Baby chicks, seeds, and leaders.

My husband, Ben, grew up on a farm in Michigan and when our children were small, he did not want his “townie” children to get too far from their roots. At different times, there were trays of seeds growing, with the help of a heat lamp, in our bedroom. On another occasion, the same heat lamps helped to warm baby chicks growing in our basement!

Chicks and seeds are not unlike leaders. Leaders need “heat” to grow. In January, I attended a conference where the keynote, Courtney Lynch, CEO of Leadstar, described “heat experiences” as the fuel for growth. She noted that thirty years of Center for Creative Leadership research shows that leaders develop most rapidly when facing what is known as “heat experiences.” You know you are in a heat experience when confronted with a task or assignment that has the following conditions:

  • It is a first-time experience.
  • Results matter.
  • There is a chance of failure and success.
  • Important people are watching.
  • It is extremely uncomfortable.

As a Leadership Coach, I am passionate about empowering leaders to have a growth-mindset, which requires seeking – and taking – some heat! As I reflect on my own life, the seasons where I experienced tremendous growth were also times of intense heat, like when I transitioned to a new job or was fighting for my marriage. Both of those heat experiences helped me to more clearly own and speak my truth.

DVFBC Labs Bring the Heat

Since the beginning of the year, 12 courageous women leaders sought after heat and joined our 12-week Women’s Leadership Lab.

They reported as a result of their “heat experiences” that they are growing in the following ways:

  • In confidence,
  • In understanding their roles as family leaders,
  • In understanding their strengths,
  • In becoming aware of  what it means to be a leader, and
  • In embracing conflict, to name a few!

To grow and change can be extremely uncomfortable but like the baby chicks who huddled together under the heat lamp to get warm, growing as a leader can be accelerated and be more comfortable if you invest energy and spend time  with other growth-minded leaders. Check out our Leadership Labs.

I invite you to seek heat to grow.

Trina Stutzman

Leadership Coach

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