Introduction to PL Actions
Note: This is NOT a written assignment you have to submit. It is a guidepost to the practice of Personal Leadership Actions over the course of the semester, that you will then report on in your Final Term Paper.
I invite you to focus on 5 Actions that you want to add to your Personal Leadership repertoire, and pursue mastery along these. (See the doc – PL Actions for the list of Actions we are covering in this course)
You are invited to create a plan for yourself for how you will practice these 5 Actions and learn and grow in your mastery over them. As part of you plan, you can, if you wish to, use the MicroPractice exercises available for each Action in Mentora Digital.
In addition, you will learn to develop Action Paths – using any of the Actions we do this semester, not just the 5 Actions you have chosen for focused practice – and to use these Action Paths to achieve 2 important Behavior Goals you set for yourself.
- Schedule seven weeks over this semester where you will engage in the practice of Actions and Behaviors you select:
Week 1: Action 1
Week 2: Action 2
Week 3: Action 3
Week 4: Action 4
Week 5: Action 5
Week 6: Behaviors 1 & 2
Week 7: Behaviors 1 & 2
- Review the list of Actions across the 5 Energies – see the Appendix in this document. We have done some in class, and others will be done in the next few weeks, but most should be simple enough to understand for you to be able to start selecting from them and planning your PLS Growth Journey this semester right away.
- Select 5 Actions, from among these Actions, that you want to pursue mastery along.
- For each of the 5 Actions you select, dedicate one week sometime this semester to its practice (Weeks 1-5). Practice the Action each day of the week (with a rest on Sunday if you like!), as follows:
- The evening before Day 1 or the morning of Day 1, reflect for 10 min on what lies ahead during the day and how you will find opportunities to practice this Action. Use the following questions to help you organize and channel your goal of putting this Action into practice:
- In what situations during this week can this Action help me bring out the best in me and the best in others?
- What are some ways I can make this Action part of my daily routine, and mindset?
- What should I do to practice this Action on the inside – in my intentions, thoughts and feelings? What should I do to practice this Action on the outside – in my dealings with people and situations?
- What challenges could I face in doing this Action and how will I mitigate and overcome these?
- To help you practice your chosen Action during the week, you may incorporate the MicroPractice exercises for that Action available to you in Mentora Digital (this isn’t required – use these if they will help you get more structured opportunities for practice). For each Action, Mentora Digital provides you three types of exercises to help you go from learning to mastery:
- Teachbacks make you simulate teaching the Action to someone to help you retain and understand it better
- Moment-of-Truth Role-Plays make you practice the Action in a simulated scenario to learn and improve your execution of the Action
- Missions get you to apply the Action in your moments in life and leadership and reflect and learn from the experience.
- During Day 1 of each Action-week, strive to stay mindful of your goal in putting this Action into practice.
- At the end of each day of the Action-week, spend 5-15 min introspecting on your experience.
- What practice did I engage in around this Action?
- What worked, and what didn’t work?
- What have I learned from today’s experience, and how can I improve my practice tomorrow?
- After a week, return to 2(a) to plan your next Action.
- Review the Term Paper so you can be prepared to write your responses to the questions there, for your one-week journey for each Action.
- In Weeks 6 and 7 (after completing the practice of the 5 Actions in Weeks 1-5), focus on 2 Behavior Goals that you want to set for yourself. (these 2 weeks could be the two final weeks of the semester, or earlier, if you’ve managed to complete the 1-week practice of the 5 Actions in good time). Practice these 2 Behaviors at different points over the course of the 2 weeks as guided below.
- Examples of Behavior Goals you could pursue:
- “I want to stay positive and motivated all through this week.”
- “I want to be a source of inspiration to the people I meet with this week.”
- “I want to build a deeper connection with certain people in my world.”
- “I want to develop a concrete, inspiring plan for my Summer ahead.”
- “I want to arrange to have a crucial conversation with someone in my life, which I have been holding back on, or which hasn’t gone well in the past.”
- “I want to coach a certain individual in my life to rise to their fuller potential.”
- “I want to inspire my team.”
- “I want to influence some key stakeholders about a cause I seek to gain their commitment for.”
- For each of these two Behavior Goals, create an Action-Path – a sequence of 3-5 Actions that help you address a specific challenge.
- In designing your Action Path, you can use one or more of the 5 Actions you practiced in prior weeks – or you can add new Actions as well to the mix from the list we did in class.
