inVisionaria inVisionaria

  Asking for Help
  (What all Great Leaders have   learned to do!)

  Persistence, Endurance, and   Triumph - Three Leadership   Qualities


  Recommended Reads

  Upcoming Workshop And   Speaking Offerings

  Quote For Your Day!

Message from Pat

"The key to your impact as a leader is your own sincerity. Before you can inspire others with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself. Before you can move their tears, your own must flow. To convince them, you must yourself believe."

- Winston Churchill

I have been spending a lot of time lately looking into what it takes to be a leader. I always thought that leaders got to be leaders because of what they knew, as in the case of a leader of an organization, or who they knew, as in the case of a political leader. Well, I've held onto the wrong idea of a leader for a very long time.

Lately, I've been re-evaluating my belief of what a leader is and questioning whether I'm a leader or not. I think Winston Churchill in the above quote, has touched the tip of it all for me. I think that any one of us can have an impact as a leader in our families, our work, our communities, our cities, our nation and even the world as long as we are sincere about what we are doing and believe in it…fully.

I have always wanted to make an impact…leave a legacy…make a difference…die fully used. I always wanted to do it in a big way…be President of a Fortune 500 company, or founder of a world non-profit that benefits thousands, or even get elected to political office. Well, none of this has happened and I'm still not saying it's not possible. I'm just learning that I am making an impact…I am leaving a legacy in my own way…merely by leading in my every day life.

Leadership to me now simply means to act as a guide, to show the way. In my business, I coach many, many people who are yearning to and are ready to step into being a leader in their lives. This means different things to each person and each person is right in their own definition.

What astounds me is the people I coach consistently want to play a 'Bigger Game' in their lives, and in addition to that, show others how to be a leader. A 'Bigger Game' just means what they are up to in their lives. One client wants to put together a writing club, this is a Bigger Game for her as she is leaving some comfort zones, stretching herself by doing something that makes her 'GULP' and keeps working through that nagging voice in her head that keeps telling her…'Who do you think you are to do this…you don't know how to do this," and she is having to learn new things about how to lead a writing club that she has no experience in. But she is sincere in her desire to do this and for her it 'must be.'

Another client's 'Bigger Game' is about developing a year long program for high school girls to get them and keep them interested in technology. This young woman is 19 years old and her 'Bigger Game' involves finding allies to help her, investing time and energy into learning things she doesn't know and taking bold action over and over and over again.

What is also consistent in my client's whom I coach in leadership, is their sincerity and their conviction that what they are doing 'Must Be.' This is truly inspiring. This is a common thread that I find among all the leaders I work with. I know when I see leaders that are sincere and passionate about their objectives, they are very inspiring and they will succeed in their mission.

"Gutsy leaders who strive to motivate others make time to help people see how their work is connected to something bigger."

- Kevin Freiberg

Something else I find to be true about leaders is that when they are truly motivated themselves, they are connected to the proverbial 'something bigger.' This, again, means different things to different people. What is important is that they are connected to something bigger than themselves. They also remind others (act as a guide; show the way) of their connection to something bigger.

"The leader teaches more through Being than through doing. The quality of one's silence conveys more than long speeches."

- John Heider

I have also found that a leader is not always the one who steps in front of the room or who is always talking. I have found the most inspirational leaders are those who step back and let others be the best that they can be. How profound this world would be if we could all just take a look at what others are best at doing and step aside and let them do it. I believe a leader is one who lets others shine and be the best they can be and guide them to get there.

"Your first and foremost job as a leader is to take charge of your own energy and then to help orchestrate the energy of those around you."

- Peter Drucker

There is such power in this quote. Think of the leaders in your life who are able to truly take charge of their own energy and not change those around them, but truly orchestrate that energy for the common good (however the group defines that). I have always been in profound admiration of an orchestra leader. I now think, for me, that is what the essence of leadership is about. Taking each of the individual musicians (team members), and learning what their talent and skill is and not working so much on how to change them to fit in easier or better, but how to use their unique talent and skills to create that something that is bigger than the individual parts. To stay focused on 'something bigger'.

"The best leader does not ask people to serve him, but the common end. The best leader has not followers, but men and women working with him."

- Mary Parker Follett

Yes, my concept of leader has changed profoundly.

My wish for each of you is to examine your old beliefs about you as a leader. What still fits? What no longer fits? What is happening in your life, right now, that needs you to step into being a leader…in your family, in your work, in your community, in your city, in your nation, and even in the world!?!

Step into it…don't wait…the world needs you.

Lead strong!


Asking for Help
(What all Great Leaders have learned to do!)

For many of us, asking for help is a difficult concept. It can require a certain amount of vulnerability. We may feel as if we are admitting a weakness that the world would not have known about, had we not asked for help.

Ironically, it's been my experience that people who are able to deliver well-positioned requests for help are seen as very strong individuals. When they demonstrate the humility to ask for help, they earn the respect of others. Recipients of a heartfelt request for help are usually honored by the request. In turn, we are strengthened by the very help that is provided.

