Are you ready for greatness?
by Stephane Leblanc
You were born with potential. You were born with goodness and trust. You were born with ideals and dreams. You were born with greatness. You were born with wings. You are not meant for crawling, so don't. You have wings. Learn to use them and fly. - Rumi
Are you ready for greatness?
This question has become a morning mantra for my business partner, Jeanne Rahilly, and I as we are both committed to live a great life and to be our greatest selves for each other, our families, our clients and the world.
But how does one achieve greatness?
I used to think greatness, like any worthy endeavour was a matter of hard work. When I was young I was extremely shy and this lasted all through high school. As a defence mechanism, I learned to work really hard to achieve good results as this was a way to differentiate myself. So all my life, I have been committed to be the hardest worker in any team I worked. This is also how I developed the habit of waking up at 5 am every morning as I had a newspaper route at 13 years old. This has certainly helped me achieve great results, but it has not always been healthy for me, my family of the people who worked in my team as not everyone is ready to work insanely hard or completely give up on living a balanced life.
Now I understand that greatness does require hard work, dedication and commitment, but that for conscious leaders, greatness is more about being than doing. I am mature enough to understand that leaders do not accomplish a lot of the actual work as the real work is done by their team. Most of their efforts is spent in communicating and in creating the context for people to work by establishing the vision and values and in creating a culture where people will thrive and deliver the expected results.
Conscious leaders understand that greatness is really about them transforming themselves and their organizations and that there is a clear distinction between change and transformation as change is really about optimizing what is already being done to do it in a more efficient or better quality way while transformation is about a new way of being. Conscious leaders are ready to commit to greatness by shining a light on the fears and limiting beliefs they have inherited from their parental and societal programming so that they can overcome or master them to rise to their full potential and step into their greatness.
I have learned a lot on this from Jeanne. Jeanne and I have very different professional backgrounds and also a completely different way of working. Unlike me, Jeanne does not believe in working insanely long hours. Make no mistake, she is indeed a very hard worker, but one of her greatest qualities is to be grounded in the current reality and to have a very sharp focus. While I can get lost in endless philosophical discussions about what is the next step to change the world, Jeanne gets easily bored with long discussions and is very efficient at keeping me grounded and focused.
In fact, in the few months since we have known each other, Jeanne and I have established an atmosphere of endless trust between us where we are constantly coaching each other and taking a stand for each other greatness, so we are both growing very fast. We have also established a morning practice of doing a check-in, a meditation and a gratitude practice to ground us and we also use this opportunity to set our individual and collective intentions for the day to ensure we are laser focused.
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. - Mark Twain
As our mission is to be catalysts for the transformation of leaders and organizations around the world, Jeanne and I are deeply committed to our own transformation and we are constantly seeking out teachers that can help us elevate to a higher level of consciousness as this is absolutely necessary if want to help others elevate.
I have also learned a lot from my kids on greatness. Nicolas, my son, is 16 and going in his last year of high school this year. He has been going to a private school since kinder garden and school has always been a challenge for him, so he always had to work really hard. Guess where he learned this from? He also used to be passionate about hockey but he quit this last year when he was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis.
As he quit his number one passion, hockey, Nicolas threw himself into school work with a vengeance. He was also blessed to have found a math teacher who believed in him and gave him the love, care and attention to rise to his full potential. This week he called me at work to tell me that he had achieved a perfect score of 100% on his math final exam. I cried tears of joy as I was so happy for him that his efforts are being rewarded. In the last year Nicolas has developed a passion for science and wants to pursue a career in that field and with his passion and work ethic, I have no doubt he will be successful.
My daughter Emma is 13 years old and is also a good role model for me on greatness. She is a figure skater and has been in an elite program since she was 8 years old. She skates more than 10 hours a week, in addition to all the off-ice work and often works until 11 m to complete her homework. In her skating career, I have seen her overcome doubt and fear so many times. I have seen her pursue her dreams and vision with relentless passion and commit to do the work required to achieve greatness. I have seen her get up after countless falls as she tries to perfect new moves and perform under pressure at competitions.
Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them. - William Shakespeare
I believe that we are all born for greatness. I am convinced that life is extraordinary and that we do not have tolerate an ordinary life. I also believe that achieving greatness in all aspects of our life requires us as leaders to commit to a transformation process which will never end. I am reminded of Tiger Woods who completely changed his swing after winning the Masters tournament when he was young. He did this at least two other times in his career as he was committed to bring his game to the highest level.
I am committed to greatness and I am one of the most coachable leader I know, so I am constantly receiving feedback from Jeanne and so many other people. I receive all these feedback as gifts and I use them to improve and transform myself.
Jeanne is also committed to greatness and is also very coachable. In only seven months that we have worked together, I have seen her completely transform herself and I am committed to assist her to rise to her full potential and step into her greatness. When I met her, she defined herself as shy and reserved and now she is committed to speak in front of 700 people at our Global Summit of Conscious Leadership. Talk about courage and faith!
You too can be great.
You too can help others grow into their full potential and step into their greatness.
You too can live an extraordinary life.
Go and be great!