• terry lige trustworthy leader

    The Trustworthy Leader

    I am continuing this month to focus on the qualities that make a great leader. I began last week with looking at the issue of integrity; this week I am going to look at trust. Every great leader has the ability to build their credibility by being trustworthy.

    The word trust actually means confidence. When you trust people you have confidence in them, in their integrity, their agenda and their abilities. The opposite of trust (distrust) is suspicion. When you distrust people you are suspicious of them, of their integrity, their agenda, their capabilities or their track record.Read more

  • terry lige baseball

    Qualities of a Great Leader

    Integrity

    The program that I am running this month is a Leadership Facilitation Boot Camp. With that in mind I want to write about leadership. I want to especially focus on the qualities that make a great leader. In a survey of over 54,000 employees, the quality desired more than any other is integrity.

    So; what is integrity and how do I build this quality as a leadership strength?Read more

  • terry lige character of leaderhship

    The Character of Leadership

    We are all Leaders

    First of all I believe that we are all leaders. Whether I like it or not I am modeling behavior that is on display for everyone I interact with in my life. I feel the responsibility of modeling behavior most acutely with those who are closest to me, especially my children as they were growing up and now my grandchildren who are watching me closely.

    My Choice

    The choice I have as an individual is to determine whether I want to be a leader by default of a leader by design. In other words, am I going to be conscious and intentional about my attitudes and behaviors or am I going to just respond to life as it flows at me without much consideration for what I do or how I do it. Either way, the fact remains, someone is watching me and in some cases choosing to emulate my attitudes and behaviors.

    I like what my son Nathan said on the golf course this past week when he said, his daughter Sabine is more like his dad but his son Jake was probably more like his grandfather. My first thought was, that’s nice, but my next thought was, heaven help Jake.

    I want to clearly acknowledge that I am only human and have made many mistakes as a person and leader in my personal and professional journey, however, I do care about the example I set for those I care about. As a leader by design, I also have to care about the example I set for people I do not care about. The point of leadership is that I am leading someone somewhere. I have to ask myself where am I leading them and am I willing to fully embrace that responsibility.

    My Character

    Maybe the most important question is; what kind of person do I want to be? And, this question points me to issue of my character. So much of leadership concerns the issue of character development.

    So, what is character and why is its development so important to me? Here is a definition.

    “Character is the stable and distinctive qualities built into an individual’s life which determines his/her response regardless of circumstances.” My character is vitally important because it is foundational to every decision I make. What this definition tells me is that my responses are not dependent on what is happening to me externally. Regardless of the challenges life has in store for me, I will respond to those challenges from a motivation built on moral values and principles.

    This tells me that I am in control of my life. The one thing that I have any real control of is the choices I make. When I make appropriate choices, I will create my desired outcomes; when I make poor choices I will reap the negative consequences of those choices. Regardless of which choices I make, I acknowledge that they are my choices and nobody else’s.

    What this also tells me is that I am fully responsible for those choices and accountable for my outcomes. I am not a victim to my life and the choices of others. It is my life.

    The more I am in touch or connected to my character, the more I respond intuitively to those external challenges. I don’t have to think about doing the right thing. I just do it because it is an expression of who I am and what is important to me.

    I was in a meeting a few weeks ago where my intention was questioned for doing the work I do. The inference is that I am more concerned about making money than about helping people. That is very difficult to hear and my first instinct was to defend myself and explain fully why I do what I do and provide all kinds of examples of how my behavior lined up with my intention. However, I knew immediately that what was being said was not the truth about me and I chose not to get irritated and defensive. I walked away from that meeting feeling at peace with myself because I chose to respond in a way that I felt was in keeping with who I am as a person and as a leader. A few of those powerful internal qualities that supported my behavior in that moment were patience, humility, self control, discernment, composure and self respect.

    Poor Choices

    People who consistently make poor, inappropriate decisions do not build on those stable and distinctive internal qualities. They are blown to and fro by what is happening in their external lives and do not have enough confidence in their character to make the hard choice and do the right thing. By the way, confidence is one of those character qualities I am talking about.

    Unfortunately, when we lack strength in our character we become more susceptible to the dark side of our nature. And our shadow is drawn to what is destructive to us. The struggle we have with addictions is an excellent example of this. We can make up all kinds of stories about why we struggle with addictions but the only way to overcome them is to build the necessary character to make the hard choice and do the hard thing.

    Theodore Roosevelt once said; Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.”

     I am committed to working on this decisive factor the rest of my life. How about you?

    In next week’s blog we’ll talk about what some of those character qualities are, beginning with integrity.