One of my clients (we'll call her Kira), recently made a shift in how she was interacting with her boss. When asked to prepare presentations, she assumed that she was expected to go away, develop the content, deliver it at the required meeting and then wait for feedback from her boss. Her boss was highly-regarded for the impact of his presentations, while Kira often felt that her presentations were lacking. When she took a hard look at how this approach was working for her, Kira was able to recognize that she was not fully leveraging her boss's support. She could learn far more about creating presentations with "oomph" by walking-through a draft with her boss—focusing on the content plus her delivery—and obtaining feedback earlier in the process rather than at the back-end. So…she made the request for his up front support.

The outcome? Her boss was delighted to coach Kira and was enthused about the opportunity to leverage his own strength by imparting presentation skills more effectively to her. By taking the time to work together on preparation for a number of Kira's key presentations, she benefited from her boss' thought process and was able to distinguish the critical components to enhance her own presentations. Kira's presentations now have punch! She delivers with the confidence of someone who has great material and is well-prepared. She now rarely needs corrective feedback after-the-fact. Equally important is that in the very act of asking for help, Kira has demonstrated to her boss that she is effectively leveraging resources around her.

How are your assumptions about the appropriateness of asking for help getting in your way?

Some of us are uncomfortable asking for help because we believe that our request places burden on the other person. Ironically, we may be missing an opportunity to show others' how we value and respect them. People who know you and think well of you, are often highly motivated to help—and with the reality of their busy work lives, they need to be asked. Furthermore, the more specific you can be about what you need from them, the easier it is for them to assist you.

In the past week, how have you asked for support from others? How clear was your request?

In recent research I conducted into the behaviors that leaders demonstrate when they successfully transition into new organizations, "asking for help" made it onto the list of "Top 10 Success Factors" for the critical first 90 days with a new employer.

In this era of hyper-awareness regarding business ethics, "asking for help" has become associated with high-integrity. People who are able to conduct an honest self-assessment and seek support in the areas where they lack expertise or need to draw on skills that don't come naturally to them are seen as both humble and strong at the same time.

So how can you go about asking for help?

When I broke-down the formula that works for me, I came up with the following steps:

  • Recognize that you can't know or be able to do absolutely everything, all the time.

  • Trust that in asking for help, you are honoring the other person.

  • Decide to "just do it". The more you agonize, the less likely you are to make the request.

  • Be specific. Make it easy for the other person to provide the help.

  • Express your gratitude. Let the other person know specifically how their support helped you.

  • Offer your sincere support in the future… not to "even the score", do it because it genuinely means a lot to you to be able to help.

What important goal are you stuck on right now? How could "asking for help" get you jump-started?

Susan Edwards is President of Development by Design,

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Persistence, Endurance and Triumph –
Three Leadership Qualities

If you haven't read "Endurance - Shackleton's Incredible Voyage" you might want to pick up a copy. Read it the next time you become overwhelmed with the challenges of your business, your career, or your life. Endurance is the tale of how the polar explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew of 27 men survived for over one and a half years after their ship became icebound on an expedition to Antarctica. Captain and crew drifted with their boat locked in pack ice for 10 months, then lived in tents on the ice after their boat was crushed and sunk. When their frozen neighborhood finally drifted to within striking distance of land they were saved by their own perseverance and initiative by sending a number of the crew to fetch a rescue party. Sailing in their all-too-small life boats across some of the most treacherous seas in the world, this courageous band of sailors finally made it to land only to find that they had to climb over a snow-covered mountain range to reach civilization and bring help to their comrades.

Many of us in the business world have faced what may have seemed like tremendous challenges in the past several years. I started my business leadership and project management consulting practice in January of 2001, and it has occurred to me more than once that I could have picked an easier time to launch such a venture. Perhaps your business has been struggling, or you personally may have been affected by lay-offs, pay cuts, or other economic circumstances of our day. I was personally truly inspired by reading about Captain Shackleton and his 27 men, living out their days on the ice pack, their stories of being ever hopeful when all practical reason for that hope was gone, their sincere expression of joy when their sleeping bags were merely damp rather than soaking wet, and their gratitude when the weather warmed to a balmy 35 degrees Fahrenheit! It put the challenges of finding my next consulting gig squarely into perspective for me.

What "hardships" have you and your business experienced in the past couple of years? And what has been your response to those circumstances? Persistence? The will to endure and triumph over circumstance? Victor Frankl, a former inmate of a Nazi concentration camp, said "Everything can be taken from a man, except the last of his human freedoms: his ability to choose his own attitude in any given set of circumstances…" I have seen this demonstrated numerous times in the endurance and persistence of business leaders and professionals with whom I have had the great honor of being associated with during the recent economic "mood disorder", as I am calling it. Many leaders of companies have had to make the tough decision to let some people go rather than to have the whole ship sink under their watch. In almost every case these leaders have stepped up and taken substantial pay cuts to model the selfless behavior that they hoped to see in others. Several of the jettisoned professionals whom I know have managed to find other ways to contribute when their former means of making a living was nowhere to be found. (One Ph.D. physicist and former ivy league professor is rumored to have been bagging groceries until his employers discovered what a whiz he was at solving computer problems.) And still others, seeing that "permanent" employment is a fiction which we embrace at our own peril, have begun to create side-businesses into which they can pour their heart and soul now that the corporate world no longer seems to be able to command that sort of devotion.

