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Janice Kobelsky Leadership Talks

Janice Kobelsky
Leadership At Her Best

"After interviewing Dr. Sam Rigby to help female students choose a Caereer in Engineering, I realized no matter what your Career Choice is you also Need Leadership Skills to reach your dreams. so I asked Janice if she would do an Interview to teach Students about Leadership!" Paul Cody

 “I cannot give you the formula for success. But, I CAN prompt you to think, to question, and to reflect. In this way, you will find your own path.~ Janice Kobelsky


Janice Kobelsky, FCPA, FCMA; has spent her life learning from the best. Leaders. Creators. Philosophers. PhDs. Scientists. Janice is a strategic leadership professional with an extensive history of distinguished service and contribution. I hold the Chartered Professional Accountant designation (formerly CMA), with Fellowship Distinction.

QUESTION:; Janice, when we think of leadership, what most often comes to mind is running a company or being an entrepreneur. Or, heading up a division or department; politics; or, other positions of authority. Why would leadership matter to someone if those were not their career goals?

Janice; What you’re describing are positions and we often equate one with the other. But, leadership and position are two different things.

Being in a position of leadership empowers us. It grants us decision-making authority on behalf of others. It’s positional power. Official or formal entrusting with others’ wellbeing. In this instance, leadership happens when (and if) it's used wisely and well.

But leadership also exists independent of formal authority.

It is an individual responsibility. A choice. The choice to show up. To act in a way that serves and contributes. It’s an inspired accountability for our actions and our impact on others and the world. An attitude.

That attitude, that kind of leadership, is something each and every one of us can choose, if we want.

When we do, we ‘become’ leaders, regardless of position. We’re more ready to step up as situations demand. To seek to influence, in a manner that adds value.

It’s a wonderful attitude of success. One we can bring to our careers, communities, families and life in general. It matters because it supports constructive action and caring.

When you bring that to your career, it’s like a certain kind of magic. It’s a contagious personal empowerment and engagement, plus interpersonal effectiveness. It’s the seed that creates an environment in which we may thrive, together.

So, you may not be seeking, or ever have, positional leadership in your career. But, we all encounter situations that call for leadership. In fact, life well lived and a career fulfilled require leadership. Without it, we’re at the whim of circumstances. You’re also not necessarily making the most — and the best — of yourself and those around you.

What does ‘everyday leadership’ look like in practice? Why does that matter?

Janice; ‘Everyday leadership’ is a three-fold attitude in practice.

First, it’s like a spark. An inner force that moves us to action. A daring and willingness to step up and to make our actions and our lives count. I call it audacity: the audacity to dare to be awesome and to energize potential. Our own, and that of others, too.

Next, it’s a deep reverence for the impact that we have. It’s recognition that everything we do creates effect. Our actions are like pebbles being cast, creating ripple effects. Leadership, then, is awareness of that legacy-effect. It's a desire to ensure that what we pay forward is intentional and contributory.

Which leads to the third dimension of this leadership attitude... caring for others and our world. Aware of our potential to contribute, it’s a desire to make a difference. It fosters a spirit and willingness for collaboration and connection. A chance to achieve synergy – to make the ‘sum of us’ greater than any one of us.

This kind of everyday leadership is at the foundation of all great service. Lasting impact. Influence. It’s an attitude that makes us real, caring, and courageous. Ready to handle life’s situations and decisions with conscience and commitment.

How would developing that kind of leadership help in terms of career? How does it apply, regardless of career path?

Janice; When you take on this kind of leadership, it's an attitude and commitment. It starts to affect how you act day-to-day and moment-to-moment. Others tend to trust you, because you’re someone who looks beyond yourself. Your desire to help, to contribute, and to lead from wherever you stand makes you someone others look to.

You become a leader by influence, whether or not by position.

This kind of inside-out, inspired accountability and responsibility will make you increasingly resourceful. You will look for ways to make things work. You’ll seek solutions. You’ll add value. You will also tap into and energize your own potential. You’ll do the same with others. In fact, you’ll become someone who creates potential.

Our world continues to change at an exponentially faster rate. To adapt, to navigate and to thrive in our careers will take that kind of leadership at every level.

Tomorrow’s world won’t work with yesterday’s solutions. Your career will advance, in whatever field, as you do. It will demand that you can see – and foresee – issues and opportunities. It requires that you’re ready to ask the kinds of questions that lead to real and meaningful resolutions.

To survive – and to thrive – you’ll need to be mindful and present, yet visionary. Fiercely independent, smart, and sharp, yet connected, collaborative and beneficent. Audacious, yet profoundly humble. A different kind of humility. As novelist C.S. Lewis said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It’s thinking of yourself less.”

That’s leadership.

It’s the kind of leadership that, when cultivated, will serve your career. More importantly, it will serve our world in whatever career you may pursue.

How does one figure out what they ‘should’ do -- whether starting out, looking for progression? Or even shifting or changing careers later on?

Janice; This question makes me grin. My answer is, “we shouldn’t.” That is, we need to stop ‘should’ng’ altogether – on others and ourselves. I call it lazy leadership.

‘Should’ negates us. It leaves no room for inspiration, reflection and energy.

Instead of ‘should’, think about what adds meaning and motivation to your life and actions? What gives you a reason to get out of bed in the morning? What will you struggle, and study, and work for? What are you willing to say ‘no’ to? No to others, to distractions and even to things you’d love to have or do? Ready to say no, for now, so that you can say ‘yes’ to this?

Whether you’re starting out, or shifting or changing careers... THAT’s where your best you awaits expression.

You may be afraid. Uncertain. There may be seeming huge obstacles in your way. But when you stop ‘should’ng’ things shift. When you reach deep inside and go with that energy, and answer that ‘calling’, you’ll find a way to express and realize it.

Go with that.

If you had one message you would urge us to follow, to really excel at leadership, what would it be?

Janice; Learn.

We cannot excel at leadership if we’re closed off. Become a learner. Learn about yourself. Learn about others. Learn about our world. Never stop.

You will realize that you never ‘arrive’. There’s always more to learn. More ways you can contribute. Develop your talents. Offer your gifts. And, you will make a difference by your life and your actions that only you can make.

You will also discover that you are never too young, and never too old, to lead.

Thank You,


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