    Terry

  • terry lige moving boxes

    Lessons I Have Learned from Moving

    It has been a week now since Christine and I have been moving into our new home in Black Mountain. It has taken all of a week to accomplish that move and make a home for ourselves and our businesses. There have been many lessons learned in this move that I would like to talk about in this blog.

    1. Difficult Decisions Have to be Made

    Every move requires all kinds of difficult decisions. Yes; there are big decisions like where you want to live and how much you want to spend on a new home; however, some of the most excruciating decisions have to do with what you will keep and what you will throw away.Read more

  • terry lige newtons cradle

    Movement that Maintains Momentum

    At the beginning of every Connections Workshop the leadership team has to come up with a word that they will model for the weekend. The word I chose this past weekend was “movement.”

    The word movement is an appropriate choice for me right now as the Inside Out offices and Christine and my home residence is on the move again. We like where we live now, however running the business in a strata has proved to be challenging, so, we are moving on.Read more

  • Terry Lige Clint Best

    Magic Moments

    I had the joy of sharing one of those magical moments this past week that rarely happens in the game of golf. I am talking about a hole in one and no, it was not my hole in one. I have yet to experience that for myself but am still holding out hope that it will happen one day soon. The hole in one that I witnessed was accomplished by my friend Clint Best. And yes, it was truly the “Best” moment of the day.Read more

  • terry lige 9/11 new york

    Choosing How I Respond to Stress

    Stress is a much talked about issue today, especially in regards to the impact it has on my emotional, mental and physical health. I am more than a little concerned when researchers tell me that stress is a main contributor in the development of all forms of emotionally related illnesses, including the dreaded cancer. So, like so many others, I am on a mission to discover ways to alleviate stress in my life.Read more

  • terry lige moving

    Dealing with Unpredictable Change

    I am a creature of habit. Like most of you, I appreciate the consistency and continuity of daily routines and rituals and the feelings of security and safety that accompany those routines and rituals. I have a yearly calendar that is filled with a schedule of Inside Out programs that governs my monthly, weekly and even daily planning. I have a certain amount of coaching and counseling that is included in that calendar on a weekly basis, but that is mostly predicable and easily integrated into my schedule. Christine and I will include a couple of get away opportunities during the year and include them in our calendar. For the most part, this kind of predictability is reassuring and comforting.

    However, what I have learned over the years is that my life is not nearly as predictable as I would like. In fact, it is constantly shifting and moving in ways that are difficult to anticipate and orchestrate. I experienced one of these significant shifts this past month when Christine walked into the house and said, “We are moving.” My first response is, “Say what!” In truth, the announcement should not have come as such a big surprise as we have been struggling with our strata since that day we moved into Black Mountain, and we had talked about the possibility of moving. I suppose I did not expect it quite so quickly and announced in this way. But that would be pretending not to know who my partner is. When Christine decides a change is needed, she is determined and proactive. For the record, I think those are great qualities. And yet, the prospect of beginning to move in the midst of a very busy schedule for both of us felt very daunting. And, I admit, I struggled to come to terms with it.

    So, now that I have come to terms with it, I want to share my process of dealing with change that is unpredictable and potentially life altering.

    Reflect

    Step one for me is to take a step back and reflect on what this change means to me. I do not want to get emotionally hijacked and spiral into a personal crisis that becomes difficult to pull out of. I want to see this as an opportunity to learn, to grow and to transition into a new season of possibilities.

    I want to take an honest inventory of my life and ask myself, ‘is this a choice that will address what is not working in my life.’ In this case, I could say absolutely that this was a good choice for Christine and me and for Inside Out. While we enjoyed the place we have lived in for the past couple of years, we are a part of a strata community that constantly has us under a microscope. We had the constant feeling that we were begin watched and having a home business and a dog were issues that gave the strata justification to watch us.

    Refresh

    Step two for me is to let go and empty myself of what is not working. This is a form of mental, emotional purging. It is amazing how I want to hold onto thoughts, emotions and behaviors in my life that are not working. This is also true of relationships and career choices that we all hold on to even though we know they are unhealthy and debilitating.

    So often, I continue to do things that leave me feeling frustrated, irritated and ultimately resentful. I want to stop doing those things but I have to be clear about the thoughts and beliefs that are driving the behavior.

    In regards to this move; what I have to let go of, is the willingness to have someone tell me how to run my life. Christine and I both value our personal freedom and giving some else the power to tell us how to live is not a trade-off we are willing to make for a beautiful view and a comfortable home.

    By the way, this kind of mental, emotional purging can also be an opportunity to purge in more practical ways as well. As we begin the process of moving to a new home, we are taking this opportunity to get rid of so many of the things that create clutter in our home and business. It actually serves as a very practical metaphor for letting go and moving on.

    Reload

    So, now that I have been working on emptying what is not working, I need to refocus and reload. I want to continue to move toward simplifying my life and business. Moving into a new residence allows me to ask the question, “Am I living on purpose in my passion?”

