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  • Writer's pictureMichael Stern

An Invitation for Emerging Leaders

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

Unprecedented Disruption and The New Normal

We find ourselves alive at a time when unprecedented disruption has become the new normal.

The Covid-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter demonstrations have highlighted and amplified the complex challenges we face as members of our global society. From climate change to technological acceleration to social and political tensions — the world is changing rapidly and we humans are struggling to keep up.

In the face of so much uncertainty, we can imagine many possible futures ahead of us.

One set of possibilities could be called adapt and thrive — characterized by the joyful abundance of a unified yet diverse global society where humans exist in harmony with ourselves, each other, nature, and technology.

I call the other end of the spectrum resist and perish - apocalyptic scenarios of catastrophic collapse, not just of our civilization but of the entire ecosystem that sustains life on our planet.

We will all play a part in how the story unfolds. Each day, every moment, we plant the seeds that will give rise to the future world.

But as we have seen from the variety of responses to recent events, the choices and actions of our leaders play a crucial role in determining outcomes for all of us.

Extraordinary Times Call for Extraordinary Leadership

"Leadership in any of the ways we have understood it until now will be crucial, but it too will not be enough." - Terry Patten, A New Republic of the Heart

The leaders that these times call for are emerging all around us.

Every week, I meet these emerging leaders: people who have a burning desire to discover their authentic selves and express it freely and fully.

They see clearly and feel deeply the pain and suffering caused by a system that was designed to be unfair and exploitative, and they can't wait to build a better one.

They carry a vision of a more sustainable and just world, and a deep longing to contribute their gifts in service of that vision.

They’re driven by a sense of excitement and possibility, but also sometimes struggle to regulate feelings of anxiety and overwhelm.

They have clear intentions to live balanced, purposeful lives, but sometimes are not sure how to actually do that and can end up feeling stuck or lost.

They’re figuring out how to balance their need for financial stability with their desire to utilize their skills and passions in pursuit of meaningful work.

They know they can’t achieve their dreams alone, and they yearn for authentic, supportive, values-based relationships.

With the right support and guidance, these emerging leaders have the potential to guide us to a more beautiful world, even as accelerating complexity and uncertainty continue to push us into uncharted territory.

Now More Than Ever

"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin

Over the last three years I’ve built a coaching practice with a focus on supporting emerging leaders - especially those in their 20s and 30s - in realizing their vision for a better life and a better world.

The pandemic and protests have made it clear that now is the time to double down on that mission.

Now is the time to fully face what we want to change, and do our best to change it.

As a coach, I support emerging leaders in the following ways:

I help emerging leaders gain clarity and confidence in their vision, mission, and values.

I help emerging leaders set and achieve meaningful goals.

I help emerging leaders build habits that support long-term health, happiness, and success.

I help emerging leaders develop essential emotional intelligence skills such as focus, self-awareness, emotional balance, adaptability, positive outlook, and empathy.

I help emerging leaders release fear, doubt, limiting beliefs, and self-sabotaging behaviors.

Supporting emerging leaders in these ways is a source of deep meaning and satisfaction. And given the circumstances, I am eager to work with as many emerging leaders as I can.

I am keenly aware that many emerging leaders are currently struggling psychologically and/or financially. Tough questions such as “How will I get through this?” and “What comes next?” and “Who will I choose to be?” are right on the surface.

My Invitation To You

I am currently offering my coaching services for emerging leaders on a pay-what-you-want basis with no long-term commitment required.

If you’re an emerging leader and want to explore working together, please reach out to me. Whatever your current situation is, if it seems like we’re a good fit, we’ll make it happen. My promise to you is that I will do everything I can to guide and support you to be the extraordinary individual you are already becoming.

If you know an emerging leader who might benefit from working with me, please share this post with them, make an introduction, or invite them to reach out to me directly. Thank you in advance.

If you resonate with the mission to support emerging leaders, or you simply feel an impulse to connect, please reach out to me. I’d love to talk to you.

A Final Note

I also meet many emerging leaders who are not in their 20s and 30s.

People of all ages recognize what time it is on Planet Earth, and are mobilizing.

None of us has the answers to the questions we’re facing.

We are all, as individuals and collectively, emerging out of what has been and into what might be.

No matter your age, background, or current situation, if you are committed to a path of embodying your true self and building a more beautiful world, I would welcome a chance to connect with you.

We’re all in this together.


Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

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