Leader Pathways

The Life of Leading Greatly  
April 2006

Mentoring Leaders for Bold Tomorrows

Individual Mentoring or Custom In-house Group Programs

Publishing and Speaking

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In Michael Shenkman's book The Arch and the Path we see how great leaders embark on a strenuous life path in order to transform mere possibilities into more expansive and encompassing opportunities for all. Shenkman vividly portrays how the life of leading is a journey of the mind, heart and spirit that is like no other.

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   The Leadership Difference: A Real Change

Chelle Stringer(This article was adapted, with permission, from the newsletter of the Next Generation Economy, issued in February, 2006)

In this space we talk about the difference leading makes in your life, and then in the lives you affect as a leader. You might ask, “How real is that difference? Is this just something cooked up to make the idea of ‘leader mentoring’ worth the price?”

Chelle Stringer can tell you. For her, that process began in 2002 as a mentee participant in NextGen’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Excelerator (ELE), which uses the Arch of Leadership mentoring curriculum.

“In the program, I had to make some choices,” she recalls now. “Was I a manager or was I a leader? The leadership path will test you continually. It’s not a destination, it’s a journey.”

In the early days of the eight-month program, Chelle tended to accuse others of not understanding her. “It took a few months to realize that others DID get me, but I didn’t necessarily like what they reflected back,” she says now.

“Being mentored catapulted me into this journey of accepting being a leader. Having a mentor shoots you into a different reality. Leadership is a weight that’s always on your shoulder. You don’t get to take a break. When I can no longer provide opportunities for others to learn and grow, it’s time to find another opportunity.”

The Arch of Leadership emphasizes how leading brings people to new realizations about themselves. Leading does that by fostering collaborative endeavors that result in new products, services, organizations and relationships. This requires that leaders grow and develop themselves, even as they insist others meet the challenges posed by the work. Leaders always feel this need to open up new horizons for themselves and then for others. It’s a never-ending urge to transform possibility into something tangible.

Chelle realized she needed to make a career change if she was to lead the way she wanted to. “I wanted a position where I could contribute to growing the local economy, provide opportunities for other leaders to emerge, and utilize my professional experience.” It took more than one change in positions to get it right, but she finally struck pay-dirt.

Opportunity knocked in January 2006 when she was offered a position with an Atlanta-based consulting company. “This feels good,” she says. “I’m working for a company I love to tell people about. As soon as I identified what I wanted and needed, the job found me.”

Chelle exemplifies what the Arch of Leadership sets out to accomplish. We don’t make things easy, but we want to help our mentees make a difference. So take the next step: think about whether you have the calling to be a leader and ask whether or not you are answering that call.

Michael ShenkmanIs there a way the Arch of Leadership can help you, your company or your community foster creative leading, and open up opportunities and possibilities for you and your colleagues?

Contact us. Visit our website. Send me an e-mail at mshenkman@archofleadership.com about your aspirations, and let’s find out. 

Web: http://www.archofleadership.com