Purpose-Driven Artist: Bert in the Movie Mary Poppins ​

Purpose-Driven Artist: Bert in the Movie Mary Poppins  

 

Chim chiminey, chim chiminey, chim chim cher-oo!

I does what I likes, and I likes what I do

Today I'm a screever, and as you can see
A screever's an artist of 'ighest degree
And it's all me own work from me own memory

Chim chiminey, chim chiminey, chim chim cher-oo!
I draws what I likes, and I likes what I drew

No remuneration do I ask of you
But me cap would be glad of a copper or two
Me cap would be glad of a copper or two

Chim chiminey, chim chiminey, chim chim cher-oo!
La dum, da da dum, da da da da dum
Mmm hmm...

Your Purpose Defined in Four Questions or Less

Your Purpose Defined in Four Questions or Less

According to Dr. Farrah Gray, a leadership speaker I hosted when I oversaw the Office of Leadership Development at Temple University ten years ago, there are the top two most important days of your life. The first is the day you were born. (Makes sense, right?) But the second, is the day you realize why you were born.

The question remains, then, have you lived the second most important day of your life?

If you haven’t, I’m here to help.

The Equation: Life's Formula to Reach Your Full Potential (Chapter 1 Preview)

The Equation: Life's Formula to Reach Your Full Potential (Chapter 1 Preview)

The term, “recovering perfectionists,” a concept I first learned from author Brene Brown in 2012, is one with which I identify very much. As such, I probably should not be writing a “self-help” book because I should know by now that you’re never going to ever fully “have it all together” or really ever “reach your full potential.”

A New Leadership Equation

Picture this: You're a promising entry-level employee who just was promoted and asked to lead your peers in a new project management assignment that would be guaranteed to challenge anyone - especially one new to the role. As an "accidental project manager," naturally, you're nervous, questioning whether you're ready to take on this new opportunity. You're desperate for guidance, but your Project Sponsor is the hands-off type who trusts you'll just get the job done and meet her expectations. You know you need someone in your corner, and some key leadership principles to guide you throughout the process. Google is great, but it's hard to know what's relevant, realistic and reliable. You are feeling lost on where to go next.

How often have we all been "accidental project managers," promoted to roles for which we weren't completely prepared? We think this happens entirely too often. All considered, though, a lack of preparedness doesn't equate to a lack of success! In fact, a life lived in an Emotionally Intelligent Way where you Lead with Strengths every day and cultivate Holistic Wellness is just the foundational training needed to be successful in any challenging situation. In short, the key to success and being on track to reach your full potential can be summed up with "The Equation," which Liz Bapasola developed:

Holistic Wellness x Emotional Intelligence x Leading with Strengths = Full Potential 

Let's explore each element of the equation.

Holistic Wellness is the most foundational aspect of The Equation. It has three main facets that mutually influence each other. They are (1) physical wellness; (2) emotional wellness; and (3) spiritual wellness. Cultivating one’s Holistic Wellness is vital to the success of any individual because, as the saying goes, “if you don’t have your health that you don’t have anything else.”

Project managers of all experience levels have the opportunity to demonstrate Emotional Intelligence in many ways throughout the full life cycle of the project, such as:

  • being self-aware of your emotions, talents, biases, and values

  • being able to effectively manage stress

  • empathizing with colleagues

  • recognizing their unique talents and contributions to the team, and

  • leading the team in a way that inspires a shared vision, is inclusive of all members of the group, and ultimately gets the job done well.

 Back to our example. As a new project manager, you'll find leading a team of peers to be much more rewarding if you Lead with Strengths. This entails recognizing that your talents (or your natural way of thinking, behaving, and feeling, which is identified after taking the CliftonStrengths/StrengthsFinder assessment) can be productively applied in your new leadership role.  Managing projects are a great opportunity to cultivate your talents further and begin to transform them into your Strengths.

Strengths Finder 2.0 from Gallup explains 34 themes and ideas for action and at this writing, nearly 20 million people around the world have completed the CliftonStrengths assessment to:

  • discover what they naturally do best

  • learn how to develop their greatest talents

  • use their customized assessment results to live their best life

 Leading with Strengths also recognizes the talents of all the other project team members (especially after each of them have shared with you their CliftonStrengths/StrengthsFinder report or you've read the team report created by your coach). In addition, Leading with Strengths honors each team member’s unique set of talents and gives them the opportunity to productively apply their talents on the team, so they are ultimately using them as strengths.

