Monday, April 28, 2014

Are You Working on the Right Core?

It turns out that the gym isn't the only place where you should work your core. Athletes of all types know that a strong core helps improve performance, makes their efforts more effective, and most importantly, protects them from injury.

While strong core muscles will help us achieve greater physical longevity, a strong internal core will help us achieve greater success in the areas in which we have influence. 

According to Tim Irwin, Ph.D., in his new book Impact! Great Leadership Changes Everything, a fall from a leadership position has very little to do with a leader's competence but has everything to do with his or her core.

Wherever you lead, whether the boardroom or baseball field, the principles in Impact! can help you guard and grow your internal core so you can have impact and lead from a position of influence. 

The book focuses on a number of disciplines that help us to build and protect a strong core. In it, Irwin calls for leaders to develop a practice of self-examination, self awareness and self regulation to guide our daily actions. Through exercises designed to aid self examination, Irwin leads help us identify inner beliefs about ourselves and those we lead; shines a light on the lies we tell ourselves; and leads us in setting up our own personal accountability team. Impact! Great Leadership Changes Everything is engaging, instructive and provides several concrete examples of leaders who have fallen as a result of a weak inner core, as well as those who have thrived from a strong core.

I have had several leadership positions in both my personal and professional life, including a few failures that were the result of an immature core. When I was placed in one of my most significant leadership positions in my professional career, my core was not strong enough to withstand the enormous pressures that came with it. I got a big head and lost focus. I learned a whole lot about self from that experience and underwent a period of self examination myself. It was a time of tremendous growth and I am still learning and developing.

I'm looking forward to practicing the disciplines found in this book and applying them in my various roles: as a mom, as a professional, as a Girl Scout leader, as a member of the board of the Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta and as writer. I know that being a good leader is a learned skill and I still have much to learn.

This book is a great tool for anyone who wants to lead more effectively in their home, at their church, in their local community or in business. I have one to give away to one of my readers! Please comment below with a story about a failure or success in leadership in your life!

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