African Women in Leadership Organisation always has a tasty dish to serve. On Thursday August 14, 2018, another mouth-watery leadership training was held, and this one was a richer moment served on a platter. It was a great time with a woman who is a master of leadership and self-development; Dr. Violet Arene. She is a Certified ‘Stephen Covey 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ Trainer, an author of 17 books, a coach and mentor on several platforms and a high achiever who believes that people can attain a great level of leadership and maximize their full potentials. This particular meeting was about self-discovery and discipline, and she did an amazing work by practically taking everyone’s attention and mind to what discipline entails. Everything she mentioned during the training was not something one can hurriedly forget.
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Dr. Arene enlightened the house that the road to self-discovery is often very smooth but very few drive their wheels down it, and that self-discovery is like the first baby-step to self-leadership. It is a self-leadership prerequisite. In her words, “in your journey of leadership, you are either your enemy or your asset”. It only takes discipline and patience to know who you are, because you cannot do that in a hurry.
The air was filled with so much excitement. Every example and explanation Dr. Arene the facilitator gave was illuminating, practical and quite relatable. One of the attendees at the end of the meeting said “the class was very educational, the facilitator was humorous and she passed across the message of self-leadership and emotional intelligence efficiently and I saw it in a new light”
She went further to tell us that self- regulation thrives on the anatomies of discipline which she broke down to include; food, recreation, work, health and emotions or temperament. These anatomies do not just end here, there is more to it as they were further broken down. In other words, it is when you have gained mastery over these aspects, then you are on your way to really knowing who you are and to effectively leading yourself.
It became more interesting when she illustrated on a projector the anatomy of emotional hijacking, explaining to us the power of our amygdala and our thalamus. The amygdala is the part of our brain that controls our emotions, and times when we find ourselves doing several things which we later regret, we can blame it on our amygdala. While our thalamus on the other hand causes reason behind our actions. In other words, it prompts us to first think before acting. That was the peak of it and it was good to learn practically how to not let your emotions rule over you but rather, you should put it under submission to you and in your control.
Dr. Arene taught that as humans our three basic emotions are; either glad, mad or sad. She also said that bad temperament is a self-sabotage. So we must understand our emotions, and not stop at this alone, but being able to balance our emotional and thinking brain. She also said that discipline gives trust, good leadership and a level head. And when you have mastered the art of discipline and what exactly you should be a master to, that is when you become aware of who you are. That is self-discovery and it is the prerequisite of self-leadership.
The meeting was thrilling and refreshing. At the end of the meeting, everyone had something to say about how much they learnt, how they could relate to every example mentioned by the facilitator and how that they looked forward to putting to work everything they learnt and to future meetings.