 Imagine how much more wonderful every project could feel if everyone on the team, including the project manager, was aware of the unique set of talents in each team member and made a concentrated effort to appreciate and purposefully put those talents to work? How much more productive and successful do you think the team would be? How much sooner do you think you could produce results or how much better do you think those results could be if the team is working in an environment like this?

 Skeptical? From StrengthsFinder 2.0, we learn that "people who do have the opportunity to focus on their strengths every day are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs." And, as Dr. Bapasola suggests in her equation, everything is connected. They are also "three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life in general." 

 While CliftonStrengths is powerful, it is not enough on its own. When we multiply Leading with Strengths with Emotional Intelligence and Holistic Wellness, it maximizes each person’s full potential. And when you have everyone on the team operating this way, true magic happens.

 That’s why we believe that Equation Coaching for PMOs, existing project organizations and new project teams is an important ingredient to not only project success but also employee satisfaction, which supports retention of your most talented people.

 Contact us to find out how you and your organization can benefit from Dr. Bapasola’s unique approach.

About the Authors

  Liz Bapasola, Ed.D., is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, provides one-on-one and group coaching using the lenses of Holistic Wellness, Emotional Intelligence and Leading with Strengths to educate, empower, and equip people and teams to reach their full potential. Utilizing the CliftonStrengths assessment, Dr. Bapasola is trained by Gallup to interpret the team's CliftonStrengths report to first build Self-Awareness and then build Self-Management, Social Awareness, and Social Management (the four components of Emotional Intelligence) in order to best invest in their talents and lead effectively with strengths to reach the team’s full potential. For fun: formerly competitive tap dancer, avid salsa dancer, and level 3.5 tennis player.

 Dawn Mahan, Founder & CEO of PMOtraining, has always felt that concentrating on people’s strengths on projects is key, so when she learned about Dr. Bapasola’s Equation which amplifies that theory with Emotional Intelligence and Holistic Wellness, she immediately asked her to join our coaching staff. Welcome to the team, Dr. Liz!  For fun: SCUBA diver, yoga enthusiast and believer in strengths.

 

 

 

Top 5 Tips to Always Lead with Strengths

By Liz Bapasola, Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and Founder and CEO of Liz Bapasola & Associates

One of the three parts of The Equation, or formula to live your best life and reach your full potential, is to Lead with Strengths. With an understanding that Leadership = Conviction x Action and Strengths = Investment x Talent, Leading with Strengths can sometimes be easier said than done. Often times challenges (whether project-based or people-based) prevent us from utilizing our strengths or put our passions into motion. This can leave us frustrated and deflated. To prevent these feelings and put you in a positive direction on a straight and narrow path to reach your full potential, here are my top 5 tips for leading with strengths.

1. See Obstacles as Opportunities. What you focus on always expands, and if you understand every situation to be an opportunity for growth and a chance to leverage your talents and put your convictions into action, you'll always be in a better place to lead with strengths. Look at life as a series of opportunities to learn and grow, knowing that any challenge can be viewed as a way to get a little better every day.

2. Love and Leverage Your Talents. Knowing your talents, or your natural way of thinking, behaving, and feeling, is just the start in Leading with Strengths. The next steps are to love and embrace how you naturally see and operate in the world. You want to love them so much that you seek out opportunities to leverage and invest in your talents so they always serve you well and are productively applied. 

3. Stay Focused on Your Goals. To put your convictions into action you must stay the course and keep a relentless focus on your goals. Often times naysayers, critics, or even well-intention loved ones will try to give you a reality check and tell you that your goals are unrealistic and unattainable. Don't be dismayed. Have a healthy disregard for the impossible, recognizing that while your goals may take shape and reshape over time, you should always strive to be your best and Lead with Strengths.

4. Surround Yourself with Other Strengths-based Leaders. I have always said that one of the best reflections of who you are is seen in the 5 most important people in your life. Surrounding yourself with like-minded, strengths-based, passionate, and action-oriented people will inspire you to do the same. Like attracts like, so intentionally put yourself in situations with other strengths-based leaders and team members.

