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Leadership: How Do you want to Show Up?

Do you have a purpose statement? How many times have you been in brainstorm meetings where we have been on task to find a mission statement for our project or our team? It is the most daunting task, to do on your own is even harder, unless you’re in a group that can’t agree, then that’s the worst.

What I’m asking is, do you have a purpose statement for your life? For yourself? A beacon that guides you in tough situations, in crucial conversations, in times when you are faced with nothing but difficult choices, that’s when your purpose statement comes in handy.

Here’s mine: I want to lead with compassion, integrity, and courage. This filters into my parenting on a daily basis! My dad was a Senior Master Chief in the Navy when he retired, on his way up the latter, he was a Drill Seargent for many years, most of which were my childhood. Imagine waking up to a blinding light to the sound of “Revilee Revilee Revilee, all I want to see are elbows and knee caps, all hands on deck, I’m not leaving until I see those feet hit the floor, Let’s Go Let’s Go Let’s Go!”  My dad is a great teacher, but obviously, he didn’t have a lot of compassion for my 12-year-old self, haha!  


Marilyn and Dad

I asked my youngest son when he was around 12, and struggling to get up in the morning, what could I do to make it easier on him to get up and get ready for school. He said, please don’t turn on my light, it’s so bright!  So, I bought him a lamp, with a low-watt bulb, and turned that on instead. He still wasn’t on time every day, but it was a much more pleasant drive to school then.

Clay at the butterfly museum

That’s what I mean about leading with compassion, I try to be aware of my surroundings, especially the people in them!  How can I serve and lead with a kind nod to what they really need, in service of what I need, so that we can create a symbiotic relationship while still having each of our needs met. This is not a transactional relationship, this is showing up as my most authentic self and expecting those in my sphere to show up the same way. It’s also a safe space for us to communicate in with each other and make it a two-way conversation instead of me simply dictating my needs.

I’ve been through a messy divorce, and one of the things I learned was how crucial having compassionate discussions is, and how I can have them now. I couldn’t have possibly known how to navigate that when I was previously married.  I have learned how to listen, calm my own thoughts, put myself in my partner’s shoes, and choose my response from a place of understanding him.  I have learned that my own self-driven agenda is not the best place to operate when trying to build a relationship. I have also learned how not to flip flop into a complete doormat when trying to understand the other person. I can now hold my own needs and take others into consideration and we find a way forward that works as a win-win for both of us. The beauty of finding a passionate, strong, self-love for myself and THEN entering into a relationship with someone else has made all the difference.


So, when you’re thinking about your purpose statement, it’s less about the actual statement and more about your guiding principles, how you actually want to live your life now, how you want to show up in relationships and for yourself. It may take a little bit of soul searching because as we change seasons in our lives, our purpose statement might evolve.  I still wake my youngest son up by turning on his lamp, knowing that is an act of compassion for him, and it reminds me to find ways to show up that way for others and myself.


I’d love to hear what your purpose statement is, if you care to share it. 


Find a way to smile today, at yourself and someone else:)

Marilyn Dollar- Woman sitting at desk
Marilyn Dollar - The Woman's Coach

They call me the C-Suite Whisperer.

High-Performance Coach For Leaders and CEO’s. It’s time to embrace your true identity and grow into your next achievement!

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