A Leading Principle

Jan 27 / Margaret Stockley

Being a powerful force for creating positive change

Last month I put the finishing touches to a presentation that I’m giving about managing stress and it allowed me to reflect on all the happy times that I had when I taught classes at my yoga studio in a rural New England town. I enjoyed being with my students practicing pranayama techniques, mudras, meditation and other methods to be mindful and calm. In fact, when I recently shared a brief post about the studio one of my students commented “Those times at the yoga studio were some of the happiest of my life. I appreciate that what we all had there was something special and rare.”

Teaching is both my vocation and profession and I was deeply moved by what my former student said. Being together in the studio was indeed a special time but what made it so? Was it the unique setting, the style of yoga, my method of teaching, the other students, the moonlight pouring in through the side windows bathing the resting students at the end of an evening class, or even the occasional visit in the yard by a roaming trio of deer or a lone fox? It was certainly all of those but it was so much more.

As a lover of learning and teaching, the comment gave me pause to reflect and made me think that it would be timely to share what I uphold and apply in all aspects of my professional and private life. The principles that I held then I still hold today and I’ve written in the past that who I am as a person is who I am in all areas of my life. I don’t need to think about being a certain way, or saying something a certain way to some people and not others when working alongside my peers, colleagues, and clients. I’ve noticed that that idiom also holds true with other successful business leaders who frequently demonstrate what they personally value and how it impacts their company.

In my studio everyone mattered, everyone was valued. In my company today, everyone matters, everyone is valued. That’s one-reason why my company teaches values-based leadership, because to us it’s important.

Respecting where people are on their journey, listening to them and finding out what they need, and helping them to feel empowered to grow into their best vision of themselves goes a long way in making people feel valued, that their voice and opinions matter, and that they are respected in the company.

It motivates, fosters engagement, and influences positive change by everyone working respectfully together.

What policies need to be changed within your organization to support employees who are struggling with a personal issue, do you know if some individuals want additional training or certification in order to meet their personal goals, and is the current workplace environment one that supports, respects, and values all team members?

If you are a leader, or want to be one, your values are always visible and will reflect how you are perceived. What do you want others to see and remember about you and your company?

Let’s value one another, in all aspects of our life, so that what we have together remains something special, but is not so rare.
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