5. Reflect, Recharge, Renew. I cannot stress enough the importance of self-reflection and self-care. Reflection allows you the opportunity to cultivate your Emotional Intelligence and reconsider your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in order for you to improve every day. Recharging allows you to refuel your inner and outer self in order to feel ready to start a new day and a new set of challenges. Renewing your spirit by enjoying relaxing and/or fun activities with those you love will only help set you up for greater success.

Leading with Strengths isn't easy, but armed with these top 5 tips it just got a little easier. 

If you would like to learn more about how to Lead with Strengths, demonstrate Emotional Intelligence, and reach your full potential, sign up for a complimentary coaching session today! Click here to learn more and schedule the coaching call.

Building a Strengths-based Partnership

By Liz Bapasola, Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and Founder and CEO of Liz Bapasola & Associates

I recently had a great coaching session with a client, during which I introduced him to The Equation, my philosophy and approach to  reaching your full potential, and debriefed his CliftonStrengths report. Many insights were gleaned from that conversation, and one of them was that it would be very beneficial for his fiancee and business partner to take the CliftonStrengths assessment as well. With an understanding of her unique talents, my client could understand how to apply The Equation to that cherished relationship. After his fiancee took the assessment and sent me her finding we had a coaching call together and three key things became evident.

1) Know Yourself and Know Your Partner. It is critical that you and your partner, whether a partner in business, in your personal life, or in both, demonstrate Emotional Intelligence by being self-awareness of your unique talents, passions, values, and goals. It is equally important to exhibit empathy and become socially aware of your partner's unique talents, passions, values, and goals. 

2) Embrace Your Uniqueness and Your Partner's and Look for Synergies. With the knowledge of yourself and your partner developed by self-awareness and social awareness, recognize that what makes you and your partner so special are the unique ways you think, behave, and feel (ie, your talents). With your CliftonStrengths reports shared side-by-side, as a coach I can map where your talents overlap and where they can complement one another. For instance, my client is well balanced in the CliftonStrengths 4 Domains of Leadership (Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building, and Strategic Thinking), whereas his partner is especially strong in Relationship Building. Recognizing his partner's strength in supporting the needs of others, I encouraged my client to see how he can embrace her talents, such as Empathy and Developer, and have her balance out his talent of Command. (For descriptions of these talents and more, please go to www.gallupstrengthscenter.com).

3) Recognize Where Your Uniqueness and Your Partner's May Conflict. It's important to understand that your individual talents and that of your partner may sometimes unintentionally be in conflict with one another. For instance, my client's strong talent of Command sometimes can make him appear, in his words, like a "jerk," because he has such a strong presence. His partner's unique talent of Empathy would naturally make her especially attuned to his strong presence. At times, this could create a rift because she could be hurt by his unfiltered communication. With the knowledge that your natural way of thinking, behaving, and feeling can create a filter in which you see and interact with others, you can be more likely to avoid unnecessary conflicts and see the tension as an opportunity to recognize and appreciate each other's talents more deeply.

As your coach, I welcome the opportunity for you and your partner, whether a romantic partner, a business partner, or both to take the CliftonStrengths assessment and work with me to see how you can implement these three key action items. Together, you two can become a powerful partnership and flourish by Leading with Strengths and demonstrating Emotional Intelligence as a team.

To schedule a complementary introductory call, please click here.

The Equation in Action

By Liz Bapasola, Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and Founder and CEO of Liz Bapasola & Associates

Picture this: You're a promising entry-level employee who just was promoted and asked to lead your peers in a new project management assignment that would be guaranteed to challenge anyone - especially one new to the role. As an "accidental project manager," naturally, you're nervous, questioning whether you're ready to take on this new opportunity. You're desperate for guidance, but your project sponsor is the hands-off type who trusts you'll just get the job done and meet her expectations. You know you need someone in your corner, and some key leadership principles to guide you throughout the process, but are lost on where to go next...

How often have we all been "accidental project managers" promoted to roles for which we weren't completely prepared? Too often, I would say. All considered, though, a lack of preparedness doesn't equate to a lack of success. In fact, a life lived in an Emotionally Intelligent Way where you Lead with Strengths every day is just the training needed to be successful in any challenging situation you feel you're unprepared to manage on your own. In short, the key to success and being on track to reach your full potential can be summed up with "The Equation," which I developed:

Holistic Wellness x Emotional Intelligence x Leading with Strengths = Full Potential

Going back to our example, as the new project manager, you'll need to demonstrate Emotional Intelligence in many ways, which include 1) being self-aware of your emotions, talents, values, and other internal resources, 2) being able to effectively manage stress, 3) empathizing with colleagues, 4) recognizing their unique talents and contributions to the team, and 5) leading the team in a way that inspires a shared vision, is inclusive of all members of the group, and ultimately gets the job done well.

