In a recent interview in Canadian Business (September 27, 2010), the accompanying photo reveals some of the secrets of Brueggergosman's success. Written ([perhaps tattooed?) on her forearm are five words: self-control, wisdom, laughter, truth, and forgiveness. These attitudes and behaviours, I imagine, help her learn and align with others. They got me thinking about how I've seen these things show up in the lives of coaching clients who succeed in transforming their contribution and leadership in their teams.
To show up well in their teams, they have to manage themselves with considerable self-control. They contribute best when they are knowledgeable about and confident in their own gifts, but discipline the way they are offered. Some talk of it as establishing rapport - meeting colleagues where they are and walking with them into a better way of working together.
They are hungry to learn from the wisdom of others. Curiosity and love of learning are two of the strengths that rate highest in their Values in Action assessments. They know they cannot know everything themselves these days, so cultivating relationships in which wisdom is both shared and generated is crucial to success.
Taking themselves more lightly, with a healthy sense of humour, leads to the kind of laughter that energizes a team. They can acknowledge their mistakes as opportunities to learn and recognize that there is always a second chance to enjoy greater success.
They realize that the most important truth to pursue is the truth of their personal power. The essence of the way they show up in their teams is rooted deep within their souls. By paying attention to who they admire most, what they value most, and what they enjoy most, these clients compose a vision and mission for themselves. They walk confidently into that truth as they navigate the stresses and challenges of their lives. It serves them as a compass for authentic flourishing.
Without forgiveness of others and self, they stay stuck in negativity. The anxieties and fears that arise from this dysfunctional state drains their energy and toxifies their ways of showing up. Forgiveness dissolves anger and fertilizes hope. It forms the foundation for emotional freedom to connect in positive productive ways.
I have no idea whether the dynamics I have described are at work in Measha Brueggergosman's evolving career as one of the world's great sopranos, but I do know that they have generated success for many of my coaching clients.