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Co-Creating Community: Leadership and Personal Responsibility

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Does Personal Responsibility sound like a burden to you; like more than you really want to take on? Believe me, I totally get it. How can one person be responsible for a larger system? In the old paradigm where personal responsibility seems to be heavy and unattainable and the system appears to be a separate entity, it will feel impossible. Let’s reframe this.

What if I told you that the deeper your acceptance of personal responsibility, the greater your experience of freedom? That’s right. As we step into greater and greater levels of responsibility in our lives, we will liberate ourselves.

Responsibility is not so much about taking on more tasks, more obligations, and increased activities. It is not about doing more. The word responsibility refers to our capacity to respond. How do you respond to the demands of your daily life? How do you respond to the needs of others? How do you respond to your own needs?

So, what is responsibility?

Responsibility is not about blame or fault finding. In deep levels of personal responsibility, you are not asked to take on the behavior of other people, to “right” all the “wrongs” you perceive in the world. You are called to explore your perceptions and interpretations of what is happening around you. You are responsible for how you choose to think and feel about situations you find yourself in. You are called to examine your belief systems and the ways in which you view yourself, your life and other people. Being responsible means accessing clarity and intuition so that you are guided from within as you take the next steps and act in the world.

At the depths of personal responsibility, you recognize that the system does not exist outside of you. You are in it and the impact is reciprocal. As you act, you impact upon the system and as the system evolves, you are impacted personally.

Personal responsibility means that you decide how you will contribute to the bigger picture and how you will allow yourself to be impacted by it. That is freedom.

Leadership is An Energy

We often think of Leadership as a position. We assign the power of leadership to specific roles in our organizations such as the Executive Director, Program Managers, CEO’s, The Board. Let’s take an alternative perspective.

Leadership is an energy that anyone can possess regardless of your formal role within your organization. Leadership is about stepping into your personal power in ways that allow you to maintain integrity and live in alignment with your beliefs and values.

As you embrace the depths of your personal power, you take the leadership role in your own life. You direct the course of your day, the course of your life and the course of your career. This is not about controlling situations or people; rather it is about taking the reigns of your personal experience. We all filter what happens in and around us through our own personal lens. Taking responsibility for your worldview and self-image gives you the potential to shift paradigms both within your own life and within the systems you work in.

Accepting the leadership position in your life gives you a sense of your own capacity and ability to create change, to manage change AND to be the change.

Sandi Boucher

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Sandi Boucher who is a proud Anishnaabequek (Ojibwe Woman) from Seine River First Nation in northern Ontario, Canada, and an internationally recognized Speaker, Author and Activist for Indigenous peoples from all areas of the globe.

Additionally, she is a strong advocate for respectful and mutually beneficial cross-cultural relationships and partnerships that honour wisdom and not just education. She is not only a trained Master Facilitator of “The Bridging Principles”, an internationally recognized cross-cultural communications seminar, but she was named Chief Operations Officer of The Bridging Principles in September 2016, allowing her to be instrumental to audiences and within the organization as well.

Known for her personal and passionate speaking style, Sandi started her international speaking career in 2009 with the creation of TraditionallySpeaking.ca Indigenous Speaker’s Network. Through the network she offered seminars, workshops, and speeches, all while marketing and promoting the other speakers that joined her network.

Sandi’s audiences are varied and include elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools; colleges and universities; numerous First Nation communities and agencies; along with countless national, international, and regional conferences. In August of 2016, the Network converted to an Indigenous Speakers Academy, through which Sandi now passes on all she has learned on her success-filled journey in the hopes of truly empowering more Indigenous voices.

Sandi’s first book “Honorary Indian,” which tells of her Mother’s empowering Ojibwe teachings through Sandi’s life story, was released in 2010, reaching Best Seller status in 2013. That year, Sandi’s second book, “Her Mother’s Daughter” was released to finish the story.

Named the Thunder Bay Business Person of the Year for 2016, Sandi is committed to her fight, a fight for a Canada we can all be proud of. More information on Sandi and her services can be found at www.sandiboucher.com

Serving Consciously with Elizabeth Bishop and Sandi Boucher

Elizabeth Bishop is the creator of the Conscious Service Approach designed to support helping professionals to reconnect with and fulfill their desire to make a difference in the lives of those they support. Following the completion of a diploma in Developmental Services and a degree in Psychology and Religious Studies, she completed a Masters in Adult Education through St. Francis Xavier University, providing the opportunity to test and refine the elements of the Conscious Service Approach. Elizabeth is the host of Serving Consciously, a new show on Contact Talk Radio. Simply tune in to www.ctrnetwork.com and click Listen Live at 12pm PST every 2nd and 4th Friday.

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