As the new project manager, you'll need to Lead with Strengths as well. This entails recognizing that your Talents (or your natural way of thinking, behaving, and feeling, which is identified after taking the CliftonStrengths/StrengthsFinder assessment) can be productively applied in your new role on the team and therefore will turn into your Strengths. Leading with Strengths also recognizes the Talents of all the other project members (especially after each of them have shared with you their CliftonStrengths/StrengthsFinder report). In addition, Leading with Strengths honors them the opportunity to productively apply their talents on the team so they are ultimately using their Strengths.

Leading with Strengths and demonstrating Emotional Intelligence is easier said than done - but very possible with a Coach who challenges and supports you to be your best self and reach your full potential.

"The Equation" Explained

By Liz Bapasola, Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and Founder and CEO of Liz Bapasola & Associates

Reaching your full potential may sound like a lofty, and likely unattainable goal. And it can be. But the process of reaching your full potential, when you're in alignment and living your best self, is attainable, and this attainability can be explained by applying The Equation.

The Equation, which is my life philosophy of how to live your best life and align yourself with the process of reaching your full potential, is this:

Holistic Wellness x Emotional Intelligence x Leading with Strengths = Full Potential

There are four key Equations within The Equation that I want to define. The first is “Wellness.” Informed by The College of New Jersey’s “Wellness Wheel.”

Financial Wellness + Spiritual Wellness + Emotional Wellness + Physical Wellness + Environmental Wellness + Social Wellness + Occupational Wellness = Holistic Wellness

The second equation is "Emotional Intelligence." Informed by Daniel Golelman's work in his celebrated Harvard Business Review article "What Makes a Leader," Emotional Intelligence, is defined as "a group of skills that enable the best leaders to maximize their own and their followers' performance." These skills, according to Goleman, make up the following Equation:

Self-Awareness + Self-Regulation + Motivation + Empathy + Social Skills = Emotional Intelligence

According to Goleman, Self-Awareness is "knowing one's strengths, weaknesses, drives, values, and impact on others." Self-regulation is "controlling or redirecting disruptive impulses and moods." Motivation is "relishing achievement for its own sake." Empathy is "understanding other people's emotional makeup." Social skill is "building rapport with others to move them in the desired directions."

The third component of The Equation is "Leading with Strengths." The two Equations within this component of The Equation are informed by the work of Denny Roberts in his book Deeper Learning in Leadership and the work of Tom Rath in his book StrengthsFinder 2.0.

Conviction x Action = Leadership

Talent x Investment = Strengths

Roberts defines Leadership as "conviction in action." This is a simple and digestible way to describe leadership, with some assumptions about leadership that include that it's process-oriented (not necessarily positional), it's inclusive of others, and it's values-based.

Rath defines Talent as a "natural pattern of thoughts, behaviors, and feelings." The CliftonStrengths (ie StrengthsFinder) assessment is the best way to identify your Talents, and the assessment can be purchased online at the Gallup Strengths Center website or is included with a purchase of Rath's book or other Gallup books using the CliftonStrengths assessment.

Talent is not necessarily something you are great at doing. A "Raw Talent" is when the natural way of thinking, behaving, and feeling is not refined through the investment to turn the Talent into a Strength. A Strength is when the Talent is productively applied and leads to "near perfect performance." However, a Talent can also be unproductively applied and actually turn out to be a weakness.

In other words, the application of the Talent that turns it into a Strength is the Investment of the Talent. The Investment of the Talent includes the demonstration of Emotional Intelligence every day. The Talent is what you have, the Investment is what you do to leverage that Talent into a Strength, and the demonstration of Emotional Intelligence is how you do all this to be successful. The result is that you obtain the ability to effectively put your convictions into action (ie Leading with Strengths), be your best self, and reach your full potential.

Again, The Equation is summed up the following way:

Holistic Wellness x Emotional Intelligence x Leading with Strengths = Full Potential

You can do this. The Equation, as I have seen with many people throughout my career, is attainable. As your Coach, it is my life's purpose to help you live The Equation every day.