    I want to focus on three or four priorities on how I want to run my business and how Christine and I want to utilize our home to fulfill our mutual sense of purpose. We are grateful for the extra space we have in this new home, as it allows us to continue to offer our gifts of hospitality and generosity. This is clearly a time to focus on what is most important to us and how we can strategize on how to create the life we want

    Reengage

    Once the purging and refocusing has taken place, it is time to implement the plan to live on purpose and in our passion. This requires the willingness to do some things differently. For me, this is a process that has really begun at the beginning of this year. I have rebranded my website and am moving toward offering my programs online. While I enjoy working with individuals and couples in coaching and counseling, I am working at delivering my intellectual property from the one to the many. Moving to a new home allows me to recommit to this vision and to continue setting up my new space to facilitate those changes.

    As you consider some of the unexpected changes in your life, what are you doing to make the most of the opportunity? I hope the steps I have utilized in my life will help you in your transitions.

    Terry

  • terry lige ego let it go

    Let It Go

    I have just concluded the EGO weekend and one of the important teachings in EGO is all about the importance of letting go. The question is, what do I need to let go of?

    In a word it is ‘control.’  I am holding on to some deep need to make perfect sense of every question in my life and somehow orchestrate all the challenges without error. When I perceive that I am not juggling all of life’s balls well, then I feel frustrated, overwhelmed and a failure. What accompanies these feelings is a generalized sense of anxiety that can reside with me for days, weeks and months at a time. Often my strategy for overcoming this anxiety is to bear down and create more control. I will usually begin with cleaning my closet and drawers, making sure to rearrange my clothes so that t-shirts and underwear are in one drawer, the golf shirts are in another, the sweat shirts are in one, my pants are in another and socks are in the last drawer. And that is only the beginning. I think you get the picture.

    It is this perceived need for control that baffles me. It reminds me of what Neo says to Morpheus in the movie, “The Matrix” when asked if he believes in fate. Neo’s response is, No…Because I do not like the idea that I am not in control of my life.” Neo is afraid that there are unseen forces in the universe playing a role in determining outcomes in his life. Instead of seeing this as something positive, he is fearful of it. He chooses to trust his ability to guide him through life rather than believe there are forces helping him in his journey. However, like many of us, he does not appear to be doing it with a great deal of confidence or success.

    Denise Breton and Christopher Largent in their book, “The Paradigm Conspiracy,” tell us the purpose behind this great need for control. They say that, “we must have control over our external environment to feel safe and valuable.”

    They go on to tell us that this kind of external control is an illusion and that it creates a very dependent, addictive society. Considering that mankind spends more money on illegal drugs than on food, it is hard to argue with their conclusions.

    The real illusion is that this external control creates a sense of safety and value. My pursuit of it reminds me of how little control I do have and how insignificant I feel in a big world filled with uncertainty. Placing my sense of value on my ability to control my external outcomes leads to frustration, disappointment and constant sense of anxiety. When I attempt to create safety through control it seems that my life becomes rigid and inflexible with little freedom or joy.

    So; here are a few things to consider in overcoming your need for external control;

    • Control the one thing that you have any control over…how you choose to respond. Self control is more desirable than external control.
    • Always make your best effort and let go of the rest. Just because you are not always creating exactly the kind of results you want does not mean that you are doing something wrong. Sometimes the universe (God) gives us what we need, not what we want.
    • Focus on the present moment. Do not fixate on your past failures or your future concerns. When I swing a golf club, I want to enjoy the pure joy of a good swing and let go of the outcome. I’m still really working on that one, especially on the putting greens.
    • Embrace the Mystery. You are not meant to know it all.
    • Trust the Process…Consider the possibility that there is a universal intelligence in control. This is the nature of faith. My happiness is not dependent on me being in control.

    And finally; just let it go. It is a choice.

    Terry

  • terry lige ego self sabotage

    Unhealthy EGO: The Self Sabotage Cycle

    In my first EGO article I talked about that fact that our consciousness of self can be healthy or it can be unhealthy. In this article I want to discuss how our unhealthy ego operates. There is a self sabotage cycle that operates in each of us.

    Change always begins from the place of self awareness, so, it is crucial to understand the cycle as it operates in me; then it is important to acknowledge its reality and own its impact on my daily behaviors. Once I have the self awareness, acknowledgment and ownership, it will be much easier to see the outcomes that this self sabotage cycle creates in my life. People often attend personal development programs and seek out coaching or counseling because they are confused about how they create unhealthy, often destructive outcomes in their lives. An understanding of this cycle provides you with the “why you do what you do.” The following step will be about “what I do with the insight and understanding.” And, that is all about learning how to “let go” of the cycle. I will address that next week. 

