This Convergence Spotlight features Sarah Brodersen, our newest team member! Sarah joined us in December 2018 and coordinates the many administrative duties required to keep our team operating smoothly. From managing logistics and communications for our various leadership programs to preparing our web platforms for client engagements and webinars and so much more, Sarah ensures that the necessary details have been handled for the many happenings at ConvergenceCoaching year-round.
Sarah is a positive, upbeat presence on our team and I’m excited to share Sarah’s leadership perspective with you in this month’s spotlight:
ConvergenceCoaching: What is it about a leader that you believe makes others genuinely want to follow them?
SB: We choose leaders that we aspire to be more like. First, the leaders we deem worth following must be in pursuit of, or have attained, aims that align with our own core values. Most importantly, though, leaders must be human. We want to follow people who started from a place similar to the station we find ourselves in; someone who has struggled as we do, who has failed as we have and who has overcome adversity – the stronger the better. Great leaders are people you can relate to, that inspire you to overcome your own obstacles and make you believe that you can.
ConvergenceCoaching: Whose leadership style do you admire most and why?
SB: I am a big fan of Jordan Peterson’s work. I love his unfiltered, no-nonsense perspective. He’s a polarizing character but never wavers in his convictions. He doesn’t require confirmation from others but is instead driven by an unwavering need to express his truth. I’m often drawn to leaders like this, individuals with a sharper edge, because you always know where they stand.
ConvergenceCoaching: What is the most challenging part of being a leader? What is your advice for successfully overcoming this challenge?
SB: The most challenging part of being a leader, in my opinion, is finding your purpose. It requires a great deal of consideration and self-study. Purpose provides over-arching aim, which allows a person to navigate a diverse range of obstacles with consistency and intention. Adding to the challenge, purpose can change over one’s lifetime.
I am admittedly still working to find my purpose. My meditation teacher expressed the importance of this task, and said, “If you don’t know your purpose, make it your purpose to find one.” He shared his own, which resonated with me and has been working as a powerful “stand-in” as I continue on my path of self-study; To be a vehicle for God’s love. I love this because it takes me out of my small self and puts me back on a path of service. Whether I am writing music, raising children or interacting with a colleague, I can come back to it.
My advice for overcoming the challenge of finding your purpose is to reflect often. We spend a lot of time in our heads and think we know ourselves well, but practices like writing and/or meditation tend to draw out truths that we wouldn’t have otherwise articulated or discovered. A related and equally important virtue is to allow yourself to evolve and change your mind. After all, this is exactly what leaders are inspiring others to do.
ConvergenceCoaching: Do you believe that great leaders are born or made? Why?
SB: Absolutely made. At least, my leaders are made. Struggle is the magic ingredient that creates great leaders. This struggle can be internal or external. Someone may be born with qualities that lend themselves to leadership, such as being articulate, extroverted, charming, intelligent, etc., but leaders should also inspire us to overcome our limitations. You can’t teach something that you haven’t experienced first-hand. Wisdom comes from experience, and experience and the overcoming of obstacles creates conviction within a person. People can sense conviction or a lack of it.
ConvergenceCoaching: Do you have a favorite movie or book that you feel exemplifies what it means to be a great leader?
SB: Coming back to Jordan Peterson, I highly recommend his book, 12 Rules for Life; An Antidote to Chaos. It’s difficult to choose just one, but currently, my favorite is Rule #7: Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient). Every day we are faced with hundreds of choices, that either contribute to or detract from our overall well-being. This rule reminds me of the importance of discipline, and that most worthwhile rewards are the result of a little grit, lots of work and constant attention.
My two favorite movies are Forest Gump and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I’ve never thought to compare the two, but the qualities of these characters, or dare I say, leaders, are quite similar. Forest and Walter are humble, kind and most importantly, underestimated. I like that.
ConvergenceCoaching: What would you like ConvergenceCoaching blog readers to know about you?
SB: When it comes to my professional life, my goal has never been to make as much money as possible, but rather to do work that matters. I am so excited to be working at ConvergenceCoaching, surrounded by leaders that share an ambition to grow in pursuit of meaningful careers and lives.
I like Sarah’s mention of purpose related to strong leadership. Too often, we go on with our days focused on what transactional tasks need to be accomplished and putting out “fires,” that we don’t center ourselves to our purpose. Identifying your purpose and keeping it front of mind helps you prioritize your efforts and spend time on things that most align with that purpose. You’re also better able to help others in finding their purpose when you can share how you identified and appeal to yours.
How do you stay attuned to your purpose? What advice would you give for others who aspire to be greater leaders? Share with us in the comments box below.