Get Off the Sidelines: Using your voice to change the world

I was at the gym the other day and saw this book title that stopped me in my tracks: Off the Sidelines - Speak Up, Be Fearless, and Change Your World.  Written 3 years ago by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, it couldn’t be more relevant for our times today.

We shape our world by bringing forward our voice.  Sometimes we hold back is because we think we are separate.  But we’re not.  We are all connected and interconnected.

Madeleine Albright, who is the first woman to hold the highest offices in the US as US Ambassador to the UN and Secretary of State, is a role model for me about how to use my voice as a leader.  Her advice:  speak up, don't wait to be asked; be diplomatic, be patient, and stand in your personal power.

  “If your actions inspire others to dream more,
learn more, do more and
become more, you are a leader.”
                                                   -John Quincy Adams

The weakest link in every group or team is the person who doesn’t participate.  Look around and see where you are sitting on the sidelines at work or in the world.  Where are you just observing or participating half-heartedly?  Where you are settling for less?  

Engage your heart and back it up with action.  Take the risk to share what you see and need.  Be courageous.  Step into your personal power and be part of the conversation.  No one sees things exactly the way you do.    

“Our lives
begin to end
the day we

become silent
about the things
that matter.”
                                       -Maya Angelou
“Your silence will not protect you.” 
                                   -Audre Lorde

Decisions are being made every day in the workplace, our communities,  and the world.  Your perspectives, ideas, insights, and needs are essential.  Don't treat life as spectator sport.  What issues are important to you? 

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
                                         - Margaret Mead

The Story of the Frog:

If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will of course frantically try to jump out. But if you place it gently in a pot of tepid water and turn the heat on low, it will unresistingly be boiled to death.  

"Cowardice asks the question, is it safe?
Expediency asks the question, is it politic?
Vanity asks the question, is it popular?
But conscience asks the question, is it right?"
                                                -Martin Luther King

 Don't settle for less.  Step outside your comfort zone.  Where can you make a difference?