‘Self-leadership is a constant dynamic’
Thu 15 July 2010
, Leap, LEAP
We’re continuing the World Café debate at the LEAP Energy event online, and ask: how far are you in self-leadership and in your leadership journey? Phaedra Kortekaas, senior manager with IBM: “Your ambitions change through life's experiences.”
Phaedra has worked in management for more than ten years. She has been in her present position as Client Service Director (Financial Services Sector for IBM) for two years. She found that she shared similar views with Koen Gonnissen on how physical fitness is key to having a mind and body in sync.
"I always try to balance physical and mental fitness. I do this by balancing work with other mental and physical challenges like running outdoors, bikram yoga and learning a new language. This gives me extra motivation and reaffirms what I do."
Phaedra believes that the leadership journey is not a straight path that has to be defined in a conscious way. She says in self-leadership it's important to set goals for yourself and keep setting them, and don’t be afraid to change them along the way.
She maintains that new challenges are what keeps her fresh. "By the time you have reached a goal, another one has appeared. Your ambitions change through life's experiences and just when you think you're half way there, you find that you're on another path."
That’s why mentors and role models, Phaedra thinks, are so important. She is open to advice from others and is currently being mentored by one of her company's senior managers. "What I'm looking for in a mentor is career guidance and inspiration. I want to be able to learn from someone with work and leadership experience. I want to be able to use them as a sounding board."
It is this openness to new ideas and a willingness to roll with the uncertainties that life throws up that underpin Phaedra's philosophy on self-leadership. “Self-leadership is a constant dynamic,” she concludes.