One such business is "Elite Horse Clothing", the creation of Brenda Keiner, an electrical engineer who solved a problem for her horse that grew into a product and now a company. Brenda recently launched this product globally through a Yahoo Store on the internet with the help of myself and several other industrious entrepreneurs. Brenda works a more-than-full-time job. However in her spare moments she can be found designing horse fly protection gear, revising the latest prototype of her next product, and collaborating with her co-conspirators on how to reach the veterinarian market, get feedback from our latest customers, and generally doing what it takes to build a business that can sustain her in the years to come. Sure, the past couple of years have been tough. And there are plenty of times when I despair and wish for better times. However the challenges of building my business are nothing compared to those of Shackleton and his crew, and no matter how difficult the challenges may seem at any moment, I can always fall back on my sincere gratitude that I am not in the position of needing to subsist on a diet consisting mostly of seal blubber! May you persist, endure and triumph over circumstances!

Kimberly Wiefling of Wiefling Consulting


Great leaders admit their limitations, step back to let others shine, and find many, many allies. I stepped back when I realized I was not skilled in graphic design. (One of the best things about leadership is learning that you don't have to do it all yourself!) I entrusted this to an amazing graphic designer, Jackie Arthur, the owner of Leap O' Faith Design in Mill Valley, CA. She works consistently to ensure that the design of everything my company releases to the public is consistent and professional. She is the designer behind this newsletter and my web site, and also helped me develop my company's name. She can be contacted at 415-388-8256.

Recommended Reads with links to

Good Business by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Primal Leadership – Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, Annie McKee

The Way of the Leader by Donald G. Krause

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute

Upcoming Workshop Offering and Speaking

Bigger Game Workshop: Has something been calling you? Maybe a whisper, a tug or a knowing there is something bigger waiting for you…possibly something your soul has been craving. The Bigger Game is a dynamic interactive workshop that naturally calls the better you yet to be expressed. Come let your Bigger Game Player come out to lead and experience the fun and excitement of having a Bigger Game to Play.
Two separate dates:
September 30, October 1 and 2: Bigger Game September
or Join us October 21-23: Bigger Game October

"Quote For Your Day!"

I send out a "Quote for Your Day!" each business day. These are inspirational and sometimes humorous. If you enjoyed this ezine, I think you'd enjoy the quotes.

You never know the impact of what you do in the world. I received an unsolicited email from Lloyd Winston from St. Louis, Mo., who wrote: "LOVE the quotes! I'm a middle school teacher and I'm always on the lookout for wise and/or funny quotes to have my students explain. No matter how much they try not to, it makes 'em think!"
So, if you'd like to think (and sometimes laugh), sign up for the daily quote by sending a blank e-mail to with "Quote" in the subject line.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream."
- Mark Twain

Until next time I wish you joy and fun!

Pat Obuchowski
CEO, Chief Empowerment Officer

Helping people step into their roles as leaders in their businesses, their communities and the world. Helping people find "Their Bigger Game."

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I hope you enjoyed this third issue of "Live with Intention". This will be sent monthly around mid-month. I selected you to receive this issue as you have expressed interest in my work. If you would rather not receive this monthly ezine, please see how to unsubscribe below. I know how overwhelming email can get.
© 2005 Pat Obuchowski, All rights reserved. You are free to use material from the "Live with Intention" eZine in whole or in part, as long as you include complete attribution, including live web site link. Please also notify me where the material will appear. The attribution should read:

"By Pat Obuchowski of inVisionaria."

Brief Biography
Pat Obuchowski is the CEO (Chief Empowerment Officer) of inVisionaria. inVisionaria is a company devoted to helping people and organizations find and achieve their vision and their voice. She works with individuals and organizations that are looking for structure, focus and accountability to set and achieve their goals. She also works with people who are ready to make big changes in their businesses and their lives and step into the leaders they've been yearning to be. People who are ready, willing and able to begin playing their "Bigger Game." No kidding. Right now.
The approach to achieve this and create this alliance is individually based and is designed between Pat and each of her clients.

Testimonial: "After our sessions were over, and using what I'd learned from Pat, I wrote a memo to my boss outlining why my job title didn't fit what I was doing - and it worked - I was promoted. Without Pat's support and guidance, I would not have been able to take any of the steps required for me to get from being the quiet person to being the woman who stood up to the CEO and said - You must promote me!"

"Pat is very down to earth, honest and open, intuitive, caring, and very knowledgeable about how companies and organizations operate. I also trusted Pat completely, which is very important when working on such sensitive and potentially volatile personal matters. Pat is an ace at what she does and I recommend her without reservations."

- Director of a Biotech Company


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