as justification but what I mean is, though I had/have passion for writing, I wasn’t committed to it.

I have written a lot about the moment where I found my thing, the thing I was made for. When I fell into Agile there was no question in my mind that this was it. Commitment came easy and passion grew more and more every day. Only mere months later I found my other thing, personal responsibility. With this new found passion once again commitment came easy. When things got hard, even when I thought I was at my breaking point, the idea of giving up never even crossed my mind.

I was “raised” in agile from the very beginning with a very tight connection to personal responsibility and The Leadership Gift. It was because of this that I never even wondered why they go so well together. It wasn’t until recently that I had a breakthrough about why they fit so well together.

WARNING: This may cause you to say “duh”.

Agile is a mindset shift.

We reprogram our thought process from a traditional, silo, linear approach to a collaborative, iterative and incremental approach.

Personal responsibility is a mindset shift.  

We reprogram our thought process from one below the line and in The Control Cycle to one that is highly self-aware leading to freedom, power, and choice.

I’m not sure how to describe the immense power and momentum this clarity gave me. It was as if I had these two things in their own respective files in my head. Managing the separate files took energy away from each one. The instant I saw them married, truly together, so much made sense.

Agile transformations I understand. They come with challenges, as does anything dealing with change. If there are tools and techniques that can be used to help lessen the pain of an agile transformation, those same concepts could be used to help transform with personal responsibility.

For example (I have a feeling more examples will be coming in later blogs) a common technique I use to help my teams is, at retrospective we identify one continuous improvement idea and I ask them, “Can we all agree to committing to working on this for the next two weeks. If we don’t like the results we will retro again and adapt.”

The idea here is that committing to a change for two weeks gives them an end in sight. It is less scary to agree to than saying we are going to make this change for the remainder of the project. The best part is that if the team doesn’t like the results they get from the change we only lost two weeks doing it and gives us the ability to inspect and adapt until we find the change that works best for the team.

What would happen if I applied this same concept to my personal practice of responsibility?

If you have read my blogs before then you are probably as aware as I am that I consistently struggle with shame. So what if I posed the same challenge to myself instead of two weeks starting with a day. “Can I commit for today that I will not go to shame, but catch it first.” My internal dialog instantly says of course I can do that! It is just a day after all.

At the end of the first day I introspected on how I felt. Wow, a full day with not a second of beating myself up. As I got into bed that night instead of searching for something to worry about until sleep took over I took a few deep breathes and just enjoyed the feeling of setting myself free.

I began to bet myself that I could commit to a week catching shame first.

At the end of each of the milestones I set for myself I take the time to really stop and be present with how I feel after committing. If it is something that I find valuable I continue to set time boxes and commit again until it becomes second nature. If it is something that doesn’t offer value I inspect and adapt to find something that does.

What agile techniques can you use to help continue your practice of personal responsibility?

Jessica Soroky, CSM

IMG_3285Jessica is a Certified Scrum Master with over three years of practice in agile delivery and seven years of team leadership. She is also the youngest participant in The Leadership Gift™ Program and its growing worldwide community of leaders and coaches. After five years of non-profit development through Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids, Jessica continues her leadership journey in state government, not-for-profit, and private sector leadership studies.

 

For Businesses Partnerwerks provides a unique, proven model that ignites cultures of self-direction and ownership.

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Jessica Soroky continues her series Leadership is a Choice.

Who_-_1975

Whose Generation?

There has been a break in reality between the baby boomers and Generation X management and the new influx of Generation Y workers about how to be successful in the workplace.

I have become fascinated by generational research, the studies showing how different the world was for each generation and the effects those differences had on character traits. There is a negative perception of the Millennials that I have had to fight since I entered the working world.

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Jessica Soroky continues her series Leadership is a Choice.

In the not so distant past, despite all my effort, I could not wrap my mind around this one concept. I was aware that the only thing between myself, peace, power, and choice was this concept but instead I was overwhelmed. I was left feeling lost and frustrated by three one syllable words.

Let it go.  Continue reading

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Please welcome Frank Sonnenberg, author of “Follow Your Conscience”, to the blog.

People with courage possess ten shared characteristics. They should remain as guideposts in your journey through life: Continue reading

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Jessica Soroky continues her series Leadership is a Choice.

A booming voice calls out, “Judy, you’re the next contestant on the Price is Right!”

The crowd goes crazy as the camera guys all search for Judy to pop up out of her chair. As she makes her way down the stairs she can barely contain her excitement, jumping up and down and screaming as if someone just gave her a billion dollars – tax free!

On the set of The Price is Right this is normal behavior,  audience members are actually encouraged to do so before the show begins. What if this was the norm at work? What if Continue reading

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