Leadership: The Art of Relationships

By Alex Lobba

AHA! Moment

Two years ago I had an AHA! moment that set me on a new, unexpected course to create a leadership training: Flow of Leadership. My wife, Mary Jackson – homebirth midwife and pre and perinatal practitioner extraordinaire – had invited me to join her for a Circle of Security Intervention training with Glen Cooper in London. We had been reading his book together, and I had just finished a software consulting project – my main line of business. So, I decided to go. The day before leaving, I managed to find an open seat on her flight right next to her. That was a good start, but things kept getting better.
In the training, everybody was a social worker or psychologist and nobody, including Glen, quite knew what to do with me: a computer geek. And I was not sure what I was doing there myself, except that I love attachment theory and was learning great information. What impressed me the most about Circle of Security was the simplicity and pragmatism of their model without having to use advanced attachment theory terminology, and the amazing results they have been producing with their intervention. Then, on the third day, the dots connected and I had my epiphany: this is what’s missing in business! People want to be good leaders as managers and coworkers, but their early imprints often get in the way of constructive relationships and all hell breaks loose. Just like what happens with parenting. As a result, all too often people in an organization spend more time in threat response mode (usually called “dealing with politics”), unable to tap in their creativity to solve problems.

On that warm summer day in London, surrounded by its multicultural richness, I glimpsed the opportunity to bring together my 30 years of experience in organizations and businesses with pragmatic ways of unpacking early imprints from Circle of Security. I also sensed the fit with the principles of intrinsic motivation and with the direct access somatic experiencing and neuroscience provide. My head was spinning, but I knew from direct experience that people in business are starved for leadership skills and training that go beyond models of personality and communication types, and empower actual self–reflection and transformation.
Not wanting to step on toes, I asked Glen if Circle of Security was focusing on businesses. He replied that families have been their primary mission, and gave his blessing for me to borrow some of the Circle of Security principles to apply them to business.

The Journey

Back at home a couple of weeks later, I shared my thoughts and excitement with my son Marco, who immediately grabbed a notepad and said “Ok, let’s start” and we were off to the races – no discussion, no excuses, no maybe later.

The process has been incredibly rich. The best part has been the personal insights and transformation I gained by having to put myself through the program to create it.
I am indebted to my son Marco for helping me jump start the project; to the friends and colleagues who have been my early guinea pigs; and to my wife for inviting me to London and for helping me refine and deliver the program.

Flow of Leadership

The goal of Flow of Leadership is to make more choices available for ourselves in those situations where implicit memories bypass our conscious mind, causing us to act or respond in ways that produce havoc and disconnect. Situations where when we look back, we feel like our survival was threatened, and if we have enough objectivity we are left wondering “What the heck happened? Why did I do that?”

The training focuses on six major areas and through a combination of lectures, discussions, and exercises, we build the incremental set of skills that gives us a wider range of choices.

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Alex Lobba is the founder of Flow of Leadership (www.flowofleadership.com), and a 35 year veteran of the software industry, with over 20 years of experience facilitating workshops and council circles. Alex and his wife, Mary Jackson -a midwife who brings decades of experience in pre and perinatal work- have created an engaging and pragmatic platform to facilitate self-reflection, cohesion, and communication. Flow of Leadership is a transformative leadership training program that helps unpack early imprints for team members and managers to excel at the toughest part of work: relationships. Alex can be reached at alex@flowofleadership.com.

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