    The Cycle

    1.     The Shadow Self Preoccupation  

    Understanding my self-sabotage cycle begins with acknowledging that I have a Shadow Self. My Shadow Self consistently tells me that I do not have value, I’m not good enough, I am not worthy and I am unlovable. My Shadow is triggered any time I think that someone or more often, I question my personal value. Consistently measuring my personal value is at the heart of my Shadow issue. 

    2.     The Shadow Triggers Emotional Hijacking

    When my personal value is questioned and measured there is a deep emotional discomfort triggered within me. My subconscious self has a difficult time dealing with the thoughts of not being good enough, so I go into emotional distress. An emotional cycle of disappointment, frustration, fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, anger and sadness is triggered. I call this Emotional Hijacking. This emotional discomfort is a very painful experience and my first response is to a desire to quickly escape these feelings. Unfortunately, quick fix solutions to this emotional discomfort are usually unhealthy coping and medicating strategies. Much of the addiction problems we experience in society today can be traced to this cycle. 

    3.     The Imposter to the Rescue

    The larger, more pervasive strategy for dealing with my personal value being questioned and measured is to create an imposter. The Imposter wants to relieve the internal discomfort by regaining a sense of personal value. Unfortunately it will look for the approval of people to regain that sense of value.

    Scott Peck describes for us what our imposter is when he says, For the most part we struggle to accept ourselves, so we feel we need to create someone whom we can like, and who is likable to others. We create a ‘pretend us’ or an ‘imposter’. Our imposters are created strictly for the approval or attention of others. They are meant to provide the acceptance that we crave from others. They are the ultimate “people pleasers”.

    The imposter’s role is simple. They attempt to prove to self and others that you have value by doing something that brings value to others. The ego’s sense of self worth is in most cases bound up with the worth you have in the eyes of others. You need others to give you a sense of self.

    Some common Imposters include; Mr./Mrs. Perfect, The Answer man/woman, The Performer, Funny man/woman, The Overachiever. One of my significant imposters is The Indispensible One. I wrote about this imposter a number of years ago. Here is an excerpt from that journal;

     “I utilize my talents to endear people to me. I draw people into a dependent relationship so that they feel I am indispensable to them. I become the pillar of strength that they can lean on. However, I protect myself by making these relationships professional. I do not need these people in the same way that they need me. In this way, if these people exit my life I do not suffer the pain of severing a close bond.”

    4.  The Stoop; The Great Saboteur

    The fourth stage of this cycle involves the role of my Stoop. The Stoop is the rebellious side of me that gets frustrated with the posturing and pretending Imposters and will do something to expose the imposter. Unfortunately, the Stoop, in its frustration will utilize behavior that is unhealthy and often extreme to get his point across. The action feels really good in the moment but always unhealthy. It is in those moments when my Stoop is acting out that I am willing to risk the disapproval of people. My Stoop is in fact saying, “I don’t care what you think, I’m doing it anyway.” Unfortunately, in hindsight, I will regret the actions of my Stoop and that regret will lead me back to the judgments of my Shadow Self and the beginning of the cycle all over again.

    The Self Sabotage Cycle; My Personal Example

    I was asked to leave a church I was pasturing a number of years ago. I really felt unjustly treated by a segment of the congregation and my District Executive. I would go as far to say that I felt emotionally and spiritually abused by them. However; I was not honest with how I felt because I felt the need to maintain my image as a minister. (My ImposterPlay the nice guy) At that time I believed that ministers were responsible to always maintain their cool and never respond out of an angry place…and I was angry (My Shadow). Two weeks later my son Nathan and I were on a golf course and someone shot a golf ball over Nathan’s head. When I saw that happen all my pent up anger rose to the surface and my stoop showed up to respond to the occasion. I went over to the person’s golf ball and shot it back at them and proceeded to wait for them to catch up to us so that the violent confronter (stoop) in me could beat the pulp out of this guy. My imposter is “playing the nice guy.” My shadow is “the angry man,” and my stoop is “the rebellious, violent, irreverent confronter.” I relish telling this story because I gain such a buzz out of my stoop stories. However; I also have to acknowledge that I use the stoop as a short cut to doing the actual, healthy work of dealing with my anger appropriately.

    The Choice

    Now that you have gained the awareness of your Imposter, Shadow, Stoop Cycle you have a choice about how to move forward once you are triggered emotionally.

    • The Unhealthy Choice: Retreat into the sabotage cycle and repeat past behaviors.
    • The Healthy Choice: Proceed to the Emptying Stage and learn how to let go of the unhealthy, self conscious ego.

    What is your choice?

    Next week, I will discuss the Emptying Stage

    Terry