- Keep the # of Actions in your Action-Path to between 3-5.
- Examples of Behavior Goals you could pursue:
- Prepare yourself in advance of executing the Action-Path for each Behavior Goal during that final week, by visualizing and planning your execution.
- When would you engage in this Behavior Goal and implement this Action Path?
- Would you pursue these Actions in a particular sequence, or keep them in your pocket and use whichever Action is best in a given moment?
- What inner preparation in your thoughts, feelings and intentions will this take? What outer preparation will be helpful? The more prepared you are, the more you will learn and more growth you will see.
- After you have executed the Action-Path, reflect on your experience. What worked, what didn’t, what did you learn, what would you do differently. See the Term Paper guidelines for what reflections you are asked to submit at the end of the term.
- Pursue each of the 2 Behavior Goals ideally 3-4 times over the two weeks, but make sure you put enough time to do the prior preparation.
APPENDIX – List of Actions for PLS
© Hitendra Wadhwa, 2020
- Appeal to Values and Purpose
- Gain commitment for an action by associating it with a dearly-held purpose or value.
- Forge Common Values and Purpose
- Get a group of individuals to come together and collaborate more effectively by getting them all inspired around a common purpose or common value/set of values.
- Establish Positive Intention
- Approach each situation with a sense of positivity about the possibilities it holds for achieving progress on your goals.
- Embark on a Hero’s Journey
- Craft a compelling vision that propels you to pursue a goal despite tough challenges and odds by connecting the goal to an uplifting purpose.
- Do Role Crafting
- Infuse a role with greater meaning by associating it with a dearly held purpose or value and finding ways to bring the purpose or value into active expression .
- Gain Emotional Awareness
- Tune in to what emotions you are experiencing and assess their suitability in bringing out the best in you in the current situation.
- Direct Emotional Energy
- Take control over the energy that your emotional state is producing and direct it to motivate actions in service of your purpose.
- Dial an Emotion Up/Down
- Intensify or dampen the emotion you’re experiencing in order to bring out the best in you in the present moment.
- Untwist Your Thinking
- Eliminate distortions in your thoughts so you can see truth in a clear, objective light.
- Create the Right Frame
- Approach an idea or situation from a lens that will help you bring out the best in yourself and others.
- Understand Before You Act
- Become curious, engage in inquiry, and understand issues deeply before taking action.
- Fuse Opposites
- Find a way to integrate two opposing positions to forge a more balanced and complete perspective.
- When you encounter disagreement, find something to agree on with the other party, e.g., their goal, intention, value, underlying concern or a part of what they are saying.
- Recognize positive qualities in situations and people and maintain this state of appreciation in your interactions with the world.
- Practice Gratitude
- Acknowledge the debt you owe to others, and to the universe, for all the gifts you have received.
- Offer Unconditional Respect
- Respect others and yourself unconditionally, and practice this respect in all interactions.
- Learn from people’s transgressions and take appropriate action from within by making peace with the past.
- Find common ground with other people so you see them as one of yours and they see you as one of them.
- Attune yourself, without judgement, to others’ feelings and thoughts, and make them feel understood.
- Express Yourself Thoughtfully
- Bring a deep sense of caring to how you make tough choices and communicate hard truths to others.
- Give 100%
- Engage with full heart and mind in all your interactions, striving to be of service to the other party while also staying true to your purpose.
- Practice the Growth Mindset
- Recognize the vast untapped potential there is in you to change yourself – along your character, personality, habits, intelligence and more.
- Grow from Adversity
- Use setbacks, failures and other adversities to help you become better – not bitter.
- Solicit Feedback
- Gain an objective understanding of how you are being perceived by others by inviting them to share in a safe and open manner.
- Acknowledge & Apologize
- Take swift corrective action to acknowledge, apologize for and correct mistakes you make in the pursuit of your ideals and commitments.
- Establish Growth Partners
- Develop a network of supporters who provide mentorship, feedback and accountability on your growth journey.
- Get Centered in Your Core
- Move your awareness from outer behavior, thoughts and feelings to the ever-present stillness and well-being at your inner core.
- Affirm a Core Identity
- Identify your ‘self’ with one of the positive qualities present in the inner core, like courage, creativity or compassion.
- Cultivate Intuition
- Tap into your intuitive faculty to gain creative insight and spiritual guidance on the questions you are grappling with.
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