Does Your Leadership Story Need a Re-Write? Part II

Susan S Freeman Blog

LeadershipLast week we looked at the ways in which leaders can develop self-awareness around their personal story.  Inspired by Rosamund Stone Zander’s Pathways to Possibility, Leading Blog summarized ways in which we can shift to an adult story—one that is empowering towards who we are now.

“When we are operating from the adult narrative:

  • We know we survived childhood and staying alive is no longer a present issue.
  • The mature mind is curious and devotes attention to what is not known.
  • The adult mind is open and flexible: willing to entertain new thoughts and feelings without the need to protect itself.
  • The adult mind is creative: on the lookout for opportunity and able to invent stories and move into contexts that will further our alignment with one another.
  • The adult mind is loving and compassionate. Defined by love, joy, appreciation, gratitude and wonder. Nothing appears as personal.

Zander relates three rules that coach Pete Carroll gave his players. Zander says that these three rules will help support the adoption of an adult story. “These three rules,” she writes, “almost guarantee that the person who follows them is saved from the distraction of survival instincts, such as possessiveness, entitlement, and winning over others, and feelings of helplessness, fear and rage when things don’t turn out the way he planned.

Here are the three rules with Zander’s comments:


Rule 1: Protect the Team: A perfect instruction to remind a player that he is not, in fact, the center of the universe, and to encourage him in all matters related to the game to adopt and live into a story of collaboration.

Rule 2: No Negative Talk. No Whining and Complaining: This rule establishes that the game is played in a mode of possibility and not one of survival where players are out for themselves and can be weakened by a victim story. It requires that people be responsible for the effect of their words and their moods, which ensures that the team maintains energy.

Rule 3: Be Early: What powerful little words! What an amazing third rule! The player who lives by “be early” puts himself in charge of his life. If you decide to be early, you are always in charge; you will show up as a considerate person as well as a paragon of responsibility.”


I would add that when your actions are inspired by love and not fear, your re-write has begun.

I invite you to post your comments here.

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