Many moons ago, I was introduced to the concept that we all have a Board of Directors in our heads. These include the voices that tell us we’re worthless, we’re too scared to proceed, or we’re stupid for making x or y choice years ago. I work with coaching clients all the time to get these particular “Directors” under control.
But what if you got to choose your own Board of Directors? What if you could pick anyone, living or dead, to be your best and closest advisors, to be on call whenever you needed them? What if you could choose to listen only to those who you admire, those who admire you and those who have your best interests at heart?
Enter Napoleon Hill, the author of what is now a very famous book called “Think and Grow Rich.” He discusses in that book how he decided on an “imaginary council” of those he admired and sought to emulate, both living and dead, from whom he would seek advice in meditation every night before bed.
When I first read this book many years ago, I had a big “aha” moment around this idea. However, I set it aside until recently, when I happened upon a blog post by my fellow coach Stephanie St. Clair that reminded me of this concept. Stephanie describes her own set of invisible advisors as her “Invisible Power Team.”
Whatever you want to call it, creating a list of those individuals that you most admire and from whom you would most welcome advice in the real world, in meditation or even in your dreams is a fantastic exercise. It invites in the highest energies of those folks, and serves to remind you of what is possible– for you, and for all of us.
I recently decided to write down my Board of Directors for the first time, with explanations as to why I’ve chosen them. Curiously, I discovered when I did this that most of them are people I already know and trust, and many are long-time friends. Those who aren’t represent ideals that I aim to uphold for myself.
Each of them are, in their own way, legendary.
It should be said, however, that none of them are perfect. Indeed, the goal of this exercise is not to put anyone on a pedestal, nor to elevate anyone to guru status– those of you who have worked with me know how much I disdain anything other than the self as guru. Rather, our Boards of Directors merely bring to our boardroom tables certain qualities we admire and advice that we seek when we aim to be our best selves.
This week, I invite you to the same exercise. It has only one rule: every member of your Board of Directors should inspire you to the qualities you envision when you seek to achieve your highest version of yourself.
To get you started along the path, and without further ado, here’s my Board of Directors, circa November 2013.
Brenda Villa: The best executive coach and intuitive I know, bar none. So good she doesn’t even have to market herself– her word of mouth reputation precedes everything she does. She works at the highest echelons of the corporate world and my bet is that almost none of you have heard her name before! Every time I work with her, I leave with a deep and conscious awareness of my own power. She also married me and my husband, and for that reason is always circulating around my thoughts, even when she’s not nearby.
Marie Forleo: This woman took a one-on-one coaching practice and built it into a powerhouse business that grosses millions every year. A force of nature. A marketing genius.
Gloria Steinem: Needs no introduction. Every powerful woman needs a hardcore feminist on her team to remind her of what she is worth, what she stands for, and what is possible.
Danielle LaPorte: She, and her iconography, are wicked sexy. Her most recent offering, The Desire Map, invites the world to meet success by following desire. Brilliant.
Mary Oliver: A constant reminder that we are all a part of nature, and that beauty is everywhere you look.
Elena Brower: For the sheer force of will. For the willingness to put it all out there. For falling down and getting up in very public ways. For creating a yoga studio that on many occasions has saved my life. For the refusal, ever and always, to settle for less than what she wants and believes in, come what may.
Douglas Brooks: A philosophical powerhouse. A fantastic friend. And also just a guy– albeit a guy who happens to have some knowledge to share that only about five other living people have brought back from mother India.
Bill Gates: For the capacity to earn enough money to shift the world on a global scale, as he is doing with his Foundation. Think: worldwide eradication of malaria; family planning services for women and girls in all developing countries; sanitation services to provide clean drinking water everywhere. GO BIG OR GO HOME, in other words, and make the world a better place when you do.
Sianna Sherman: Because the stories you tell are who you are. Because the world needs more radical goddesses. Because there’s something to be said for Love.
Justin Timberlake: For wicked talent. For dirty, grindy, nasty beats. For fearlessness. For sheer art. And of course, for music.
And last: Joe McLaughlin: My husband. My biggest challenge and challenger. My invitation to my best self. The father of my children. The choice I make every day. My wicked hot partner in crime. My true love. My best soulmate. My best friend.
In the comments below, tell me who’s on your list! I’m dying to know.
Have a great week!
PS. Interested in learning more about how to work with your own Board of Directors? Contact me here.
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