Reflecting on the Past to Create a New Beginning

Welcome to the website and this bi-monthly blog. The attempt here is to begin building a community of folks interested in Leadership and Storytelling. To me, these come together in the idea of Leadership Life-stories.

So, what is a Leadership Life-story?

Simply – a Leadership Life-story is a tool to develop Leadership in yourself and in others. A Leadership Life-story is an opportunity to humbly reflect on the past and courageously take steps forward in your personal and professional life.

Let me briefly give an example with the picture from Aldeyjarfoss in North Iceland.

During the Fulbright Specialist Project in Iceland 2019, I had the opportunity to take 3-days and travel alone. This was a pivotal time for me that climaxed at this spot. With my feet hanging over the edge of the 50-foot drop into the pool of water, I reflected on recent past events, discovered meaning, and began crafting a story to move forward.

The time there in Iceland helped me arrive here in Athens and visiting the Acropolis.

Currently I’m spending time with Panteion University (Athens, Greece) as a Fulbright Specialist. My second project. In the short two-days since I’ve arrived, I’ve been blessed richly by meeting new faculty colleagues, offering ideas in a lecture, and connecting with learners trying to make a difference in life. I appreciate the work of the Fulbright Commission and the intentional step for collaboration and shared learning in these opportunities.

To me, a Leadership Life-story is made up of three parts: Identify a Formative Moment, Realize the Meaning, and Devise a Story to share.

Identify a Formative Moment:

A formative moment is anything that makes you stop and think. In our personal lives, maybe it is a birth of a child or a death of a loved one. In our professional lives, maybe it is thinking about an offer for early retirement or new opportunities opening up. A formative moment is anything that disrupts the same-ness of life and one that provides a starting point for a Leadership Life-story to begin.

Realize the Meaning:

The second step of Leadership Life-stories may take some time. When we realize the meaning, we learn something new about ourselves and the situation that we then integrate in our life.

To realize the meaning we may need to take a time of solitude, have conversations with friends and family, and even professional help to work through the event. To me, this is fun part of developing a Leadership Life-story because of the learning that occurs through the good and bad times of life.

Devise a Story:

The final step of a Leadership Life-story is to devise a story that can be shared with others. How this story is shared is up to the creativeness of the unique individual. Some people I know are brilliant writers and can share their Leadership Life-story through blogs. Maybe one-on-one is your thing and sharing a story over a cup of coffee is what connects with you.

Over the next few days and weeks, I will be sharing the development of these continued thoughts about Leadership Life-stories through LinkedIn and in my website: I’m seeking to build a community of people who love leadership and love storytelling.

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts and joining together for the journey forward!

Let's Connect

One of my strongest passions is connecting with others and hearing their stories. Even if we never work together, I’d still love to meet you, learn more about you, and hear some of your unique experiences.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you, future friend. 

Chris Hamstra

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