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June 13, 2013 Meeting Commentary

Creating an Effective Personal Leadership Plan for Thriving in the Ever-Changing IT World

No matter how sophisticated the technology, it still takes the people. Many of us are confronted on a daily basis with the challenge of figuring out how to manage our leadership together with our technical expertise to serve the ever-changing needs of our customer. It can feel exhausting and overwhelming at times. What if you could learn some techniques that would enable you to manage your leadership energy so that these opportunities help you to invite creativity, communicate effectively, and embrace continuous change for yourself and those around you? Impossible? Pie-in-the-sky?  Maybe, but the truth is that it is all up to you and how you think about yourself and the opportunities that present themselves to you.

Our speaker, a Certified Professional Leadership Coach, introduced us to a process that helps you to develop a personally effective style of leadership that positively influences and changes not only yourself, but also those with whom you work and interact, as well as your organization as a whole. The system is called Energy Leadership and was created by Bruce Schneider, founder of The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. (IPEC).

We are living in a time when change is constant and accelerated. This is especially true in the IT industry where constant adaption and innovation is a way of doing business. We learned how you can live and lead innovation and adaption. You don’t think you are a leader? Think again…. Leadership is described by John Maxwell as influence, and Forbes describes leadership as “a process of social influence which maximizes the efforts of others towards and achievement of a goal.” Peter Drucker describes leadership as having followers. The truth is that leadership has little to do with authority and hierarchy and everything to do with social influence. The truth is we are all leaders in some way. The question is what do you want to influence and how do you want to do it?

We learned how Corporate Catabolism (the process the body uses to generate energy to counteract a stressor=draining, contracting, resisting) has impacted engagement, performance, and the bottom line. Did you know that in 2011 Corporate America lost more than $328 billion from lower productivity…and 84% of workers claimed that they are planning to look for a new job?

Engagement of workers is at an all time low of less than 30%. These statistics tell a sobering story, but the truth is we learned how to be a catalyst to reverse the trend inspiring anabolic energy (the process of building up, expanding, fueling) in ourselves and others by becoming aware of our thought patterns and how they effect our results. People have extraordinary influence over each other---consciously and unconsciously. One of the most influential pieces is our individual and collective energy, and energy is quite contagious. Whether from increasing job demands, lack of resources, the “always plugged in” pressure of technology or the general uncertainty of economic and social times, people are surrounded by stressors, which can trigger catabolic perceptions.

We learned about the seven different levels of energy and became conscious of the kind of energy we are expending. We learned how to tap into anabolic energy, which helps to invite change, inspire creativity, and promote collaboration and powerful communication. The good news is that we are all capable of this once we become conscious and willing to work at it. By shifting some of our energy from catabolic to anabolic we can improve communication skills, health and wellness, leadership ability, productivity, time management, work engagement, work/life balance, and working relationships.

We learned how you can drive engagement, creativity, and innovation in our sphere of customers regardless of the circumstances. Anabolic leaders recognize that the circumstances are not as significant as our responses to them. We learned how to re-engage teams into finding solutions and opportunities by shifting our energy and those around you. Corporate catabolism cannot survive if stress and reactive tendencies are cut short.


Diane Carazas




About the speaker:

Ms. Carazas is a senior level bilingual (English, Spanish) professional with over twenty-five years of international and national experience working in and consulting with international development organizations and companies, with extensive experience working in Latin America. She excels in optimizing the potential of those around her to accomplish the organizational mission and professional goals. She has managed large offices in foreign countries with more than 200 staff.  She believes in the collective wisdom of a group and coaches senior leaders to develop high-performance teams.  She inspires and provides methodologies for teams to focus on strengthening collaboration with all stakeholders through identifying a shared vision that helps to uncover innovation for creating a plan for realizing results. Ms. Carazas invites leaders to “unlock their potential” through the use of Energy Leadership Coaching,  Ms. Carazas holds a Master’s in International Administration from the School for International Training and is a professional certified coach with a Master Certification as an Energy Leadership Practitioner from The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC).