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Lessons from Sarah Palin

Most of us have now seen the news covering Sarah Palin and her decision to step down as Governor of Alaska. While we can question her motive, agree or disagree, what I would like to talk about today is simply the leadership action involved. First of all, as anyone who has listened to me for very long will know, I am a huge advocate of stepping into a desired state of change.

Obviously there is something very compelling that has led her to that action, and she has made a huge move towards something different. She made a significant move towards whatever is important to her. At the same time, when I talk about taking action towards a desired end, I also talk about "exit with integrity". This is the part that must go along with change, as we will leave behind many things when we make big changes. This can sometimes be one of the hardest parts of change. It is not so much that people don't want to move into a new area, they just haven't fully let go of their attachments. Taking the time to identify what is left behind and ensure that it will be handled allows the systems you leave to continue functioning. It also allows you to move forward freely without attachments to unfinished business you left behind. One last thing about making big changes. When you are a very visible leader, it is very important to public your reasoning for change.

People follow those they can trust, and agree to their direction. Silence from a leader is a sure way to lose followers. For Sarah, the media can only guess what she is doing. We will have to wait to see the outcome. For our purposes, I just ask you to consider how far you will go to create what you want. Would you step down from your position, leaving items unfinished and commitments unmet to create something new and more compelling? If you decide you would, then take these lessons for making big changes. Clearly define and public what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how the world will be different for your actions. Make your move decisively, clearly transitioning from one role to the next. Exit your current situation with the utmost of integrity. It was important enough for you to commit your time and energy before, leave it with as much care as you created it. So, take some time, take some notes, and change your life!


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